Sunday, February 15, 2015

"A Gluten Free Birthday For Me!" Wins Award

"A Gluten Free Birthday For Me!" written by the amazing Sue Fliess and illustrated by me, was recognized as one of the best gluten free children's books by the Fifth Annual Gluten-Free Awards.  

Even though the book focuses on children with gluten intolerance, children with other dietary restrictions will be able to relate to the characters in this story.

Here's some more kudos for the book... 

"This bright and colorful picture book sheds light on certain childhood allergies. . .Teachers will find this book to be a great introduction to allergies, to embrace acceptance, and show respect."
Library Media Connection

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Painting with Procreate and the iPad

I've been having a lot of fun lately with the Procreate app on my iPad.  This is a scene that I saw on my drive this morning.  It was very cold (8F) and this house looked so cozy.  So when I got home I painted a quick sketch.  Remember no matter how tempting it is - never paint and drive!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Steve and Wessley Cybils Finalists

Steve and Wessley's first book, The Ice Cream Shop is a finalist in the Cybils awards in the Easy Reader category.

In case you are not familiar with the Cybils. They are the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards. Here is the the mission statement that they post on their website...

The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal. If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussels sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious.

Since most of my books revolve around food that sounds like the perfect award for me!  I'm very happy and honored that they recognized my book for this award.  

The reviewer, Katie Fitzgerald, mistakenly called Steve a rat (he's an opossum).  But that's ok, because I was thrilled that she picked up on the theme of the book, which is, reading is important.  In the book, Steve the opossum is having trouble getting into the neighborhood ice cream shop because no matter how hard he pushes, the door won't open.  Had he used his reading skills and read the "PULL" sign on the door he would have gotten his ice cream much sooner.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Felt Fortune Cookies

Here's a fun craft that looks almost good enough to eat.  In fact, my son picked one up before he realized it was felt!  Here is what you will need...

  • Craft Felt (tan or color of your choice)
  • "Glue Dots" or a hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • White paper

Cut a circle of felt approximately 4 1/2" in diameter.  (A large can works well as a template.)

Fold the felt circle in half like a taco.

Push in on the center bottom of the taco as you bring the corners toward each other as shown.

Keep bringing the two sides together as you encourage the top of the "taco" to turn down.  It will start to look like a fortune cookie.

Attach the two sides that you pinched together with a "Glue Dot" or a dab of hot glue.

Cut a strip of paper about 1/2" wide and 2 1/2" long.  Write a fortune on the strip of paper and slip it into one side of the cookie.  Now make a batch for someone you love.

Monday, December 01, 2014

December Newsletter Available

Check out the free kid activities like this cute reindeer puppet in the December issue of my monthly newsletter.  And don't forget to subscribe so you can receive future newsletters straight to your inbox!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Small Works Art Exhibit - Lunenburg Public Library

I have several watercolors hanging at the Small Works Art Exhibit in Lunenburg MA.  The opening reception is tonight at the Lunenburg Public Library.  The show will be up until December 13th.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Watercolor Autumn Leaves Craft Project

  • Watercolor paints (non-toxic if children are involved)
  • Paint Brush
  • Cup of water
  • 8 1/2"x11" Sheet of watercolor paper (found at most arts and crafts departments)
  • Scissors 
  • Pencil
  • Leaf Templates PDF (printed on stiff paper or card stock and cut out)

How to:

Dip the paint brush in water and wet the paper by "painting" it with clean water.
Then (this is the fun part!) dip your brush in the watercolors and cover your paper with paint.  Let the colors drip and swirl together.  The object is to cover the entire paper with paint.
Let the paper dry completely.

When the watercolor paper is completely dry, cut it in half the long way.  

Fold each long rectangle in half.

Lay the leaf template on the watercolor paper, lining up the folded edge with the straight edge of the template.  You should have room for 2 leaves on each rectangle of paper.Trace around the templates using a pencil.

Cut out the leaves.

Ideas for Your Leaves:
  • Make a tree trunk out of brown construction paper and have the kids tape their leaves to the tree.
  • Write a family member's name on each leaf and use them as place cards for Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Attach them with yarn to a hanger to make a falling leaves mobile.
  • Or tie them to a piece of yarn and make a pretty autumn garland.

Nice Review for Steve and Wessley in School Library Journal

Here is a nice review that was posted on Barnes and Noble website for Steve and Wessley and the Sea Monster.  Thank you Gloria Koster for the nice review and for noting that Steve is an opossum.  The poor guy gets called a rat all the time.

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A fun and engaging easy reader. When pals Steve, an opossum, and Wessley, a rabbit, disagree about a mysterious object afloat in the pond, readers assume that Wessley is right and that it is just a stick. Steve is convinced it's a sea monster. It's only when the very rational rabbit convinces his friend that sea monsters live in the sea and not in a pond that they are able to agree and move on. Children will get a kick out of the surprise ending. Spare, easy-to-read text delivered exclusively through speech bubbles accompanies the cartoon illustrations that are sweet, engaging, and full of humor.—Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT