Thursday, June 17, 2010

David Wiesner's Flotsam for Real

I love David Wiesner's children's books. How cool is it that one of them came true - sort of. A sea turtle found a digital camera in a water proof housing and managed to turn the thing on and record himself. He's not a very good cinematographer, in fact, I imagine he was probably trying to eat the camera. But it's still neat. Even neater was that they actually tracked down the owner of the camera, a man who lost it scuba diving in November 1,000 miles away.

I wonder if frogs will start flying next.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cutest Pigeon Picture Ever

I was Googling pigeons this morning looking for some photo reference for a project I'm working on and I found, what has to be, the cutest pigeon/monkey photo ever. I just had to share. Everyone, all together now... AWWWWW!

I guess this little monkey was orphaned in the jungle and brought to a rescue facility. The workers their put the pigeon in his cage with him to keep him company and they bonded.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Illustration Friday - Ripple

Kelly Light is a very talented illustrator and also has a very big heart when it comes to the animals of the Gulf coast. She has a great idea for a fund raiser. Ripple Sketches is a site where you can buy pieces of art by making a modest donation to either the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies or the International Bird Rescue Research Center. I hope you will consider contributing.

3D Sidwalk Painting

What does this have to do with this weeks Illustration Friday topic, ripple? Um, there are ripples of water inside the bucket. yeah, that's it.

I'm fascinated by these artists like Julian Beever that do 3D sidewalk paintings so I wanted to try my hand at it. I didn't have much time (or much chalk) so I thought I'd start with a portrait of a plastic bucket. Finally, after 25 years I've finally found a use for those trigonometry formulas I learned in high school! What a neat art/math project this would be for high school kids. Next your kids ask, "what will I ever use this trigonometry junk for?" You can tell them that someday they will want to draw a three dimensional drawing of bucket on their driveway and they will need to know how tall to make it. :)

I was kind of eye balling this and it came out a little crooked. I'd like to try again, but next time I will draw out a neat grid with a chalk line before I begin. I'll also have to buy more chalk. The rough black top eats it up fast.

This is what it looks like from the side. As you can see even a small object like a bucket has to be pretty long and skinny...

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Patio Visitor - Gray Tree Frog???

I went to pick up one of our patio chairs the other day and found this little guy. He looked so wise and serene, I just had to take some pictures. I think he's a gray tree frog but I'm not sure. Does anyone know? He never moved a muscle even when the camera was six inches from his face.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Two Nice Reviews For Please Write Back!

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1—In this easy early, early reader, Alfie, a crocodile, sends his grandma a letter that says, "I love you. Please write back." And then he waits. And asks the mailman. And waits. That's the entire plot. With the appeal of a bright green croc that has expressive eyes and the concept of sending and receiving mail, this book is bound to capture the interest of youngsters. They can read the letter and the address on the envelope, and enjoy the crocodile stamp. Grandma's reply finally comes—inside a box filled with cookies. The book is perfect for its intended audience. There is good repetition in the text for early reinforcement and the pictures are just delightful.—Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City

Children's Literature

Any kindergarten or first grade teachers planning a unit on letter writing will want to have this delightful book on hand for their students. Alfie, the main character, writes a letter to his grandmother telling her he loves her and asking her to write back. Not only will readers see Alfie writing, but they will see his handwritten note, illustrating the format for a friendly letter. Alfie is also shown addressing and stamping the envelope, again modeling the correct format. Alfie waits and waits for his grandmother to write back and is ultimately rewarded with not just a letter, but also a box of cookies. Young readers will readily identify with Alfie?his joy and sense of accomplishment in writing to his grandmother, and his dismay at not receiving a prompt response?not to mention the ultimate reward for writing, a batch of homemade cookies! In an indirect way, this book emphasizes the human need for communication, and the letter as a still viable means of communicating. It also provides young letter writers with a handy reference for checking the format of their own missives. Reviewer: Maria Lamattina

Alfie The

I have put up a new website dedicated to all things Alfie called It's a work in progress, but do let me know what you think. If you are an educator or a parent and can think of something I can add to make the site more useful, I would seriously LOVE to hear from you.