Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Annamouse and Willamouse Snowflake

Being a mere word-juggler, I am easily intimidated by image problems. Yesterday the Blogspot Image Imps wouldn't let me upload a higher quality image of Stephanie's snowflake from her blog. It's here now but in case it disappears, you can also go see it here.

And a correction: Victoria Jamieson's snowflake will be at AmoXcalli and Cuentecitos

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Robert's Snow: Meet Stephanie Roth, Today's Featured Artist

The snowflake of the day, Tuesday October 30.

You can bid on the original art at the Robert's Snow auction site beginning November 26. "Annamouse, Willamouse, and the Snowfall" features the mouse characters in Two Christmas Mice by Corinne Demas, illustrated by Stephanie Roth.

Booklist describes Stephanie's pencil-and-paint illustrations as creating "delightfully expressive mouse characters" that "communicate the sense of warmth in detailed scenes of cushioned, snug interiors, complete with roaring fires and delectable treats."

Stephanie Roth has illustrated dozens of books and magazines for children--among them my emergent reader published by Lee & Low, Yoga Class, to which she added an amazingly energetic, completely enchanting storyline. The first 10 people to post comments here in reply to this blog entry will be eligible to receive one of the following. In addition to your post, if you want to receive one of these gifts, you must send an e-mail to Uma with your snailmail address.

The gifts: A copy of Blockparty Today illustrated (and signed) by Stephanie Roth, along with a signed postcard of Two Christmas Mice, (a total of 3 on offer here)

Postcards of Two Christmas Mice, also signed by Stephanie (5 on offer)

Postcards featuring English and Spanish jackets of Yoga Class, illustrated by Stephanie (2 packs of 6 postcards each).

Don't forget to bid on that snowflake.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Remembering Hedgebrook

Last year at this time I was in a cottage in the woods on Whidbey Island, Washington, listening to the owl in the pines, breathing in the mist, allowing myself to experience the gift of solitude. There are so many ways I carry Hedgebrook in my heart. A picture of Cedar Cottage with my bags on the porch is on my computer desktop. It's early morning and the sky is still dark, and I'm waiting for Jacinda to give me a ride to the gas station so I can emerge from this time-warp and re-enter the world of airport shuttles and plane connections. I pull this picture up when I need breathing room. Just looking at it takes me back to a space of damp leaves and mist, hurrying by flashlight to a dinner that someone has prepared with loving hands, to conversations about books and writing and all of our lives. Hedgebrook gave me the courage to begin work on a story of overlapping geographies. Slow as I am the work is still in progress, but I know it will be completed in its own time. I don't think I have fully explored for myself what the experience, or the story, really mean to me but I find that I can enter that "inner space" when I need to, when either my writing or my life threaten to spiral away. Gloria Steinem said, "Hedgebrook isn't a retreat. It's an advance." It was for me.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Updates and Downloads

Sarah Ellis has won the Third Annual TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for Odd Man Out, a moving, funny story of a boy coming to terms with his changing family and with the truth about his father. Finalists for the TD prize included Jan Thornhill for I Found a Dead Bird: The Kids' Guide to the Cycle of Life & Death, Hadley Dyer for Johnny Kellock Died Today, Linda Bailey and illustrator Bill Slavin for Stanley's Wild Ride, and Tim Wynne-Jones for Rex Zero and the End of the World. Congratulations Sarah and Tim, Vermont College faculty colleagues both.

Writer Natasha Yim, a student of mine, is interviewed on California Readers.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Robert's Snow: Blogging for a Cure

This Blogging for a Cure page at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast has a comprehensive list of snowflake and illustrator features to be updated on a regular basis. Below you'll see the list of this week's Blogging for a Cure posts featuring artists who have created snowflakes for Robert’s Snow 2007.

Please note that not all the illustrators who contributed snowflakes to the online auction are featured in this blogging effort. When Jules of Seven Impossible put out her call in September for bloggers to interview/feature the creators of snowflakes on their blogs, a number of artists had not yet sent in their snowflakes to Dana-Farber. Look for some additional snowflakes (maybe 30 in all) on the Seven Impossible site.

This week's featured artists:

Monday, October 22

Tuesday, October 23

Wednesday, October 24

Thursday, October 25

Friday, October 26

Saturday, October 27

Sunday, October 28

Gandhi Book Published in Two Continents

On October 2, the International Day for Non-violence, Picture Gandhi, a photobiography by Sandhya Rao, was simultaneously published by Tulika Books in Chennai, India, and in Johannesburg, South Africa. This matters, of course, because Gandhi began his journey in South Africa and because the violence in the shadow of which children are forced to live ought to be an international concern. The South African release was marked by a special ceremony on Constitution Hill, in the prison where Gandhi was once held.

Monday, October 15, 2007

This Week's Featured Illustrators, Tuesday through Sunday

We writers so often feel excluded from the process by which pictures transform our texts in picture books. It's such a delight to be part of this wonderful cyber-event, and to find connections among the talented artists featured in Robert's Snow. This week, cyberhugs to Grace Lin, Judy Schachner, and Erin Eitter Kono. And of course all of this reflects the light of Grace's love and life shining on his work.

Tuesday, October 16
Wednesday, October 17
Thursday, October 18Friday, October 19
Saturday, October 20
Sunday, October 21

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Robert's Snow

Robert's Snow is an online auction that benefits the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Over 200 children's book illustrators have created art on individual snowflake-shaped wooden templates. The auction runs November through December, and is in memory of Robert Mercer who lost his fight against sarcoma in August 2007. Robert and his wife Grace Lin founded Robert's Snow: for Cancer's Cure in 2004. Since that time, the event has raised more than $200,000 for Dana-Farber.

Illustrators highlighted on October 15 will be:
Please stop by and view all the 2007 snowflakes here.

SCBWI-NM Retreat at Hummingbird Music Camp

Critique groups at the SCBWI-NM retreat at Hummingbird Music camp in beautiful Jemez, NM. Each workshop leader got to put a work in progress into the critique pot as well, something I find useful in more ways than one. Not just the whole "leveling the playing field" thing, but keeping the attention focused on the common work of bringing story to the page.