Island Birthday

Prickly Picture Book Program on Peaks

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in A Porcupine's Promenade, Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Illustration, Island Birthday, Peaks Island, Portland Public Library, Tilbury House | 2 comments

Many thanks to the Peaks Island Branch Library for hosting our Prickly Picture Book Program on Saturday morning. I couldn’t resist making something sweet and prickly, too. (Do try this at home, a pile of warm brownies pierced with toothpicks is a very fun sculpture to make and then eat!) It was a pleasure to have Lyn Smith, the author of A Porcupine’s Promenade visit Peaks Island. As a reading specialist, Lyn enjoys reading aloud.  She makes these porcupine noises that I just cannot fathom how. I talked a bit before making a visual presentation, about how I came to illustrate...

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Portland Stage fun

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Illustration, Island Birthday, Portland Stage Company | 2 comments

On a bitter cold Saturday morning, the colorful sight of Portland Stage’s Executive Director Anita Stewart warmed me right up. It was the Theater for Kids 7th birthday and Island Birthday was being featured in their Play Me a Story production. I was delighted to be on hand to witness the theatrical reading. But first, party hats were a necessary prop! Actors voiced different characters and provided sound affects. Below James Patefield (middle) plays Riley, the lead character in Island Birthday who is tired of being out of milk, and living on a remote island. (James was bully good as...

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Kick Off ’17

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in A Porcupine's Promenade, Art Classes, Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Illustration, Island Birthday, Maine College of Art, pastels, Peaks Island, Portland Stage Company, school visits | 4 comments

Everybody seemed eager to kick 2016 into history. Yeah, there were losses, that Election, hate, and plenty of things I want to forget. But a New Year…is a perennial place for hope. An earnest band of neighbors called the Get a Grip club gathered at our house on New Year’s Eve, armed with resolutions of change, good humor, and some hand-made glasses we will use for envisioning a better world. Rest assured, we will keep a grip on what matters! A few days later I visited King Middle School, a hive of young people poised to take over the world. It was my 9th outing as a visiting...

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Library Love

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in Children's Book Illustration, Illustration, Island Birthday, Tilbury House, travels | 1 comment

Happy National Library Week! I’m still floating from last week’s Maine Library Association’s 27th Annual Reading Round-Up of Children’s and Young Adult Literature. No better place to be than in a fine flock of kidlit advocates. Winning a Lupine Award with Eva Murray for our book Island Birthday is a spectacular honor.  Inspired by Maine artist, Barbara Cooney’s Miss Rumphius, the Lupine is presented to a living author or illustrator who is a resident of Maine, or who has created a work whose focus is on Maine, shown through the characteristics, plot, or setting....

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Celebrating Literacy at PIES

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in Children's Book Illustration, collage, drawing, Illustration, Island Birthday, Peaks Island, school visits, Seven Days of Daisy | 5 comments

It’s a treat to visit schools where literacy is celebrated. But it’s downright spectacular when it’s the island school down the street, where your own child learned to read. The Peaks Island Elementary School invited Scott Nash, Anne Sibley O’Brien, and me to meet teachers and students who read our books and created book reviews, skits, and reports. Teacher Leader Renee Bourgoine-Serio opened the evening with questions from kids. Mainly they wanted to know: WHEN is Scott coming out with a sequel to The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate? And then the Draw...

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long live lunacy

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Charlesbridge Publishing, Children's Book Illustration, collage, Illustration, Island Birthday, John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall, Luna Press, pastels, Peaks Island, Tiger Boy, Tilbury House | 3 comments

Have you heard? There will be a full moon on Christmas for the first time since 1977. I’m well versed in lunar cycles, thanks to my contributions to the Lunar Calendar since 1983. Over the years, I’ve had the honor of creating the color cover several times, always a treat. These are a few of the ideas I presented to publisher Nancy F. W. Passmore for the 40th edition. The calendar is a vertical format with a fold, and I like to cross that, if possible. Nancy is fond of the idea of keeping her moon boat afloat, so she picked the bottom left. I was happy to develop the one idea...

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