Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Past

Happy Birthday Logan!

I had forgotten how many different cake options there are to go along with a Halloween birthday! Logan's 16 today. In the spirit of making sure he lets me continue to take his picture, I'm limiting these shots to when he was little.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Snowflakes Abound Week Three

Where to find this week's Illustrators

Monday, October 29

Tuesday, October 30

Wednesday, October 31

Thursday, November 1

Friday, November 2

Saturday, November 3

Sunday, November 4

Be sure to stop by 7-imp too! Each day they will be featuring an artist who created a snowflake, but didn't have it finished when Blogging for a Cure started.

Just around the corner: Bidding for the snowflakes in the Robert's Snow auction. Each snowflake makes a unique gift and supports an important cause. Check then out!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Up Close and Personal Contest Update

Sam Bennett's New Shoes, ©2006 Jennifer Thermes

Have you entered the contest to win a signed copy of Sam Bennett's New Shoes by Jennifer Thermes yet? There's still time. In fact, after it was brought to my attention that some of the auction dates have changed, I'm changing the rules! Anyone who posted on the original Behind the Snowflakes- Up Close and Personal post will be in the drawing. Whether you answered correctly or not! If you haven't entered yet you still can. Just go here, and read all about it. The new date for the drawing will be November 19th. The first day of the Robert's Snow auction.

Like to enter contests? Paradise Found has put together a list of all the Blogging for a Cure bloggers who are giving away books and art . Check it out!

Here is just one of the many contests going one.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Snowflakes Abound Week Two!

I sure enjoyed reading all the bloggers posts last week featuring illustrators who created snowflakes for Robert's Snow. What great interviews and contests and photos and snowflakes. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Blogging for a Cure is up to this week!

Please take time out to visit all of these blogs, and read about these fabulous illustrators. And think about bidding for a snowflake in the Robert's Snow auction. Each snowflake makes a unique gift and supports an important cause.

Where to find this week's Illustrators

Monday, October 22

Mark Teague at The Miss Rumphius Effect
Sharon Vargo
at Finding Wonderland
Christopher Demarest
at Writing and Ruminating
Rose Mary Berlin
at Charlotte's Library
David Macaulay
at Here in the Bonny Glen

Tuesday, October 23
Carin Berger
at Chasing Ray
Marion Eldridge
at Chicken Spaghetti
Sophie Blackall
at not your mother's bookclub
Erik Brooks
at Bildungsroman
Brian Lies
at Greetings from Nowhere

Wednesday, October 24
Elisa Kleven
at Rozzie Land
Consie Powell
at Becky's Book Reviews
Jimmy Pickering
at Shaken & Stirred
Frank Dormer
at What Adrienne Thinks About That
Sheila Bailey
at Lizjonesbooks

Thursday, October 25
Julia Denos
at Interactive Reader
Rebecca Doughty
at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Brian Floca
at A Fuse #8 Production
Margaret Chodos-Irvine
at readergirlz

Friday, October 26
David Ezra Stein
at HipWriterMama
Juli Kangas
at Sam Riddleburger's blog
Ginger Nielson
at Miss O's School Library
Margot Apple
at Jo's Journal

Saturday, October 27
Julie Fromme Fortenberry
at Your Neighborhood Librarian
Sarah Dillard
at The Silver Lining
John Hassett
at cynthialord's Journal
Abigail Marble
at Please Come Flying

Sunday, October 28
Ashley Wolff
at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Barbara Garrison
at Brooklyn Arden
Kelly Murphy
at ChatRabbit

Remember 7-Imp has a special Blogging for a Cure page that includes a list with links to all the posts that have featured the Robert’s Snow artists and 2007 snowflakes to date.

Note to Blog Readers about Blogging for a Cure:
When Jules of 7-Imp put out her call in September for bloggers to interview/feature artists who had created snowflakes for Robert’s Snow 2007 at their blogs, a number of artists had not yet sent in their snowflakes to Dana-Farber. As time was of the essence to get Blogging for a Cure underway, we worked with the list of artists whose snowflakes were already in possession of Dana-Farber. Therefore, not all the participating artists will be featured. This in no way diminishes our appreciation for their contributions to this worthy cause. We hope everyone will understand that once the list of artists was emailed to bloggers and it was determined which bloggers would feature which artists at their blogs, a schedule was organized and sent out so we could get to work on Blogging for a Cure ASAP. Our aim is to raise people’s awareness about Robert’s Snow and to promote the three auctions. We hope our efforts will help to make Robert’s Snow 2007 a resounding success.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Behind the Snowflakes- Up close and Personal

Now through November, Blogging for a Cure 2007 will feature over 70 bloggers who will be highlighting many of the beautiful snowflakes created by children’s book illustrators as part of Robert’s Snow: for Cancer's Cure. Visit the handful of artists featured each day, and get to know each one of them up close and personal. Bid on your own original art snowflake while helping to fight cancer.

Today I have the privilege of featuring author and illustrator and snowflake creator Jennifer Thermes. Jennifer writes books about life in the colonial time period. Her stories are inspired by events that happened in her 280-year-old family home. The old farmhouse was once owned by poet and editor Louis Untermeyer. She is convinced "his spirit still infuses the place with a love of stories and ideas." Be sure to check out her website. Like her books, it's chock-full fine detail and historical information.

Interview with Jennifer Thermes

How did you become involved in Robert’s Snow and what was your inspiration for your snowflake, The First Snow?

I had heard about Robert’s Snow in previous years, and when the call for interested artists came out, I sent in my name. So many people’s lives have been touched by cancer, and I thought it was a very worthy cause.

As for the inspiration for my snowflake, I still get excited with the first snow of the season, and I’m sure that children in colonial times did, too!

Who had the most influence on your work?

Many people– my first art teacher, my writing group, something I’ve read, other artists’ work. It’s always changing. I try to stay inspired by new things. I have always liked that saying about “thinking like a beginner,” in order to keep learning and growing.

What is your all-time favorite picture book?

Another tough question, because my favorites change all the time! (I will say, my favorite Dr. Seuss story is “What Was I Scared Of?” There’s something about that “pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them” that gets me every time!) But seriously, I love the work of Peter Sís, David Small, Garth Williams, Barbara McClintock, among so many others.

For “Sam Bennett’s New Shoes” what was the time line between when you first found the boot and shoe hidden within in the framework of your 1720's farmhouse house, and when the book actually became published?

I knew right away there was a story in the boot and the shoe, but it was about three years before I put pen to paper. Between putting the story and the pictures together took about a year, and then another year before a publisher picked up the idea. Then, of course, another two years working with the editor, doing the final artwork, and completing the whole production process. It’s probably not a good idea to think too hard about the time it takes to make a book!

Do you have the original boot and shoe on display in your home?

Yes, they make a great conversation starter.

Tell us what it’s like working from your office in a home with such a colorful history!

I probably have the same distractions as anybody who works from home, though with a lot more dust! I think the thing an old house really teaches you is that life isn’t perfect, but it can still work just fine, and even be wonderful. In an old house things break, paint peels, floors creak and nothing is level- but there is a certain charm that is hard to reproduce. Also, I find it oddly comforting to think about all of life’s ups and downs the different people who lived here must have experienced.

Working as an author/illustrator, for you, which comes first, the pictures or the words?

It depends on the project. Sometimes an idea will come to me visually, and sometimes a line of text will come whole, seemingly out of nowhere. I’m convinced it’s a gift from the subconscious when that happens! More likely is that I’ll work on the words first– struggling through a first draft and trying to figure out what the story is about, and then shifting back and forth between the words and pictures to meld it all together. I think with each new project I crawl before I walk, and walk before I run. Once I get into the “groove” of an idea it seems to flow quickly.

Tell us a little bit about your illustrative process.

I do a lot of scribbly-sketches before a picture’s composition takes hold, and then refine the drawing from there. It’s helpful to keep a thumbnail layout of a book project in front of me as I work so that I can keep in mind how the pictures and story will flow from page to page. Once I start the finished art I have to remind myself to take frequent breaks– otherwise I get too nit-picky with the color and, actually, everything! I’m never completely satisfied with the finish, but I suspect many artists would say the same about their work.

Your stories are such a part of the life you have lived, or inspired by the lives of those who lived before you, what do you have planned next?

Right now I have several stories out for consideration, one is a picture-book biography and all with historical themes. Since my “day job” is creating illustrated maps, I’ve been working on an idea that incorporates them into a story. It’s still in the early stages.

What were you thinking with that 1980's hairstyle? Just kidding! (All you curious readers can see what I’m talking about on Jennifer’s website bio.)

Oh, come on, I was SO COOL!! (But really quite shy, believe it or not!)

Thank you Jennifer for letting us get to know more about you! And a special thank you for donating a signed book to be given away to one lucky reader of this blog. That's right! Just post a reply on this blog telling me if Jennifer is in auction 1, 2, or 3, and your name will go into a drawing. The winner will be selected on the first day of her auction. (You can find the auction details here.)

Be sure to check out the other snowflakes being featured today:

Brooke Dyer at Bookshelves of Doom
D.B. Johnson
at Lessons from the Tortoise
Erin Eitter Kono
at Sam Riddleburger
Sherry Rogers
at A Life in Books

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More Snowflakes Abound!

Tomorrow's the big day. I'll be featuring Jennifer Thermes and her snowflake. Be sure to check back in. There will be a drawing involved. You could win a signed copy of one of her books!

In the meantime take a look at who's been featured in the last two days...

Wednesday, October 17

Rick Chrustowski
at laurasalas
Diane DeGroat
at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup
Ilene Richard
at Something Different Every Day
Brie Spangler
at Lectitans
Don Tate
at The Silver Lining

Tuesday, October 16
Selina Alko at Brooklyn Arden
Scott Bakal at Wild Rose Reader
Alexandra Boiger at Paradise Found
Paige Keiser at Your Neighborhood Librarian
Janet Stevens at The Miss Rumphius Effect

For a comprehensive list of snowflake and illustrator features, written by over 65 bloggers and coordinated by 7-Imp, in the 2007 Blogging for a Cure, click here.

PLEASE NOTE! Not every illustrator involved in this project will be featured on our blogs. Some are still working on their snowflakes! That means to see all of them, you'll have to go to the Robert's Snow Site.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Snowflakes Abound!

Blogging for a Cure, has begun! Starting today, more than 65 bloggers will be highlighting snowflakes and the illustrators who created them. Thank you Jules and Eisha, at Seven Impossible Things, for organizing such a huge event. Here are today's features:

Monday, October 15

Randy Cecil at ChatRabbit
Michelle Chang at The Longstockings
Kevin Hawkes at Cynthia Lord's Journal
Barbara Lehman at The Excelsior File
Grace Lin at In the Pages

This year Robert's Snow has rounded up, more than 200 well-known children’s book illustrators from around the world to create a unique, original art snowflake. And you can own one! The 2007 online auctions for bidding on these hand-painted snowflakes will take place in three separate auctions, from November 19 to 23, November 26-30, and December 3-7. You can read all about it here .

The artists I will be featuring are:
Jennifer Thermes: Thursday, October 18
Chris Gall: Sunday, November 11

Special thanks to Elaine at Wild Rose Reader for not only sharing more photos of the gallery exhibit featuring the snowflakes, but for having a contest with the very special price of a a limited edition Robert’s Snow giclee print created by Grace Lin! This is going to be fun! In fact, many of the feature blogs are running contests with prizes, so be sure to check each one, each day.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Update on the Update

Elaine updated her photos from the gallery show!

Robert’s Snow Exhibit
October 3-22
Child at Heart Gallery

Somehow I missed posting the link to photographer Pennington Geis's
slide show.

Don't forget you can also see them at Robert's Snow: Cancer's Cure, where you will also find information on how to bid and win your very own original art snowflake!

Behind the Snowflakes Update

Be sure to check out the Wild Rose Reader Blog for the latest in the exhibit of Robert's Snow snowflakes! Elaine has posted links to the original art exhibit along with some great photographs from the open house that took place this past Saturday at The Child at Heart Gallery in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Great photos Elaine! Thank you. I would love to get to go the gallery. But since I can't, here's the next best thing:

Robert's Snow: Artist Open House & Exhibit

A Smile to Warm Your Heart!

Scenes from Robert's Snow Artist Open House

Artwork will be on display at the following locations.

Child at Heart Gallery
48 Inn Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
Open House: Saturday, October 6
Exhibit Dates: October 3 – 22

Danforth Museum of Art
123 Union Avenue
Framingham, MA 01702
Open House: Sunday, November 4
Special Sneak Preview: October 31 – November 3
Exhibit Dates: November 4 – December 2

Behind the Snowflakes
Below is an update to my original post. More artists links have been added to this list!

The Woman Behind the Snowflakes

The Robert's Snow project, was founded by author/illustrator Grace Lin in honor of her husband Robert's life. Grace gathered artists from all over the children's book illustrating community to create original art snowflakes to be auctioned off. Since 2004, this online auction has raised over $200,000 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Sadly, in August 2007 Robert lost his battle against cancer at age 35. This year's snowflakes will be auctioned in November and December.

The Artists Behind the Snowflakes
You can see how some of the artists created their snowflakes for this years auction on the following blogs. If anyone I missed would like to be added to this post just let me know.

Anna Alter
Elizabeth O. Dulemba
Holli Conger
Karen Lee
Roz Fulcher
Don Tate
Sherry Rogers
John Nez
Sarah Dillard
Connie McLennan
Paige Keiser
Kelly Murphy
Dan Santat
Stephanie Roth
Sharon Vargo
Susan Mitchell
Ellen Beirer
Liza Woodruff
Sally Vitsky
Jane Dippold
Cecily Lang
Mary Haverfield
Consie Powell
Marion Eldridge
Adam Rex
Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Eric Brooks
Alissa Imre Geis (look here too!)
Amy Schimler
Meghan McCarthy
Matt Tavares (look here too!)
Julie Fromme Fortenberry
Aaron Zenz
Ashley Bryan
Jennifer Thermes
Jeff Newman

Update: Since this was originally posted I have added thirteen more preview blogs. I will keep adding more as I come across them, so keep checking in!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Attention Fellow Arizonans

Public voting is now open for ONEBOOKAZ! You can help choose what will be the one book all of Arizona will read in 2008. This unique program helps foster a sense of community through the shared experience of having participants read the same book, discuss themes, and get involved in book events around the state.

Six books for adults and five books for kids have been nominated, and the public will determine which will be the 2008 ONEBOOKAZ for adults and for kids.

ONEBOOKAZ provides an opportunity for its citizens to come together to read and discuss books that will increase their knowledge and appreciation of Arizona’s unique history and culture.
Vote for adult titles here.

Help pick the book that all of the kids in Arizona will read in 2008. Choose from five fun and exciting books…all about Arizona people and places.
Vote for kids titles here.

Voting runs from September 17 to October 15, 2007.

Monday, October 1, 2007

2007 Cyblis Kick Off!

I am very excited to be serving as a member of the Fiction Picture Book-judging panel for the 2007 Cybils. The Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards give the public the chance to nominate their favorite children's books from 2007.

I find myself in great company with of the following team. Be sure to check out their blogs.

Category Organizer: Julie Danielson (Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast)

Nominating Panel:

Julie Danielson (Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast)
Marcie Flinchum Atkins (World of Words)
Annie Teich (Crazy for Kids Books)
Cheryl Rainfield
Pam Coughlan MotherReader

Judging Panel:

Mitali Perkins (Mitali's Fire Escape)
Nikki Tate (Work in Progress)
Gail Maki Wilson (Through the Studio Door)
Barbara Johansen Newman (Cats and Jammers Studio)
Stacey Shubitz (Two Writing Teachers)

You can see the entire team list for all of the categories here .

And now the fun part for you! You can nominate your favorite book of the year starting today, October 1st. Just go the the announcement on the Cybil's Blog found here, and follow the instructions. Books can be nominated in the following categories:

Fantasy/Science Fiction
Fiction Picture Books
Graphic Novels
Middle Grade Fiction
Non-Fiction: Middle Grade and Young Adult
Non-Fiction Picture Books
Young Adult Fiction