Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy, Merry, Greetings, All

Wishing everyone a wonderful season, whatever you may celebrate!

(Art from Little Author in the Big Woods, A Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, 
Written by Yona Zeldis McDonough, Christy Ottaviano Books, coming Fall 2014.)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Announcement! (Woot!)

I've had a lot of things to be thankful for this year, and here's one more...

I am thrilled to officially announce that I'm now represented by:

Marietta B. Zacker at the Nancy Gallt Literary Agency!

(Let the happy dancing begin!)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Inky Mappy Details

I like to do highly detailed work first thing in the morning, before I've put in my contact lenses, when I can hunch up close to pen and paper and see clearly.

After a while it all starts to look like random marks of abstract ink. Time for more coffee.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Morning Artmaking...

... because I need all of the hours!

(Confession: I like early morning work hours the best, even without deadlines.)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway for No Moose!

The official book birthday for There Are No Moose on This Island! is this Friday! To celebrate I'm giving away 3 signed copies.

Since I couldn't get the widget to display properly, we're gonna do this old-school style, so...

click here to enter!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I'm in the midst of transferring sketches to watercolor paper for an awesome new book project.* These will be black & white pieces. (Have I mentioned before how much I adore working in black & white?) It's important to get the bones of the drawing down accurately at this point, and then build it up from there.

Below, sneak peek of a cleaned-up sketch:

More about this book in the coming months!

(*I think I probably say awesome too much. Is that such a bad thing??)

Friday, September 6, 2013

52 Great Reads at the National Book Festival!

What a way to finish up a week that was already pretty good... this, from the National Book Festival's website:

Every year, a list of books representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands is distributed by the Library of Congress's Center for the Book during the National Book Festival.

And this year's selection for the state of New Hampshire is...

The Iciest, Diciest, Scariest Sled Ride Ever!

Click here to see the entire 52 Great Reads list.

(Hooray, Rebecca Rule!)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Sample Art

Above, the final color piece from this sketch, coming soon to a postcard near you.

Below, a black & white piece for the back. Steady as she goes!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Map Fun ~ Arizona

Here's a recent piece in the ongoing series of maps-for-books I've been working on for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. These are fun to do!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Nice Kirkus Review For "Helen!"

From Kirkus:

Helen Keller’s life is summarized for younger children in this attractively illustrated biography that uses Keller’s love for dogs as a unifying thematic thread.

The story focuses on Keller’s childhood, summarizing her early life in rural Alabama and the arrival in 1887 of her teacher, Anne Sullivan. Keller’s favorite dog, an Irish setter named Belle, is beside Keller as she learns from her teacher how to communicate with finger spelling. Teacher and student travel to Boston together, where Keller begins to learn how to speak, and she is able to call her dog to her when they return home to Alabama. This portion of the book is structured in a traditional picture-book format, using limited text and large-format illustrations that will work well for reading aloud to young children. The final few pages shift to more complex text describing additional dogs owned by Keller throughout her life as well as a summary of her college education, lecture tours and philanthropic work in her later years. This dual structure makes the book suitable both for young children and for older children looking for biographical information for school reports.

While Helen Keller’s love of dogs isn’t an integral part of her personal biography, it’s an interesting hook to draw children into the story of this fascinating, inspirational woman. (Picture book/biography. 4-10)

Publication Date: Sept. 1, 2013 • Albert Whitman & Company • ISBN:978-0-8075-3198-3

Monday, July 29, 2013

3 x 3 ~ Children's Show Annual

One good thing about returning from vacation is collecting all the mail that's been piling up. (I love getting real, old-fashioned mail!) This was an excellent surprise: a copy of 3 x 3 Magazine's 2012 Children's Show Annual.

I'm thrilled to have illustrations from Maggie & Oliver included, along with the work of so many talented and much-admired colleagues. I'm still drooling over all the gorgeous artwork.

Thank you, 3 x 3!

Friday, July 5, 2013


Sending art out today.
I'm going to miss these guys!

(Happily, we'll meet again next spring.)

Friday, June 7, 2013

I've Been Working...

Well, the house and yard are beginning to resemble Grey Gardens, but that's pretty normal around deadline time. It's been a fun and busy spring!

There's much art in progress in my little studio. I'm a big fan of cozy clutter, can you tell?
(*Do you see the newest addition to our menagerie in the center of the photo?)

I'm painting, drawing, painting the next book, making notes to myself about where each piece is at. It's satisfying to see the check-marks accumulate, even though I'll go over each spread one more time at the end, for touch-ups.

 A snippet in progress, from a few weeks back...

*And below, our newest addition:

He's in training now, observing and napping...

... when not making mischief of one kind and another...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Guest Blog Post

Fun stuff-- I was invited to post some of my thoughts about promotional postcards over at the Sub It Club blog. Click on over! (Give the rest of the blog a read, too. Great tips!)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cape Author Fest

Time to hit the road again to one of my favorite states, evah!– for the Cape Author Fest in Cape Elizabeth, Maine! Check out this amazing group of authors and illustrators, here...  and I hope to see you there! (Details, here...)

The Cape Author Fest
Saturday, May 11, 2013
2:00-5:00 p.m.
at Cape Elizabeth High School

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Auction Art at BEA 2013

Words are powerful.

On May 29th the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression will hold their
19th Annual Children's Book Silent Auction at BookExpo America. Anyone can bid on artwork donated by children's book creators to help in the fight against censorship of
books for young readers. It's an excellent cause.

I've donated two pieces from upcoming books:

(Helen Keller's Best Friend Belle...)

(There are No Moose on this island!...)

Take a look at ABFFE's pinterest page to see all the wonderful donations...

And here's more information about the auction if you'd like to bid. (There will also be an online auction ahead of time with even more amazing art!)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Here's a step-by-step progression of the black & white sample I was working on last week:

 Thumbnail sketch:

Rough sketch, larger:

Cleaned up sketch:

And voilá, the final piece:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Okay, Go!

I've gotten the okay to start final art for a new book with Sleeping Bear Press, scheduled for 2014! Here's a snippet of a sketch. Bears are really fun to draw, by the way.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

More New Maps

I love getting things in the mail. These arrived recently– maps for an ongoing series of books about the USA for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. More states to come!

(Hairy Little Assistant #1 likes to read.)