Art from Hoquiam, Washington Schools!

Spent a great week in Hoquiam, Washington visiting students. I want to thank the teachers and Principals who made it all possible and run so smoothly.

Here are jus ta few photos of the great art made by students!


Chickens inspired by Chicken Story Time!



Yup! I draw ‘big eyes’!


Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot still attracting readers!


And some superheroes from Super Hero Instruction Manual!


The class that can’t stop because of Tommy!


Some sneaky green beans escaping from Martha!


And awesome aliens that would make Earthling! sparkle!

As you can tell the kids were familiar with may of the books I wrote and illustrated. I know I didn’t get pictures of all the posted art but I enjoyed it all. I also have some great work the kid sent home with me that I will scan and share in the next few weeks. Thanks again! I really enjoy the school visits I do each year.


Posted in Blatherings, Personal Appearance, picture books, School Days, school visits | 2 Comments

The Postcard Post: Kelly Murphy

Great post for illustrators especially – but anyone interested in kids lit. Some beautiful illustration from Kelly Murphy!

Sub It Club

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Sub It Club and The Postcard Post! And who better to help us celebrate than author/illustrator Kelly Murphy?! I first saw Kelly’s illustrations when a friend recommended I check out her work in the middle-grade series NATHANIEL FLUDD, BEASTOLOGIST. She thought I’d like it and she was right– I loved it. So, YOU be sure to check out all these gorgeous postcards and the links at the end to see more of Kelly’s work because I think you’ll love it.

Born and raised in southeastern Massachusetts, Kelly Murphy is an accomplished children’s book author and illustrator working predominantly with traditional and mixed media. Kelly has earned an E.B. White Read Aloud Award for illustrating the New York Times Best Seller Masterpiece, and has enjoyed working with stellar authors such as Richard Peck, Jane Yolen, J. Patrick Lewis, Robert San Souci, and R.L…

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Wild Blueberry Muffins


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The hike continues.


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Giant book, Giant Pants.


Giant Book indeed. It is a really large, beautiful book (Candlewick Press always makes beautiful books and I’m the lucky beneficiary in this case) and I’m not just saying that because it’s mine. “Mine! MINE! My PRECIOUS!!!” No not like that. It is my book and I’m as proud of it as I am of any book that makes it to store shelves. But Giant Pants will hold a giant place in my heart because it took a LONG time to figure out. As I say in my presentation, James Patterson wrote 42 novels in the time it took me to write Giant Pants.

The cover is up on Amazon now. the book on its way to a printer. Look for it this fall!


Posted in Giant Pants, illustration, Illustration Techniques, picture books | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Not Quitting

I’ve noticed a lot of posts on writers blogs, Facebook groups and such on the topic of ‘not quitting’.  It seems to be the topic of the moment. I suspect it is because in these fairly dark times persistence itself is a hopeful act and here in North America we are heading into Spring, the season of rebirth.

It’s a fine topic, a good topic and one I talk about in my presentations. But often I think we ignore the scope of what it means.

The issue isn’t resolved with completing one project. Persistence is necessary in whatever creative career you choose day-in-day-out, year-in-year-out. Because honestly there is always something easier to do then create, revise and complete (CRC? Not bad for an acronym…). And we humans, in general, we like the easy way. And working on a manuscript for 3 or  4 years to get it right – to make it sellable, that is persistence – or insanity – and the result of that (a finished manuscript, a completed painting…) is made possible by a thousand small acts of persistence.

What I am clumsily getting at is that persistence is a fractal issue: the persistence you need to complete one sentence, one paragraph, one book and than do it again and again and let it become a career is the real scope of persistence and ‘not quitting’ I’m thinking about.

Taking the next step is a hopeful act. It means you are moving forward towards a goal and are willing to get up each day and start in on it again even when sometimes you feel the exact opposite. A journey of a million small steps seems less heroic, but it is more truthful and resonates with hope.

Posted in Personal Appearance, picture books, writing fiction | 4 Comments