All the troubles in the world.

I enjoy doing school visits every year. They are exhausting, and I can’t do many, but I get a lot out of the visits. Talking about writing and drawing is always fun (something IS wrong with me!). But I also enjoy just talking with students. Hearing what they are reading, which video games they play and the You Tubers they watch. It’s a POV on our culture that as an adult I don’t have unless I seek it out.

And one of my favorite benefits from the school visits are the packets of Thank You cards, photos, notes and art projects that are sent to me after a visit. I love opening those envelopes!

I read every single one (I’m not J.K Rowling after all!) and it’s always a highlight of my day. I’ve spent the past week looking through all the wonderful cards from my school visits in Washington a few weeks ago.

Allowing myself the time to get lost in the students excitement and creativity is a great way to forget about all the troubles in the world.

Here are just a few photos of the amazing and inspired work I saw.















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Quick digital sketch. Photoshop atop a scan of some brush strokes.

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Books without pictures VS. books that eat people!



Lochearn Elementary school in Canada is having a battle of the books knock-down-drag-out style and the last two standing  are The Book that Eats People and The Book With No Pictures.


(I stole this picture from their Twitter feed)

As an illustrator I have to say The Book With No Pictures scares me WAYYYYY more than a book that eats people. (By the way, I don’t want to worry The Book With No Pictures but The Book That Eats People also eats books!)

I think both books are winners!

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One plus one.


That’s Wolfie with the shaved back. He had some skin issues when he was picked up as  stray, but they are all better now.

We recently went on vacation (that’s the reason for the silence here) and brought home a new rescue dog (Wolfie). Needless to say our old rescue dog (Greta, who we have had for 14 months now) and the new rescue dog need to work things out. Both are approx. 68 pound shepard mixes, very friendly with dogs and people but of course our long time dog is not so happy about sharing.

It’s so intriguing that sharing is a very big issue for animals of all kind, including humans. And of course there is also the issue of change.

I don’t deal well with change. I thought I did (moving for college, changing careers ETC) but as I get older I can see the cracks in the vision I have of myself. My anxiety about change can be near overwhelming these days which I find odd.

Schedule is a big deal to our dog Greta so I am working to maintain our usual schedule and make sure that they both feel welcome. I’ve read quite a bit about this, grew up with lots of animals, and I have received a ton of advice. But it all falls short of the experience doesn’t it? Much like reading so many other ‘how to’ books. Reality is different in each experience.

More than anything it makes me think about how well I deal with change seeing our dogs each deal with change. I am of the age when change becomes obvious and inevitable. Whether it is the illness of family members or the amount of savings you don’t have for retirement. I hope for the best with the dogs and I believe that in time they will work it out and become friends. They are so similar and friendly. As for me, how I deal with having two dogs again after 4 years, that’s something I have to figure out as I go.

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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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