Monday, January 31, 2011


I remember this from childhood. They must have replayed it in the 80s. It's so odd and obviously drug inspired.

It burned into my memory I guess because it was so odd.

I remember the below movie that my dad rented for us kids when we were little. REALLY weird. A boy loses his hair after a great fright (first it turns white) and ghosts come to visit him to give him "the peanut butter solution" so that he can grow it back... only he makes the solution wrong and his hair grows like crazy. A painter guy kidnaps the boy to make paintbrushes out of his hair because his hair is magical. You can walk right into the painter's paintings. You can't make this stuff up!

This is the crazy part: It says a movie for the whole family. I DISTINCTLY remember one part of the movie. The boy's friend puts "the peanut butter" solution down his pants and grows pubic hair out his pant legs. Um.... This would never fly today!

Despite the insanity and the pubic hair incident, there's something missing in today's movies for kids and dear I say even books. They're too sterile and SAFE. You can't do this and you can't do that and a parent might complain about this or that and what you end up with and not much of anything! This is why I do nonfiction. There's something in telling a real story that is unusual that still excites me. People ask me constantly why I stopped writing fiction and this is why. Everything in fiction has been done and I'd just be repeating things. I want to do something new!

But this post isn't about me. I want to talk about kids' movies and books in general. I just think thinks have changed. They're very different. For better? For worse? What do you think?

Saturday, January 29, 2011


As a person with attention problems and some hyperactivity issues... I find myself sometimes having trouble harnessing my creativity. This is especially true when I need to start something NEW. Once I get into the routine of painting or writing then I'm okay - I can ignore my other impulses somewhat - but in the beginning I'm ALL OVER THE PLACE.

Therefore, I have made a little film. Actually, I've been doing a lot of this. I made one on "the birds." This is my latest on the snow storm. I really need to get a real video camera and stop using my iPod but for now it seems to do the trick. I can make something out of nothing it seems. In other words, I can find many ways to waste time/procrastinate no matter what.

(And yes, these folks were walking in the middle of the street at 2 am. Very odd indeed)

Friday, January 28, 2011


Yeah, so why not put products on here too...

Whenever I finish a book (just did! - I think?) I need to CLEAN. I think a lot of authors and illustrators do this. Perhaps it's a way of moving on? De-cluttering the mind? I don't know.

Anyway, I just saw this on the Container Store website. They are power-strip boxes. Hide all of your cords in there and you're good to go. I can't wait to hide all of my computer cords in there. And the colors are really lovely. Love it!

So cute!

(and yeah, I can't believe I'm calling boxes that hold cords "cute.")


Why I talk about e-books so much if I don't like them. Well... yes, they worry me. A lot. But also, at my job, they are in my face PLENTY. There is a "community" space for us employees to read and ALL it has been about e-readers. We are pretty much being brainwashed! Well... that's the goal anyway. So I really can't escape it. But I want this blog to be varied. So...

What I have coming up:
I have sent my author friend interview questions but she's gotten quite ill so that is on hold.

I have sent my mom (yes, my mom!) interview questions about reading and literacy. I had extreme attention problems as a youngster so I asked her how she handled that. She is also a social worker in a school system and works with disabled children and has seen teachers badly handle reading to groups. So I've asked her about that. I think it'll be a great interview! I just have to hope for another snow day so that she can get it done!

I will pester my editors to see if I can suck an interview out of them.

I have also asked my aunt, who is a librarian in D.C, if I can interview her.

To my readers: If you think you have something interesting to say and are a librarian or teacher or editor or designer or author then speak up!


B&N is being sued by Spring Design for "stealing" design features now existing in the Nook. I'd known about this for a while and had read the actual court documents via Wikileaks. But apparently the lawsuit is going forward. The judge this month said there is enough evidence to go to trial. I don't like this!!! (I have my reasons).

"According to court documents, Spring Design first presented their design for Alex to a Barnes & Noble consultant on February 17, 2009 – five days after both sides signed a non-disclosure agreement. On March 20, Spring Design met with Ravi Gopalakrishnan, head of B&N software development, who allegedly told Spring executives that B&N wanted a product that would compete with the Kindle.

"In April and May, Spring Design met with other B&N executives, including William Lynch, president of B& and Kevin Frain, B&N's CFO. Lynch and Frain were given a product demo and shown a PowerPoint presentation for an Android-based e-reader known as Alex.

"Lynch warned Spring's Albert Teng that he should not consider Amazon as a content partner, because Amazon was likely to steal Spring's unique idea without ever buying anything from Spring," according to court documents.

"Thanks for coming and showing us your innovative work," Lynch wrote in an e-mail after the meeting. "Kevin [Frain] owns these partnerships and I know he's excited to work with you. Looking forward."

In July, B&N requested a summary of Spring's product development and on October 1, B&N had a meeting with Spring's CEO to discuss possible revenue sharing for Spring's Alex device in the university textbook market."

In his Dec. 27 opinion Judge Ware said the evidence B&N and Spring submitted showed "extensive dispute" over whether prior e-reader devices had "disclosed all aspects of plaintiff's trade secrets" and that the evidence was divided on whether B&N had developed the Nook independently.

"Comparing the specific features of the Nook with [Spring's] alleged trade secrets is a fact-intensive task best left to a jury," the judge said.

In December 2009, Judge Ware denied Spring's motion for a preliminary injunction in the suit, allowing B&N to market the Nook while the lawsuit continued. At the time, the judge found that Spring had not shown sufficient likelihood of success on its merits or that an injunction would be in the public interest."

What will become of all of this? What if B&N couldn't make the Nook anymore? Would they go back to focusing on what they did prior? PRINTED BOOKS? What if what they owed was too great? Can the industry survive without this giant? I know on a personal level I cannot. Hmmm.

My own vote is that the Nook looks far better than Alex design wise. So whether features were taken or not, they definitely improved upon things. And as you know, I'm not a fan of e-readers - but if I HAD to pick one, I would pick the Nook. It looks better. I always go by looks. I would pick the iPad but it's too big/heavy to carry around and therefore doesn't work for reading purposes. It works more as a laptop without the keyboard.

What would you pick?

Thursday, January 27, 2011


You know you've "made it" when kids are making their own mocking versions....

I like this LIBRARY RAP:

I'm going to tell every fool who comes into the bookstore wanting to use it like a library - by purchasing stuff (books - or worse, DVDs that they've WATCHED - yes, opened the shrinkwrap) and then returning it - over and over again - to WATCH THESE VIDEOS! UGH... I've asked customers: "Why don't you just go to the library?" "The what?" they ask. "The Library." "What is a library?" S-C-A-R-Y.

OR what's really funny/scary is what happened once: I guy came up to me and said
"Where can I rent this?"
"Rent this?" inquired
"Yeah. Rent this," he said, as he held up a book.
"I said, "You mean check it out, like you do in a library."
He said "Yeah."
I repeated "Check this OUT?"
He nodded.
"I said "Like a LIBRARY?"
He said "Yeah."
I said "This isn't a library. It's a bookstore."
He just stared.
"Um...You have to buy the book," I added.
"I can't rent it?" he asked.
"No," I said.
Mind you, he WAS NOT foreign. He did not have an accent.
"I have to buy it?"
"Then I don't want it," he said.
"Well why don't you go to the library," I suggested.
"What's a library," he said.
"You know, you can check out books and stuff," I said.
"Oh," he said. "Well where is one?" he asked.
I explained where to go.
"It's too far away," he said, and walked away.

I told my sister, who works at the Columbia University Library, to check out these raps and she said, "I'm not that kind of librarian. I'm not a library dork." Oh, dear sister, we all are. YOU ESPECIALLY.


One of many....

I started to arrange my books by subject: photography, graffiti, children's books, paintings, pop surrealism, and so on. It's a big project! I also have my can collection of OK Soda. Anyone remember OK soda? I think the soda was only released in certain states but the graphic design was AMAZING!

Then there is my Gary Baseman lunch box

And my giant pencil (out of frame) that I carved out of a tree that I cut down freshman year of college. I'm too lazy to look for a photo of it so you'll just have to imagine it.

So yeah, there are lots of other things on this mammoth bookshelf. Up top are really cute and amazing aliens people had sewn for me. I'll show those at some point perhaps, as well, but that also involves taking more photos.

I have four bookshelves so I'll post more photos at other times.



When people figure out how to copy and share ebooks, like they do with music, how will people make any money out of the digital ebook market?

When this happened with music it was okay, in a way, because musicians make their money in other ways: by performing, selling tee-shirts, and that sort of thing. Authors can't do that. And gone will be author signings. After all, you can't sign an ebook!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Hey, I'm not one to do all this talk and no action. I feel like I can't complain about ebooks or fully talk about the ins and outs of all of this without trying it out myself. So, here's what I want to do: I want to take one of my out-of-print books and turn it into an ebook using BN's Pubit.

Here's the question:
Do I:
1) give it away for free, as in list it for 0.00 dollars? (If I CAN do that)
2) sell it for .99 cents?
3) sell it for 9 dollars?

I'm right now leaning toward giving it away for free. Why give anyone any money for it? I'm already giving it away on my website for free so why not continue the gesture? Then again, perhaps that will ruin the experiment. Will it? Do I need to sell it for 99 cents like everyone else to see what will really happen?

I need your votes so vote now!

Thank you!

NOTE: I got the royalty rate backwards: (Thanks to Maryann for the correction.) You get 65% on books between 2.99 and 9.99. You get 40% on books over. For books at or below $2.98 you get 40 % off the list price. 1) I'm not sure why you get far less on books over. Kind of odd. 2) I'm not sure why most people price their books at 99 cents when they could get 65% instead of 40% when they price their book a few bucks higher.


This book, JAKE: THE DOG WHO GRUNTS LIKE A PIG, is number 14 on the BN ebook selection. It beats out The Lightening Thief, which is currently ranked number 26.

“JAKE: The Dog Who Grunts Like A Pig” is a prelude to “The Little Pig Dog” series of books for children. Written with the adults in mind, it is a short story that explains how the Candy family discovered the little black dog they named Jake in their back field. After realizing that he was not going to go away, the Candy’s decide to take him in, and soon discovered his unique talents. Due to a life threatening situation, Jake becomes a loving and trusted member of the family. “The Little Pig Dog” series of books begins with “The Dog Who Grunts Like A Pig (Jake’s Story) and is a humorous and adventurous story told from Jake’s unique perspective as seen through his eyes. Other books in the series are "MIRACULOUS JAKE" (second book in the series), "Through the Possum Hole" (third book in the series), "Jake's Snowy Adventure" (fourth book in the series), "Jake and the Fiery Rescue" (fifth book in the series), and coming in Feb. 2011:"Jake and the Rescue Club" (sixth book in the series). The first three books are also combined into one volume entitled "Jake's Story: the Little Pig Dog (Volume One)". All books are non-illustrated.
If you find any inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble.
More Reviews and Recommendations

Raymond G. Candy (b. 1951- present)- With over 25 years in Christian ministry, Mr. Candy has been a Pastor, Teacher, Evangelist, Missionary, and Christian School Principal. His experience in teaching and working with children from Kindergarten through High School has given him a unique perspective and ability to relate to children at any level. This becomes evident in the reading of his “The Little Pig Dog” series of books for children. His experience as a Minister and his desire to bring revival to the smaller congregations and less fortunate is demonstrated in his Christian books about the miracle working power of God in the lives of everyday, ordinary individuals. Current available works are- “JAKE: The Dog Who Grunts Like A Pig” (a non-fiction, short story prelude that introduces Jake, the little pig dog), “THE DOG WHO GRUNTS LIKE A PIG (Jake’s Story)”: A fictional book for children as told by Jake, the little pig dog (first children book in “The Little Pig Dog” series,"MIRACULOUS JAKE": the second book in the series, and “The Acts of the Servants of the Lord”- a testimonial book of Christian

No comment on any of that.

Moving on. The below book is another high ranker. It's a trend that I've been following. People... er... "publishers" (fake ones) take books in the public domain that are most likely put out by big houses like Penguin, Random House, etc. The "publishers" perhaps scan them in (or somehow get the text) and create new crappy covers to go with the text so that they don't break any copyright laws. Then they pocket the money. And when I say crappy, I think that's a safe statement to make. I think I should give it a go. Perhaps I could make a boat load of money doing it!


B&N let 45-50 people go last week, most of whom were buyers. The company claimed that they were focusing more on digital operations. Uh-huh. This is one quote by a publisher: "The growth in digital is great, but someone has to be in charge of getting books into the stores." Books? What are books?

At the beginning of this month B&N announced "solid gains" in the physical book category for holiday sales. PW wrote: "B&N said that sales of physical books, especially hardcovers, exceeded expectations." Yes, digital books will continue to GROW, much more so than their physical counterparts. This is because they're new. They're different. They're exciting. There is plenty of room for growth. Books have been around for a long, long time. But one can't expect ebooks to keep upping on the graph for ever and ever. There will come a point when the ebooks plateau. The question is when and at what point? We know where the physical book stands. The ebook is still a gamble. A big one. I don't think physical books and bookstores and book buyers and booksellers should be disposed of. Big, big mistake.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I've decided to add a new part to this blog. "Quote of the day." My mentality is back on the whole - "must publish a novel" thing, so I think "quote of the day" will help get the juices flowing. Perhaps it will get everyone's creativity flowing. If any readers out there have a quote, feel free to post it.

After a long day (and night) of work at the bookstore (I realized today that I've been there for 10 years! Eeek!) I RAN to catch the subway, leaped down several stairs, and hurled myself through the doors. I barely made it. Some other guy and girl did too. This is what one said to the other:

"It's my favorite part of the day."
"Catching the train?"
"How bad is your day?"


If you've been following my posts you may have guessed that I'm not a big fan of e-readers. I have my reasons. This is another reason why I think they're problematic:

B&N's Nook folk have designed applications for its reader and for the iPad: "Where the best children's stories come to life." Their re-design of classic books has made them "come to life" so much so that you may as well just pop in a DVD and forget the book entirely.

Here's an example:

GO, DOG, GO!, which is a beginning reader, starts out in a male voice--"There they go... Look at those dogs go!..."

And as the voice prattles on the screen zooms in on the image:

Hmmm. Where did the text go? As a beginning reader, I think the text probably needs to be present for the child to learn how to read. As is, the "book" presents itself more as a movie... or it tries its darndest to be one. It's too bad, isn't it? It's unfortunate that all books don't eradicate all of their words and just have omniscient voices that shout out from their speaker boxes and characters that animate themselves from behind the plastic screens for the children of America.

1) I had a hard time learning to read. This will take the pressure off other kids. Perhaps they won't get an eye twitch like I did.
2) We don't need more literacy, do we?

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I did a post earlier about a group of people who made a Chuck Close image out of paper pulp. This time the post is actually about Chuck Close. No, he isn't a children's book author or illustrator but I was certainly enamored of him at an early age. My dad painted on weekends and would do a lot of portraits. He also had a lot of art books on hand that I liked to pour through. I went through various stages in my art development. I was obsessed with different artists at different times. For a while it was Christ Van Allsburg. I swore I'd publish children's books and be just like him and win the Caldecott. Later on, in high school, I abandoned that theory and just wanted to paint photorealism. So I looked at a lot of Chuck Close paintings. In the late 80s, Chuck Close changed his style. This was a forced change. A spinal artery collapse caused him to be paralyzed. His new method of painting was strap the paint brushes to his wrists with tape Below is his self portrait using his new "style" and method.

He paints abstract colored circles inside a grid. Up close it looks like nothing but far away a realistic image emerges. Below is a trailer for a documentary about him--


And this video is his wheelchair. It's not an ordinary chair!

I'm inspired by this story because I have my own limitations. I've been sick on and off for a few years now and it definitely gets in the way of being creative. But I'm always inspired by seeing the length other artists will go to, to continue creating! THEY WON'T BE STOPPED! I think when you are born with that "thing" inside you--that thing... that voice that tells you to keep making things... you will just find a way.

Friday, January 21, 2011


My good friend and fellow children's book illustrator/author Julia Sarcone-Roach shelves her books by color! Yes, by color. Observe:

(This is funny but only a bookseller would face out a book - look at the bottom. Also, Julia, my dear: I see a few library books in there. I hope you paid for them!)

I asked her to send me this photo because I'm collecting photographs of bookshelves. With the influx of ebooks I want to remind everyone that there's one big thing that you can't do with them: Put them on your shelves! So I want to see your bookshelves. Please send me some photos and I'll post them. My email is my first and last name 007 at

And thank you.



I get giddy when I find this stuff. I love Sasek. His art is FANTASTIC. His writing is FANTASTIC. It's just right for kids--simple, paced well, and interesting. Lo and behold--an old film on one of his books! I'm unsure as to why there seems to be one made on this particular book and not others (or rather one on YouTube) but one can't complain too loudly now can one?

Okay, new information here: There were four films made by Scholastic that were part of the "This Is" series. This is New York, This is Venice, This is Israel, and This is Ireland. It looks like someone put This is Israel onto YouTube from an actual film real. I guess we'll all have to hope that this individual has the other films and will put them up them shortly! It's for the good of the people! Or book lovers... or something like that...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Wow, Dahl’s studio…er… “writing shed,” was a mess!

Yes, yes, how pretty and quaint.

But... behold!

Cue sinister music as the picture frames fall sideways on the wall....

And, how nice, a green astroturf-type surface to work on... or play a tiny game of golf?

You can take a 3D tour here

Below is a short video of Wes Anderson popping in for a visit to Dahl’s home and "shed."

I loved the concept of the movie and the stop-motion was great (more people should be doing it - I'm sick of computer stuff!). The way the characters looked was great. But it fell short for me. The film dragged on too long and I got bored. There also seemed to be something missing that I can’t quite put my finger on—a pulse to the thing. I wanted more to grab onto. It’s too bad because it had a lot of promise. None the less, the little visit above is fun.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Amanda Visell's studio:

Concrete animals? Love em' I don't think she's done any kids' books but she really should. Her art would really grab a child's attention, don't you think?

CALLING ALL ARTISTS! Send photos of your studio my way. I want to see your work space. Where you sit. Where you draw. Where you listen to music. Where does the action happen? Show me some sketches. Show me some of your children's book dummies. Whatever suits your fancy and I'll post them. I'll love being a fly on the wall and I hope others do too! I'll be posting some photos of mine environments as well.


I'm always fascinated by time lapse studies. I found that these artists really got me. Wow! 1) I love Chuck Close (above is one of his paintings). In fact, all I used to do in high school was photorealism like Chuck Close. Shall I say... "Like Chuck Close." I tried. It's really good when you're starting out to copy others before you develop your own style. 2) These guys did a Chuck Close work in paper pulp! I used to do some paper pulp projects in my 2D class at RISD and let me tell you, it's a challenge. You have to put paper in a blender and grind it all up with water until you get a mushy consistency. Then you have to mush it back into a paper-like mass. These guys managed to do this and turn it into a photorealism work! Huh?

What I'd like to know is: Has anyone tried it with a children's book art piece from start to finish? I did it with a small B&W piece but never with anything LONG. Perhaps I will try! Oh dear, I've given myself a challenge....

Below is my B&W attempt. When I do my middle grade and teen nonfiction I want to do it more in this style:

I just realized something watching the time lapse stuff... and I know this from painting my own work. Things kind of look bad and then they don't. There's a process: it's a lot of going over the same thing, over and over again. When you watch the people working on the paper pulp it looks like they're almost doing nothing at all. A little squirt here, a little squirt there... and you wonder how on earth anything will come of it. But somehow something emerges. I think that's what keeps me going. It's the surprise of it all. I am surprised by what comes from my own hands, too. Not always, but sometimes. Otherwise, why would I bother?


There are so many reasons why I find ebooks problematic. Barnes & Noble has what’s called Pubit. It’s a self publishing platform. Anybody can upload what they've written and illustrated. B&N takes 65% of titles listed under 9.99 and 40% of those listed over. The cool thing for most people doing this is that THEIR BOOK gets to be placed on the BN website along with standard edited, designed, copyedited PUBLISHED BOOKS! How great is that? For THEM.

Here’s where I think things get VERY problematic. When you browse for a children’s ebook Goodnight Moon and this book may be side by side!

The below book is Number 23 in children's ebooks.

Somehow when I look at it I can't hate it. The character is kind of cute. has no design to speak of. It's not done be a professional illustrator, designer, etc. And who knows what the text of these books reads like! One can only imagine. The Number 2 rated children's book is written and illustrated by the same folks. I went through the list on the BN ebook site up to 200 and saw very few books published by traditional publishers. Publishers need to wake up and see what’s going on! The price point for many of these ebooks is so low--only 99 cents. If THEY are what people are buying and being disappointed by (I've read some of the comments) then where will traditional books be in a few years? Can the buying public differentiate between a published book and a self published book? Will they go for the cheaper buy and then be disappointed? Will they then not want to buy picture books? I feel the same way about celebrity books but that's a discussion for another day.

Below are some other interesting covers that I found.

The above cover is accompanied this description:
"Recommend Highly-- another great children's story by this new author!
Read all her books and this moo ving story is one not to miss! Every wish upon a star and graze into the night. Read a good children's story like this and follow your dreams!" At first when I saw the cow cover I thought--aw, how cute, a kid is doing some books! But I guess not.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Dr. Suess, aka Theodore Geisel, got the unusual idea to create what he called his "Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy." Odd, yes, whimsical, certainly. I love them and would welcome any of the heads to my walls. But I wonder what he was thinking: he beheaded his characters and mounted them like animals hunted from the woods. Geisel went so far as to use real animal parts--horns, beaks, and the like-- that he collected from the Forest Park Zoo where his father was superintendent. He invented some odd names for his non living creatures such as: “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” “Andulovian Grackler.” And “Goo Goo Eyed Tasmanian Wolghast.” He assembled these pieces in the early 1930s in his cramped NYC apartment: (The below examples are reproductions)

If kids saw these would they get upset--like "Mommy, my favorite character is dead and on a wall!" Or would he/she just like it and smile? I think they're too cute to be upsetting and unless a child is raised by deer hunting folk then they would be fine. I'm not posing these questions because I'm actually concerned, but rather because I wonder, again, what he was thinking. It's a crazy idea! I kind of wish I'd thought of it (I have a warped side to me). Look magazine called him “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” Below is an ad for his taxidermy animals. It reads "DR SUESS RETURNS FROM THE BOBO ISLES... With Rare and Amazing Trophies for the Wall of Your Game-Room, Nursery, or Bar!" Also is a photo of him working on his creations....

Three of Geisel's original gems were up for auction on Ebay this year! All three were on display at the in a mideival fortress Chateau de Belcastel monument in France.

I got this off the Ebay listing:
"Do not mistake these produced originals for the modern day reproductions.
This is the world’s only known complete collection of these creatures; this set of three was purchased in the late 1930’s and has remained intact. Created by Dr. Seuss, these sculptures were first carved from wood, then hand painted and mounted onto small plaques.
This collection would have been originally purchased in the late 1930’s. They were kept in a child’s room, and eventually retired to the storage barn next to a chicken coop in upstate New York. The set was acquired for a substantial sum in 2004. Though aged and weathered, restoration was not considered for several reasons. They are perfectly charming, and the need of a face-lift is a matter of opinion, because the personalities remain intact. The aged quality imparts character and denotes the history of these priceless pieces of Americana. These museum pieces were later copied and reproduced as limited edition sculptures by The Chase Group, the licensee of the fine art property originally created by Dr. Seuss...."

As you can see, they're rather decrepit. In fact, some of the photos make them look downright creepy! For the price tag of one million dollars, I think I'd prefer to pay the thousand and get a reproduction, in full color, so that the characters can properly stare at me with their odd grins... instead of owning ones with paint falling off and one without any eyes. None the less, the triumphant winner of these animals got to fly to Chateau where he or she and a guest were be allowed to oversee the careful packaging and were then able to transport them back, safe and sound, to what I presume was a large white wall. The buyer got to stay for three nights in "the Castle's romantic and luxurious Tower suite." Nothing says romance like packaging Dr. Suess heads!

"This is a trip fit for a "king"."

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Borders may very well file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. They have already eliminated 15 top positions. They owe money to publishers so the question is - will the publishers accept their deal or let them slip away? If Borders goes this will not be good for the industry because of the money owed. My question is: how has B&N managed to stay alive? Will it also crumble? These giants took down many smaller booksellers. Will this make room for the small guys to come back? Or are ebooks killing the book as a solid form entirely? Or will a new idea emerge, as I'd read, where there will be "filling stations," and customers will go to bookstores to plug in their devices, download books, and use the stores to ask questions and seek advice. Umm...

I have lots of questions today but no answers. I do know that the idea of a "filling station" is ridiculous.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I was going on YouTube to show my sister my new B&W little film about birds... and of course I always find something else and get sidetracked (I NEED to get REAL work done here!). Anyway this video is QUITE appropriate! And amazing....

Then, I got stuck watching this:

This is why I love art. These two concepts are both stop motion animation done with sticky notes. Only one is fun and light hearted... and the other is not. The other is serious. It makes you think. It spans a long period of one's life. This is the way books should be as well. And yes, I'm talking about picture books here. Even the very young, I believe, can handle a range of topics and emotions. The trick is to boil it down to something they can handle. Where the Wild Things Are.

This is an example of an amazing book that handles a range of emotions--anger, happiness, sadness... being homesick. And yes, there are almost no words. These two examples of sticky note animation are like good children's books because they are boiled down to the essentials.

Wow. I really got sidetracked today!



For the research for my latest book I ordered a book called Brave Tales of Real Dogs. I had no idea what it looked like. All I knew is that it MIGHT have SOMETHING about my subject and it was written in 1931. When I got the book I was disapointed with the book's content. It contained almost nothing that I needed. However, its design is wonderful. The purchase was well worth every penny. I will happily perch it on my bookshelf. The design is simple, elegant, and the drawings are quiet and wonderful. You need to get up close to them and smell the pages....