Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kids have the best imagination

At a recent event I handed out these activity sheets from the Old Red Shoe web site (you can download them for free by going to the teachers page), and the kids came up with the best ideas for reusing tin cans. I especially loved these!

Tin can stilts:

This is a "recycling robot" (!):

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Abigail Spells is out at last!

Yesterday Abigail Spells hit bookshelves, and I launched her very own web site: The site was a collaboration between me and my honey, who is nothing short of a computer genius. In a few short weeks he learned flash, animated Abigail, and helped me create some spelling video games for the site. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A busy week for SHOE!

The past week has been a whirlwind! Earth Week brought a flurry of activity around What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?... here are a few highlights.

First of all, when I found out that USA Today was going to include the book in their Earth Day section I pictured a nice, small mention in a round-up of green products... maybe they would include the book cover. But when I managed to find a copy of the paper on Wednesday, I was shocked to see a full half page article! Pictures, excerpts, and all! I've never gotten press like this, so it was really a thrill. You can read the article here.

But that wasn't the only chance to celebrate SHOE, I also had a lovely event at The Wellesley Booksmith where we made our own shoe planters. I brought in a stack of old, worn out shoes I collected, and some cheerful marigolds:

Here are some of the kid's planters:

The next day I visited the Wenham Museum and gave a presentation on how the book was made in coordination with their exhibit "Soul of the Shoe". Unfortunately I couldn't take pictures in the museum of the amazing collection of shoes they had on display, but I did get these pics:

I finished my presentation by drawing some of the characters in the book, then hung them up for kids to color. A very focused brother and sister team got to work right away:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Furball Friday

Ridiculous foot positions: parts 1, 2, and 3.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blog tour giveaway

Last chance to win a free copy of What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? during my blog tour! Visit A Patchwork of Books and leave a comment before Sunday Midnight to win your book.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Earth Week!

This is a busy week for me as I celebrate Old Red Shoe during Earth Week. As I mentioned here, I am blog touring this week to give a peek into the process of creating the book... yesterday I was lucky enough to be featured on The Miss Rumphius Effect and today you can find me at fellow BRG Elaine's lovely blog Wild Rose Reader. She is having a book give away, so leave a comment if you'd like to win a copy! For a full schedule of blog interviews and other chances to win a free book click here.

Also I am very excited to announce that the book will be featured in tomorrow's issue of USA Today, in their Earth Day section. If you find yourself at a newsstand go check it out!

And lastly, I have some Earth Day events this week that are free and open to the public (I told you I was busy). If you are in the area, please come join me!

*Celebrate Earth Day with What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? at the Wellesley Booksmith. I will give a presentation about how the book was made, read and sign books, and run an art activity from the book. Make your own old red shoe planter.

April 22nd at 3 pm
Wellesley Booksmith

*I will present the process of creating What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? at the Wenham Museum in coordination with the exhibit Soul of the Shoe; artists interpreting how shoes are shaped by our culture. I will read the book followed by a presentation and kid's craft activity!

April 23rd at 10:30 am, presentation
Craft activity and booksigning will follow at 11:00 am
Wenham Museum

Monday, April 20, 2009

A new blog

Announcing a new blog... What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? A Green BLOG About Recycling and Reuse (in case Painting Bunnies wasn't enough to give you insight into the world of reuse and children's crafts). I hope this site will be a great resource to readers and educators alike who want to integrate environmental responsibility into their kid's lives in a fun and playful way.

Please visit often and feel free to submit your own tips about taking care of the environment and crafting experiments! I will be posting regularly with my own ideas and would love to include yours.

Happy crafting!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Furball Friday

So in love.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Old Red Shoe on

Another online review, yippee!

An excerpt:

"Besides the great projects and fun characters shared by the author, there is also a section of the book that explains what else kids and their families can do to support reuse and recycling. Those are good projects for everyone!"

Click here to read the full review.

New Crop of Earth Day Books

Old Red Shoe has been featured in an Earth Day book roundup by OregonLive, The Oregonian's online newspaper. Click here to read about Shoe and other great Earth Day books!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Earth Week Blog Tour

Next week is Earth Week and I plan to celebrate by doing a mini-blog tour to talk about What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? A Green Activity Book About Reuse. Join me on the following lovely kidlit blogs to find out more about the making of the book, read reviews, and win a prize too! Several of the blogs will be holding book giveaways, your chance to get a copy of the book to share with kiddos you know for free. What better way to celebrate Earth Day then to do some recycling art activities with kids? Well driving less and planting a tree are probably better, but not nearly as fun.

Here is the schedule:

Monday the 20th: *Miss Rumphius Effect
Tuesday the 21st: *Wild Rose Reader
Wednesday the 22nd: 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Thursday the 23rd: *A Patchwork of Books
Friday the 24th: Katie's Literature Lounge

*These blogs are having book give aways!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bidding has begun!

My illustrated proverb donation for Small Graces went on auction today! 100% of the proceeds will go to the Foundation for Children's Books, who bring authors into underfunded schools. Bid high for a great cause! Auction ends Friday the 17th!

Click here to bid.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Furball Friday

(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Review from Dakota Moms blog

"With sweet rhymes about everyday discards, children learn from animal kids how to turn a worn-out shoe into a planter, an orphaned flip-flop into an art stamp and a torn T-shirt into a pillow. The craft, storage and decorative projects have numbered steps. Some adult nail-pounding, sewing and cutting required."

To see the full list of Earth Day books click here.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Small Graces auction

As many of you know, Grace Lin has very generously founded yet another amazing charity event: the Small Graces auction to benefit the Foundation for Children's Books and the very worthwhile work that they do bringing authors into underfunded schools. Each month Grace auctions off an illustrated proverb on ebay with 100% of the proceeds going to the FCB.

It might seem like an author visit to a school is a luxury and not a necessity. But it has been my experience that these visits go a long way towards promoting literacy and the arts. An author visits gets kids excited about reading and writing in a way that is truly unique. Many schools these days have little time to explore creative arts, I've been to classrooms where my visit was the only exposure to the arts the kids would have all year.

I'll be visiting a school in Chelsea this spring through their program and I can't wait, there is nothing like speaking to a group of kids who are hungry to learn about books and art and so rarely get the chance. I am humbled and delighted to be able to visit these kids.

This month Grace has offered me a way to participate in her project. I have donated my own illustrated proverb, to be auctioned on ebay from Monday, April 13th to Friday, April 17th.

As soon as I read the below proverb, I knew it would be perfect for an illustration of Abigail and George from Abigail Spells. I hope the painting is worthy of all the time and energy Grace has put into the project, and hope you will support the FCB by bidding on April 13th! There will be a link to bid at the Small Graces site, and I will post one here too.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Children's Book Review

I just discovered a lovely review of Old Red Shoe over at The Children's Book Review, thanks guys! You can read it here.

Slideshow from Storyfest event

The Virginia Festival of the Book just posted a slide show of Storyfest events (of which my RED SHOE presentation was part), check it out here!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Furball Friday

Who doesn't love a kitten pile?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Indie bookstores holding up in our economy

Elaine over at Wild Rose Reader posted an interesting article from the Boston Globe today about how local bookstores are faring better than the big chains in this economy. So interesting. Click here to read!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

USA Today

...just interviewed me about What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? for a special Earth Day section that will be out on April 22nd- they plan to include the book in the issue- so exciting!! I couldn't be more thrilled at the reception this book is getting.