One of our Blue Rose Girl readers (Hi Naomi!) recently ran a lovely art activity with her students using A Photo for Greta. She had her students bring in a self portrait, then draw themselves as a character in a book (like I did here). Such a great idea, thanks for the pictures! I love seeing how kids and teachers use my books.
*I had a lovely school visit in Newton, the first after taking some time off for maternity leave. It was a lot of fun to read my new book to a group of kids at last (I've read it during some Skype visits this spring, but this was the first time in person). When I tell kids about the book making process, I describe how I made a watercolor "test" of my palette in order to choose which colors I will use in the illustrations. I usually show them this palette, which I made for Francine's Day:
When I got home I was greeted by a sweet email from the organizer, whose son attended my talk. When he arrived home he pulled out his watercolors and made his own paint palette, then proceeded to paint all of his stuffed animals:
Such a talented artist, nice work Jared! I hope you will keep painting and visit the library often.
*Publisher's Weekly gave A Photo for Gretathis lovely review. A snippet: "As she did in Disappearing Desmond, Alter displays notable sensitivity to children’s insecurities and doubts, while providing reassurance of their worth." Thanks PW!
*And lastly, Tilda is now eating butternut squash, which she prefers to feed herself. Next thing you know she will be applying to college.
I hope you are all having a fabulous Father's Day! To celebrate today I visited the fabulous kidlit blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast to talk about the making of A Photo for Greta and growing up with a photographer father. Go check out the post for some behind the scenes, making-of-the-book action!
Okay, enough advertising. Happy Father's Day everyone! Hope you spend Sunday celebrating all the great dads you know. I will be celebrating the guy below with a beer tasting, Indian take-out, and letting him sleep in while I take the baby at 6 am (for once).
"Greta, a young rabbit, loves her father, a photographer who “travels all around the world taking pictures of very important people.” Admiring the framed pictures he’s taken of NASA astronauts, an Olympic gold medalist, musicians, and a winner of a gold-bunny “Oscar,” she wishes to be famous and photo-ready herself. So when her father is away taking pictures of a circus and a ballet, Greta dresses like an acrobat and ballerina, and her father takes her picture when he returns home. And when he’s photographing a country music band, a cowboy boot–wearing Greta plucks “a sad and lonely tune on her guitar,” because he won’t be back until after she is asleep. As she did in Disappearing Desmond, Alter displays notable sensitivity to children’s insecurities and doubts, while providing reassurance of their worth. Her acrylics have a comforting sturdiness, and readers who similarly take pride in their parents’ professions, even as they miss them in their absence, will relate both to Greta’s role-playing when her father is away and their tender time together when he comes home."
Right now life is a bit chaotic, so I just thought I'd give a quick update on all the settling in going on now that I am back on the East Coast. First off, this is what my office looks like:
Nice, huh? There is much to be done. But as I said a couple weeks ago, it feels good to go through all my things once again and purge. I feel like I'm wiping the slate clean and preparing for a new phase of life.
In between the unpacking and sorting I recently made a quick trip down to Mystic to see Linda's incredible play and visit with Libby, Alissa and her family. It was a lovely day involving a picnic and stroll by the water in Stonington, CT. Tilda enjoyed the fresh sea air and playing with Libby's hair.
When the mess in my office or stress of making a home *again* gets to be too much, I sit with Tilda and remember how lucky I am to have her (or more accurately, belong to her). I can't even imagine life without her at this point.
Thats all for now! Will be back to books as soon as those boxes disappear...