Thursday, November 25, 2010

New arrival

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As you may have noticed, there have been no posts over the past week. This is because I've been busy with a new arrival, and the thing I am most grateful for: our brand new baby girl born on Monday Nov. 22nd. Back soon!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And the winners are...

Thanks to everyone who entered the Disappearing Desmond book giveaway! There were over 250 entries, I wish I could send books to each and every one of you.

I was a little short on hats to pick the names out of, so I used one that belongs to baby-on-the-way...

Winners will be notified by email today. I'll run more giveaways in the future, so check back!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Furball Friday

Its been a rocky ride for George and Wilbur over the past few months with three moves under their belt, but they are finally settling into our new digs. It took no time at all to find their favorite spots to snooze in our new apartment in Noe Valley. This is apparently the most comfortable pillow they have ever encountered.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Less than a week to go!

My Disappearing Desmond book giveaway is still running, click below to enter to win your very own copy sent to your doorstep! The giveaway ends on Nov.14th, with ten winners selected at random on Nov.15th. Enter as many times as you like! Simply click on the image below.*

*Please note, US residents only!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Roald Dahl

There was a great NPR show on Roald Dahl recently, check it out here. Don't you love his writing desk?

Friday, November 05, 2010

Furball Friday

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Book signing this Saturday

This Saturday I'll be reading and signing Disappearing Desmond at Books Inc. in Alameda, CA. Come join me! Here are the details:

Saturday November 6th at 2:00 pm
Books Inc.
1344 Park Street
Alameda, CA
See a map here

Monday, November 01, 2010

Desmond book giveaway

As I mentioned last week, Desmond will be visiting a number of blogs over the next couple weeks... look for the badge below to win a free book!

The giveaway will run from Nov.1st through Nov.14th, with ten winners selected at random on Nov.15th. Enter as many times as you like! Simply click on the image below.*

*Please note, US residents only!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Furball Friday: National Cat Day

Did you know today was National Cat Day? I was made aware of this glorious fact by Jama Rattigan, who is hosting a bunch of us authors and our feline companions on her blog today. I love reading about everyone's love affairs with their felines!

When Jama first asked me to participate, I thought getting a picture with George and Wilbur would be no problem. I quickly learned this was not the case:

While they are quite loving, snuggly cats, they do not like to be picked up at the same time. Nor do they like to pose when not in the mood. Finally I remembered I had this picture from their kittenhood:

It is the ONLY picture where they have permitted me to pose with them. Thanks guys.

Here is how George and Wilbur are celebrating this special day:

(Note: that is George's HIND paw hanging out of the bed. Ha.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Disappearing Desmond book giveaway

To celebrate the release of my new book, for the first two weeks of November I'll be running a Disappearing Desmond book giveaway! Ten winners will get their very own copy sent to their doorstep.

All you have to do is find Desmond as he appears on various children's book blogs around the web and click on him before the contest disappears. From November 1st through November 14th he will appear on the following sites among others (I'll post a complete list next week):

The Blue Rose Girls
Wild Rose Reader
Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup
Brimful Curiosities
Katie's Literature Lounge
LadyD Books
From Libby

(And of course here on Painting Bunnies)

Winners will be chosen at random on Nov. 15th and notified by email. Enter as many times as you like!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Desmond in The Wichita Eagle

"Disappearing Desmond," written and illustrated by Anna Alter (Knopf, ages 5-8, $17.99), is a charming look at shyness in children.

Desmond likes to disappear. Whether on the playground, in the classroom, or at the beach, he has always found a way to blend in as if he wasn't even around. Then Gloria joins his class. She loves to be noticed, and starts to notice Desmond, too. At first he is surprised, but discovers he likes being recognized.

Alter's story is warm and reassuring. Her characters don't judge each other, but find gentle ways to help each other grow. Young readers will love searching for the shy Desmond in the brightly colored acrylic illustrations and may notice other reluctant students as well.

Wallflowers and starlets alike will adore "Disappearing Desmond."

Other reviews here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Furball Friday

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Maira Kalman on Design*Sponge

There is a great blog post about Maira Kalman on Design*Sponge today (click here to see). Lots of great photos from her studio and a fantastic interview. Love her to pieces.

"Design*Sponge: How do you combat creative blocks? What tools do you use to keep your creativity flowing?

Maira Kalman: I walk a lot and look a lot. Just walking and looking seems to do the trick..."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trip to Muir Woods and Muir Beach

(thats me with the baby bump)

Monday, October 18, 2010

A lovely review of Disappearing Desmond by Toni Buzzeo

"In a delightfully simple story about a quirky young boy who would really rather not be noticed, author-illustrator Anna Alter offers a reassuring look at shyness and the encouragement that friendship can provide. Desmond, like all of the members of his family, is a genius at disappearing into the landscape or background of his surroundings. However, when a new extraordinarily outgoing classmate, Gloria, arrives, she not only spots Desmond in all of his disguises but invites him to join her in all manner of activities, causing Desmond to lose much of his shyness. This warm, reassuring story is the perfect book to use with groups of children as they coalesce at the beginning of a school year or a library storytime. To add to the fun, there is a lively activity guide to accompany the book with activities for both the classroom and the public library (and easily adaptable to a bookstore setting)."

~ Toni Buzzeo, MA, MLIS

Thanks Toni!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Furball Friday

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Disappearing Desmond Activity Kit

I am very excited to announce that Desmond now has his very own activity kit! Thanks to a lot of hard work by the very talented Kirsten Cappy at Curious City Doings, you can now download a fabulous group of activities to celebrate friendship and the fun of disguises that make you disappear.

There are cut-out disguises like these:

And activities for the classroom, library and art room to help Disappearing Desmonds everywhere gain confidence and all kinds of kids explore the concepts of disguise and camouflage.

Download the kit for free here!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Giving Tree

I passed by this tree stump bench the other day and couldn't help but think of The Giving Tree...

Friday, October 08, 2010

Furball Friday

(Please note strange foot positioning on the front right paw)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

More views of San Francisco

From our new living room window:

In the yard:

Sunset over the city:

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Library of the Early Mind

For those of you in the Boston area, on October 19 at Harvard University there will be a premier screening of Library of the Early Mind, a documentary exploring children’s literature, directed by Edward J. Delaney and produced by Steven Withrow. Friends Grace and JJK are in it among others (there are too many to mention, but you can see a list of the cast here)!

The event is free and open to the public and will include book sale, reception with book signing, and Q&A with a panel from the film, including Lois Lowry, Lesléa Newman, Jerry Pinkney, Roger Sutton, and Padma Venkatraman. If I was in the area, I would definitely go check it out! Trailer and details below...

I love how Francoise Mouly says that young kids aren't looking for escape and fantasy so much as organization, so true. There is a lot of food for thought just in the trailer!

5:30 p.m.
Askwith Auditorium
Longfellow Hall, Appian Way
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Cambridge, MA 02138

Friday, October 01, 2010

Furball Friday

New city, new apartment, new bed for kitties. This one with room for two.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book signing this Sunday

I'll be reading and singing Disappearing Desmond this Sunday at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, CA. If you're in the area, come on by!

Here are the details:

Sunday, October 3rd
11:30 am
Kepler's Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 324-4321

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More western adventures

On Sunday we spent the day hiking around Lincoln Park, China Beach, and Sutro Heights. Here is a view of the bay through one of the very beautiful houses perched on a clifftop on our way down to the water:

And this is China Beach, at the bottom of a long, long hill, where we sat and ate lunch.

Then we hiked back up the hill and through a winding path along the cliffs facing Golden Gate Bridge, leading us towards the Pacific.

And these are our first views of the Pacific since we arrived. It was breathtaking and lovely.

Well worth the huffing and puffing up hills. Well I was huffing and puffing, Bruno was patiently walking at a snail's pace beside me while I waddled along at 31 weeks pregnant. I earned a cream puff for sure.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September in San Francisco

Finally after weeks of using Bruno's laptop I have my mac up and running again, with many pictures to upload of our adventures over the past few weeks. Here are some highlights:

This is the view from our hilltop apartment in Pacific Heights. We'll be moving again shortly, but its been nice to take in the view each day.

George likes to take it in too. Most of the time when we come home we see our cats sitting in the window, looking out over the city.

This is what our street looks like, lots of beautiful big Edwardians.

One day a couple weeks in we hiked up the hilly streets in our neighborhood towards the Marina, this is the view from the top of a hill so steep it had to have stairs. I love that you can glimpse the ocean from so many places in this city.

Bougainvillea is all over the place.

And the architecture around here is just so amazing.

So are the cream puffs. These are from a nearby bakery called Pacific Puffs. Mmmm. I would like one right now please.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Still here!

Apologies for the lack of posts in the past week, I am still waiting on getting my office area set up so that I can upload some photos and update you on my adventures (fingers crossed Target will send me my new desk asap)!

In the mean time, please enjoy this adorable bunny lantern activity by Grace:

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Pacific Coast Time

As I mentioned last week we just made a big move to San Francisco! We'll be here for the next 9 months while my fella completes an internship for grad school. The move was quite hectic, there were many loose ends to tie up before we left, but we are at last here in the west settling in and enjoying a break from the East Coast heat wave. I'll have many pictures to post in the coming weeks about our adventures, just waiting on my office boxes to arrive! Can't wait to get back to writing and sketching some new book ideas...

Monday, September 06, 2010

Another lovely Desmond review

"Desmond the cat blends in with his surroundings. In fact, his entire family fades into the background in their portrait. Everything changes when Gloria, a rabbit, arrives at school. Not only does she take every possible chance to get noticed herself, but she also notices Desmond no matter where he hides. To his surprise, he likes interacting with others. He even coaxes someone else from his hiding place to join the playground fun. Young viewers will enjoy spotting Desmond in his ingenious costumes and identifying others trying to stay out of sight in the schoolyard. Alter’s animal characters will be familiar to those who know her previous books, including Abigail Spells (Knopf, 2009), featured in a library poster. This low-key story of how friendship can support and encourage others will be a welcome addition for most libraries."

-School Library Journal

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

On the move

Today we get on a one way flight to San Francisco! We leave as four (including the felines) and come back to Northampton next spring as five. Stay tuned for pictures and updates about our western adventures!