The New Harry!



Nicely done, Mary Grand Pre!
The 5 residents of Maison Dubois can’t wait, we already anticipate some fights about who gets to read it first.
Maybe we should just get 5 copies.

Actually, I wonder how Mary holds up to the pressure of creating these covers. They are so highly anticipated! I think I would be going mental second-guessing my own art, starting it over a hundred times, knowing the world will be examining every speck of the illo in depth. But she must be used to that by now!

Lunch Break


This week’s box is the ultimate ode to the 80’s.

It’s a surprisingly graphic portrayal of Pac Man eating ghosts. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel bad for these particular ghosts- they have sad, horrified expressions while being eaten by the oblivious PacMan. Rather cruel compared with the real game- where both characters were oblivious! That’s how I remember it, anyhow. I also remember my brother and cousins being totally obsessed with the game.

This also happens to be among the last boxes made out of metal.
Apparently, at this point in history, metal lunchboxes were deemed “dangerous” and replaced with soft, safe plastic ones.
BLEAH. That’s also when box art plummeted to the lows that they currently are.

Pity the children!

A Big Box o’ Eric Carle

Is this the children’s book equivalent to getting your picture on a Wheaties Box?


I think it probably is. Doesn’t the Hungry Catepillar look cute on Cheerios yellow?
It seems as though Eric Carle has teamed up with Cheerios to donate 100,000 copies of The Tiny Seed to whichever state answers the most trivia questions correctly at Gooooo, Rhode Island!

Well, RI may not have the best chance of getting the books when there are big old states like Texas and California out there, but that’s OK- it’s a cool idea. Check it out and vote!

We actually have Eric Carle tiles in our kitchen. Eric and I had NO tiles in our kitchen for about 5 years, because we hadn’t found anything commitment-worthy. Then one day while at the Eric Carle Museum with the kids, we found these. Perfecto!


A Mystical Day

We had one of our first true springy days here in New England- and so we spent it in Mystic, CT. Here are some random scenes from around the town- I am sure some of you will know exactly where they are!

In town:





Old Mystick Village:




The Aquarium:




And in nearby Stonington, we found a nice little beachside area where the kids could check out the ocean. Only when we were leaving did we notice that it was OUR VERY OWN BEACH!



Lunch Break


Here’s something special from Lunch Box Land this week- something with international flair!
Most of my lunch boxes depict TV shows or movies I know and liked.
Not this one.
I have had my “El Chapulin Colorado” (The Red Cricket) box for a long time, drawn to it merely by the weirdness factor. It’s a 10 out of 10 on the weirdness scale, I’d say. NOW, thanks to the wonders of YouTube, I can share with you a snippet of this very wacky Mexican show:

Holy cow! I like this box even more now!! This show reminds me of Benny Hill in a way (LOVE him- wish I had a Benny box!). Has anyone ever seen this on TV before?? I guess it never played up here in New England- triste!

Everyone Needs Turtle Pants!


I don’t often talk about my “other” life as a product designer here, but I will today. I got word that one of the print patterns I sold last year is available in the real world! It’s not always easy to follow up with where surface patterns will turn up. This one, which I called CamoTurtle, has been made into these adorable boys swim trunks and shirts! It’s a surprise that they took one of the motifs from the pattern and used it as an element on the shirt. Well done!

Alas, I don’t have any boys- but I will pick up a few sets for some of the little boys in my life. These are available this season at several retailers, including Talbots and JCPenney. Cool!

A Hoarder with Vision


Reading the newspaper the other day, I came across an article about Mayme Clayton, a librarian in California who spent her life amassing a huge collection of African-American history. Not merely huge- enormous and definitive! Before she died last year, she gathered almost 30,000 books, films, sheet music, and ephemera of all kinds, and created her own archive in her garage. Why? Because she saw that no one else was preserving this particular part of the past. So that “children would know that black people have done great things.” On a librarian’s salary, and later on Social Security, she managed to create one of the finest collections of African-American history in the world. And she dug around yard sales and flea markets to do it.

As an artist, writer, reader and unabashed HOARDER, all I can say is I LOVE this lady and her philosophy. HOORAY MAYME!

Hoarding with vision? I’ll say- check this out:


It’s a 1773 book by Phillis Wheatley called Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral. Phillis Wheatley was the first known author of African descent to be published in America, and this is the only known signed edition.


Thankfully the collection is getting moved out of the garage and will for now be restored and archived in Culver City, CA. Her son Avery (a retired art teacher, no less) is now in charge of the foundation to give the Mayme Clayton Collection a permanent home. Wow.

I don’t think it’s coincidental that Mayme was a librarian (book lover!) and her son was an art teacher. It’s the arts that survive the ages and inform future generations (hopefully) about what has passed. It’s the same people who tend to be the caretakers of the past.

Read more about her and her collections here, and join the effort to preserve them for future generations!

I doubt whether any of my collections or obsessions will be historically important.


I have an unnaturally large amount of relatives (and you know who you are!) and friends (and you know who you are, too!) who collect things as well- and some of them DO have historically significant collections. But it’s hard to quantify which things will be valuable in the future. There are different kinds of “value:” aesthetic, educational, personal connection, etc. I’ll just keep hanging on to my stuff- vive la collectors!

What do YOU collect out there??