Book Signing at Barrington Books

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood! Here are a few scenes from my recent book signing at Barrington Books on May 15th.

The amazing Mary Jane Begin was signing at the same time as me:

Her Willow Buds books are adorable!

Also signing later that day were Karen Dugan and Richard Evan Schwartz.

Karen has created some gorgeous books! Richard is a math guy who found a cool way to integrate math concepts into a colorful monster book.

Bonus! Lesley and Marin were there, too!

Many thanks to the staff of Barrington Books and to Anika Denise for arranging this fun day!

Pewter Plate Cover of the Year Award!

I received an unexpected package from Highlights the other day. I do a lot of work for them, but I couldn’t figure out what might be in this mysterious box.
It was THIS!

It’s the 2009 High Five Cover of the Year Award, a.k.a. a Pewter Plate Award. I know you can’t see it in the picture, but it’s all specially engraved for me, mentioning the specific cover shown here, “Let’s Read!”

I am very honored to receive this, because frankly, there is a LOT of beautiful art on and between the covers in any given Highlights/ High Five issue. Thank you, Highlights staff!


Took a day with Mom and went to the antiques haven that is Brimfield. If you like to scrounge around through old stuff, then this is the place for you!

Hundreds upon hundreds of dealers…thousands of weird items…

Here’s my mom considering a new sewing machine:

They have things you wished you could take home:

Any home would be enhanced if it had a ride-on squirrel! Continue reading “Brimfield!”

Book News!

Oh, Mr. Blog, you have been ignored long enough.
There are many fine things going on here in the studio, but for now, here are three, count ’em, THREE, book-related snippets!

Thing One:

It’s official! I have a new book coming out in March 2011, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s called “What Does a Seed Need?” and will be published by Grosset/Penguin. I wrote and illustrated it myself, and it will have fun-o-rama flaps and interactive bits. I will show pictures of it when I can!

Thing Two:

Last year, I illustrated a biography about Christopher Columbus, written by the delightful Marion Dane Bauer, that was designed for preschoolers. It was available only through the Scholastic Book Clubs (you know, those brochures that the kids bring home). Well, THIS year starting in August, you will be able to find the trade version at Regular Bookstores Near You! That makes me happy.

Thing Three:

I’m signing copies of my book What Kind of Rabbit Are You? at the Barrington Books Children’s Book Week Event. Barrington Books is a fabulous bookstore located (surprise!) in Barrington, RI. Signing with me at the same time (10 am-12pm) is the amazing Mary Jane Begin. There will be authors there from 10-4, so that would be a good day to come, right? Crafts and other fun stuff will be going on during the day. Come on down and say “hi”!

There you go… book news x 3!

New Item in Rachael Ray!

Rachael Ray, you’re the tops. Once again, one of my designs has turned up in her monthly magazine, specifically April 2010!
The item is called Budget Cuts, and it’s a piggy bank with various budget-related “cuts” outlined on it. Get it?? Haha! So you, too, can save your pennies for lottery tickets and donuts. Mmmmm, donuts.

Here’s how it looks all by itself, from the FRED site:

Whispering Pines 2010

Arrival at sunset.

Once again, the marvelously beautiful acreage of the Alton Jones campus welcomed us to the Whispering Pines Writer’s Retreat! It is always such a treat to head into the woods and live amongst authors, illustrators, and book lovers of all kinds for a few days.

We were swept into the experience right away with good food, drinks, and a First Pages panel. Folks had anonymously submitted first pages of their works in progress and were able to get first impressions from the panel.

All ears on the first pages.

The panel: Agent Rebecca Sherman, Assistant Editor Connie Hsu, Associate Editor Alexandra Penfold, Author Cynthia Lord. Continue reading “Whispering Pines 2010”

Everything’s Coming Up Alice

Have you noticed a certain aura of Wonderland in the air? It’s everywhere! As it turns out, the local Swamp Meadow Community Theater is putting on it’s own version of the beloved children’s classic. I am helping out with costume designs, directing, and playbill design:

SO, if you’re in the RI area (or heck, even CT or Mass), come on over and see the show. Dates are April 30, May 1,2,7,8,9. We have a huge cast, crazy unexpected staging and details, and an experience that will be enjoyed by all ages. It will sell out, so reserve tickets here!

Angus McDermott

St. Patrick’s Day is coming soon enough. If you are like me, you like to get a jump on Irishing up your house for the occasion.

Each year, I bring out certain things. Things like this guy:

Yes. I know. He is actually Scottish.

This is Angus McDermott, also known as the first item I can remember designing as a professional. He came with the name “McDermott” sewed to his leg. I added Angus as an homage to his obvious Scottish heritage.

Back in 1989, a few months after graduating from RISD, I started working at Russ Berrie and Co., in Oakland, NJ, a large giftware manufacturer. I was put into the “Plush Department” (What a dream! Making stuffed animals for a living!), and this is one of the first designs I ever made that actually got manufactured. Like other kinds of design, a huge proportion of what gets developed doesn’t actually end up manufactured. In the two years that I worked there, I was lucky to have quite a few go through to production.

Anyhow, when he comes out for St. Patrick’s Day, he reminds me of those early days and of my NJ friends. Begorrah!