Tagged, and Playin’ Along…

Barb tagged me for a little exercise in randomness…here’s what I was supposed to do:

1. Pick up the nearest book. 

2. Open to page 123.*

3. Find the fifth sentence.**

4. Post the next three sentences, so if my math is correct that’d be sentences six, seven and eight.

5. Tag five people and post a comment to the blogger who tagged you.

The alternate PB version is to go to page 23 and just put down the text.
Well, OK then…remarkably, I cleaned my desk recently, and there were NO books on it (!!)
So I went to my special book shelf (where I keep my signed books) and pulled off Lyle Finds His Mother, by Bernard Waber. Here’s the surprisingly pivotal scene I found:

Gosh I love Lyle…he was a big favorite of mine as a child. I met Bernard Waber in 1990, at RISD, I guess.
Eesh, that was a long time ago!

I’ll tag:
Kim Norman
Jannie Ho
Kathy Weller

New Stuff Sightings in Mystic

Mystic, Connecticut is a great town that’s close enough to us that we can visit it often. And we do.I found some of my stuff on a recent outing there:


 Bank Square Books is a sweeet little independent bookstore- I love them, because they HAVE MY BOOK! They put it with the pop-ups alongside the Sabuda/Reinhart ones. Hmmm, interesting choice. I usually find it in the baby/toddler section (if I find it at all)!


Here’s a cute little shop in Olde Mystic Village called Hammen Home. Love the yellow paint and blue trim! It’s an extremely cool, bright shop, and I’m NOT just saying that because they have a bunch of my products there:




Next to the Smart Cookies you can see some intriguing little Japanese collectibles that I couldn’t resist- ReMent (?) puts them out- the series I bought contained the world’s cutest, bitsiest, retro-ist tea sets ever!


MAN, that’s cute! I put this set on my perpetually Irish shelf. It matched the leprechauns.

Spotted at Mystic Aquarium: a healthy dose of Snack Attacks!


Thanks again for the exposure, Mystic- we’ll be back! 

The Rabbits Have Landed!

Well, my long awaited pop-up book is finally out!


My first sighting of it in an actual bookstore occurred up in New Hampshire, during a little trip to North Conway. Whenever we are there, we visit the delightful White Birch Books, which always has a well-stocked children’s section.


That’s me in a very natural pose at the store. I really was pretty shocked to find it; it had only come out officially the day before, I think.

Say, if you are so inclined to BUY this book, why not get it thru White Birch Books?

FYI, you could also go with Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

I have in the meantime tried the real, non-dummy book out on actual small people, and I have been happy to see that they really respond to it. Eric’s paper engineering holds up well in toddler hands (the only test that counts), and the images and actions seem to hold their attention. Yay!

North Conway proved (as always) to be a fun shopping town. One of our favorite shops in town is The Penguin.


I found a bunch of my Club Earth Toys there:



Here’s Eric lovingly admiring the amazing quality and design found within a mere can of Polar Putty.


I’ll update more product and bunny book sightings soon!

Book 7 Potter Party!

The Deathly Hallows were beckoning on Friday night….



Here are some scenes from the Midnight Madness that was the Harry Potter Book 7 Release Party. We went to our local Barnes and Noble.
We decided to go in costume. Actually, the kids decided weeks ago that we should ALL go in costume.
It wasn’t the first time, and probably not the last!


Snape, Ron, Professor Trelawney, Hermione, and Gilderoy Lockhart.


Professor Trelawney gets her cards read…then turns around and reads the reader’s tea leaves!


Funny the things you find while wandering around bookstores…looky! Professor Snape has discovered Joe and Barb’s books- and clearly approves!


Dueling occured…


…and so did victory.
Here are the kid winners in the costume contest- you go, Sibyll!


Eric happens to have an uncanny resemblance to Gilderoy Lockhart. People followed him around all night like he was a celebrity…


Which is why he won the adult costume contest, to raucous applause and shouts of, “We love you, Gilderoy!”
This was truly the most surreal part of the night.
What a great prize for an illustrator: a poster signed by Mary GrandPre!


There were other awesome costumes: this is Tonks. There were also Death Eaters, Dementors, Malfoys, many Harrys, many Hermiones, a few Chos, a few Rons, Quidditch players, wizards, witches, etc. I particularly liked the 6 people who came as “S.P.E.W.” members, and the 2 girls who came as Fred and George. There was also a great Bellatrix LaStrange. It was very fun to blab with so many people who love these books!


Here’s what it looked like about 4 minutes before midnight. I was stunned that this many people could fit in the store.
We waited for #256 + 257 to be called and picked up our copies.
The kids are reading them first, and have instructions to SAY NOTHING until Eric and I read them.
It will take us longer.
Did anyone else go to HP parties?

Muffin Man Delivery!


I received a nice couple of packages from Hooked on Phonics today- a bunch of copies of The Muffin Man board book, and the multimedia package it comes in. WooHoo! The printing looks really good- always nice to see. The Muffin Man is one of 8 board books in the set (Holli also did a couple), which also includes the animated DVD versions, an audio cd of the songs, and a bunch of other supportive items.


It’s a well-designed set- if my kids were still toddling types, they’d definitely go for these!

Check it out here on the Hooked on Phonics website.

Check it out here on Amazon.

Step Right Up…

…here inside this ordinary-looking Barnes and Noble bookstore you’ll find five, count ’em FIVE, glorious illustrator babes in one place!


This is the scene from Carlyn Beccia’s booksigning event for Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo, a non-traditional (shall we say) alphabet book that celebrates vintage circus themes.

It’s about time, says I! I happen to love old circus memorabilia and trivia, and Carlyn’s art just so happens to be astonishing! Amazing! Not-to-be-believed! And she does it digitally, bless her heart! The children of Maison Dubois give this one high marks- they were fascinated by the weird subject matter and simply HAD to know more- it’s very good for sparking interest.

In the back row of the picture you can see me, the Dazzling Liz Goulet Dubois (holding the poster), the Miraculous Mary Beth Cryan, and the Lovely Laura Fry. Up front, you have the Convention-Defying Carlyn Beccia and the Marvelous Monica Lee. Voila!

What’s In a Name?


This is a mocked-up page from my upcoming pop-up book, What Kind of Rabbit Are You?.
Interestingly, this is not the name the book has had during it’s birth and lengthy development process- I have been calling it Rabbit Rainbow for years!

As a title, What Kind of Rabbit Are You? probably speaks more to the point of the book. It’s a baby’s first look at diversity and differences, as shown through bunnies! It is a line from the book’s text, too, so it makes sense.

Quite a few things have changed with this book as I have developed it with Little Simon, and I have to say they are good changes. The text has been edited down and tightened, and it is now a pop-up book (with Eric and I doing the actual paper engineering). The engineering made doing the art very different from flying straight though on a standard book- and the end result is WAAAAY more fun than my original dummy. I have LOVED working on this aspect of it!

Good news! This book will be available sooner than I thought…January 2008!

Something new

Here’s a piece from a new project I am working on. This is a book for very young kids (which I am sure you could have guessed)!

I use real (digitally scanned) fabrics in my illustrations, and I have about 50 more new fabrics waiting to be scanned so I’ll have more texture/pattern options to work with. Before I can do that, though, I have to re-iron them, because my REAL cat Georgia keeps crumpling them up. She has decided that my previously very neat stack of fabric squares makes an ideal bed. I had to throw away about 10 fabric swatches the other day- you don’t even want to know what she did to those!