Category: picture books

Oct 03

Halloween Reads

FallFall is here! Sweater weather! Apple cider! Pumpkin cookies! Those of us lucky enough to be Pacific Northwesterners rejoice in the return of the crisp cool air and the rain pattering on the windowpane. At least three people complained to me about the continuation of summer weather well into September. Well, now it’s fall, and I had to defrost my car windows this morning.

October always sneaks up on me. It’s one of my favorite months – art projects galore! Whether it’s sewing costumes, carving jack-o-lanterns, or making ghostly garlands, I am in crafter’s heaven. The month is far too short to fit in all the things I want to do, and, curse you pinterest, I’m sure I could live to be 100 and still not get to all the amazing projects I might want to do.

One of the wonderful things about having kids is that I finally get to revel in Halloween again. Even if J won’t wear the halloween costume I spent hours hand-sewing for her (see previous posts on Cat-in-the-Hat Sally costume!), I still love the opportunity to expose her to new crafts and art projects. Halloween is all about creativity at this age. We won’t be into the real frights for a good many years, but fortunately there are a ton of great books that celebrate spooky playfulness without being scary. And we’re always looking for more recommendations! Here are a few that we love:

CREEPY CARROTS by Aaron Reynolds

Jasper rabbit loves to eat carrots, until the day the carrots followed him home. In this Hitchcock-inspired book, Jasper knows the carrots are out to get him. It’s not specifically Halloween, but the theme and color scheme fit perfectly.

WHICH WAY TO WITCH SCHOOL by Scott Santoro

Little witches go off to boarding school with a ghostly bus driver and eyeball stew for lunch. I especially like that the witches are brave and smart. It’s a good Mighty Girl book.

THE VANISHING PUMPKIN by Tony Johnston and Tomie dePaola

The kids love this silly story about a 800-year-old man and 700-year-old woman who bump into ghouls and varmints while searching for their missing pumpkin. My copy is autographed by Tomie dePaola. <3

SHEEP TRICK OR TREAT by Nancy E. Shaw

Sheep dress up and go trick-or-treating at a neighboring barn before evading some wolves. As usual, Shaw’s rhyming prose is fun to read.

 

 

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Sep 10

Books for Mighty Girls

We’ve been hitting the library in search of books with kickass heroines, because Disney shouldn’t have a monopoly on roll models. AMIRITE? Anyway, we’ve found some fabulous narratives with the help of the website A Mighty Girl , which has lists of books featuring Independent Princesses and Mighty Girls of every ilk. So far we’ve loved Cinder Edna, The Apple-Pip Princess, and Dangerously Ever After. The Paper Bag Princess has long been one of my favorites. In addition to providing J brave, wise, self confident female characters to look up to, I’ve been getting ideas for picture books I want to write.
“But Ciara,” you say, “haven’t you been posting on your picture-books-in-progress?”
LIES. ALL OF IT.
I’m completely sleep deprived and I have nursing brain. I can barely do the copy edits on the final novel I’m contracted for for my publisher in New York. I BARELY REMEMBER MY OWN NAME.
True story.
Eventually, friends, this blog will once again shine with writing awesomeness. Until then, picture me reading.

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Jun 20

First pass on climbing illustrations

Little brother and his fiancée have finalized the alphabet list for our first picture book collaboration. Now I need to figure out my style and get drawing. Here is my very first attempt. I’m not sure if I’ll try to color them in on the computer or by hand. I need to take a photoshop class.

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May 31

Sketches for new picture book

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