of Book Birthdays to THIS BOOK IS ANTI-RACIST! So incredibly proud
and appreciative of Tiffany Jewell and her work! I was lucky enough
to have my kids in Tiffany’s classroom, young readers (and us older
readers) are so fortunate to have this book.
You don’t think I wake up looking this good do you? It takes an entire team to prep Mother Ginger! An honor, as always, to fool around on stage at Pioneer Valley Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker!
Waltz of the Snowflakes.
Backstage and during dress rehearsal, I sketched to capture the energy of all that is Pioneer Valley Ballet's staging of The Nutcracker
backstage sketches from Pioneer Valley Ballet's 2019 staging of The Nutcracker. Everything is moving so quickly, and
I am just trying to get my ink marks to capture the energy and the
movement of the dancers.
millions and millions of others, I grew up on the artistry of Caroll
Spinney. Well after first watching Sesame Street, I would learn that
Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird were brought to life by the same
five or so years ago, I had the opportunity to see Caroll Spinney
speak at a local event on his theater tour. With his wife by his
side, he recounted behind-the-scenes stories. Then, he picked up a
bag that sat on the floor beside him, pulled out an all-too-familiar
swamp green ball of fur, and brought Oscar the Grouch to life before
our eyes. It was pure magic.
few years back, I was invited to a charity event at Henson Studios
that would laud Mr. Spinney with a parade of muppeteers. I had to be
there, but my schedule was tight. I flew to LA and back in the same
day. Landed shortly before the event started, took off shortly after
it ended. As you can imagine, it was so worth it. Two of the most
striking moments from that night: Mr. Spinney, wheelchair-bound and
looking frail, spoke of Jim Henson and his death. The pain in his
voice was as if Jim Henson had died recently—a testament to the
love between the artists. Then, Big Bird himself took the stage. Matt
Vogel, who inherited the role, brought the entire room to tears as
Big Bird addressed his friend Caroll. Big Bird professed his love for
Mr. Spinney and assured him that he would always live in his heart.
Big Bird was essentially saying goodbye. My heart goes out to the
entire Spinney family and all that loved him—thank you for sharing
him with the world.
(and illustrating) can be an isolating business. I am so very
thankful for this group of fellow writer friends and thankful that
our calendars finally aligned to find us all around and not totally
feeling the pressure of deadlines!
Nobody is happier that my latest book deadline is finished than this little guy.
was asked to sign this young artist’s welcome sign but I thought it
would make more sense if I drew Teen Jarrett hanging in the back with
him and his crew because clearly we would all have been friends if a
time warp brought us all in high school at the same time.
v 2019. It doesn’t feel like a decade is ending, but everyone is
waxing nostalgic and posting photos. Here I am launching Lunch Lady
at San Diego ComicCon and then taking home Book of the Year for Hey,
Kiddo at New York ComicCon. Not pictured: the 1,000 or so venues I
hit along the way to get my work out there. This decade brought me
many highs and many lows, and I am thankful for all of the life
music, sound effects, and affecting performances, listeners feel like
they are at the dinner table with him and his hard-drinking,
foul-mouthed grandparents in Worcester, Massachusetts.” — AudioFile Magazine
A few weeks back, I had the honor of presenting to theaters packed with students in the Appalachian region of Virginia. I was there with author Adriana Trigiani, whose The Origin Project brings authors in to her home region to inspire creative writing. Adriana is Gina’s MOST favorite author. I mean, Adri’s books have been in Gina’s hands as much as Dav Pilkey’s books have been in our kids’ hands. So not only a thrill to have Gina with us, but G and I were left so inspired by the community, the students, and everything The Origin Project does. Aside from the annual events, each student in the program received an empty journal to write in and their collective writings will later be published in a book.
So proud to have been one of these keynotes. Only wish I could have been in the audience for Ellen Oh and Dr. Brown as well. Read Moreabout the Conference Keynotes at AASL this year.
If you are a school librarian who wasn’t able to make it to the AASL conference, here are some of the messages that I wanted to convey, as filtered through tweets from audience members. Thank you ALL for what you do for our readers.