Thursday, January 09, 2020

NOW & THEN in the News!

Where they started from: New exhibit pairs artists’ childhood work with published illustrations‬
‪Fantastic coverage of NOW & THEN exhibit in Daily Hampshire Gazette.


Thanks, YALSA!


Thank you to YALSA for naming the HEY, KIDDO audiobook as one of their 2020 Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults!‬ To see the full list, click here!




Happy Book Birthday!


Happiest 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.




Happy 2020!


Were you up until midnight or asleep on the couch? However you celebrated New Year's Eve, I hope that you had a happy and safe time. Wishing you nothing but the best for the New Year!




Snowy Walks


Enjoyed some of the final moments of 2019 in nature with my kids. (That until Mother Nature gave us one more big winter storm for the year.)




Saturday, December 28, 2019

Thank you for another wonderful year!



42. Age is a gift and a privilege. ‬
Thank you for all of the support over this last trip around the sun!!! I’m very ready for the year ahead.

Christmas Memories




Christmas 1984. Photo by Shirley‬
May you enjoy these days ahead! 

Next Big Hit


Our Snow Village has the Downton Abbey / Batman crossover the world has been waiting for. ‬



Santa's Conductor


Another year in the books as Santa’s guest conductor at Look Memorial Park. Hopefully this lands me on the Nice List. At least the Okay List!




Thank you, Lee Mendelson


Rest in Peace, Lee Mendelson. Mr. Mendelson brought Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang from the funny pages to the screen. Along with Charles Schulz, he went on to make 50 Snoopy cartoons. ‬
Forever inspiring millions, including me. ‬



The Nutcracker


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












More 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.

Hey, Kiddo Press Roundup pt. 6



This beautiful medal arrived in the mail. Thank you to the entire team that makes the Excellence in Graphic Literature program happen! 



The audiobook of Hey, Kiddo is a Booklist Editor's Choice! Read their full starred review here.






Seen in the New York Times! ‬


More kind words for the audiobook!

Thanks, Caroll Spinney


Like 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 muppeteer.
About 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.
A 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.




Bad Luck


When you've spent your day tending to Baby Yoda AND fixing a ship without the help of your droids...



Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Thankful

Writing (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.

High School Time Warp!


I 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. 


A Ghastly Scene

Leave your pumpkins out long enough, they will continue to tell a story...


Favorite PBS Show


Super Grover - always and forever. What was your favorite PBS KIDS show and character?

2009 v 2019

2009 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 experiences.





AudioFile Earphones Award (and More!)


With 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




I brought cast members from the Hey, Kiddo audiobook on to the radio to offer insight on how we adapted my graphic memoir for audio.


Sharing some behind-the-scenes stories of the Hey, Kiddo audiobook at Scholastic Studios.



The Origin Project


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.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Happy Birthday, Sesame Street!




‪Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, and me in 1979. Happy 50th, Sesame Street!

Art with X




‪Home sick from daycare, but X is drawing away while I wrap up an art deadline for my next book. ‬


‪Collaborating on Halloween art. ‬

"Now & Then" Exhibit Opening Soon!

‪“From refrigerator doors to museum walls—Now & Then celebrates a child's potential.”‬
‪Grace Lin and I can’t wait to unveil what we’ve put together at The Eric Carle Museum!‬ And hope to see you on December 14th for the opening events.


Thank you, Chappaqua!

Some photos from last week’s visit to Chappaqua schools. Thank you for sharing these on Twitter, ‪@7BLibrary ‬and ‪@biblioteqie!







AASL 2019 Keynotes

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 More about 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.