Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Platypus Police Squad in Southern Illinois

Police officers in Southern Illinois are visiting schools to read to the students. This makes me incredibly happy.

Valley Ranch Library

Thank you, Marianne Crandall Follis, for hosting a fantastic event at the Valley Ranch Library last night! Check out the photo booth they made! 

I've also had a great few days visiting schools in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. 

Time-Lapse Signing!

Librarian Chris Salerno made a time-lapse video of me signing 154 books at his school. (And yes, I drew in every single book. Always do.)

Charlestown Elementary

I love that the lunch ladies of Charlestown Elementary introduced me at my school visit today. I love seeing these sorts of connections being made. And I love that this pair stepped out of their comfort zone to get in front of their students in a very different capacity.

Jeanne Birdsall

Thank you Seth Kaye Photography for this great photo of Jeanne Birdsall and me. 
And for those of you out there who have read Jeanne's The Penderwicks books, did you ever catch the references that she made to my family and me? We love our Auntie Jeannie!

Illustrator's Show 2015 — with Jeanne Birdsall and Jarrett Joseph at R. Michelson Galleries.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Children's Book Art Exhibition

How many authors and illustrators can you spot? (Find the answers here.)
The annual children's book art exhibition at R. Michelson Galleries runs through January 15th.

With pals Grace LinJeanne Birdsall and Lisa Yee at last weekends reception at the R. Michelson Galleries.

What's not to love about Norton Juster? Sure, he's a genius, he has a heart of gold.... The man turns up to an art exhibit wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with his book cover. And the book in question is certified classic. Microphone dropped, good sir. Microphone dropped.... 

It's Tough to Lose your Balloon Project

At a recent school visit, I saw this beautiful project based on It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon. Kids would write a problem on one side of the balloon and a solution on the other side. I saw this sobering entry...a profound reminder of what is being done in our school cafeterias.

Battle Creek

I don't mean to name drop, but I was in Battle Creek, MI and met one of the local celebrities... Thank you for hosting me, School Nutrition Association of Michigan! And thank you to the Book Bug for bringing all the books!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015


It you saw these monsters on Halloween night, you were trick-or-treating at our house....

I hope that everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!

Halloween—I am tickled and humbled by the use of my characters!


Two Lunch Ladies, Cow from Punk Farm and Ollie the Purple Elephant were spotted in Maine! 

Every year, I am showered with so many wonderful images of people using my characters in their Halloween celebrations. I am just tickled and honored by all of these photos that I have seen! (And if you dressed up as or decorated a pumpkin with one of my characters, I'd love to see any photos that you'd be willing to share!)

A photo posted by mwinne2 (@mwinne2) on

Post Halloween

Halloween is over, it's Daylight Saving Time, and I'm all...

Someday Cafe

There's something about revisiting a space that was a part of a pivotal time in your life—even when that space is now a completely different space. In the fall of 1999, I found myself in Somerville, MA after graduating RISD. I would walk to Davis Square and spend time sketching in The Someday Cafe. What a great name, right? The Someday Cafe. It was apt, as I spent time sketching on the cafe's old, used couches while I dreamt of the future I wanted for myself. I sipped hot chocolate (I didn't drink coffee) as I filled sketchbooks with early incarnations of Monkey Boy, Baghead and Punk Farm. It was also at this cafe where my friend Grace Lin gave me a key piece of advice. While Grace and I lived on the same street, we met on a Yahoo Groups for RISD Illustration alum. Grace's first book, The Ugly Vegetables, had just published. She encouraged me to send my promotional postcards to editors, not just the art directors that were on my mailing list. I took her advice and that next Monday sent a mailing to editors. That Thursday I received an email from an editor at Random House, and that next week I traveled down to New York City to show my work in person. And it was that meeting that led to my first book contract. 
My someday became my actual day. And serendipitously, Grace and I know live in the same neighborhood once again. I drink coffee now, but wasn't able to get one at my old haunt—it's now Mr. Crepe. And while delicious, it just doesn't hold the same mystique as The Someday Cafe...

From pages of a sketchbook circa fall 1999....Someday Cafe's interior.