Local law enforcement reading Platypus Police Squad at RCES Family Reading Night @studioJJK pic.twitter.com/LY2s2McJ2S— Richland Co. Schools (@RCCUSD1) November 17, 2015
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Police officers in Southern Illinois are visiting schools to read to the students. This makes me incredibly happy.
Thank you, Marianne Crandall Follis, for hosting a fantastic event at the Valley Ranch Library last night! Check out the photo booth they made!
— Melissa (@gummah_behr) November 18, 2015
I've also had a great few days visiting schools in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.
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.
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!
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
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.
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....
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.
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
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!)
Lunch Lady is here! First year on our shelves and already a book character pumpkin entry. @StudioJJK #popular pic.twitter.com/cp5FHfLoKO— Edgemere Library (@EESLibrary) October 21, 2015
The Sunrise Valley Library Storybook Pumpkin Festival is underway! @StudioJJK @The_Pigeon @LincolnPeirce pic.twitter.com/3ddf9Es4kP— SVES Library (@SVESlibrary) October 27, 2015
It's Pig from Punk Farm!! Thank you, Wisconsin!! @StudioJJK #gcisdlib #bookcharacterday #bceschamps pic.twitter.com/Np6xh5gvaL— Kara Johnson (@KJlibrarian) October 30, 2015
A photo posted by mwinne2 (@mwinne2) on
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.