Sunday, July 21, 2013


CHALK was the first book that I solely created and it has probably been my most successful book to date.  After the book's publication, my publisher invited me to present more of my own story ideas. After I illustrated Soccer Hour, I developed 10 different book concepts. I avoided a CHALK follow-up book because I wanted to investigate new subjects.

However, I was very interested in exploring imagination further.  My favorite idea was to create two companion books for CHALK.  This was my publisher's favorite as well. The imagination-based trilogy will all be 40-page wordless stories, but each book will apply imagination to three completely different elementary school subjects.  Where CHALK applied imagination to art, the next book in the trilogy will apply imagination to science.

The second book is called FOSSIL and it will be available in November.

When I originally created CHALK, I hoped that it could be both an entertaining story for children and a helpful educational tool for creative teachers.  Similarly, FOSSIL is a visual adventure that offers teaching possibilities as a book for beginning/reluctant readers, as a writing prompt, or as a visual aid for prediction.

However, I hope this story will also help to engage students' interest in science (particularly, fossils and prehistoric life) and serve as a launching point for study and discussion.  Additionally, there are great possibilities for art making- creating fossil impressions out of clay can help students better understand how the ancient world was preserved!

Creating FOSSIL was a true labor of love, and I will describe where the inspiration came from in a future post.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

CHALK (Dessine!) Wins Prix Livrentête 2013

I was delighted to learn that Dessine! (the French version of CHALK published by l’école des loiters in 2011) won the Prix Livrentête 2013, a children’s book award voted on by the children of France. The Prix Livrentête competition is sponsored by Culture et Biblothèques Pour Tous in Paris, France, and Dessine! was selected as the winner in the ages 4-7 category.

A book award selected by children always brings the greatest satisfaction. However, it was especially gratifying to learn that my artwork successfully communicated with and was enjoyed by children of a culture whose language I cannot even speak!