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Vote for Abby on Minted!

by abby on March 26, 2013 | Comment

I’ve entered into a holiday card contest at minted.com and I NEED YOUR VOTE TO WIN! If I win, then my Flying Dove card (shown above) will be available for purchase at minted.com. Whoo-ooo!

To cast your vote for my Flying Dove card:

1. Click on the Dove Card above. It will take you to the the Flying Dove voting page.
2. Rank my card.
3. Follow the prompts to create a minted.com account. This occurs because to have YOUR VOTE COUNT you will must create a minted account. It’s quick and easy.

That’s it! Thank you, thank you.

I really appreciate your support and love in this holiday card adventure. Voting is now active until Monday April 8th 9am PT.

Please pass the word on about voting for me and the Flying Dove Holiday card!

RIT Spring Art Festival 2013

by abby on March 18, 2013 | Comment

penguin children's illustration with large balloon

It’s a busy week! First off, THIS Friday I will be at the RIT Spring Art Festival from 8:30am-4:30pm. The Festival will be held in the lobby of the SAU on RIT’s campus. I’ll have a table filled with Spring art goodies! There will be NEW Spring prints (like the little fellow above) to share as well as cute Spring themed notecards and greeting cards perfect for Easter and Mother’s Day. I hope if you are in the area you will stop by to say hello .

logo for CCBA 2013

Secondly, voting for the 6th Annual Children’s Choice Books Awards starts TODAY! The Children’s Choice Book Awards is the only national book awards program where the winning titles are selected by children and teens of all ages. There are 4 age categories: K-2nd, 3-4th, 5-6th, and Teens. Teachers, Librarians, and Bookseller also have a separate page where they can cast their own vote too.

Launched in 2008 by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader (The CBC Foundation), The Children’s Choice Book Awards program was created to provide young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them and to help develop a reading list that will motivate children to read more and cultivate a love of reading. Read more about the CCBA.

Happy Voting!

The Tea & Books Club

by abby on March 14, 2013 | Comment

cup of tea and stack of picture books

My friend and I have started a new tradition. We are now meeting up about once a month or so and sharing our favorite illustrated books! A lot of the time they are illustrated picture books. It’s delightful to oooo and ahhh WITH someone in person over a great book. Not many of us have book clubs where we read children’s books, but I encourage you to throw in a YA or picture book book now and again. It’s fun!

I just had to share with all of you a couple of great finds. So in no particular order here are 2 AMAZING recently published picture books:

SHOE & BOOT by Marla Frazee
photo of stack of picture books
illustration of dog laying on yellow chair
illustration of dog on front porch

Life is grand for the two dogs: Boot & Shoe until one day a pesky squirrel shows up and causes trouble. This book is laugh out loud funny and has a sweet, tender ending too. 2 thumbs up.

A Perfect Day by Carin Berger

illustraton of people doing snow angels
book about the perfect snow day

Carin’s collages have a poetic folk art feel. Plainly stated: they are magical. The simple text allows your eyes to slowly take in all the details in her collage compositions and the paper collage material too. Anyone who likes to paper collage should pick up this book.

These copies were borrowed from my local library, but I love both books so very much that I plan on adding them to my personal collection. OH and speaking of my personal collection. I forgot to tell you what my all time favorite picture is book on Tuesday. Drum roll please….my FAVORITE picture books is: Brave Irene by William Steig. It’s a classic. It’s even better when you’re Mom reads it out loud and really animates the wind’s voice. (Thanks Mom!)

So, while you are looking up these 2 new pictures you should look up Brave Irene too!

Subway Libraries

by abby on March 11, 2013 | Comment

picture of underground library in subway

Yesterday morning on NPR I heard a report that public transportation riding levels are up. That means more and more people across the country are taking trains, subways, buses, and ferries and have more time to READ!

A group of 3 college students from the Miami Ad School have come up with an innovative concept and app to reach those mass commuters on subways. The project is called Underground Library: A Simple Solution to help New York’s Empty Libraries.

The basic concept is this: Using near field communications (NFC) technology, commuters select the desired book from a list of popular titles listed on subway ads and read its first ten pages. Upon finishing and exiting the subway, the reader will be informed of the closest library location on a map from which they can pick up and read the rest of the book. Want to see this is action? Watch the trailer!

There are still several questions about the technical aspect of pulling this off, but I love the connection between modern reading on ereaders and phones and linking it to lending books from the library (whether you want to borrow the actual book or ebook file). Libraries are still wonderful and relevant resources!

I just used our local library last week. When was the last time YOU visited your local branch?

2013 Children’s Book Week

by abby on March 7, 2013 | Comment

Childrens book week 2013 poster

Have you heard yet? Children’s Book Week is May 13-19th this year. CBW is a wonderful annual tradition where schools, libraries, and even families take time to recognize books for young people and the joy of reading. Sounds good to me!

CBW is actually the longest continual running national literacy initiative in the country. It was started back in 1913 by a savvy librarian named, Franklin K. Matthiews. He was the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America and began touring the country to promote higher standards in children’s books. He proposed creating a Children’s Book Week to focus the energies and attention on quality books for children from the key players in children’s publishing: the publishers, booksellers, and librarians. There’s more to this story here.

Today you can expect schools and libraries to offer fun events all across the country. The venues of participating bookstores and libraries are listed on the CBW website.

Best yet—you can even order your own FREE copy of the 2013 CBW Poster created by Caldecott Winner Illustrator: Brian Selznick. He is the creator of he Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck (I just finished reading Wonderstuck and it truly is fabulous as he tells 2 stories in 1 book. The first story is told with words and the second is told only with illustrations. Grab your own copy to see how he blends the two together!)

Finally the winners of the 2013 Children’s Choice Book Awards are announced live during Children’s Book Week at the Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala (think Academy awards of children’s literature). Voting opens in 2 weeks on March 19th and goes to May 9th. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to remind you once the voting is available.

What’s the first book that comes to mind, when you are asked: “what’s your favorite children’s book?” I’ll tell you mine on Tuesday!

Custom Cat Art

by abby on March 5, 2013 | Comment

gray cat art
{the stately Simon}

Happy March everyone! February flew by, didn’t? In fact it came and went so quickly that I never got to share with you the final paintings of two new custom pet portraits I created.

These two were a pair of friends: Simon and Louise. I tried quite hard to capture their personalities with their postures and in their eyes. Overall, I’m happy with the results.

custom cat illustration
{the lovely Louise}

Each print is mounted onto a ready to hang wood panel and then coated with clear acrylic paint to protect it. See more samples of custom pet art here.

I’d love to make a lasting memory of your furry loved one!