Thursday, December 31, 2009

Do Let the Pigeon Scribble on The Walls

Because it's Dec 31, and I didn't post anything related to the holidays, I thought I would include a fun little snippet of holiday fun and then plan to go whole hog next year!

Mo Willems (author of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!) and his family do something different in lieu of ol' wrapping paper. And make sure to see this - for starters Mo has a giant paper table cloth roll in case he needs to scribble during dinner, but keep scrolling down to see that his family also can push a chair back and go to town on Mo's chalk-board covered dining-room walls! Can you imagine growing up in that house? How fun!

I remember reading once that Diego Rivera's parents let him scribble murals around the walls of his bedroom. Perhaps he wouldn't have painted his larger than life murals all of Mexico had his parents not given him that free reign?

Ridiculously Amazing! I love you Diego!

Do you have a little artist in your home who could use a little more space to discover their talent? What could you do make that happen? A dear friend of mine painted her sons' walk-in closet with chalkboard paint, maybe he will be one of the great American muralists of the future! 

If you live locally, Mo Willems will be at Vroman's bookstore in Pasadena, on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. You can buy new book for him to sign, or he will even sign one that you bring from home! Meeting an actual illustrator/author is a great way to open a child's mind up to the reality that a human has created a book they love so much, and that their own future is limitless, wild and theirs for the taking too!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Oh-So-Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox was one of my favorite books as a kid. I still remember reading about Farmers Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. I remember wincing and recoiling in disgust as Roald Dahl discussed their ear wax, but I had to keep reading. When I mentioned this to my boys, one son remembered Boggis was a pot-bellied dwarf and one son remembered the boogers of Bunce. Funny how Roald Dahl’s details stick like burrs to a sock in the uncluttered minds of an eight and six year old (and their older than dirt mom, me)!

Although I do not fancy myself a film critic, I reserve the right to share when a great children’s book becomes a movie! And I LOVED this movie. It was not frenetic like so many kids movies can be, it was slow, in the best of ways.

The sets were cozy, like visiting the Foxes in their real underground home, or in their doll-house like treehouse. And the tiny little costumes. To die for. This movie had Wes Anderson's signature all over it! 

I have always been a sucker for an underground house- What? You too???

Way to Go Wes!  

Extra Perk: Quentin Blake is an amazing illustrator and the current Fantastic Mr. Fox cover is great, but I was so so beyond excited to see this cover pop up at the beginning of the movie! The Fantastic Mr. Fox of my youth!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Secret Mission

So it's time to come clean and write about my Secret Mission: my middle grade novel. I've chatted with a handful of friends about it, taken classes and met with a mentor writer/critique group regularly about my progress but mostly, I've kept it under my hat. I think I stayed more inspired that way, and to be honest, it just didn't feel like anything I want to talk about much, I've just wanted to get busy, keep my head down and write! Fortunately, with the help of a wonderfully supportive clan, I am carving out time. I am loving every minute spent with some wonderful and wild characters. It's a great new adventure we are embarking on together. The book is far from completion, but I am starting this blog with the hope that together we will reach the finish line!

My plan is to share some of the amazingly helpful knowledge I am gaining along the way, share some recommendations for great children's books I'm reading, interview agents, authors and other publishing types I meet along my journey and just generally swim around in this world of reading and writing childrens' literature. It's where my head is a lot of the time anyway, in part because I love to find books that fit the tastes and interests of my three boys, but even more than that, because I just love the wondrous time that makes up the middle grade novel years- the wistful, hopeful, sometimes heart-breaking middle-grade years.

I hope a few of these posts will interest you.