Category: blog

Reading = HOPE x CHANGE

CLASSROOM, LIBRARY & AT-HOME ACTIVITY KIT Reading = HOPE x CHANGE Jacqueline Woodson, novelist, poet, and the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature quotes, “I definitely believe that reading can change us and shape us in so many ways, and through it we can be exposed to people and places and ideas that we […]

How the Raven Got His Crooked Nose

“…the book’s creators have accomplished no easy task – a modern retelling of a traditional Dena’ina Athabascan tale that honors the story and makes it accessible to children both within and outside of the culture it comes from. How Raven Got His Crooked Nose is a teaching tale, as well as a story-within-a-story. Scenes with […]

Happy Pub Day to Chulyen the Raven!

“…visually striking …Dwyer’s use of strong contrasting colors brings a fresh, modern sensibility to this tale, while patterns and motifs are suggestive of traditional Dena’ina art.” -Publisher’s Weekly “…just perfect illustrations…” – Carl’s Pick, Children’s Book Council …”Dwyer’s illustrations range from soft tones when depicting the modern-day human characters to stark contrasting colors and bold […]

Art for Sale!

“Carnival” original watercolor from The Salmon Princess, $100“Swimming Home”, 17″ x 24″ Giclee print, 2 @ $75 each SOLD!“Stepping Into Spring”, 16″ x 18″ Giclee print, 5 @ $25 each“Cleaning Salmon”, 16″ x 19″, Giclee print, 1 @ $45 each“Carousel”, 17″ x 20″ Giclee print, 1 @ $45 each SOLD!“Her Eyes Sparked Like Fire”, 18″ […]

Ribsy Goes Retro

This fall, HarperCollins Children’s Books will reissue hardcovers of Beverly Cleary’s, Henry Huggins series with forewords by contemporary authors and illustrators. They will speak about the impact of her stories, but the best part is that the books will feature the original illustrations by Louis Darling. I loved her books! When Cleary was asked, in […]

The Children’s Book Council asked authors what are “3 Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Answer?” I wondered, when did I know I was an illustrator? When did I make the leap from coloring books to drawing my own pictures, and did those pictures tell a story? I read an article here that suggests that the original coloring books were for adults. As early as the 1600s coloring was an activity to encourage learning.

“…for the practise of the hand doth speedily instruct the minde, and strongly confirme the memory beyond any thing else.” –Henry Peacham’s Compleat Gentleman, 1634

Read the full article here

Coloring books were a great way to occupy a child. Who knew we were developing our minds and our hand eye coordination? I was a dreamy kid. Coloring was something I did to explore my thoughts. I could daydream and color for hours. My relationship to color began with a Christmas set of 72 crayons bearing color names as mysterious as their visual sensation; periwinkle, maize, bittersweet, midnight, mulberry… colors that inhabited other worlds. I would be dazzled and sometimes overwhelmed by color for the rest of my life. In first grade we were given a gigantic piece of paper that covered our desk and some crayons. “Draw something,” said our ancient teacher, Mrs. Hickman. She wore her glasses hanging on a beaded necklace, and a cardigan like Mr. Rogers, yet for some reason she was frightening. I could fill a stack of coloring books, but what should I draw? I was excited and a little daunted. Just then, the chubby girl with the leotards threw up all over the floor – right next to me! Chaos ensued, the janitor came in with his mop contraption, the wild ropey strings twisting and squeezing through the wringer, like my grandma’s forbidden washing machine. Next came the banana-chemical spray that permeated the nostrils of your memory forever. It was almost worse than the barf. I drew a tiny girl in the corner of my paper and filled the page with fantastic swirls and colors of throw up, with chunks and dots to make a decorative pattern. Could you blame me? Mrs. Hickman snatched up my paper, gave me a disgusting look, wrinkled it into a ball and threw it in the trash. I was dumbfounded if not horrified and insulted. Good thing she didn’t ruin my enthusiasm -all I wanted to do was tell a story with pictures.