Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I've been traveling so much that I tend to forget about the place where I actually live. I've been in the Boston area for more than 12 years now, on and off, and I think it's one of the best places for a children's book author and illustrator. I love when children's books seep into the real world like...

a children's bookstore called Curious George,
or a tree made into Pooh's house,

and a statue of ducklings.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

egg auction

So on Saturday, I drove 2 hours (I kind of didn't realize how long of a drive it was going to be) to go to the Open Fields Egg Auction where, if you remember, I contributed an egg to be auctioned off. And I'm really glad that I did. Like the snowflakes, nothing compares to seeing the original art in person. They were so lovely, I was quickly circling my list to for possible bidding. Did I want Marla Frazee's? Ashley Bryan's?

Or should I bid on my own? But, unlike Robert's Snow, the auction for the eggs is done live, not anonymously online. So, if I tried to up my own egg price, it would be quite obvious that I was a big loser. Darn!

Luckily, I didn't need to--it went for a very respectable price. It did make me wonder what that broken egg might have gone for.

And I got to get in on the action as well. In a heated competition with a grandfather who seemed to be buying up all the eggs (he must have thought of them as investment property) I finally won the egg I had my eye on...

It's called Twilight, by Mary Peterson. She's not a children's book illustrator but she's a beautiful egg painter, don't you think?

Sunday, May 11, 2008


During my recent trip to visit my sister and her kids, my niece gravely informed that she when she grew up she was going to be artist like me(as well as a princess and soccer player). "Really?" I said, "Then let's draw a picture. Draw me your favorite thing that we did together!"

I thought that was a pretty good, open-ended subject-- I particularly wanted to see what the four year old mind remembered and treasured. And there was plenty to choose from, we did SO much. We did our nails,

visited the U of Chicago campus,
went to the aquarium,
and music class:
Like I said, plenty to choose from, right? Well, she drew me this:

Ah, darpl! Of course!(When I asked her what darpl was she laughed and ran away).

Saturday, May 10, 2008


So, I've been traveling, writing, and having many a technology crisis...but that doesn't excuse the fact that I've let my mail pile up unopened. It's only today, after being stricken with germs from my sister's kids, that I have finally began to peruse the pile.

And there are fan letters in there, quite a few and almost all from kids. One line breaks my heart, "I'm related to Dun-Wei," one boy writes, "because I moved to this country and nobody wanted to talk to me."

Dear friends, I'm sorry. I truly apologize if you never heard from me, I never respond to your comment or you only receive a response a year after you sent me something. Despite my thoughtless actions, I treasure each one of you. So many of you have told me what my work meant something to you; and when times were hard your words helped me believe and gave me strength. Thank you. You are wonderful! And I am a disorganized mess.

Friday, May 9, 2008

kite flying

I've just returned from a week of visiting my older sister, niece and nephew in Chicago and what a time it was-- keeping up with an active 4 year old and baby is exhausting. But fun! One of the many things we did was go to a kite festival.

This was especially heartwarming for me due to the obvious connection to my book, Kite-Flying. That book was inspired by my own childhood memories of flying kites; it was a lovely circle to experience it again, this time as an adult watching a child enjoy it for the first time.

Because with the wind blowing, we made the kite,
decorated it (that is a drawing of a bird, by the way)

and then flew it in the sky.

It joined the rest of the kites--talking to the wind,

just like the book!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Random House just made an e-card with the art from Bringing in the New Year! It is very neat--with an animated dragon and exploding fireworks.
Did you forget to send out Chinese New Year greetings? Because it's perfect for those late wishes, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

interview of me!

Jama Rattigan has posted a thorough and lovely interview of me at her alphabet soup blog. She's also offering two personalized autographed copies of The Year of the Rat for two people who leave a comment there no later than Wednesday, May 7, 2008. Read it here: http://jamarattigan.livejournal.com/106681.html
Thanks, Jama!