Friday, February 27, 2009

fortune cookie friday

" It is only when winter comes that we know the pine tree is evergreen."
-Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Save the Date!

You're invited to the WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON booklaunch on at 5:30 on June 6th at the Porter Square Bookstore!

Yes, that's right, I'm having another party. I haven't worked out all the fun (though there will be moon-shaped cookies) but I'm trying to give lots of advance warning so you can mark your calendars. Please come!

For those of you not in the Boston/Somerville area, I'm planning virtual party of sorts at the Grace Lin Books Group on Facebook. Like I said, I haven't worked everything out yet, but I am planning lots of fun and prizes...with the grand prize being your name or your likeness (or your child's, whatever you prefer) in an upcoming book of mine! Stay tuned!

(I promise later to give an update of my time here in sunny San Antonio--it's going to be 80 degrees here and I only have turtleneck sweaters!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

if these were dollar bills...

If these were dollar bills, I'd be rich!

But who's to say I'm not? These are the autographed bookmarks that I give students during my school visits and it's with great fortune that I was able to give them to the wonderful students in Dublin, Ohio as well as lovely participants at the Dublin Literacy Conference where I got to me THE Mary Lee and Franki of the A Year of Reading Blog! I also got to hang out with lots of great authors, including my friend-that-I-know-because-I-read-her-blog-I-hope-that-doesn't-make-me-a-stalker Barbara O'Connor:

(Yes, I'm wearing the same dress I wore to the's new! I'm trying to get a lot of wear out of it.)

It was a great time, but over too soon. However, now I am in sunny and warm San Antonio for more visits and I am afraid I did not bring enough bookmarks...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Heart Day

Here is perhaps a little known fact about me. I usually avoid doing bookstore events like the plague. Don't get me wrong, I heart bookstores. I even heart other author's events at bookstores. But my own? Pass! I did just one too many bookstore event where I was the lonely author in the corner, only spoken to when someone needed directions to the bathroom.

So, I surprised myself when I signed up for the Kids Heart Authors Day put together by Mitali Perkins. But, I wanted to pay back some of the goodwill that people have given me by supporting the small graces project and I also thought, "It's a group signing. Worst case, at least we can be bored together and ALL show that one lost person where the bathroom is."

But the event at the Curious George Store had a lot more than one person:

And, instead of being bored, I was busy having fun signing books and teaching kids how to draw a dog:

So busy in fact I barely got to speak to my lovely fellow authors: Nancy Viau, Mary Brigid Barrett (who was one of my teachers at RISD!), and Laya Steinberg:

I had a good time! Maybe I've changed my mind and I heart bookstore events after all...

Friday, February 13, 2009

fortune cookie friday

“Kissing is like drinking salted water: you drink and your thirst increases”
-Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

the bookstore that changed my life

I will be booksigning, reading and leading a dog draw-a-long (a dog drawing lesson) at:

Curious George Bookstore
1 JFK Street (Harvard Sq)
Cambridge, MA 02138
Ph: 617-498-0062
Sat., Feb. 14th from 10am-12pm

Yes, that's THIS Saturday (I meant to tell people earlier, but I forgot. I am the worst promoter of these things). It is a part of the Kids Heart Authors Day program spearheaded by Mitali Perkins. Participating authors were encouraged to proclaim their love of independent bookstores, particularly the one they would be signing at. Me, the delinquent, never sent anything in for the official press release which I am quite ashamed of. Especially as I am signing at the Curious George Bookstore, the place which really did change my life.

You might think I am being over-dramatic with that statement, but I am not. In the beginning of my children's book career, when I didn't even know if I would be able to make it a career, I was a bookseller at the Curious George bookstore. It was a better education in children's books than my four years at art school. Day in and day out I was inundated with children's books and there I truly got a feeling of what makes a good book. It was truly enlightening.

But it was even more life changing than that. While working there, I met Robert--whom I never have regretted in my life, despite the heartaches. I also met Ranida whom I fixed up with Robert's roommate Luke--and they are now a happy family with their first child. So the Curious George Bookstore changed their lives too.

And I am still feeling the effects. I also met talented Alissa Imre Geis there, who became a friend and recently wrote a very sweet post about Lissy's Friends.

So come and see me this Saturday! Maybe the Curious George Bookstore will change your life too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

more friends for Lissy!

My uber-talented friend Alissa Imre Geis just wrote the sweetest post about her son's fondness for my book Lissy's Friends. It is like an early valentine.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

small graces: on auction NOW!

My February painting for small graces is on auction NOW!

Click HERE!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Twins, where are you?

It's been a long time since my Ling and Ting project was first contracted. But it is finally getting off the ground and,not only is it off the ground, it is flying so quickly towards its deadline that I am afraid of crash landing!

I am thrilled, of course, because I really love this project. Not only is it an early reader (like "I Can Read," so it's a branch between my picturebooks and my novels) but it is an homage to the books I loved when I was learning to read. And what makes it even more exciting was when I first spoke of it, the most charming Chinese-American twins contacted me , offering aid if I wanted to know more about twins. Isn't that sweet?

At the time, the project was on hold, so I didn't have anything to ask...but now, 3 computer crashes and many lost e-mails later, I do!

Jennifer MeiDe and Rebekah MeiRui where are you? Please drop a line to and I'll get in contact with you. Or any Chinese-American twins out there, feel free chime in.


So, here is some free advice to children's book authors and illustrators who know they probably will not win one of those fancy library awards: plan a school visit on the day the awards are announced.

Or maybe it should be "plan a school visit in San Antonio, TX." Because, that's where I was, and thanks to the lovely librarians and their excited students it was a fantastic day. I didn't even think about being a non-contender. I didn't even care.

And why should I?

I had wonderful and extremely fashionable teachers waiting for me and my Bringing in the New Year presentation with hand-made dragons--one even had eyes that lit up.

And there were the welcoming librarians, such as Kim Green the super-coordinator who not only organized my visits (I was there a week) but also organized an amazing Robert's Snow-inspired fundraiser at her school (proceeds going to Dana-Farber). See that big bag she is holding? It is all full of coins that the students brought in. There is a reason why she has to hold it with two hands--it is HEAVY. They were still counting when I left, they were over $600 at that point. Isn't that amazing? And that is just her school. All the schools I visited that week did some sort of charity, inspired by Robert's Snow. Wow.

And then of course the students! What can be better than a captive audience, thrilled to hear your book? They enthusiastic and attentive and, also, very sweet. Not only did they say the loved my books (and I was their favorite author ever), they even told me I was pretty. What are the chances the award-winners were told that?

Because, this is what we make children's books for--the children. As I've said before, kids loving your book(s)is truly the best award. Better than one of those stickers. Or at least close.