Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Me in the School Library Journal

There's a profile on me in this month's issue of the School Library Journal. While I'm a tad embarrassed by the complimentary things written, I think Robert would've liked it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It's almost Halloween, and that meant last Sat (right after the Boston Book Festival) was the time for my annual pumpkin carving! This year, because of scheduling problems (I've been running into that a lot lately), I carved half my pumpkin with Jon, Loretta & Austin:

And the other half the next day at Ranida's house (with Stella and Marius):

I carved hopping bunnies to enter in ModCloth's Trick Out Your Pumpkin Contest: I'm hoping to win the $100. gift certificate so I can buy a new outfit for my TODAY Show appearance!

I entered Ranida's too. Cross your fingers!

Boston Book Festival

I was at the Boston Book Festival last Saturday. It was a packed festival, there were crowds everywhere! I do hope Boston does this event annually.

For me, it was lots of fun meeting up with Scott Magoon and Alice Flaherty:
They are the creators of Luck of the Loch Ness Monster: A Tale of Picky Eating. I learned from Alice Flaherty, also a highly respected doctor of neurology, that picky eating is actually a genetic trait. People whose ancestors are from areas where there were many poisonous plants tend to have the gene for picky eating-- a survival of the fittest characteristic!

Afterwards, I caught about 5 minutes of Alicia Silverstone talking about her book on vegetarians. This is as close I got:

Think she'll remember me?

Monday, October 26, 2009

on my desk monday

A little late today--spent most of the evening carving this! More later...

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Thanks so much for your congrats and nice thoughts about my book being picked for the Today Show Kid's Book Club! I really appreciate it and am truly grateful that so many people wish me well. THANK YOU!

I am scheduled to be on the Today Show on December 4th! That should give me some time to figure out what I want to wear...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

all in a day's work

So, I had always thought being an author and illustrator meant you would write and draw all day long and all the time. It isn't. Not that I am complaining. But it's surprising how much time I spend NOT doing those things.

I spend a lot of time at book signings(like this one I just had at the Blue Bunny):

making media appearances:

becoming an HONORARY GUY:

Or letting celebrity chef Ming Tsai cook for me:

Yes, yes, it's hard to pull away from the art. But I manage.

(please note that I FINALLY got to wear my blue dress. It's only been waiting for 2 years for the right occasion!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

new events & auction!

Please note that I have updated my event calendar! I'm going to be at the Boston Book Festival as well Vermont and Maine. Come out and see me, New Englanders!

Also it's time for small graces again!

This painting is on sale NOW!

(By the way: This painting, for some reason, did not translate well online. I don't like to have "favorites" but I, personally, really like this one and want to impress upon you that this looks much nicer in real life! The purple is more reddish with many pattern detail on the coat that are lost in this image. Also, I've painted a subtle glow around all the lanterns and origami fireflies that is not well captured.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Saturday Booksigning in Dedham, MA!

I hope to see some of you this Saturday at my booksigning at the Blue Bunny (isn't that the greatest name for a bookstore?). I'll be reading and doing a "dog-draw-along!" Don't miss the fun!

Saturday, Oct. 17th, 1:30 pm
The Blue Bunny
577 High Street
Dedham Square
Dedham, MA 02026
local but can't make it? Reserve an autographed copy and pick it up later! Call:781-493-6568

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

growing up

One of the greatest, unplanned consequences of my expansion from picturebooks to novels has been that my books have kept pace with my readership. Once, a woman said to me, "My kids have grown up with your books," and it struck me as perhaps the best moment in my career.

Because it is, actually, true. Children that I signed picturebooks who now find them too young are now reading my novels, as if I made them specifically FOR them. And who is to say that I did not? Maybe the creative muse sometimes does take orders.

Most recently, I visited Charlotte, NC for the Novello Festival of Reading. It was great fun, but one of the highlights was catching up with a family that I had met during my first visit at Novello--some 4 years ago. The toddler whom I had signed picturebooks for was now a smart and pretty girl who reads my novels!

And at my booksigning at the Toadstool Bookshop I met up with some other "old" fans.

They were so old, that one mother sent me a photo of the first time we met.

Isn't that neat? I guess I should start thinking about writing teenage YA. I think I could write about vampires............just joking!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

on the way to the grocery store

Many years ago, I saw this:

but I haven't seen it since.

I always look, though.

Monday, October 12, 2009

on my desk monday

Sketch for October's small graces auction. Final painting will go on auction next Monday (Oct. 19th).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


It's time! Remember this?

Well, it's time to pick the final winners! Time to pick the last winner of the $25. monthly gift certificate and a GRAND PRIZE WINNER. This GRAND PRIZE WINNER will get their likeness painted in my next book!

It seemed apropos that the baby that so beautifully advertised my contest should be the one to choose the winners. So, after making the additional fortune cookies, I offered them to baby Maia.

She was rather suspicious:
Even with much urging, she regarded the fortune cookies with doubt:
and caution:
Finally, to give her the idea, I decided to pick one.

So the winner of the last $25. gift certificate is.... LISA SISCO! Congrats Lisa!

Picking Lisa's name made Maia more adventuresome. I think Maia is now ready to pick THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER...

YES! Who did she pick?

Congrats! Your girls will now have their likeness painted in my upcoming book! Yay!

Hmm, Maia doesn't seem too happy for you. Don't take it personally, I think she's just realized that the fortune cookies aren't edible.

Monday, October 5, 2009

on my desk monday

Souvenirs from my PEI trip! What did I bring back?

-postcards featuring the original cover art (which I actually prefer, wish they would reprint them) of LM's books

-a rosebud teaset (Anne fans will know why!)

-Volume 1 of the Selected Journals of LM Montgomery

-and the 100th anniversary edition of Anne , a reprint of Anne in its first printed version--cover AND typos! Yes, they were even faithful to the first edition typos.
I bought mine at LM's birthplace which they stamped accordingly!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Happy Moon Festival!

Tonight is the Moon Festival, the thanksgiving holiday for the Chinese and many other cultures. A symbol of peace, reunion and thankfulness, the moon is said to shine its brightest on this night of the year.

My very best wishes to you, this day of the Moon Festival!

Friday, October 2, 2009

just a reminder- New Hampshire Signing!

Tomorrow I will be signing at:

Toadstool Bookstore
Lorden Plaza
586 Nashua St.,Milford, NH 03055
Saturday, Oct. 3, 3:30 PM

I'm driving all from Montreal to New Hampshire, on my way back I might be a little incoherent (but hopefully not late!) when I get there. I hope to see you!

Are you local but can't make it? You can reserve an autographed copy and pick it up later! Call:603-673-1734

fortune cookie friday

"Happiness is not a horse, you cannot harness it."
-Chinese Proverb

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Goodbye, PEI!

And, just like that, the PEI trip was over. We had to wake up bright and early to get home at a reasonable hour, so there was little time to do much except wave wistfully to all the sights as we drove by. The only good thing about leaving at this time was that, unlike on our way in, we could see everything.

Which meant we finally got to see the Confederation Bridge, the very, very long bridge that connects PEI to the rest of Canada. Did I mention it was very long? These photos do not really show the scale of it. The bridge keeps going and going, past the horizon line.Here is Squatchie. See how he is smiling? That is because he has survived the most girlie vacation ever.

Goodbye, PEI!


We, uh, I had to see at least one more Anne thing before we left PEI. At random, I chose the Bideford Parsonage Museum, the boarding house where Lucy Maud stayed for three years while she taught school.
And it was a great choice. The local who minded it very proudly told us the history. Unlike the buildings in the Avonlea village which "the Cavendish man just took and moved there" the Parsonage is in its original location, saved from touristic relocation by the residents of Bideford.

In their passion, they also lovingly restored the house to the time Lucy Maud resided there, from rebuilding the staircase to matching of the wallpaper. They had to remove several layers of wallpaper until they hit the one that was of the correct time and from there faithfully reproduced it. The frame holds the original discovered wallpaper, on the wall is the reproduction:

The kitchen led into the pantry where I learned was the location of a scene that inspired a happening in Anne of Green Gables. Apparently, it was here at the Parsonage that a bottle on medicine was mistaken for vanilla and was mixed into a layer cake. This ill-flavored cake was then served to the visiting minister, who bravely ate it without complaint, to the later embarrassment of Parsonage cook. Those familiar with the Anne books know that Lucy Maud had Anne bake a similar distasteful cake for the visiting minister--an obvious real-life inspiration!

On the upper floor, the room where Lucy Maud stayed in was also gorgeously restored:

I adored the replicas of her clothing:and I wondered which books or stories she wrote while sitting at her desk:

In the back, there was a shed area that was used probably at one time used for the horses or storage. It was filled with time-appropriate paraphernalia and reproductions as well as extremely interesting facts.
It was here that Squatchie and I learned that back then most people used the Eaton's catalog pages as toilet paper and when Eaton began to print their catalogs on glossy stock there was quite an uproar.Which is probably why the catalog they were using as a display was a 1960's Sears one. I bet those old Eaton ones are hard to find!