Friday, December 31, 2010

my 2010

My 2010 summed up in a minute and a half! What a year! How many cupcakes do you count?

fortune cookie friday

“Three feet of ice does not result from one day of cold weather.”
-Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

book talk tuesday


IndieBound Description
Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams.Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn't know any English, so it's hard to make friends. Then a miracle-baseball-happens. It is 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone's hero. Jackie Robinson is proving that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America and for Shirley as well, on the ball field and off, America becomes the land of opportunity.

My Thoughts:Oh, how I admire this book! I didn't read this until I was adult, actually not until after I wrote The Year of the Dog. It's just an incredible book that so captures the time period and the Asian-immigrant experience in a fun and realistic way. I think one of the reasons why I skipped over the year of the boar and went straight to the The Year of the Rat was to try to avoid comparisons to this amazing book.

Monday, December 27, 2010

on my desk monday

thumbnail layout and lily reference for "Li Na's Lily!" I am soooo late on this project, but I am determined to make up for it by pulling out all the stops for it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

fortune cookie friday

“To get back at your enemy, buy each of his children a drum.”
-Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

deck the halls...

with birds of jolly!

With our past year's origami ornaments mysteriously missing (perhaps accidentally recycled!) I decided that the decorations of this year's tree should be a bit more durable. So when over the summer, my friend Anna purchased these strings of birds:

I had my Christmas tree inspiration!

With a little internet research I found this lovely (and FREE) pattern from Spool and began to sew (by hand still because I am scared of my sewing machine). It made me quite happy. I used up leftover fabric from my computer case, wedding and old clothes--that bright red fabric with the white flower is from a 70's dress of my mother's!

I let Squatchie stuff the birds which is why they are so plump. I think some of them look like dolphins. But they still looked nice on the tree, don't you think?

fa la la la, la la la LA!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

book talk tuesday


IndieBound Description
: The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.

None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale -- the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating -- has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year's pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever.

My Thoughts: This is a funny book that you can't help but be a bit touched by at the end--the perfect book to read while holiday traveling!

Monday, December 20, 2010

on my desk monday

Mailing prints for customers at my etsy shop! Yay! Thanks so much for your patronage!

(by the way, if you wanted to buy one of my prints or get a personally autographed book for Christmas, you should probably order today so that it gets to you in time)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

all is brighter

This is the only house on our street really gets into the Christmas spirit. Every year it is so bright that I am convinced it more cannot be done to it. But I am always wrong.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

fudge factory

Every year, I try to make homemade sweet treats as holiday thank-you gifts to the publishing people who worked on year's past books and/or the new year's upcoming books. All authors know that even though there is only one or two names on the front cover, books are really group efforts. And usually really important contributors like copywriters and designers are easily forgotten. I try to remember them at least once a year!

Though, most likely, these publishing people would probably prefer I use the time I spent baking to actually finishing my work (since I always seem to be late), but when the treat is for them they can't complain--right? Ha, ha! It is really my devious way of fitting in some holiday fun!

This year, enamored with mentions of fudge making in some of my children's books (most recently "Adopted Jane" by Helen Daringer)I was determined to make fudge.

However this was a bit tricker said than done. After failing with a traditional recipe, I decided to use Martha's Stewart's Foolproof Fudge Recipe. With my friend Ranida, we achieved success!

And began our little fudge factory, working late in the night like elves!

creating an endless supply of both white and brown chocolate fudge:

Unfortunately, because it took me so long to perfect the fudge I wasn't able to spend as much time on the decorative label and the packaging wasn't as colorful as years past, but I still think it's fun:

And if you get my newsletter, you can download the label to use yourself!

Hope your holidays are sweet!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

book talk tuesday

ALL OF A KIND FAMILY, by Sydney Taylor

IndieBound Description: Meet the All-of-a-Kind Family -- Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, and Gertie -- who live with their parents in New York City at the turn of the century.

Together they share adventures that find them searching for hidden buttons while dusting Mama's front parlor and visiting with the peddlers in Papa's shop on rainy days. The girls enjoy doing everything together, especially when it involves holidays and surprises.

But no one could have prepared them for the biggest surprise of all!

My Thoughts: It was only as an adult that I learned that this book (the companions to it were lauded as exemplary books of Jewish literature-- there's even an award named after the author. I read the "All of Kind Family" books books completely unaware of their cultural importance. Even though I wasn't quite familiar with all the customs practiced, I adored reading about this fun, loving family. In fact, the unfamiliar customs were made familiar to me with this book, in a way that I didn't even notice but enjoyed. I think that is the greatest testament to these books, one that I aspire my books The Year of the Dog & The Year of the Rat to accomplish.

Friday, December 10, 2010

fortune cookie friday

“The miracle is not to fly in the air, but to walk on the earth.”
-Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ling and Ting paper dolls for you!

I'm so thrilled there has been so much good news recently for Ling & Ting (as well as a New York Times Best 2010 Notable Children's Book, Ling & Ting is a a recommended holiday gift by the San Francisco Chronicle)! I truly hope this book finds its way into the hands of many young readers for the holidays!

As an added incentive, I've made a special activity to accompany the book. Here are some Ling & Ting Paper Dolls! These paper dolls are ready for you to color and cut and are completely FREE. It is my small holiday gift to you!

Hope you like everyTING and everyLING!

1. download HERE!
2. print (preferably on a lightweight cardstock)
3. color (any way you want!) & cut
4. dress! fold the clothes flaps over Ling and Ting and let them wear their warm winter booties or their party dresses!

fyi, these paper dolls are for personal enjoyment only and copyright remains with the artist. aka, print and play as much as you want, but print and sell is wrong.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

book talk tuesday


IndieBound Description:Taking the beloved symbol of merriment out of his conventional trappings and into the world of imaginative folklore, Baum gives Santa Claus an exciting life. After growing up in an enchanted forest with elves and wood nymphs, evil Awgwas, and the master woodsman Ak, Claus makes his first toy, ventures out on Christmas Eve, chooses his reindeer, and starts climbing down chimneys.

My Thoughts:If you've read The Year of the Dog, you'll know I've had a bit Wizard of Oz fixation. That fixation manifested by me reading every book that Frank Baum wrote that I could get my hands on. One of those books was THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS which is a whimsical, light and fun reinterpretation of the Santa Claus myth. Some fun reading to get you in the spirit of the holidays!

Monday, December 6, 2010

on my desk monday

Hey, Look! Ling and Ting is a NYTimes Notable Children's Book for 2010!

This is a huge honor, as the NYTimes only featured 8 books. Wow! I think that weekend subscription I got has really paid off!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

bid for the holidays!

I'm continuing yesterday's post of holiday shopping! Want to feel extra good about your holiday shopping? Try these great charity auctions:

My good friend Jarrett is the author/illustrator of Lunch Lady and Punk Farm. (Yes, those books! I have famous book friends!) He's auctioning off five awesome items (including the chance to be in a future Lunch Lady book) for the Joe & Shirl Scholarship.

Here's Jarrett talking about the scholarship:

Isn't that great? The auction ends on Dec. 6th, so get your bids in! Click HERE for the auction.

The second auction is the Bridget Zinn auction. The children's book community have donated various cool items to help Bridget Zinn, an author and librarian recently diagnosed with colon cancer. It's a wonderful thing. I don't know Bridget personally, but I do know how cancer can drastically alter your life. Most of the items are for aspiring authors, but you'll see there is something for everyone.

This auction ends soon, on December 4th. If the page says you need a password to bid, all the info is HERE. So bid HERE as soon as you can!

And this concludes all my consumer encouragement commercials for the holiday season. Thanks, everyone for your tolerance and support!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

for your holiday shopping...

Since it's the first of December and, for me, that means the start of busy holiday shopping! I am always extremely honored and grateful when people give my books as gifts, so I thought I'd give a little reminder on how you can make those presents even more special.

Would you like the book autographed and personalized?

As I mentioned briefly earlier, I'm teaming up with Porter Square Books to offer to offer personally, autographed books for the holidays! How does it work?

Simply call the Porter Square Bookstore at 617-491-2220 and ask for a signed or personalized copy of ANY of my books from Where the Mountain Meets the Moon to Ling and Ting. (You can browse all my available books HERE).

You pay for the book(s), shipping, and handling, and the bookstore will ship signed stock in time for the occasion, even gift-wrapped if requested. Remember, if you want the books personalized, to provide the name of recipient to bookseller. I will be going in to sign every Friday until Dec. 21st, so this is a great opportunity to get books specially signed for the holidays (as well as support a great independent bookstore)!

Would you like to add some something extra?
Don't forget the Grace Lin Gallery for affordable prints or the Grace Lin store for T-shirts and baby onesies! (I just added some new prints!)