Friday, April 30, 2010

fortune cookie friday


"Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long time, you learn about the character of your friend."
-Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

nostalgia

My school visit whirlwind is continuing. Before heading to Albany for the weekend, I did a quick talk with superstar author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka at my alma mater RISD. I admit, going back to the ol'Illustration Studies Buildings made me feel...
OLD!

And while the imparting of any of my knowledge to future illustrators was questionable, what was quite certain was how much the school has changed. Not only did the students seem to already know the business basics which took me years to figure out after graduating, the campus itself was transformed. When I went to the ISB, the view looked like this:
(not real photo of the landscape, but accurate in its ambiance! Providence was doing major construction for the whole 4 years of my attendance).

But now, the landscape looks like this:
Jarrett, I think we were gypped!

Regardless, I think we were both glad we went and came back. We look happy, don't we?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

book talk tuesday


Rufus M, by Eleanor Estes

Indiebound Description: You've never met anyone quite like Rufus Moffat. He gets things done, but he gets them done his way.
When he wants to check out library books, Rufus teaches himself to write...even though he doesn't yet know how to read. When food is scarce, he plants some special "Rufus beans" that actually grow...despite his digging them up every day to check on them. And Rufus has friends that other people don't even know exist! He discovers the only invisible piano player in town, has his own personal flying horse for a day, and tours town with the Cardboard Boy, his dearest friend-and enemy.
Rufus isn't just the youngest Moffat, he's also the cleverest, the funniest, and the most unforgettable.

My Thoughts: Wonderful companion book to favorite The Moffats! This may be sacrilegious, but I actually think I might like Rufus M more. Rufus is such a likeable character and the episodic adventures were extremely fun & charming! This book was another great classic which has held up well.

Monday, April 26, 2010

on my desk monday

proofs for "Thanking the Moon," my book about the moon festival coming out in the fall. Remember the sketches and the paintings the winners of my contest for my last booklaunch? They are getting closer and closer to being in a published book everyday!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Save the date!


Yes, that's right, I'm having another book birthday party. I wasn't going to as it is getting close to the summer, but I am just SO excited about my new book. Ling and Ting is my very first early reader and not only did it get an amazing review from the famous fuse#8, it was chosen for the Junior Library Guild and got a starred review from Booklist! That deserves some celebration! I haven't worked out all the fun (though there will be a polka-dot theme) but mark your calendars and please come!

Saturday, June 19th at 3 pm
Porter Square Books
Porter Square Shopping Center
25 White Street
Cambridge, MA 02140 (directions)

I'm hoping to have lots of fun contests & prizes like last time so you don't want to miss it! More info to come!!

E-mail me your e-mail address at: gracelin.manager@gmail.com if you want to be on the official evite invitation list (aka the goody bag list)! But, of course, even if you are not on the evite you are still more than welcome to come (the list is just to help me make sure I have enough goodies for everyone, but I always make extras).

fortune cookie friday


"A person whose heart is not content is like a snake which tries to swallow an elephant."
-Chinese Proverb

Thursday, April 22, 2010

wowee!


Hey look, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is on the shortlist of the EB White Read Aloud Awards! I'm especially excited about this because I think the sticker is especially awesome. Inspired by perhaps the #1 children's novel of all time, Charlotte's Web it is a thrill to think this sticker could decorate my book...though I won't get my hopes up too high. The other authors promise pretty stiff competition, including the the lovely and talented Kate Messner who coincidentally just blogged about my book today!

apologies

I am embarrassingly tardy with my thank-you notes from my wedding. I received so many lovely wishes that I'm ashamed it's taken me so long. One of the nicest gifts I received was a surprise. At my PO Box, I received a box, which when opened revealed a bamboo plant with warmhearted wishes for the wedding:
Isn't that just so nice?

Now, I am very sorry to say that since it has taken me so long to send thank-you notes, I have misplaced (I think Squatchie threw out the box as it was lying around for so long) the address of this kind giver. I'm sorry! Lovely person (I won't post your name, just in case you want to be internet-anonymous), please contact me again so that I can express my gratitude!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TLA Express

I had a quick visit in San Antonio last week at the Texas Library Association Conference. And I mean quick. I arrived just in time to have a delicious dinner hosted by Little, Brown & Co (publisher of my novels):
The amazing food (there was sticky toffee pudding!) put me right to sleep and when I woke up it was time for me to give a small talk on a panel with authors RL Lafevers and Suzanne Selfors before signing and then quickly catching that plane back home! I think I was in TX for just 24 hours, and most of that was at the airport!



I was a little sad not to stay longer, I missed most of the exhibits, as well as catching up with a lot of friends. I have a lot of nice memories of San Antonio, as I did many school visits there last year and it was even the first place that I launched Where the Mountain Meets the Moon!

But I was glad that I did get to see some familiar friendly librarians:


And Suzanne and I ran into famous author/bloggers Cynthia Leitich Smith & Greg Leitich Smith as we were dashing off to the airport. We didn't have much time to say more than hello and snap the picture.


TLA was fun, but fast. The whole thing was quite a rush! I guess that is why all the photos are so blurry!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

book talk tuesday

MASTERPIECE by Elise Broach

IndieBound Description: Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays’ apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy.After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing. James gets all the credit for the picture and before these unlikely friends know it they are caught up in a staged art heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that could help recover a famous drawing by Albrecht Dürer. But James can’t go through with the plan without Marvin’s help. And that’s where things get really complicated (and interesting!). This fast-paced mystery will have young readers on the edge of their seats as they root for boy and beetle. In Shakespeare’s Secret Elise Broach showed her keen ability to weave storytelling with history and suspense, and Masterpiece is yet another example of her talent. This time around it’s an irresistible miniature world, fascinating art history, all wrapped up in a special friendship— something for everyone to enjoy.

My Thoughts: This is one of my favorite contemporary MG novels. In fact, whenever students ask me what my favorite book is that I have read recently, I usually say this one (even though I read it a year or two ago). This has the similar charm A Cricket in Times Square but with a more modern feel as well as with a mystery twist. If you haven't read it yet, do!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

school visit fun, this time with music!

This past month has been rather busy for me with school visits, but luckily all of the schools have been so wonderful that each one has been a treat.

Once school was decorated with an Asian-inspired theme (to go with my books), including this really neat dragon balloon (which I got to take home!):
They even got a goldfish in honor of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. The goldfish's name? Grace FIN! ha ha!:

Another school did a very in-depth author study of me and discovered my love of cupcakes!And gave me an enormous one to celebrate the Newbery Honor!(It's so big that Squatchie and I are still eating it, but it's sooo yummy!):

And another school, after learning in The Year of the Dog that I did not have a Red Egg party, decided to throw me one:With musical entertainment!! The Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat lyrics were written by the students:
video

The Year of the Dog brings new friendships and growing
Pacy is looking to fi-ind herse-elf
Melody moves in and becomes her best friend
I don't think their friendship could e-ver end

The Year of the Rat mean that life will be changing
Pacy would like it to all be amazing
Soon she founds out things are not what they were
Change can be so hard, I know that for sure...


Isn't that great! Many thanks to all you wonderful, hard-working and welcoming schools!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

book talk tuesday

MARY POPPINS IN THE PARK by PL Travers

IndieBound Description
: Who else but Mary Poppins can lead the Banks children on such extraordinary adventures? Together they all meet the Goosegirl and the Swineherd, argue with talking cats on a distant planet, make the acquaintance of the folks who live under dandelions, and celebrate a birthday by dancing with their own shadows. And that's just for starters!

My Thoughts: I love the Mary Poppins books, and this one is my favorite of them all. Don't miss any of them, and don't take the Disney movie as a guide. Mary Poppins as a character is actually quite grumpy and much more of a character than the movie portrayed her. For some, that might be a bit of a surprise but the stories in the books are much more magical and wonderful than the adventures shown in the movie. There is a part where a boy statue comes to life to play with the Banks children for just one afternoon. After reading that story, I was never able to just look at statues without imagining their personalities. My edition is the same version as the one I read as a child!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

audible book of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Hey, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is now available on audio (via download at audible.com). When I first heard that it was going to be made into an audiobook, I thought maybe I could read it. But this just proves to me that audiobook producers know what they are doing! The voice actress they hired, Janet Song, reads the story so beautifully--she gives the work far more weight than I ever would've. It's pretty neat to hear, it almost feels like it is a different story!

The audioCD comes out April 27th.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

my wedding things (on thursdays)

And finally, the professional wedding photos!!

I've tried to be patient for these, filling up my time with these Thursday wedding posts... and now they are here! So, this will be the last of my wedding ramblings. Thanks so much for your kind words and patience. All the photos were taken by Jen Ing--aren't they great? If you like them, be sure to comment on her blog to let her know.

So, the wedding began with my dress and beauty help from my flower girl niece, Lily, and wonderful friend (and illustrator) Anna Alter. Also, I had my hair professionally done (by Salon Blue). Yes, I splurged on the professionally (thanks Newbery Honor!) which I realized I really needed after a couple of home experiments. And it was worth it! I loved my curly hair. I wish it could look like that everyday:


Then, Squatchie, Lily and I made our way to the Lyceum restaurant:
Where after walking down the aisle,

and a poetry reading by gifted poetess Elaine,
as well as a Chinese tea ceremony,


We got married!
Which the guest celebrated with bubbles:

And lots of sweets!

Everyone enjoyed their little wooden portraits:
Especially, the new Mr. & Mrs. Squatchie!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

book talk tuesday

Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbit

IndieBound Description: Doomed to—or blessed with—eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing that it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

My Thoughts: Another wonderful Natalie Babbit book! She is one of my favorite authors. If you remember when I highlighted another of her books, I put off reading this book as a child because I so fell in love with Search for Delicious that I didn't want to read anything else by her because I was afraid I would be disappointed! But when I finally read it, I was disappointed that I did not read it earlier.

This is a fascinating book that still holds up, considering how long ago it was written. Everything about it was beautifully done.

Monday, April 5, 2010

on my desk monday

Appropriately, I spent my Easter weekend painting an egg for the Open Fields Auction. Just like last time, despite my best efforts, I broke one of the eggs they sent. That is why they always send two!

But I was able to get the second one finished without any disasters. My Hong Kong birdcage (with the only kind of birds I don't feel guilty having in a cage!) served as inspiration for my egg, titled aviary:



Hope you like it!