Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where the Mountain Meets the School

When schools ask me do to my "Behind Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Presentation," I always make sure they read the curriculum guidelines. That is because it is a presentation that can go extremely well or...not. It's a presentation that needs the students to have actually read (or heard) the book. The better the students know the book, the better the presentation goes.

Which is why I was filled with great joy during one of my school visits in Arizona. Not only had the students of Zaharis School been read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, each class did a project on it.

In one of the younger classes, the students answered what they, themselves, would as the Old Man of the Moon:
And another class did an-depth study of the book and created this lovely board:
(It says"We are all puddles awaiting the rain of characters that create ripples which expands our boundaries until we become oceans")

character names are on the raindrops!

and the ocean is made of story line "ripples"

An older class wrote stories about meeting different characters from the book:

While another class wrote about their favorite part and what they learned from the book (I love the accompanying drawings!):
And other classes wrote poetry:

With all this preparation, the presentation went amazingly well and I was so thrilled how much my book was enjoyed. I'm hopeful that this will inspire other schools that request the "Behind Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" presentation.
Thank you, Zaharis School!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I've been watching all the devastation in Japan with a great deal of sadness. I'm hoping to do a little charity of my own for Japan in the future but in the meantime, I've donated 3 prints from my etsy shop to the KidLit4Japan auctions! There's lots of great stuff on auction, so don't miss out.

These are the prints I donated:

BID HERE for this print!

BID HERE for this print

Bid HERE for this print

School Visit Photo Album, Arizona

I did a whole week of school visits in arizona and all the schools were very welcoming. See how welcoming they were?
Pretty good likeness, huh?

But what made me feel even more welcomed were how the schools used my books.

One school had a bookmark contest, where students designed bookmarks inspired by my books:

One class wrote moon poems in honor of Thanking the Moon:

Because of The Year of the Dog and The Year of the Rat there was a lot of interest in the Chinese Zodiac:
One class, inspired by The Year of the Dog wrote about their own family traditions:
And another class wrote their wishes for the year, inspired by The Year of the Rat:
It was great being brought to Arizona!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

booktalk tuesday

Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

IndieBound Description: "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.

As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?

Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.

My thoughts:Lots of fun! Action, adventure, and exciting mystery--what more could one want? These books are a bit long so might not be for the reluctant reader, but for the undaunted student who likes a nice thick book this is sure to be favorite!

Monday, March 28, 2011

on my desk monday

To promote the Chinese edition of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon there was an article of me in Taiwan's newspaper the China Times. I have no idea what is says, but my mom tells me it is quite nice!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Friday, March 25, 2011

fortune cookie friday

"Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values."
-Dalai Lama

Thursday, March 24, 2011

drawing on the wall

Mary, my lovely librarian hostess in Arizona is something of a children's book author/illustrator kingpin. She has entertained countless children's book literati at her home for dinner and in the last couple of years has asked them to "sign her wall."

I, myself, added my mark to her wall--to pay for that great orange juice and also because I always feel a bit cheerfully mischievous when I draw on a wall (flashbacks to my Mom telling me not to when I was a child).

Though, I was a bit nervous, considering my drawing would be next to drawings of luminaries such as David Catrow, Jack Gantos, and my friend Meghan McCarthy.But I think my dragon turned out okay, even though it did neighbor Brian Lies's great bat drawing:

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

drinking paradise

So I was in Arizona for a week of school visits and the Tucson Book Festival and it was great fun. I have lots of fond memories, but I have to admit what I am missing the most is the amazing, fresh-squeezed orange juice that my lovely librarian host spoiled me with.

Mary, my librarian host, had two orange trees in her backyard laden with fruit:
which she harvested regularly:
and let me make into juice!

she had an electric juicer which made the process quite exciting (and quick):
I think about 6 oranges made this jug--those oranges were very juicy!
and delicious!Ahh, freshly squeezed orange juice from fruit just picked off a's a sublime liquid that cannot be described. It is really just like drinking paradise!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

booktalk tuesday

Me and Rolly Maloo by Janet S. Wong

IndieBound Description:
When popular Rolly Maloo asks outcast Jenna Lee to help her cheat on a math test, Jenna doesn't know what to do. Cheating is wrong. But maybe Rolly just needs a little help?

My Thoughts:
A very timely book! Half-told in a graphic novel format, this explores the reasons and consequences of cheating in a realistic and accessible way. What is extremely interesting to me is that there are several scenes of the mothers talking to each other, subtly showing the pressures that kids face that make them turn to cheating. This particularly struck home to me, as the adult book Hymn of the Tiger Mother (please don't purchase it, borrow it from the library if you want to read it) has caused huge waves and controversy. In that book, the mother expounds and praises the high pressure Chinese result/accomplishment-oriented methodology of raising kids. That methodology may "work," but the intense pressure can cause desperate actions-- which I saw as I watched my Asian-American classmates cheat their way to the top of the class...but I digress.

Monday, March 21, 2011

on my desk monday

I've been gazing looking at my photos of last Saturday's super moon! My photos aren't as impressive as others, but I'm still hoping it gives me inspiration for my new novel!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is: