Monday, April 30, 2012

on my desk monday

My publisher sent me a copy of Stone Soup, a really neat magazine that is by children. It is filled with art, short stories by students. I would've loved to have known about this magazine when I was in elementary school. It's perfect for aspiring student authors and illustrators...

as well as aspiring book reviewers! Because Stone Soup also has book reviews,  there was a lovely one for Dumpling Days written by 10 year old Emily Chen:

Thanks, Emily!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

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:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

If you are in MN, please go see this!

If you are in MN, please go see the Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Production being put on by the Stages Theatre company! Last night was the opening night, and I heard it was sold out! I so wanted to go and see this; if it weren't for Baby Rain Dragon's upcoming arrival soon (eeks!), I would've made a point of flying out just for this. This is kind of one of those "dream-come-true" dreams for an author, so I'm sad that I couldn't make it.  But, if you are local to the area, please go and see it and tell me what it was like! It looks like there are shows until May 20th.

Here is a link to a TV interview with the actors. Isn't the girl who plays Minli adorable? She looks exactly like I pictured her!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pocket Pacy in Slovakia

A lovely attendee of my Dumpling Days Book Launch took her Pocket Pacy to Central Europe!  Pocket Pacy was in Slovakia! You can see the photos at this link but here is a sneak preview:

Here Pocket Pacy is in front of the Bojnice Castle in Slovakia. Does she look a little cold to you?

Regardless, she had plenty to read! Here she is with the Slovak version of "Tales of the Beedle the Bard":

She also had plenty to eat! Pocket Pacy and pierogies!

And then she went skiing. Do you think she went skiing on this mammoth Slovak blueberry dumpling or the mountains in the background? I'm guessing the dumpling, personally.

But I'm sure she had a wonderful time! I'm jealous!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

hometown visit

My trip to Ohio was my last airplane trip until next spring. There's still a little bit of time before Baby Rain Dragon makes her appearance, but she is definitely coming. Because of that, the rest of my school visits are via car, being chauffeured by the Sasquatch.

I prefer traveling to school visits this way, anyway!
And one trip is made to New Hartford, NY. For those of you who have read Year of the Dog, you'll know that is where Pacy lives and also where I grew up. Yes, I was doing a school visit in my hometown!

It was fun to be back, though I wished I could really show the Rain Dragon all the sights. Well, maybe she still sensed it.

Because the school did so many wonderful things! Decorating the walls were painted ink dragons:

The ceilings had beautiful kites:

And sculpted dragons watched on the bookshelf:
these are soo much better than the ashtrays I made at their age

I coveted this paper crane mobile:

which they gave me (as well as a case of pocket people) as a gift! Wasn't that sweet? I was so thrilled!

But the fortunes on the wall summed up the day for me. They were all full of good wishes and welcome.

Especially this one:
"Your baby will be joyful."
With all these kind thoughts, I'm sure she will be! Thanks so much, New Hartford!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Attention, Book Groups!

Were you a member of a book group (like a mother-daughter book club) that read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon?  Tell me about it at and I will try to get you an  advanced reading copy of Starry River of the Sky! I will only be getting a limited number of these (and should be receiving them soon, I'm just making a list now) and I can't promise to give one to every group that contacts me (sorry, I wish I could!), so please make sure you tell me why YOUR group should get one. Don't forget to include your mailing address!

These are advanced reading copies, which means they are publisher's "rough drafts." There are still typos and mistakes in it and the artwork is either missing or only in sketch form.  The final book comes out in October, so these are special sneak peaks!

booktalk tuesday

Heidi, by Johanna Spyri

IndieBound Description:

Heidi is five when she is sent to live with her grandfather in his lonely hut in the Alps. She quickly grows to love her carefree life with him in the mountain air, and the old man comes to love her, too. They are both unhappy when Heidi is sent away again, to a family in town, but she soon manages to get home to her Alps - and to share her happiness with her new friends.

My Thoughts:
Such a classic! It made me long to drink goat's milk...but when I finally did, I wasn't as enamored by it as Heidi was. Regardless, a  book that everyone should know!

Monday, April 23, 2012

on my desk monday

A beautiful crane mobile, another lovely gift from the school in Upstate NY (which I will post about this week, promise).

I can wait to hang it over the Rain Dragon's bed!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

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, April 20, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pocket Pacy Picture of the Week

9 year old Annalise would bring her Pocket Pacy to Africa!

*Don't forget, you can win your own Pocket Pacy by doing a drawing just like this! See details HERE!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

a welcoming week in Ohio

In March, I did a marathon of school visits--with Rain Dragon coming, these are my last presentations until next spring--so I wanted to squeeze in as many as possible. And I was very glad (and lucky) that  on the schedule was a week of schools in Cincinnati, OH.

Every school gave me such a warm welcome!  From the parking lot:

to the foyers:

I was greeted with dragons:


and even Ling and Ting!

One school even performed for me, with a Chinese folk song and ribbon dance:

isn't that amazing?

Because these Ohio schools really loved reading and books! One school decided to make a dragon, with the scales representing student reading (I think every time a student finished a book they could add a scale onto the dragon). As you can see, it became a very, very long dragon!

it just went on and on and on!

I was incredibly impressed when at an afternoon event they specifically served all the food that was mentioned in Dumpling Days. From the pineapple cakes:

to Pocky and oranges:

and, of course, the dumplings!

I wish I had had them cater my Dumpling Days book launch!

All the schools were so wonderful that it would be impossible to mention all the great things they each did. But I will finish this post with this introduction that the students gave me before one of my presentations:

Isn't that sweet? I've never been introduced like that before!

Thanks so much, Ohio schools!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

booktalk tuesday

The Trumpet of the Swan, by EB White

IndieBound Description:

Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can't trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can't even make a sound. And since he can't trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him.

Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena's affection -- he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

My Thoughts: Recently, a school told me that they chose Where the Mountain Meets the Moon as their One Book, One School choice. They were particularly pleased with it because it was one of the few books they had chosen that they felt confident that all ages, from K-5, could really enjoy. "The only other book we felt that way about was 'The Trumpet of the Swan,'" the librarian told me. I found that to be extremely high praise!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

on my desk monday

A whole case of pocket people!

This is a gift from a lovely school visit I did in Upstate NY...more on that later!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

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:
rain boots
雨 靴

Saturday, April 14, 2012

on the way to the grocery store

This stretch of street is usually not very picturesque, but with the trees in bloom it is like walking in a dream:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pocket Pacy Picture of the Week

I've been sent so many lovely  pictures for the Pocket Pacy contest (so many that I had to choose winners by random drawing)! I've decided that I must share them. This week's picture is from Amelia, a young reader who would bring Pocket Pacy to fairyland!

I like Pocket Pacy's pink skirt and shoes, don't you?

*Don't forget, you can win your own Pocket Pacy by doing a drawing just like this! See details HERE!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Beaverton, OR

The most snow I've seen this winter year has been in Beaverton (right near Portland), Oregon:

isn't it rather magical looking? 

where I did visited some lovely schools, one on Dr. Seuss's birthday! I was warmly welcomed by the Cat in the Hat:

The librarian, Molly Sloan!
as well as signs and displays:

The students did amazing projects with my books, including this one using the idea of the red thread:

these are posters where students drew red threads to all the people connected to them
I especially liked these poems inspired by Where the Mountain Meets the Moon:

I thought this was a fascinating process!

A soft gentle breeze
A scarlet dragon soaring
Sweet blossoms flutter

Red Dragon on ground
Rope bridge across blue sky
Young girl excited

Portland is beautiful city and the students, librarians and staff were wonderful! The students were so enthusiastic and there was a lovely article about my visit in the newspaper.

I was so touched by how much the  students enjoyed my books, as evidenced by the book order for me to autograph. I love signing my books, so the large pile of books was nice to see. However, I have to admit the homemade, mouth-wateringly delicious, chocolate-covered cream puffs that accompanied the waiting books were just as nice to see:

YUM! Thanks so much, Beaverton schools!