Friday, December 2, 2011

Life Imitates Art

October (& November) came and went with much fan fare, and I'm only now recovering from all the dressing-up hoopla. With the release of my book, Every-Day Dress-Up, falling so close to the most popular dress-up holiday of the year, it was an explosion of self-promotion and costume-making creativity. For Halloween, I designated my daughter Ginger, as the great Amelia Earhart, for whom the protagonist imitates. A little bit of back story (if you haven't read my book yet): Each day of the week the girl dresses-up as a different woman from history using things she finds around the house to make her costumes. Nifty, huh? This concept is true to my heart; The idea of reusing materials appeals to both my creative impulses and my environmental agenda. So, I made her mask out of a bathing cap, goggles and buttons, and I converted her stroller into an airplane with cardboard, craft paper and paint. Her brother's button down shirt and a scarf provided the final touches. G wore the outfit with just the right amount of sass and aplomb. At 3 1/2, I think it was the first year she really 'got' who she was, and owned it! Of course, I've read her the book about a million times– which helped. I've posted some photos of my daughter in costume, the illustration from Every-Day Dress-Up, plus a pic of the great Ms. Earhart herself.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Launch Party!

BookCourt hosted a fabulous kick-off for EVERY-DAY DRESS-UP Saturday night. The evening could not have been better; good friends, wine & cheese, revved-up kids, and books! Here are some pictures. P.S. Ginger & I dressed up as characters from the book. Can you guess who we are?

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Season, New Events.

Happy Fall!

I'm pleased to announce that Every-Day Dress-Up comes out on October 11! In this book, the heroine ditches her princess duds in favor of costumes inspired by real women.

Kirkus Reviews calls it, "a happy antidote to the princess plague". I'm so excited about this book that I both wrote and illustrated, my first since, 'I'm Your Peanut Butter Big Brother'.

Here's my Fall schedule:

Book Court Every-Day Dress-Up Book Release Party! Oct 15 @ 7 PM. 163 Court St., Brooklyn.
Wine, cheese, books & fun! For adults and kids.

MiniMax Toys & Books Story Time! Oct 11 @ 10 AM (Every-Day Dress-Up's birthday!). 152 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn.
Story time for kids & parents.

MiniMax Toys & Books Costume Making Workshop! Oct 28 @ 3:30 - 5:30 PM. 152 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn.
A reading of my book will be followed by creating original, alternative costumes for girls & boys 2-7 years old. Just in time for Halloween!

Community Bookstore Story Time! Oct 23 @ 11 am. 143 7th Ave., Brooklyn.
Story time for kids & parents.

Botanic Garden Ghouls & Gourds Festival! I'll be at the spooky book barn. Oct 29 @ 12 - 4 PM. 1000 Washington Ave., Brooklyn.
All afternoon signing & reading. Meet other great authors, too!

Books of Wonder Panel of Children's Book Makers. Nov 5 @ 12 - 2. 18 West 18th, NYC.

Brooklyn Museum Book Fair! Nov 19 @ 12 - 4 PM. 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn.
All afternoon signing & reading. Meet other great authors, too!

Boulevard Books & Cafe Dress-Up Party! Dec 28 @ 11am. 7518 13th Ave., Brooklyn.
Book reading and alternative holiday dress-up. Fun family activity during school break!

And finally, my website has been recently updated with Every-Day Dress-Up available for pre-order. Hooray! The link to pre-order is on the homepage:

Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Subway Workshop

After a reading of My Subway Ride, 20 kids made their own subway cars at the King's Highway Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library yesterday. I've been doing these workshops over the past year and it's always amazing to see what different kids will come up with. So inspiring!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ALA + Nola

New Orleans!

My first introduction to the fabulous city rich with all sorts of mixes.

The Creole people are a combo of Spanish, French and African American– creating divine cuisine (definitely not easy on the hips!). Sean and I indulged in a mix of delicious rich fried foods and fine dining, including beignets, cafe au lait, creamy pralines, seafood, oysters and bananas flambe.

We attempted a mix of ALA (convention floor walking, signings & cocktail parties) with touring the city. We saw some of the Katrina ravaged neighborhoods (a mix of sadness and, to my surprise, hope– in the rebuilding efforts), and funky areas like the French Quarter and the Merigny. Way too much for just 4 days!

These pictures show Sean and I together with colleagues in the picture book world from all over; An incredible gumbo of artists and writers converged at the end of June in The Big Easy.

(Top - bottom: random art in the French Quarter, Sean signing at S&S, Sean changing the guard to Brian Floca, Sean & Selina with Yugi Morales & Maya Soetoro-Ng, Selina with Rebecca Sherman & Grace Lin, beignets, Sean with Wilder recipient Tomie dePaola, Sean with Caldecott honor recipient David Ezra Stein & family, Selina with Newbery honor recipient Jennifer L. Holm.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kalman, Bearden & Rockwell

Forgive me, I've been lax with blogging and social media stuff lately. It might not be a bad thing. Instead, I've been letting inspiration hit me in the real world by going to museums and galleries, visiting book stores, reading, writing, and spending time with my children.

A sampling of some of my favorites by: Maira Kalman, Romare Bearden and Norman Rockwell.

On the book making front: I've begun painting art for Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama– looks like I'll be doing the holidays in my studio all summer... Also, something I've discovered is that I like doing research, as I try my hand at non-fiction writing for children (I can't say much about the project at this early stage– just that I'm inspired!) Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

South Orange Show

For the entire month of March in South Orange, N.J., the Book Maker's Dozen has a show of prints at Sparkhouse Studio. At the wild opening event there were workshops, book readings, interactive drawings– and in spite of the torrential downpour– a crowd of more than 250 people. Those South Orangers know how to party! I am pleased to say the show with 26 images from many beloved picture books remains up in their gallery this whole month. Two of my prints, Coney Island (from next year's B is for Brooklyn) and Map of New York (from Greetings from the 50 States) are included at just 100 bucks a pop.

Toys * Books * Awesomeness
15 Scotland Road
South Orange, NJ

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cheers to my Gal Peers!

Yesterday marked International Women's Day– Hooray! All month long, as we march toward spring, we celebrate the accomplishments of women past and present. Above is an image from my upcoming book, EVERY DAY DRESS UP (10/'11 Knopf). Appropriately costumed, Elizabeth Cady Stanton leads the way for Eleanor Roosevelt, Sonia Sotomayor - and women all over - to have equal rights and representation. Happy Women's History month to all you lovely ladies!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Picture Book Art Opening

Wow, that was some winter! It was truly not fun feeling trapped at home with endless snowstorms and the bitter cold outdoors. But now that the groundhog's predictions might just be coming true, this Friday is a perfect opportunity to venture out! Powerhouse Arena is having a show of The Dozen's art (not just prints this time!) and the opening is this Friday night. Hope to see you there. Personally, I'm looking forward to kicking back and sipping wine surrounded by great art and illustrators alike. Bring it!

Friday, March 4th
6 - 8 PM
Powerhouse Arena
37 Main Street, DUMBO

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Pink Debate

I'll admit it, I like pink. It happens to be a flattering color for me to wear. And I don't really have a problem dressing my daughter in pink. Especially since we get so many nifty hand-me-downs. Who I am to refuse free clothes?

Yet with my daughter about to turn 3, I have mixed feelings about the seemingly inevitable princess dress-up phase.

I'm looking forward to working through some of these conflicting feelings by reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter, which was reviewed in this Sunday's Times.

It seems there are many things to question. One thing that struck me is that pre-2000 there were no mass-produced Disney princess outfits for dress-up. That is, until a brilliant marketer capitalized on the natural gender identification age, and turned it into a multi-billion dollar industry.

For those mothers (or aunts or grandmothers or family friends!) who might be looking for an alternative to the panoply of princess dress-up books out there, my next book Every-Day Dress-Up might be just the solution.

I offer girls a chance to learn about real women who have done great things with their lives. The heroine dons outfits of such icons as: Frida Kahlo, Marie Curry, Eleanor Roosevelt and Julia Child, every day of the week.

There's probably no way to avoid the 'princessification' of girls entirely. But, why not give our impressionable daughters some alternatives?

Every-Day Dress-Up (Knopf) comes out this Fall. More to come!