Saturday, March 30, 2013

Book spine fun

My local indie bookstore's most recent Shelf Awareness issue features Nina Katchadourian's new SORTED BOOKS, an insightful and fun introduction to the idea of rearranging books to form dialogues, jokes, fragments, questions and poetry.
Buy Nina's book at your favorite indie bookstore, or from Schulers, where I sip tea and write books.

Travis Jonker at 100 Scope Notes (now part of the School Library Journal blog family) has been displaying book spine poetry for years, too. And he's put out a call for entries.

Every other time he called for entries I told myself I was too busy and couldn't participate.
Well, I am still busy.
(This is March Is Reading Month! Charlie and I trekked through rain, sleet, and snow to speak to zillions of schoolkids about how to become better writers. And I am on deadline for the 6th Ellie McDoodle book.)

But this time I heed Travis's call.

My book spine poem is about Ellie McDoodle and her love for taking a notepad into nature and documenting what she sees -- and the line at the end exhorts us all to follow her.
Click on the image to see it larger.

The book titles, top to bottom:

Picture This                                       (by Molly Bang)
The Call of the Wild                          (by Jack London)
In the Nick of Time                           (Ed: Anne Van Wagner Childs)
Someone Like You                            (by Sarah Dessen)
Ellie McDoodle                                 (by Ruth McNally Barshaw)
Alive                                                   (by Piers Paul Read)
Awake to Wildlife                              (by Tim Nowicki)
Go Girl!                                              (by Hannah Storm)
Loving the Earth                                (by Frederic Lehrman)
Thinking Visually                               (by Mark Wigan)
Pencil Sketching                                (by Thomas C. Wang)
Pictures of Hollis Woods                   (by Patricia Reilly Giff)
Great Expectations                            (by Charles Dickens)
The World of Incredible Outdoor Adventures by Field & Stream
Star in the Forest                               (by Laura Resau)
Now We Can Go                                (by Ann Jonas)

Try your own Book Spine Poetry! Tell Travis about it.
Take a notebook out into the woods. Tell me about it.
Now we can go!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ellie McDoodle is in China! And More News...

The sale of Ellie McDoodle simplified Chinese rights for the first four books was announced this week. This brings a whole new (huge!) audience for the Ellie McDoodle Diaries. Welcome, readers in China!
You join the readers in North America, Italy, France, Turkey, and South Korea.

Ellie McDoodle gets a makeover this May,
with a new cover for every book:

Did you notice the new name, too? The Ellie McDoodle Diaries are coming to a bookstore or library near you!
Ellie herself remains the same, though. She's a strong, smart kid who always has a journal with her to capture her adventures in. Ellie was made in Michigan but she's destined to travel the whole world.

Book 5 comes out on May 28. In it, Ellie and her friends put on a play: The Wizard of Oz. Their version is based on both The Wizard of Oz book (published in 1900) and The Wizard of Oz film (1939). The Wizard of Oz is one of the best known and most beloved books of all time. The film has been my favorite since the Wicked Witch of the West scared the bejeebers out of me when I was 4. My book, The Ellie McDoodle Diaries: The Show Must Go On, is my tribute to the creative minds who put together the original book and film. I added a few things that aren't in the originals -- like Evil Toto:
(Don't worry! Dorothy and Ellie are in no danger. And you might be glad to know that no cairn terriers nor flying monkeys were injured in the writing and illustrating of this book)

What else is new: My website!!! 
Go check it out:
Kids especially like the character pages:
and the peek at some of my other work: .

March is Reading Month! Charlie (my husband and helper) and I are winding up a very, very busy month of school, book festival, and teacher conference appearances. More on some of that, later. For now, let me just say that I am pretty sure I get the BEST fan mail of any author or illustrator, anywhere. Ellie McDoodle fans often send doodles and illustrated notes. I will share some with you as soon as I get my book deadlines handled.
Which reminds me...

Book 6 is on the way! It's about elections and confidence and believing in yourself and ... well, I am not sure yet what else it's about. I'm still writing the outline. But I do know this: The book comes out next year, so I need to stay on top of the deadlines. 
When things settle down here, I will share some first draft art and writing with you. (Well, after I've written and drawn it. I haven't gotten to that stage, yet. Maybe I will share some first draft writing and art from book 5 -- that one's done.)
Warning: You might not recognize any of it. My first draft writing and art is very different from my final book writing and art. I make a lot of mistakes and I need lots of revisions before my work is ready to put in a book. Luckily, I have a wise editor and a critique group of smart writers to help me.

That's it for now. I'll post more news soon. Thanks for stopping by!