Monday, May 26, 2008


I've been traveling so much that I tend to forget about the place where I actually live. I've been in the Boston area for more than 12 years now, on and off, and I think it's one of the best places for a children's book author and illustrator. I love when children's books seep into the real world like...

a children's bookstore called Curious George,
or a tree made into Pooh's house,

and a statue of ducklings.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

egg auction

So on Saturday, I drove 2 hours (I kind of didn't realize how long of a drive it was going to be) to go to the Open Fields Egg Auction where, if you remember, I contributed an egg to be auctioned off. And I'm really glad that I did. Like the snowflakes, nothing compares to seeing the original art in person. They were so lovely, I was quickly circling my list to for possible bidding. Did I want Marla Frazee's? Ashley Bryan's?

Or should I bid on my own? But, unlike Robert's Snow, the auction for the eggs is done live, not anonymously online. So, if I tried to up my own egg price, it would be quite obvious that I was a big loser. Darn!

Luckily, I didn't need to--it went for a very respectable price. It did make me wonder what that broken egg might have gone for.

And I got to get in on the action as well. In a heated competition with a grandfather who seemed to be buying up all the eggs (he must have thought of them as investment property) I finally won the egg I had my eye on...

It's called Twilight, by Mary Peterson. She's not a children's book illustrator but she's a beautiful egg painter, don't you think?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008


After a presentation at a recent school visit, I was rather surprised to see a group of third graders in the library reading my blog. I was pleased that I had made such an impression that they wanted to learn more about me; but I suddenly realized that maybe my personal blog is...too personal.

So, I have begun to shift things around regarding my blog(s). I'm trying to separate things more--I've made a gracenotes blog which I will attempt to make my "official" blog. It'll have almost all the same posts as I have here minus the more inner thoughts. I don't really want to close this blog down or make it invitation only just yet-- but if those of you who have me on a blogroll could change the link to gracenotes blog, I'd appreciate it. It's kind of strange to say, but I don't want any new readers on this blog. I feel like those of you who already read this are friends, tried and true. And while I always welcome a new friend, I feel like the gracenotes blog might be a better way to make an acquaintance. Especially if they are third graders.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


During my recent trip to visit my sister and her kids, my niece gravely informed that she when she grew up she was going to be artist like me(as well as a princess and soccer player). "Really?" I said, "Then let's draw a picture. Draw me your favorite thing that we did together!"

I thought that was a pretty good, open-ended subject-- I particularly wanted to see what the four year old mind remembered and treasured. And there was plenty to choose from, we did SO much. We did our nails,

visited the U of Chicago campus,
went to the aquarium,
and music class:
Like I said, plenty to choose from, right? Well, she drew me this:

Ah, darpl! Of course!(When I asked her what darpl was she laughed and ran away).

Friday, May 9, 2008

i'm a dope

So, I've been traveling, writing, and having many a technology crisis...but that doesn't excuse the fact that I've let my mail pile up unopened. It's only today, after being stricken with germs from my sister's kids, that I have finally began to peruse the pile.

And there are fan letters in there, quite a few and almost all from kids. One line breaks my heart, "I'm related to Dun-Wei," one boy writes, "because I moved to this country and nobody wanted to talk to me."

Dear friends, I'm sorry. I truly apologize if you never heard from me, I never respond to your comment or you only receive a response a year after you sent me something. Despite my thoughtless actions, I treasure each one of you. So many of you have told me what my work meant something to you; and when times were hard your words helped me believe and gave me strength. Thank you. You are wonderful! And I am a disorganized mess.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Random House just made an e-card with the art from Bringing in the New Year! It is very neat--with an animated dragon and exploding fireworks.
Did you forget to send out Chinese New Year greetings? Because it's perfect for those late wishes, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


One of the things that my sister and her daughter do nightly is "journal." It's the time where Lily dictates whatever she wants and Lissy (my sister) writes it down exactly. Usually it is about the daily events, but sometimes Lily talks about what she wishes could happen (she wants to have a princess birthday party) or makes up stories. I found the stories particularly fascinating. Here is an example:
We were looking for the magic pen and then I had the magic pen. I couldn’t get back to where it was supposed to be. It led it to a genie. It could have a genie. Genie came out. It said, “Oh that’s my magic pen.” And he took it and he put himself back , then the magic pen was dead.

I really don't know what to say to that. It might be genius.

Monday, May 5, 2008

kite flying

I've just returned from a week of visiting my older sister, niece and nephew in Chicago and what a time it was-- keeping up with an active 4 year old and baby is exhausting. But fun! One of the many things we did was go to a kite festival.

This was especially heartwarming for me due to the obvious connection to my book, Kite-Flying. That book was inspired by my own childhood memories of flying kites; it was a lovely circle to experience it again, this time as an adult watching a child enjoy it for the first time.

Because with the wind blowing, we made the kite,
decorated it (that is a drawing of a bird, by the way)

and then flew it in the sky.

It joined the rest of the kites--talking to the wind,

just like the book!