Book Festivals are fun!

Book Festivals - I love them! Not only do you get to meet great kids who are excited about reading, parents who are excited about kids reading, you also get to visit with lots of great authors and illustrators.

Yesterday I was part of Cape Elizabeth, ME, Book festival - their first and they did a great job! Over 30 exhibitors and a wonderful flow of people all day. Makes the heart sing!

Here are a few pics of the day ...

A young fan in disguise with All Star Cheerleaders.

The Big Apple tells all.

 Scott Nash and Stephen Costanza, duelling illustrators.

 At the ready ...

Toodles!
Hazel



Summer NESCBWI Banner

This week I was asked to create a banner for New England's SCBWI Facebook page. This was an honour and a lot of fun to do. What better than lobster and water on a day that was over 90F .. phew, Maine!

Here is the banner.


View it on Facebook at NESCBWI page

I wanted to keep it fun and lively, so it's one of my digital drawings straight into Photoshop, no sketching. It stops me overthinking and it's a style that is appealing to younger eyes. And older ones too I hope!

Right now I am packing to go to ALA (American Library Conference) in Anaheim, CA. This is my first time at a big library conference and it's exciting. I have two book signings, so if you are going, catch me at Kane Miller (with Anastasia Suen, author of 'All Star Cheerleaders') at 11am Saturday and at Charlesbridge's booth Saturday 2-3pm signing 'Hidden New Jersey'.

I am looking forward to meeting LIBRARIANS and catching up with some industry friends. So please come and say HELLO!

There will be photos ...

Right, back to packing.

Toodles
Hazel

On the bedside table:
A slew of Emily Gravett picture books
'Picture This' and 'What it is' by Lynda Barry - recommend highly.

Spring is Sprung

At last - birds, grass, decent temperatures. Things are looking UP in Maine. Put the fence up over on the big field (in winter the snowmobile path goes across it) and turned out our horses. There was galloping and bucking and BIG farts. (They do that when they are happy). Me, I just do the galloping and bucking bit.

Last weekend I trotted off to Boston with some girl friends. We had a blast, the sun shone and it was 50 or so degrees. Even the daffs were flowering! Stayed at a lovely little hotel (John Jeffries House on Beacon Hill.) It was good to get away from the studio, see some sights and people, eat (too much) at nice restaurants and browse in galleries. One of the fun things is getting on the DownEaster Train in Portland and cruising to Boston North Station. Nice not to drive, kick back and relax, have a drink ;-).

Saturday night we went to the Opera House and saw Mary Poppins, the Broadway cast. Just stunning! Great set, singing and an escape from reality. I particularly enjoyed the sets, which were very illustrative and made to work like a doll's house. Of course Disney always but on a great show, love' em or hate 'em. Well I loved it and took some inspiration from it.



More inspiration on Sunday - Boston Museum of Fine Arts. One afternoon is far too little time to do it properly - and viewing fatigue sets in after a while. It was good to sit and contemplate amongst old masters, the paintings old friends from books and posters, from essays written at college and lectures received. So I mused among the Impressionists and spent a while with John Singer Sargent and his beautiful brushwork. Roamed in the Egyptian room and pootled in the new Art of the Americas wing. Totally missed the musical instruments and costume though. Rats.


And in breathing the atmosphere it reminds you that this is still just paint on canvas, one brush stroke, one observation at a time. Take that home and recall that what you do is not so much different.

Meanwhile back in my real life ... still trying to throw off the kidney stone episode with has left me pretty exhausted. I am deep in to the compositions for 'Hidden New Jersey' for Charlesbridge. There is a lot of detail and research for each spread ... they are packed cock-a-hoop full of history. Hopefully I can share them here soon. There's a lot of work to do before then though!

Good news also this week - 'How to Talk to an Autistic Kid' goes on sale from Free Spirit Publishing. I received my copy and it looks fab! You can buy it now on Amazon If you have a child who is in contact with an Autistic child, perhaps at school, or just to educate them that an Autistic child acts a little differently but is highly intelligent, this is a great book. Also if your feeling generous, purchase a copy for your school or library. If you would like a signed copy, please let me know and I will try to arrange it.








Lastly, really pleased to find out that Corinna Elementary School (about 10 miles from me in Maine) has received a grant enabling me to work with 4th graders in the next several weeks to produce a book. Hopefully we will publish through Lulu and put it on Amazon ... watch out for that! More chances to spend $$!

I hope Spring is with you now where ever you are and you are looking forward to a beautiful year.

Ta Ta For Now

Hazel
aka
The Wacky Brit

On the bedside table -
Writing Magic - Gail Carson Levine
When I Grow Up - Al Yankovic and Wes Hargis