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Interview with author Teresa Harris - (plus an American Girl ® Gabriela, book giveaway!)

I am happy to share in the excitement of the new

American Girl® -Gabriela McBride™; Girl of the Year® 2017 with this author interview and giveaway!

American Girl Gabriella

American Girl is excited to celebrate the New Year with the debut of its 2017 Girl of the Year - Gabriela McBride! Gabriela is a true talent who uses her passion for the arts—specifically spoken word poetry—to overcome personal obstacles and create positive change for her community. Gabriela launches with a beautiful 18-inch doll, plus several performance-inspired outfits, accessories, and toys.
 
 
Learn more about Gabriela and the development of her character by reading this series of questions and answers with author Teresa E. Harris:
Theresa Harris
Teresa E. Harris

Teresa E. Harris earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Columbia University and an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College, where she won numerous awards, including the Flying Pig Grade-A, Number-One Ham Humor Award. She is the author of the picture book Summer Jackson: Grown Up and the middle grade novel The Perfect Place, which was selected as one of Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the Year in 2015. Teresa is a high school English teacher in New Jersey, where she lives with three very bossy cats. She spends most of her time grading papers, writing novels, and wishing she could dance like Gabby.

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Teresa,  can you tell us a little bit about yourself?     Where do you live?  Tell us about your family.  What are your interests?  I grew up in Teaneck, a town in Northern New Jersey. Now I live just a few minutes away from where I grew up in a town called Hackensack.   Unlike Gabriela, who is an only child, I have two sisters and one brother, all older than me. As the youngest, I got away with a lot more than my older siblings.   My interests?  I read—A LOT—and I try to make sure I read across all genres. I read a lot of children’s books (of course), but I also read a lot of political articles and blogs, blogs about celebrities, adult fiction, and because I’m a teacher, I spend a lot of time reading my students’ work too. As much as I love to read, my absolute favorite thing to do in my spare time is to write.

Please tell us about your writing career - your other books - and how you found your way to writing the Gabriela series for American Girl.  I have been writing for so long; I cannot even remember when I began. I used to come home from school and instead of doing my homework, I would dive into the worlds and characters I had created myself. One such story was about Buster and Twinkles, a pair of time-traveling cats. It was the first story I’d ever written and when I decided definitively that I wanted to be a writer.

To achieve that dream, I minored in creative writing at Columbia University and went on to receive a Masters degree in writing for children from Vermont College of Fine Arts. There, I wrote my first ever full-length novel, The Perfect Place, which I sold to Clarion Books. About two years later, I sold my first picture book, Summer Jackson: Grown Up, to HarperCollins. And then, when I was least expecting it back in 2016, an awesome editor at Scholastic, whom I had worked with previously contacted me about writing the Gabriela books for American Girl. I said yes, and wasted no time diving into Gabby’s world.

Tell us about Gabriela.
Gabriela is a triple threat; she’s a dancer, a poet, and comes to find that she is an activist. She stands up for what she believes in, never thinks twice about helping people and works hard to overcome challenges, both external and internal. One of Gabby’s major struggles is her stutter, which sometimes makes her feel like she is at war with her own words. However, when the city of Philadelphia threatens to shut down the Liberty Performing Arts Center, her second home, Gabby is determined to help. She puts her fear of public speaking aside and uses her voice to save the arts center.

How did you develop her character and stories?
This project was a collaboration between myself, Scholastic and American Girl.  As I mentioned earlier, an editor who I formerly worked with and who knew my work thought I would be a good fit for this project. From the initial outline, I knew that Gabby was a gifted dancer and poet. Then I was given the amazing task of filling in all the rest – her voice, energy and heart. I spent a lot of time imagining how Gabby – a poet, activist, and dancer – would tell her own story. I knew she’d be confident even in the face of self-doubt, lyrical with her words and have the ability to see the world in a unique way. I spent some time writing and rewriting scenes, until I found Gabby’s true voice.

Did you have any particular inspiration?  Because Gabby is a young poet, I conducted my research by reading poetry written by children and young adults and watching videos of children’s poetry competitions. To say I was impressed by the poems I read and the performers I watched is an understatement – I was awed and amazed. Those talented and brave girls and boys inspired me to find the poet within Gabby and, in turn, within myself.

What’s next for you?  The second book in Gabriela’s series comes out at the end of April and I absolutely can’t wait! In the meantime, I’m hard at work on my own second novel about a girl who is a witch but really, really, really wishes she wasn’t.

Anything else?  Stay tuned!

Thank you Teresa for this insightful interview!


In celebration of the release of the 2017 Girl of the Year, I have the privilege to share a fun giveaway!

Gabriella

Scholastic has given me 10 copies of the Gabriela book by Teresa E. Harris to give away to Kids and Eggs readers! 

To enter to win a copy of the first book in the Gabriela book, simply leave a comment on this post.   If your comment is selected by the random number generator, you'll win!  Giveaway ends 2/14/17 7:00 a.m CST

*Want even more chances? 

Follow Kids and Eggs on Instagram, and/or Facebook.  You can also give yourself another shot by sharing a link to this giveaway on your social media as well. 

Just make sure, whatever you do, you come back here and leave a comment letting me know how you shared.

Good luck!!

Comments are closed!  Scroll through the comments to see if you are a winner!


Interview with Deanna F. Cook (plus a giveaway for Farmers Market Create and Play Activity Book)

I am happy to share in the excitement of the debut of a delightful new book for children: 

Farmers Market Create and Play Activity Book 

It is my pleasure and privilege to share a recent conversation that I had with the award winning author Deanna F. Cook.

Meet Deanna:

Deanna

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself - where you live, your family, and your interests?

I’m the mother of two teenage girls (Ella and Maisie) who have inspired many of my books. I live in Northampton, Massachusetts where I love to cook, garden, and write. I’m from a big family—I’m one of six kids and I have lots of nieces and nephews. 

Please tell us how your writing career developed and has grown.

When I was a teenager, I loved to write and cook, and I wrote my first cookbook when I graduated from college. I travelled around the world and collected recipes for the Kid’s Multicultural Cookbook. After that, I worked for many years as a magazine editor, first at Scholastic then at FamilyFun magazine. I was the editor of all the FamilyFun books and often went on TV to share recipes and crafts including the Today Show and GMA and Food Network. I left FamilyFun in 2012 to spend more time with my girls and to write my own books. So far, I’ve written 4 new kids books, including Cooking Class, Teddy Bear Doctor, Horse Play, and now Farmer’s Market Create and Play Activity Book. I like to write books that encourage kids to be creative and imaginative. 

Tell us about your new book Farmer's Market Activity Book. Did you have any particular inspiration?

When my girls were little, they used to love to play store with pretend money. This book is all about how to play green grocer with the book’s pop out fruits and veggies, signs, price tags, play money, shopping lists, and more. My girls also loved gardening and going to the farmers market, and the book teaches kids all about the whole farm to table process through fun games and activities. 

What’s next for you?

I’m writing a kids baking book and I also started a part time job as an editor at Storey publishing, acquiring kids books and cookbooks. It’s fun to work on both sides of the desk as a writer and an editor. 

Anything else?

My website DeannaFCook.com shows some of the many fun projects I’ve been involved with over my career, from my kids’ books to my writing for Highlights, Kidstir.com, FamilyFun, and more. Take a peek!

Farmers Market Cover

I had an opportunity to review Deanna's new book and found it to be filled with engaging illustrations and fun hands-on activities for children and adults to create together to encourage open-ended play with a farmer's market theme.  IMG_5064

"Nana" working on the tractor with our 5 year old.

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IMG_5077Deanna has generously offered Kids and Eggs readers a chance to win a copy of her new book:

 Farmers Market Create-and-Play Activity Book features more than 100 stickers and nearly 150 punch-out paper pieces. Kids will have everything they need to set up a pretend farm — including gardening tools, plant markers, and a toy tractor — and then peddle their wares with signs, price tags, and a cute shoebox cash register. Fruit and veggie punch-outs do double duty as props and templates to make adorable felt versions to fill up their baskets. Games and activities sprinkled throughout help kids learn while they play, meaning that parents, too, will love this bounty of fun!

 

To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post.   If your comment is selected by the random number generator, you'll win!  Giveaway ends Dec. 1, 2016 7:00 a.m. CST

*Want even more chances? Earn bonus entries by:

  • Subscribing to Kids and Eggs via email (enter your email on sidebar)
  • Liking Kids and Eggs on Facebook
  • Sharing a link to this giveaway on your social media
  • Following Deanna on Twitter
  • Following  Deanna on Instagram.

Just make sure, whatever you do, that you come back here and leave a comment letting me know how you shared.  Good luck!

 

comments closed - the winner is # 9 - Tiffany!

Congratulations and thanks for reading!


Interview with Valerie Tripp - (plus an American Girl WellieWishers doll giveaway!)

I am happy to share in the excitement of the debut of the new American Girl Wellie Wishers! It is my pleasure and privilege to share a recent conversation that I had with the inspiring Valerie Trip, the individual who's imagination brought these characters to life through her stories.

Meet Valerie Trip!

ValerieTripp_Pic6Valerie Tripp is the author of more than 30 American Girl books, featuring the characters Felicity, Samantha, Josefina, Kit, Molly, Maryellen and many more.  She also writes for the Superkids Reading Program and the Boys Camp book series.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself - where you live, your family, and your interests?

I live in Silver Spring, MD with my wonderful husband, Michael, who teaches American History at a nearby college, and with our dog, Mr. Bingley. Our daughter, Katherine, is a graduate student in Seattle studying child development. Both my husband and I come from big families; my husband is one of 6 children and I am one of 5, and our noisy extended families often get together for parties, reunions, and weddings. Michael and I like to travel, especially to see our daughter, and we frequently to go to the National Parks. At home, my favorite pastime is reading – I LOVE to read – and I also enjoy walking-and-talking with my friends. I take lots of classes. Most recently, I’ve been studying poetry because I admire it so much. Here’s what Emily Dickinson wrote: “The possible’s slow fuse is lit by the imagination.” Isn’t that LOVELY? I visit lots of schools, libraries, scout troops, and book clubs and it is a great pleasure to meet the children who read my books. Truly, I’m interested and curious about EVERYTHING, and I do absolutely love to use my imagination – lighting that “slow fuse” of the possible – while I write.

Please tell us how your writing career developed and has grown with American Girl.

A year after I graduated from college, after I’d worked as a saleslady and a copy editor in Boston, I was hired by Pleasant Rowland to write songs, stories, plays, nonfiction essays, and skills book pages for a reading program called “The Superkids.” While Pleasant and I worked on the reading program together, we talked about the books we had loved as girls. Then Pleasant married and moved to Wisconsin and I married and moved to South Carolina. One day the phone rang and it was Pleasant. “I’ve had a great idea!” she said. Her great idea was American Girl: books about girls who lived in different periods of history written for readers of the same age as the characters. It has been my life’s privilege and delight that Pleasant trusted me to be the first “voice” of American Girl. In 1983, I wrote the first outlines of the stories for Kirsten, Molly, and Samantha. As the years went on and American Girl grew, I wrote about Felicity, Josefina, and Kit as well as the characters’ best friends: Emily, Nellie, Elizabeth, and Ruthie – and now Maryellen! So I began writing my American Girl books before American Girl existed, in a way, and it was all due to my friendship with Pleasant Rowland, the creator of American Girl. 

I learned while writing the American Girl books of historical fiction that if my reader became friends with my character, then my reader cared about what was happening to her friend whose family, for example, faces losing their house during the Depression, as with my character Kit, or Molly, whose father is off fighting in World War 2. I’ve applied that lesson of friendship to the WellieWisher stories. That is, I’m hoping that my WellieWisher reader will see how her friends in the garden solve disagreements, listen to one another, name emotions, use humor to apologize, have a conspiracy of kindness for a friend who’s in over her head.  My reader will feel welcome, will dive right into Welliewishers’ messy, adventurous, imaginative, giggly, goofy, creative play, where the rules of gravity in all senses of that word do not apply. They’ll share their great love of animals and the out of doors.

Though I’ve always loved research and thinking up stories, writing is still hard work for me. I’m persnickety and slow. I think I came to writing as a job because my favorite thing in the world is reading. (Don't you love books and stories and just immersing yourself in the world of a book?) Writing allows me to use my imagination, and I am grateful to have a job that requires me to create something new all the time. It’s a great challenge. 

Your ideas have come to life in the form of books, illustrations, playthings, movies and animation. How involved are you in these processes?  

I always feel that the illustrations teach me things about my characters that I did not know; the illustrations add 100% more to the story. In the case of the WellieWishers, I wrote long art specs because for a reader of this young age, the pictures and words are equally vital to comprehension. I love that the dolls invite my reader to lift the stories right up off the page and “play out” the story adventures – and make up adventures of their own devising -- for the characters. I often suggest how the dolls should look, and I suggest products, too. For example, I knew that Kit wanted to be a reporter, so I suggested that she have a typewriter. (It is very cute!) I always say to children, “The typewriter symbolizes Kit’s desire to write, and the fact that her dad repaired it for her symbolizes his encouragement. Think of all the ways that YOUR parents encourage YOU.”

How does it feel to have your stories and characters come to life in these ways?

It’s fun to see the characters grow and change by being presented in different media. I cannot WAIT to see the WellieWishers animated! The artist has brought them to lively life!

6a01053643b439970b01b8d1fcd412970c-800wiTell us about your new series about the WellieWishers.  

The WellieWishers are enthusiastic, eager, earnest, and energetic six-year-old friends who play together in a garden. They are curious, messy, imaginative, adventurous, and joyful. Though they are often giggly and goofy, they can be thoughtful, too, and gentle. They are distinct individuals with unique talents, passions, and quirks, but they are all creative, generous, good-hearted, and kind. Oh, and they all love animals and being out of doors! 

How did you develop these characters and stories?  

It was tremendous fun! 

I wanted the characters to be five distinct individuals, and I wanted to show that that the quiet girl can be noisy sometimes, and the exuberant girl can be insightful and thoughtful. I’ve never done this before, but for the WellieWisher characters I wrote long essays that I called “Personality, Products, and Purpose” – or P,P&P, for short – to define the character and I also made a chart. Here it is: Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 2.21.26 PMDid you have any particular inspiration? 

As with every book I write, my reader was my inspiration. I thought about her life, joys, challenges, hopes, and dreams. I know and love this age group. In my undergraduate work at Yale and graduate work at Harvard, I studied them and I’ve been creating materials for children ages 4 to 7 on-and-off since 1974, working with Pleasant Rowland on The Superkids Reading Program, so I am familiar with this developmental stage in terms of ability, interest, Piagetian level of moral comprehension, and Ericsonian stage of self-awareness. Also, I spend an enormous amount of time with school-age children and their families because of school, store, book club, and scout troops visits. I’m on my way to speak to a group of girls and mothers in one hour from now!!

This age is where we see the first glimmers of radical empathy. And oh, dear, in those school visits I have ached to see how teachers are so overburdened with academic goals for even their youngest students – talk about overburdened, the students are, too, so much so that there is no time any more for the sort of slow, organic, experiential learning for social-emotional skills like waiting, listening, or compassion, or how to be a good friend. I’m hoping that the WellieWishers’ stories will be like their garden: an island of good friends who treat one another – and the natural world – with respect and kindness. I really can’t think of anything more important to teach -- ever so gently –than kindness.

Another of my inspirations and hopes and goals for the WellieWisher stories is to show girls that they don’t need magic wands or powers. Not that the garden isn’t beguiling and enchanting and transformative. But magic – miraculous transformations -- happen through creativity, patience, imagination, and hard work. That kindness is magic, maybe all the magic any of us needs. 

And another inspiration is very personal. During all those library talks, school visits, Daisy and Brownie troop visits, and signings at American Girl stores, I’ve met hundred of young mothers who greet me as an old friend, who say to me, “Oh, I read your stories when I was a little girl. I grew up with your stories and now I have a daughter of my own to share them with!” I throw my arms around them! I tell them that they are my alums. 

I want to say to my alums: the Welliewisher stories are a gift for you now that you are a parent. And here’s my promise to you: the stories will be age-appropriate, with humor and joy, and hit the spot where your curious, merry, goofy, intense girls are in their lives. The stories will respect the reader enough to present multiple viable views. They’ll encourage girls to challenge the given wisdom and challenge dusty assumptions without being snarky. They’ll show that there’s a difference between a cheerful skepticism and cynicism: one is smart and healthy and the other is a dead end. They’ll show that we can love people with whom we disagree and disagree with people whom we love. They’ll celebrate the values of tolerance and compassion as well as the values of drive, hope, creativity, individuality, change, and work.

I want to say to parents: I know that you want your child to thrive and shine, and to learn about herself as she learns about the world. In fact, I believe that in our world where we’re inundated by factual information, EQ is more important that IQ, a resilient attitude is more important than aptitude, and perseverance, responsibility, empathy and compassion are the most important abilities we can teach our children for the future. 

The stories are a way for me to say thank you for entering the world of the stories that I have had the great honor and pleasure of writing of writing for American Girl, and holding those stories in your hearts and memories. With the Welliewisher stories, I want to say, Thank you for your friendship. I want to invite them into the garden. 

What’s next for you?

Oh, I’m always scribbling away at something. I’ve got lots of great ideas for more stories about the WellieWishers perking along in my head.

Anything else?

Well, now that I think of it, I have LOTS of hopes for the WellieWisher books. For example: Just as the American Girl books of historical fiction encourage girls to go deep and linger and not rush to be older, I’m hoping the Welliewisher stories will encourage girls to love being just the way they are right now. I hope the books will encourage girls to go outside!! Run around! Play! Use imagination! Get messy! Notice light and color and the seasons and animals and birdsong and the different joys of all kinds of weather! I hope the stories model how to solve problems both practical and interpersonal, how to be a good friend and daughter, and the rewards of being an observant, participatory, active appreciator of the earth. 

In celebration of the release of the new WellieWishers line of dolls, American Girl is generously offering one lucky Kids and Eggs reader one WellieWishers doll of their choice !

WellieWishersPick from:

CamilleEmersonWillaKendall, or Ashlyn.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below.  Comments will close by 9am CST on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.  The winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced on this post shortly after.

This giveaway is open to residents of U.S. & Canada.

Good Luck!

....and the winner is:

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 9.13.10 AM

Julie!

Julie said...

My daughter's are girl scouts & love American Girl Dolls. They are excited for the wellie wishers and would love one!

 Julie - you have 24 hours to claim your prize - congratulations! 

 

 

 


Giveaway! Icy, Creamy, Healthy Sweet

I am so happy to share in the excitement of the release of:

Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet by Christine Chitnis.
CVR Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet_Roost Books copy

The book is full of beautiful photography and enticing recipes of refreshing, tasty and healthy frozen desserts that use whole foods and natural sweeteners.  

The first recipe we experimented with from the book was the frozen yogurt bark, which I was able to share on a post at mothering.com.  The recipe is a cool take on traditional chocolate bark that it lends itself well to experimentation.  You can add fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, seeds, toasted coconut or any tasty combination you can think of!  We tried this recipe out at our house using honey from our backyard hives, wild blueberries and some dark chocolate chips for good measure.  

Yum!

Frozen Yogurt BarkChristine is partnering with Vitamix and HawaiianShavedIce.com for a bi-coastal book tour this summer, including stops in San Francisco, NYC and Seattle. Be sure to visit her at christinechitnis.com for event details.You can read more about Christine in an interview I posted here.

Christine & Kids

To celebrate the launch of Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet I get to giveaway a copy to a lucky reader!  To enter use the rafflecopter below and post comments.

 

Good Luck!

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

good mail day!

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My mailbox had some special surprises today.  Two new books to review and enjoy: Barnyard Kids - A Family Guide to Raising Animals by Dina Rudick and an advance reader's copy of The Farmette Cookbook - Recipes and Adventures from My Life on an Irish Farm by Imen McDonnell (which looks amazing!).

I recently had the opportunity to interview Dina Rudick and I will be putting our conversations together in the form of a blog post soon!  

Stay tuned!


Interview with Nikki McClure (plus a giveaway!)

Nikki Header
 
Meet Nikki McClure, an inspiring artist, author and individual known for her painstakingly intricate and beautiful paper cuts. Nikki cuts her images from a single sheet of paper and creates a bold language that translates the complex poetry of motherhood, nature, and activism into a simple and endearing picture.  
 
I am a big fan of Nikki's work, I own several of her publications, and I often share her books with my children both at home and at school.  Nikki was also the cover artist of my first published piece in Taproot Magazine.  Needless to say, I am very happy to share our recent conversation:
 
::Nikki, please tell us a little bit about yourself - where you live, your family, and your interests.
 
I live in Olympia, Washington along the east shore of Budd Inlet, the southernmost part of the Salish Sea (Puget Sound).  The fog is lifting, the waning moon is in the sky, pine siskins are chattering away and I have fed the crows leftover scraps of eggs and bacon. My son is at school, he’s 10 and the proud completer of his essay about Bufflehead and American Wigeon migration. (I’m so happy that’s over!) My husband, Jay T. is looking at some wood at a friend’s shop. Jay T. builds fine furniture. He has a shop at home. I work at home too. My studio is on the bottom floor (almost a basement…but with windows and a door).  It’s a quiet morning and I finished an image for my next book yesterday, so today is the pause to consider which one I’ll tackle next. 
 
My interests? Outside. But I also love insides too, all the ways that people live and make spaces into homes and fill them. And I’d rather sleep inside most of the time. Outside I marvel at cedar leaf plaiting, eagle mating, dome weaving spiders, everything really. I putter about and stare and stare and garden some to get my fingernails properly caked with dirt.
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::Can you tell us about the process of creating one of your paper cuts, from your ideas and inspiration to a final product?
 
Ideas, they come from all that staring and dirt digging: my living. I then make several small sketches, little squares, look through photos, stage some photos perhaps, draw more sketches. When I have a sketch I like, I draw it to size, transfer it to black paper using graphite transfer paper. Then I redraw it on the paper following the transferred guide lines, and start cutting! The hardest thing first to get it over with. Faces usually. The final paper cut is scanned, sent to a friend to clean up, paste together, color if needed. I then send the digital version to the printer or publisher. The original I glue down and frame and show at an exhibit and sell it. Then I start all over with more staring and dirt digging.
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Nikki-mcclure-original-while-waves-roll-in-forevermore-MAIN-546a4a73c998d-570
 
::In most of your paper cuts you have a word paired with an image.  What comes first, the word or the image?  
 
The image usually comes first, though I keep a list of words only wall for the next calendar. The words that appear as necessary and needed. Sometimes the words appear while I am cutting out the final image, before it is completed.  My sketches usually have a trail of words, one leading to the next. I consult the dictionary often and get lost in etymological rabbit holes.
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::Do you have a favorite?
 
Do you?
Re- words, pre- words, trans- words- 
Courage has been a favorite at times. I like the COUR, heart, but it also has RAGE and it is a word that serves as a guide. I feel it tugging my heart forward.
 
::Through your work, you share messages of simplicity, connection, and gratitude that encourage people to slow down, pay attention, and to live a rich and mindful life.  What impact has sharing these messages with the world through your art had on your own life? 
 
This is a difficult one to answer for some reason. The immediate impact is that I have been supported by so many people and have been able to just BE. Be an artist making images and exploring ideas without having to hustle much or compromise. I am able to do what I want, mostly. I still have to get up too early and stay up too late. I know my son will have more options as he creates his life. But even I have to sit at computers too much!! And after a day of thinking and making, I often don’t have any creativity left to make dinner.
The most remarkable thing is when people share their stories of how the art has affected them. The impact it has had on their lives. That’s the part I never expected. I am just making the pictures that I want to make of mostly my tiny life, moments, seconds freeze-framed. But those moments, this small life has had some profound connections with people that reveals how art, art, can connect memory and experience, and transfers energy between people. I’m sounding kinda kooky here. But I can’t explain some of the things that have happened. Deaths and grieving and healing and loving. The calendar is made for a future that comes true for strangers. So I play with that sometimes. What do I want to happen in December of 2016? I’ll be making that image soon.

Nikki-mcclure-in-book-MAIN-5501f17d114da-570

::Tell us about your new book IN.  What was the inspiration behind this book?
A sunny day in June when we were freed from school! And all my son wanted to do was stay inside. Inside!!!
Not outside, where I wanted to be. So I gave him so much inside that eventually he broke free. We made popovers and were cozy. By the time he bored of the inside world and had read every book (well, not actually. We do have a lot of books), he ran outside…and it was raining! Oh, he was soooo happy! He loves the rain. There is a storm water river that happens when it rains. He can dam it up, build bridges, tiny, tiny forts…and get completely wet and muddy and happy. He really does jump into mud puddles belly first.
 
::What's next?
 
Everything!  
On that list is another book, “Waiting for High Tide” which I am making the final art for. Interspecies needs being common. A raft is built. There is a sharp hatchet. Hungry gulls. Everyone lunching. And vision and glasses.
The 2016 calendar. 1/6 done!
A summer solstice card.
A gate for the Seattle Food Bank.
Nettle noodles to make tonight which means picking nettles in the woods and trying to find the other deer antler to match the one I found a few weeks ago picking nettles.
And theme night at school tonight as well…that essay is done!!
Los Angeles Art Show, April 4th, at Giant Robot. there is artwork from IN and some 2015 calendar originals.
and a bigger fence to build to keep the deer out of my berry garden: raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
Now to make another picture for “Waiting for High Tide”.
Nikki6
 
Thank you Nikki!
 
Now for more fun!  I have a copy of Nikki's new book IN to giveaway courtesy of Abrams Books.
To enter use the Rafflecopter below:
 
   Nikki-mcclure-in-book-MAIN-5501f17d114da-570
 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


::February - The Joy of Reading at Home

 

 

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The February issue of Minnesota Parent is on stands and available online now.  

The topic of my School Days column for this issue is focused on ways to share the love of reading at home with your children.

You can find the article through THIS LINK

Be sure to check out all of the other great content in the full issue as well!

Don't forget to check out my February giveaway and mother-daughter book review. I will be picking a winner on February 14th.

American Girl


American Girl -Grace; Girl of the Year 2015 Book Review & Giveaway

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I am happy to share in the excitement of the new American Girl® -Grace™; Girl of the Year® 2015  

My nine-year-old daughter and I recently read the debut book for the Grace Thomas series by Minnesota author, Mary Casanova.

At our house, we are big fans of Mary’s writing!

With every novel, Mary Casanova researches and travels extensively. For Grace, she returned to Paris—this time with her grown daughter, Kate. Casanova reflects, “I’d been to France three times for research and to speak. This time, my research meant simply being a tourist. Because I’m geographically challenged, I invited my daughter, who used to be a band tour manager, to join me. We rented bikes, walked along the Seine, explored parks and famous sites, sipped coffee at outdoor cafes, sampled pastries, and took a baking class in the home of a French chef. Ah, Paris. What a wonderful place to do research!”

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As a mother and daughter team of reviewers,

we thought it would be fun to share some of our insights from reading Grace:

Z:  “I really enjoyed the book.  I could relate to her character because she was nine-years-old like me.  As I read the story I loved making comparisons of our lives.   I always would go to sleep thinking about what I would do if I were her.”

Mama: “I loved the way that Mary Casanova weaves her experience and research from her travels into the storyline.”

Z:  “It was fun to read and learn some French words.  There was a glossary in the back to help with pronunciations. I also enjoyed how Mary Casanova wrote about real places and things that are actually in Paris. ”

Mama:  “Grace has a great can-do attitude that is inspirational for young girls.  In the story she is navigating friendships, problem solving, and acting upon her desire to make her ideas come to life.”

We’re both excited to read the second book in the series, Grace Stirs It Up!

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We have also both been exploring some of the unique activities available online to extend and enrich Grace’s character and story: 

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In celebration of the release of the 2015 Girl of the Year, Grace Thomas,

I have an amazing giveaway!

 American Girl is generously offering one Kids and Eggs reader an

 American Girl® -Grace™; Girl of the Year® and book!

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Yes, that’s right - win your very own American Girl® -Grace™; Girl of the Year® and book!

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below (one entry per person, please). Comments will close by 9am CST on Saturday, February 14, 2015. The winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced in this post shortly after.  

This giveaway is open to residents of U.S. & Canada.

Good Luck!

 

…..and the winner is…..

via random.org # 30

Congratulations Kandi!


Note: The views and opinions expressed on this post are my own.


::my first column (+ giveaway)

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Over the last six months I have been doing some freelance writing for Minnesota Parent Magazine. A couple of months ago, I was offered the opportunity to contribute regularly in the form of a monthly column focusing on school-age issues. 

I am excited to share my first column!  Some of my favorite kiddos made the publication this month as well.

This experience has been pretty fun and exciting so far!

In this issue I also wrote some recipes for the feature Sneaky Snacks (pg. 26).

In fun and celebration I have a giveaway to offer:

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Enter to win a copy of My First Juices and Smoothies  by leaving  a comment below.  I'll close comments by 9:00 p.m. CST on Monday, January 19th, and announce the winners, chosen via Random Number Generator, shortly after. 

Good luck, and thanks for following along in this space!