Category Archives: favorite things

Crowds of Characters

My current obsession is crowds of characters. Is there anything that can draw you in like a mass of characters full of fun details? Did anyone else examine every inch of Where’s Waldo as a kid?

Here is the illustration I’ve been working on for the past few days:

mouse crowd.jpeg

Recently my illustration group pointed out the crowds in my new story and I realized that they are there as contrast to the main character, a book loving, timid, mousey… mouse. But aside from that they’re just fun to draw.

Here are a few more crowds that have caught my eye recently:

julia kuo.jpg

I just posted about this book the other day- Julia Kuo’s The Sound of Silence.

ben clanton.jpg

One of Ben Clanton‘s swarms of delightful characters.

Sophie Blackall.jpg

Sophie Blackall‘s subway riding crowd.

gyo fujikawa.jpg

Gyo Fujikawa‘s fairies from Come Follow Me.


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rosie revere, engineer

My aunt and uncle gave Lucy this book for her birthday: Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts (such a cool illustrator)




And although I automatically liked it for its inventive little protagonist and its growth mindset message, I didn’t LOVE it until a few weeks later. That was when I found Lucy surrounded by hair clips, seashells and rubber bands. She told me she was building an airplane in her “hideaway under the eaves.” A direct quote from the book. Amazing.

Meanwhile the Girls Rock Math Camp has infiltrated my office building (I work in a cultural arts center :)) and it all fills me with great hope for girls everywhere.


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the stump hotel

This music video to a song by Casper Babypants (Lucy’s fav band) makes me very happy… and curious about Mukpuddy.


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happy birthday Lucy!


In honor of Lucy’s first birthday, she ate blueberry pancakes spread with peanut butter for lunch. I thought the combination tasted exactly like PB & J, so I read her one of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends.  Happy birthday to my healthy eater!

Peanut-Butter Sandwich

        by Shel Silverstein (1932-1999)

I’ll sing you a story of a silly young king
Who played with the world at the end of a string,
But he only loved one single thing —
And that was just a peanut-butter sandwich.

His scepter and his royal gowns,
His regal throne and golden crowns
Were brown and sticky from the mounds
And drippings from each peanut-butter sandwich.

His subjects all were silly fools
For he had passed a royal rule
That all that they could learn in school
Was how to make a peanut-butter sandwich.

He would not eat his sovereign steak,
He scorned his soup and kingly cake,
And told his courtly cook to bake
An extra-sticky peanut-butter sandwich.

And then one day he took a bite
And started chewing with delight,
But found his mouth was stuck quite tight
From that last bite of peanut-butter sandwich.

His brother pulled, his sister pried,
The wizard pushed, his mother cried,
“My boy’s committed suicide
From eating his last peanut-butter sandwich!”

The dentist came, and the royal doc.
The royal plumber banged and knocked,
But still those jaws stayed tightly locked.
Oh darn that sticky peanut-butter sandwich!

The carpenter, he tried with pliers,
The telephone man tried with wires,
The firemen, they tried with fire,
But couldn’t melt that peanut-butter sandwich.

With ropes and pulleys, drills and coil,
With steam and lubricating oil —
For twenty years of tears and toil —
They fought that awful peanut-butter sandwich.

Then all his royal subjects came.
They hooked his jaws with grapplin’ chains
And pulled both ways with might and main
Against that stubborn peanut-butter sandwich.

Each man and woman, girl and boy
Put down their ploughs and pots and toys
And pulled until kerack! Oh, joy —
They broke right through that peanut-butter sandwich.

A puff of dust, a screech, a squeak —
The king’s jaw opened with a creak.
And then in voice so faint and weak —
The first words that they heard him speak
Were, “How about a peanut-butter sandwich?”

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