Thursday, May 12, 2016

the story that wants to be told

"It's that thing, always, of getting out of my own way.  
I feel like the story knows more than I do.  The story is smarter than I am.  
And wiser. And so I can't make the story conform to me because it would ruin the story.
The story shapes me.  

Every book that I've written has changed me and deepened me.  

So then I'm in different territory entirely than I anticipated.  But I've been doing it long enough now 
to know that I want to be in a different territory than I anticipated.  
Because that's where all the wisdom is, in this story that wants to be told, 
as opposed to me telling the story.  

I love this quote.  And I find it to be true with drawing as well.  Many of my favorite drawings seem to shape themselves.  They might begin with a familiar curve but they quickly wander off into unfamiliar territory.  They too, have a story to tell.  And my job, is to listen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

what matters

"My work is loving the world.
Are my boots old?  Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be

-from Messenger by Mary Oliver

So this happened a while back, but a selection from my portfolio is now up on the Writers House Art Website.  It's hard to find words to describe the feeling of seeing my name there alongside the names of SO MANY of my Picture Book heroes.  So a picture instead—

And the Mary Oliver poem in its entirety here—


My work is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—

          equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
          keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be

The phoebe, the delphinium.

The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.

Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart

          and these body-clothes,

a mouth with which to give shouts of joy

          to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,

telling them all, over and over, how it is

          that we live forever.

Monday, May 2, 2016



"Art requires time — there’s a reason it’s called a studio practice."

-Teresita Fernández

Sunday, February 14, 2016


"Telling our stories is the way we open the door
to giving our hearts away.  Giving my heart away
has been the secret to finding it."

Playing with a few new things here, all hearts...

Monday, February 8, 2016


“People wish to be settled; 
only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.” 

A few new pieces here, from the past few weeks— arguments with flowers, stones and spoons.

arguing with flowers

arguing with stones

arguing over spoons

Friday, January 15, 2016

weak in the knees

"Just a glimpse of its cover made me weak in the knees...
and THAT is what we have the great honor of building."  

-Adam Rex 
(upon rediscovering a long forgotten book from childhood)

More news!

I'm feeling a bit weak in the knees, and also a bit like flying these days, with even more news 
to share— 


My first book has found a home! With Namrata Tripathi and Lily Malcolm at Dial Books For Young Readers and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Namrata Tripathi has edited some truly incredible books, including— Gaston, My Cousin Momo, No Fits, Nilson! (a forever favorite in our house), Lulu and the Brontosaurus, Hug Machine, Zombie in Love, Circus Mirandus, and Noggin.  

Lily Malcolm is the Art Director behind most of those books as well as MANY more that I love— Roller Girl, One Cool Friend, Robo-Sauce,  I'll Give You The Sun and The Moon Is Going To Addy's House to name just a few.  I've been fortunate to hear them both speak at SCBWI conferences and am honored to have this chance to work with them.

You can find the official Publishers Weekly announcement (and read about some other amazing books to look forward to) here.