Ninjas Are Here!

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017 in Book: Deadly Wish, Japanese Demons, Ninjas | 0 comments

IMG_9433It’s here, it’s here–the very first hot-off-the-press copy of Deadly Wish. Mark your calendars for the release date of September 26th.

Ninjas, bandits, pirates, thieves, and delightfully creepy demons–all here!

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What To Read When

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Book: Amazing Animals, Children's Literature, Educators & Librarians, Nonfiction | 0 comments

Pam Allyn’s What to Read When is a great resource for parents and teachers trying to find that just-right book for a certain age or interest. What a thrill to find one of my own books included! Amazing Snakes is listed under “Research Books” for five-year olds. I love the idea of my books helping to inspire a love for science and a fascination with the natural world.

Allyn says, “What better way to introduce our kids to the value of exploration and research than to seize their interests and passions early on and and introduce them to books that will help them puzzle out the answers to their most fervent wonderings.” I couldn’t agree more!

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The Speech

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in Book: Deadly Flowers, Educators & Librarians, Japanese Demons, Ninjas | 0 comments

Deadly Flowers

Deadly Flowers won a snazzy award from the Wisconsin Library Association, which I am so very happy about…but maybe we can all sit around in a circle and read the book instead of me having to get up and talk about it?

It is so weird that I can happily work away at a novel for years, but ask me to write a speech about how or why I wrote said novel and my insights into the writing process and what it makes me think about the human condition, and all I want to do is crawl under my desk whimpering. Why is that?

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Imagine a Classroom

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Educators & Librarians, Inspiration, PIcture Books | 0 comments

The creative and thoughtful and marvelous second graders of Barrett Ranch Elementary School created a wonderful project–their own version of Imagine a Day. Theirs, however, is Imagine a Classroom. Now I want to go to school where there is a giant waterslide on the roof and giraffes in the classroom, where magic paper instantly corrects my mistakes and no one ever feels left out!

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Funa Yurei

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Book: Deadly Wish, Japanese Demons, Ninjas | 0 comments

ShunsenFunayurei

These funa yurei are more robust and less skeletal and spooky than the ones Kata meets in Deadly Wish. Note the headgear, however. A white, triangular headdress such as that used in an ancient Buddhist funeral ceremony is a dead giveaway (pardon the pun) of a funa yurei.

If you are sailing off the coast of Japan and the fog sweeps in, beware…you might be approached by a funa yurei.

The spirits of sailors who have died at sea, funa yurei sometimes try to sink boats and sometimes to snag an unlucky soul to take their own place on a ghostly ship. Often a funa yurei will demand a bucket or a ladle from its victims. If they refuse the ghost will sink their ship in vengeance. If given a bucket, the ghost will pour water into the ship, swamping it. How to get out of this hopeless situation? Hand the ghost a bucket or ladle with the bottom removed. It will futilely try to scoop water up with the bottomless vessel, leaving you free to sail quickly away.

(Kata, the heroine of Deadly Wish, did not know this trick. She was forced to try and come up with other ideas to defeat the funa yurei she encountered.)

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Out of the Fog

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Book: Deadly Wish, Japanese Demons | 0 comments

IMG_9351I went for a sail on Portland Harbor last week, and this is what loomed up out of the fog. It looked just like a scene from the upcoming Deadly Wish. Next thing you know we’ll hear a drumbeat booming across the water and funa yurei will show up, demanding a new soul to take their place on their ghost ship….

 

(What are funa yurei, you ask? Stay tuned!)

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Imagine an Art Project!

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

IMG_7238 IMG_7237 IMG_7236 IMG_7143 IMG_7142 IMG_7137IMG_7240 IMG_7239The students at John Norquay Elementary School in Vancouver, Canada did something truly extraordinary! Classes often do art projects based on the Imagine series of picture books, in which my poems were paired with magical realistic art by the remarkable John Gonsalves, but rarely are they are stunning as these enchanting sculptures. The effect is of a magical forest. How I’d love to stroll through it!

IMG_7141

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