Picture Books and Accounting

One December, I found myself looking back over the year wondering, unhelpfully, in a businessy tax-ish counting sort of way: “Now let’s see, what exactly did I do this year?” (I should have known by that “exactly” where this would go). So I began counting up the number of picture book manuscripts I’d done that… Read more »

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Doreen’s First Outing

I had my precious one and only author copy, which I mistakenly showed to my little three-year old friend AE… She immediately had to have it read to her 15 times. And then took it to bed. And has gone to sleep with it ever since. She calls it her fishy book. And says it’s… Read more »

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Spaghetti Harvest April Fool

First broadcast on BBC Panorama on 1st April 1957, a very young Richard Dimbleby revealed the wonderful world of Swiss spaghetti production to millions of deprived and hungry post-war Brits. (To be fair, back then Spaghetti was not eaten much and was rather exotic.) Most of Britain were taken in. Even my dad (who is… Read more »

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Beauty is for Everyone

When you walk through Central Park you feel like you’ve have escaped out of the city into the countryside—you are surrounded by natural beauty. Except that it’s not. Natural, I mean. The space where Central Park was built was originally a “pestilential, rocky swamp.” The natural beauty of Central Park is completely designed—to seem as… Read more »

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Follow the Fish!

We writers are always being asked where we get our ideas. I got this one when I wasn’t looking—when I was trying to write something else altogether. And became my latest picture book, POOR DOREEN: A FISHY TALE. The story I’d wanted to write was going to be elegant and atmospheric and quiet about a… Read more »

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Wither into the Truth: creating in old age

Some artists keep on working late in life–and get better with age. Others peak early and then fizzle out. Brooke Allen in the NYT writes, “Creative artists who continue to work late in life so often seem to undergo a sea change: a distillation, a new intensity, a sloughing off of excess and ornament in… Read more »

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Picture Books and Margaret Wise Brown

“A book should try to accomplish something more than just to repeat a child’s own experiences. One would hope rather to make a child laugh or feel clear and happy-headed as he follows a simple rhythm to its logical end, to jolt him with the unexpected and comfort him with the familiar; and perhaps to… Read more »

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Six Golden Tips for Tea

With the start of the new year, we are all turning over new leaves. But are you turning over a new tea leaf? Is your tea flavorless? Insipid? Bitter? Ordinary? Or worse… Cheesy? Here, just in time, come the six golden tips for making the perfect cup of tea. Think you know all about everything… Read more »

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“Song of the Stars”

“And high above a single star set in the highest heavens shone out brighter than all the others and poured down silver onto the little shed… ‘A Light to light up the whole world.’” Song of the Stars When Zondervan asked me to write a Christmas picture book, my first thought was (I’ll be honest)… Read more »

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Advent: How Long, Lord?

“How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, … but you do not save?” Habakkuk 1:2, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil…” Habakkuk 1:13 Fighting, suffering, sickness, tears—all the things God hates most—are everywhere in our world. They’re in our own hearts,… Read more »

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