Tag Archives: picture books

Cue the cheers and confetti!

Happy New Year!  Have you noticed any thoughts of possible resolutions drifting through your mind these days?  Personally, I dislike resolutions … they seem to come pre-packaged with the cynical threat of failure.  I prefer the anticipation of embracing new ideas, trying new things, and nurturing new habits.  These seem somehow friendlier and more approachable.  And so, may I humbly submit for your consideration this friendly and (perhaps) new habit for 2014:  Found-Object Doodling!

I saw this, a couple of days ago, on the inkygirl blog by children’s book writer & illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi, and I wanted to share it with you:

A Portrait in Ink and Parsley
A Portrait in Ink and Parsley

“Found Object Doodles (a.k.a. Sometimes It’s Okay To Play With Your Food Before Eating It)”  by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Ah!  Inspiring in the best sense of the word, because this is something everyone can do!  Click on the photo above, or the article link, to read (and see) more.  Doodling will warm-up your creative muscles, and there’s no pressure to “make it perfect”.  It’ll bring a smile to your face and to those around you.  It contributes more art to the world and reminds us that art is all around us.  And all it takes to get started is a Sharpie in your pocket.


A Call for Caterpillars

As seen on the Making Art With Children blog from the Art Studio at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts:

Enter The Carle’s Call For Caterpillars Contest!

©The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 2013
©The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 2013

To celebrate The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art’s 10th anniversary year, we invite friends, families, schools, and other organizations throughout the country and abroad to create 3-dimensional caterpillar sculptures out of found materials. Be inspired by Eric Carle’s most beloved character, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and transform ANY combination of recycled or found materials (plastic, paper, foam, wood, metal, etc.) into a 3-dimensional caterpillar sculpture.

Three entries will be chosen at random at the Museum’s Children’s Book Festival on June 8, 2013 and will receive an original doodle by Eric Carle!

There are very specific guidelines on how to enter (for example, they do NOT want you to send your original artwork; entrants should submit jpeg photos of their artwork on CD).  Please visit the Making Art With Children blog to learn more details.  Submissions must be postmarked by May 31, 2013.

(make it a) Happy Thanksgiving!

Whether you’re traveling or staying close to home, hosting or visiting family & friends, The Arts Room wishes you and yours a happy Thanksgiving!  For your enjoyment, here’s a quirky little Pinterest board full of ideas to celebrate this week’s holiday…

An Octopus Named Mom


The Knotty Dog

at 31 Bradford Street in Bristol

on ART Night this Thursday, October 25th

 from 5pm ’til 7:30pm

for a special children’s event!

On Thursday, October 25th, The Knotty Dog on Bradford Street in Bristol will celebrate this month’s ART Night by hosting the author and the illustrator of the new children’s book, An Octopus Named Mom.  Author Kathleen Flaherty will read her story every 1/2 hour from 5pm ’til 7:30pm, and illustrator Jennifer Caulfield Donehey has some special children’s activities in store.  A book signing is also planned and copies of An Octopus Named Mom will be available for purchase.

Click here to learn more about the book, and find out about the many other perks planned for this month’s ART Night by visiting their website!

What shall we read tonight?

What’s your favorite book to read aloud with your kids?  Today is World Read Aloud Day (and no, I don’t know who gets to decide      these things), a day worth celebrating because reading aloud with your kids is one of the simplest, least expensive, and most rewarding activities you can share.  There are mountains of studies that extol the benefits of reading aloud – it builds vocabularies, encourages    reluctant readers, and inspires a lifelong love of reading – but what I love best is the fun we have and the happiness we get to share when my family reads aloud together.  It helps to have books nearby that are pitch-perfect read-alouds, and it’s worth noting that not all great books are great read-alouds.  For inspiration, you can look to the E.B. White Read Aloud Awards, an annual recognition bestowed by the American Booksellers Association.  You can also ask our local children’s librarians, remember your childhood favorites, and trade recommendations with your friends.  Personally, I love books that allow me to get a little silly with my kids, altering my voice for different characters, which means that we have lots of fun with Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner, the Charlie and Lola books by Lauren Child, and A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade by James Preller.  What’s your favorite?