Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


The discipline of hope

. . . is active waiting. Arnold Lobel explores this concept in "The Garden" from Frog and Toad Together. Toad admires Frog's garden. /"Yes," said Frog. "It is very nice, but it was hard work." /Frog offers seeds to his friend, and Toad runs home and plants them in the ground. /"Now seeds," said Toad, "start growing." /He paces up and down but the seeds don't grow. /"Toad put his head very close to the ground and shouted, 'NOW SEEDS, START GROWING!'" /Toad explains that Frog is frightening his seeds. /Frog then begins tender and consistent cultivation of his seeds: he keeps his seeds company in the dark, reads stories to his seeds, sings songs, reads poems, and plays music for them, until exhausted, Frog falls asleep. /"'Toad, Toad, wake up,' said Frog. 'Look at your garden!' /Toad looked at his garden. /Little green plants were coming up out of the ground." /The story ends with Toad saying, "You were right, Frog. It was very hard work."

Beyond a trip to ALA, I have nothing scheduled this summer. I am waiting for my harvest, the publication of two books in the fall: Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building written and illustrated by me (Lee & Low, Sept 2012) ISBN 978-1-60060-651-9, and The Forgiveness Garden by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by me (Fiewel & Friends, October 2012) ISBN13: 9780312625993. I will take tips from Frog and Toad and nurture my garden until my seeds burst forth. There is plenty of action I can take now: researching my audience and how I can reach them, as well as creating curriculum and web pages to accompany the publication of my books.

Here's the front flap copy and a sneak preview of my second author/illustrator project. Shown are the front cover, interior spread, and a slice of the back matter. This is a 40-page book with fifteen pairings of children's building play and examples of modern architecture from around the world. Fourteen internationally recognized architects of both genders and many races are featured here.

Children building—
Concrete poetry—
Pair them with notable structures
from around the world and see
children’s constructions taken to
the level of architectural treasures.
Here is a unique celebration of
children’s playtime explorations

and the surprising ways childhood
experiences find expression
in the dreams and works of
innovative architects.

Come be inspired to play—dream—

And yes, I am planting new seeds for future harvests. And that too, is very hard work!


Stephanie said...

I love those illustrations! Congrats on your new books, can't wait to read them:)

Lauren said...

I love the quote of Frog and Toad in relation to your own work right now-- the philosophy of Frog and Toad is something we should all follow. And Christy, those little glimpses into your new book are so exciting to see! I cannot wait until September-- Good luck tending all of those seeds this summer!

Edie Hemingway said...

I've always loved Frog and Toad. Your DREAMING UP illustrations and blurb are very impressive. I look forward to the fruits of your garden!

David LaRochelle said...

What a wonderful, creative, fresh idea for a book, Christy! I'm excited to see it, and to hear how it will be received.

Frog and Toad are favorites of mine, and I often play the CD from the musical "Frog and Toad All Year." As I read your description, I could hear Toad playing his tuba as he tried to encourage his seeds to grow. Patience is indeed hard work.

Mark said...

I love the idea behind Dreaming UP, and I look forward to seeing the finished product this fall. Sounds like your summer may have some "recharging" time. Enjoy it -- before your next deadline!!

Diane Adams said...

Hi Christy,
I, too, love this idea! It looks like a gorgeous, imaginative book. Can't wait to see it!!