A Fun Glimpse into an Artist’s Process

I’m happy to reveal the work in progress of Colleen Kong-Savage, the talented artist who is illustrating THE TURTLE SHIP.  I find absolutely fascinating the thought process behind her artistic choices.  For instance, Colleen is working to find a way to contrast the turtle enough to make him pop off the page, instead of blending… Read more »

Joining the pros

Here’s my latest article for SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators), which covers attending the pro track for the first time at their conference. Featuring photos of Judy Blume and Newbery winner Linda Sue Park. Girl crush time!! Check it out here.

In Love with Sempé

I have been in love with the artwork of Jean-Jacques Sempé since I was fifteen, when I read the NICOLAS series (which he illustrated) for a high school French class.  Sempé is known in the U.S. for his iconic New Yorker covers, such as this one: But in his home country of France, his illustrated… Read more »

The reason for my absence

When I first launched this website a few months ago, I promised myself that I’d post at least once a week. Well, three months into this endeavor, I’ve already been absent for an entire month. The reason for my absence is actually a pretty good one 😉  Our home renovations were finally completed (side note:… Read more »

A Llama’s Hidden Talent

Meet Loulou the  llama. Isn’t she lovely? She has dark, soulful eyes and long eyelashes. Her hair feels like yarn and her long neck is easy to hug. And she has a hidden talent… SHE SPITS! She spits really, really well. Up to ten feet away! Llamas spit when they feel threatened or don’t like… Read more »

Good eats in Italy (plus a fabulous garden)

Get thee to these delectable spots in Rome and Tuscany: Rome: Bonci Pizza – Anthony Bourdain raved about this place, so we had to check it out. And oh my goodness, it totally lived up to his assessment.  I loved the cherry tomato pizza and the pizza with mortadella.  The Geno loved everything, even the… Read more »

Ice cream…in Italy!

Two years ago, we took a big family trip to Tuscany, a beautiful part of Italy with lots of villages on top of hills.  Long ago, during the medieval era, people lived on hilltops to be safe. The higher up you are, the harder you are to attack and the harder it is to steal… Read more »

Hotel Review: Lake Como, Italy – Villa d’Este vs. Grand Hotel Tremezzo

(Villa d’Este with view of Lake Como) We were torn about where to stay during our visit to Lake Como, Italy.  There are so many gorgeous options, we simply couldn’t choose. Major flip-floppiness!  So we split our time between the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, and the famous Villa d’Este. Boy, am I glad we experienced both…. Read more »

What I Learned about Writing from an Eleven-Year-Old

My nephew is a wonderful pianist, but sometimes, he really hates to practice.  But he loves music. He loves excelling at the piano. So he practices at random times of the day, no routine involved, no inspiration needed. He just applies his tush to the piano bench, and starts going. Here’s a video of him… Read more »

Midnight Street Food Tour…in Bangkok!

One of my favorite ways to get to know a new city is to go on a food tour. I try to schedule one for the first or second night of my visit, because it’s a great way to get an inside scoop of the city and eat at some amazing spots. We’ve been on… Read more »