Long Time No See

11 October 2012

Well, well, well. Look who's finally decided to show up.

I’m sorry, Blog! I was finishing the art for my next book. But I missed you!

Aha. Another Book. Didn't you know that nobody reads books anymore?

Oh. They don’t?


“As you probably noticed, I went away forever.”

21 June 2012

It seems I decided by around age five that I wanted to be Maurice Sendak when I grew up. I penciled my name in right next to his on this book that he illustrated for Ruth Krauss in 1952, which is one of my most treasured possessions and has been with me always. Over the years I’ve become an obsessive collector of his work and words, which have taught me just about everything I need to know about writing and illustrating for children. I can think of no more to add to all that’s been said about Sendak, or by Sendak, who died on May 8th at the age of 83.

As you probably noticed, I went away forever. I am very experienced now and very famous. I am even a star…. I get plenty to drink, too, so don’t worry…. If you ever come this way, look for me. Jennie” *

Dear Jennie, I did notice. And I will certainly look for you. Love, Debbie.

Some Wonderful Interviews:

*As shared by Lynn Caponera, Sendak’s assistant and longtime friend, who perfectly closed a memorial service for him at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week by quoting this letter and sharing this image of his beloved dog, Jennie, “from his favorite book”, Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must Be More to Life.

That’s My Name…

23 April 2012

Part II

Have you ever wondered how your favorite author’s or illustrator’s name is pronounced? TeachingBooks.net has a huge collection of brief recordings of authors & illustrators saying their names. It includes my own thirty-seven second story – about a shy first-grader and her name.

(“That’s My Name…”, Part I is here.)

The Best Intentions…

2 March 2012

But wait. Does one of the chickens want to help?

From Blue Chicken, Viking 2011

The Illustration Friday topic for March 2, 2012 is INTENTION.

Dear Reader,

14 February 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Suggested Reading for Valentine’s Day: The Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle and Who Was in It , by Carl Sandburg and Harriet Pincus; Henry in Love, by Peter McCarty; Bloom, by Maria van Lieshout; Ooh-la-la (Max in Love), by Maira Kalman.

Chicken Book Stack

26 January 2012

I know that, BLOG.
And that’s actually why I’ve been
working on a “suggested reading” list –
picture books about chickens.

Thanks a lot, Blog.

Readers… I have my favorites; what are yours?

How to Make a Splash

9 January 2012

  • Drop a spot of ink, liquid watercolor, or other watered-down paint onto some paper.
  • Blow at it through a straw…
  • Ta-da!
  • Visit here for other messy ways to make a splash.
  • Suggested Reading, Splashy Picture Books: Art & Max by David Wiesner, I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont and David Catrow, Mudkin by Stephen Gammell, Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth and Stephen Gammell.

    A New Day, A New Year…

    1 January 2012

    Wishing you all blue skies for 2012!

    Suggested Reading, Picture Books About Clouds: Cloudland by John Burningham, Little Cloud by Eric Carle, The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola, Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld, The Police Cloud by Christoph Niemann.

    Breakfast is Served

    15 November 2011

    Julie Danielson interviews me today over at her blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. She’s brewed plenty of coffee… won’t you join us?

    Chicken Feed

    19 October 2011

    It’s a BOOK!

    15 September 2011

    Blue Chicken's Book Birthday

    BLUE CHICKEN is available today, from Viking Children’s Books!

    We will be celebrating it’s release at several events in Connecticut this fall; they are listed here.

    Or find BLUE CHICKEN here:

    The Well-Accessorized Author

    8 September 2011

    Hey, Blog, look at my new bag!
    My husband gave it to me, to celebrate
    the release next week of BLUE CHICKEN!

    Suggested Reading, Picture Books About Purses:
    Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes; The Lady with the Alligator Purse by Mary Ann Hoberman and Nadine Bernard Westcott.

    Twinkle, Twinkle…

    1 September 2011

    … the chicken is seeing stars!

    “Breathtakingly beautiful meta-illustrations will draw many eyes to this tale of a curious chicken who spills some paint… Delicate and durable, visually sophisticated yet friendly: simply exquisite.” 
    – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

    “The spare, poetic text allows the images to shine… this delightful treat emphasizes the joy of breaking free of conventional boundaries and turning accidents into art.”
    Booklist, starred review

    “Full of surprise and emotion… The book has much to pore over on every page, and children will want to experience the action over and over again.” 
    – School Library Journal, starred review

    More Blue Chicken news and upcoming events are listed here.

    Carrying Carrots

    25 July 2011


    A good way to carry your carrots when you pretend you’re a horse is put them inside your shirt. Probably you’ll need a belt or a piece of string around your middle so they don’t fall out when you gallop.

    By Ruth Krauss, Illustration by Crockett Johnson
    From How to Make an Earthquake, Harper & Brothers, 1954

    Ruth Krauss was born on July 25, 1901.

    Have I said before that I want to be Ruth Krauss when I grow up?

    The Pool is OPEN

    18 July 2011

    Suggested Reading, Picture Books About Water: A Drop of Water, by Walter Wick; All the Water in the World, by George Ella Lyon & Katherine Tillotson; Wave, by Suzy Lee.

    Have a Splash Happy 4th!

    4 July 2011

    Because Books Don’t Write Themselves

    9 June 2011

    Blogs Get Neglected.

    The Chicken Would Like to Speak…

    20 May 2011

    …in support of every kid’s right to read freely.

    The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) will launch its Fund for Free Speech in Children’s Books with a Silent Auction on Wednesday, May 25, at BookExpo America. The ABC auction will feature more than 100 works of art by beloved children’s illustrators, including Barbara McClintock, Jerry Pinckney, Chris Raschka, Lane Smith, Mo Williams. An online preview of the artwork, including the above, is here.

    The Illustration Friday topic for May 20, 2011 is SOAKED.

    Finding Balance

    30 April 2011

    Elephant Entertains Eggplants

    The Illustration Friday topic for April 29, 2011 is LESSON.

    Sshhh… Don’t Tell!

    27 April 2011

    Look, Blog!
    Blue Chicken got it’s first review,
    and it’s pretty good!

    I know, but… too late to fix anything now.
    It’s at the printer. And anyway, my editor seems happy…

    Blog! SSHHHHH!!

    Suggested Reading, Picture Books About Secrets: It’s a Secret, by John Burningham; The Secret Circus, by Johanna Wright; The Secret Shortcut, by Mark Teague; The Secret Birthday Message, by Eric Carle; Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter; The Day of Ahmed’s Secret, by Florence H. Parry and Ted Lewin; The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, illustrated by Robert Ingpen.