The word “October” has always carried an extra little thrill for me. My birthday falls toward the end of the month, close enough to Halloween that my mother used to make themed cupcakes… Continue reading

Imelda, The Wonder Tub

I am a hot-bath junkie. I hit the tub late, after my family is asleep. Taking Roger Ebert’s movie reviews along guarantees I won’t be in bed before midnight. Often the cat will… Continue reading


  My best memories are of color. It is summer. I am two. My mother sets me in the red laundry basket on the lawn while she does what she needs to do… Continue reading

Words and Pictures

I have just finished building the book dummy for Zando with InDesign. Celebration time! My favorite part is adding the story text to the rough drawings. Though I have planned space for the… Continue reading

Fifty Times

In May, I attended an illustrators’ workshop in Oakland led by an art director at Viking Books. Observations: I should have studied up on the BART train routes. Bay Area attendees, uniformly kind and… Continue reading

Triple Play

I can always tell when my first idea for a story-painting is a flop. I’ll be enthusiastic for a day, just because I had an idea.  “Great job, Brain!” I’ll think smugly.  “Here’s your… Continue reading

Cat and Mouse Detente

I’m working on a picture-book project using the old nursery rhyme “Hickory Dickory Dock” as a springboard. In my version, Jock Tock, the Clock Doc, every inch a professional, and every inch a… Continue reading


“Coffee and Tea” surprised me when I came across it in a compendium of Mother Goose rhymes. I had never heard the rhyme before, even though it would make a dandy jump rope… Continue reading

In Praise of Windows

Third grade. We rode buses to the newly built school on the edge of town. It was our first experience with a seventies “open floor” plan, with only partitions separating classrooms. In spite… Continue reading

The Lower-Case “N”*

Sesame Street made its debut the year I started kindergarten. Far northern Montana got the broadcast out of Canada, so I learned to count in French. Cool! But the coolest part of Sesame… Continue reading