Pets and Authors

Mayra Calvani, author and animal lover, has a fun blog featuring authors and their pets. I know my pets have been major inspirations for my writings. In fact, they were interviewed by Mayra a while back. If you missed it, here’s the link on April 5, 2009.

But you’ll want to check out all the others as well at Today Donna Shepherd and her adorable Labradoodle, Sadie, reveal their secrets.
Try writing your own animal story–whether you have a pet or not. Invent a character, give the animal a problem, and send him on his way to solve the problem–and, of course, encounter even more problems along the way.
Here’s a quick list of some favorite picture book animal stories:
GOOD NIGHT, GORILLA by Peggy Rathmann (a wordless picture book)
IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE by Laura Joffe Numeroff
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT by Margery Williams
Have fun!

Learn How to Draw a Cartoon

Thanks to artist (and author) KEVIN COLLIER, now you can learn to draw an animated cartoon in just 3 minutes! 

Yes, it’s true. Kevin shows you how at his YOUNG ARTIST WORKSHOP. Every week Kevin will add a new drawing video for you to try out. So far he has instructions for creating a mouse, a frog, a happy daisy, and more.
This week–using only 2 sheets of plain paper, Kevin helps you learn how to draw a cartoon boy. The newly created character goes from sleeping to waking in a flash.  What fun!
Kevin even shows you how to draw Dotty, the hippo, from Donna Shepherd’s new book, DOTTY’S TOPSY TALE.
Learn how to draw a cartoon and entertain your whole family. Plus, you can create your own tale to go along with it.

Summer Sun & Monster Mania

I don’t know about where you are, but where I am right now, it’s getting pretty toasty. So I thought it would be a good time to remind you about Donna Shepherd‘s book, OUCH! SUNBURN, illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier. Donna’s enjoyable rhyming read instructs kids on the importance of skin care when going out into the sun. And Kevin’s fun pictures help bring the message home.

And you’ll also want to check on Kevin’s new blog, Professor Horace’s Cryptozoology Research Center. Professor Horace will be featured in Kevin’s soon-to-be released picture book, PROFESSOR HORACE, CRYPTOZOOLOGIST, from Guardian Angel Publishing. Professor Horace is on the hunt for monsters–Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, and more.

Perhaps you would like to join the professor’s hunt. Have you noticed any mysterious creatures lurking about lately? A long black tail slipping away into the bushes? A huge footprint along the pathway? Or a strangely-shaped head skimming the surface of the pond? Oooh, did you just hear that odd howl?
Sorry, I’ve got to go and notify the professor immediately…


Donna Shepherd has created a fun and health conscious picture book highlighting the importance of good dental care with NO MORE GUNK!

And kids will love Kevin Collier’s bright illustrations.

When you visit the book’s blog site, you’ll find links for caring for your teeth and a wonderful review of the book by Gayle Jacobson-Huset, Assistant Editor of STORIES FOR CHILDREN MAGAZINE.

The author/illustrator duo have also teamed up on an earlier healthwise picture book, OUCH! SUNBURN, which is included in the Double Doozie. Two books for the price of one!

Be sure to copy and print the free coloring page from NO MORE GUNK!

Happy coloring and happy flossing!

Guardian Angel Book Ranks 3rd at Fictionwise

Congratulations to author Donna J. Shepherd an illustrator Keven Scott Collier for their Guardian Angel Publishing eBook, OUCH! SUNBURN, which is the third most requested eBook right now at Here’s a description of the book from Fictionwise:

Donna J. Shepherd’s snappy rhymes along with the colorful and fun illustrations by Kevin Scott Collier help children see the need to protect their skin in the sun. Sun Safety Tips in the back of the book reinforce the book’s theme. 15 illustrations, 94 words, 27 pages

Here are some links to find out more about the book and its creators:

And coming soon from the dynamic duo is NO MORE GUNK!–a book that makes dental hygiene fun.
Way to go, Donna & Kevin!!!