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counting bookGet my fun, new counting ebook when you sign up for email updates from Doodles and Jots.

This book will take you and your little one on a counting adventure through the forest from 1 to 10 and if you’re ready, introduce your child to multiplication too!

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Fish That Run and Jump

Fish That Jump

I’ve been meaning to check out the herring run ever since I read THE RUN by John Hay a few years ago and I finally remembered to do it this spring!

Alewife are a type of herring here on Cape Cod that live in the ocean and swim up streams in the spring to spawn in fresh water ponds. Seems like an ideal life for a fish! They enjoy all the excitement of ocean life but spend there childhood in calm ponds. This lifestyle is not easily achieved though.  Continue reading

Trumpet Trees

I Spy Trumpet Trees

When we go on long drives I become entranced by the trees along the highway. I especially like to watch them in unpopulated areas and mark time as a forest of pines changes into a forest of oaks and back again. I am also amazed at the uniformity of these prestine woods. On a recent drive to Western Massachusetts I notices how the oaks looked like perfectly positioned horns in an orchestra. In my trance I think I could even hear them.

Mini Tote Crochet Pattern

mini tote crochet pattern

Here’s a little purse you can make in the time it takes to watch a movie. It is a perfect handmade gift for a little girl about to make her first communion but you could make it in any color for any occasion.

The final dimensions are 6 X 6 inches. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky in Tinsel White and an 8 mm crochet hook.  Continue reading

Robins, Worms, and Fog

robins, worms, n fog

The worms came out for the fog and the robins came out for the worms in today’s I Spy!

My son and I watched these robins get big juice worm after big juice worm outside the library the other night as we ate our supper in the car while my daughter was at rehearsal. I am sure they had tummy aches after so many worms! “Eats like a bird” just doesn’t have the same meaning after seeing that.

Have you been noticing springtime bird activities? Please share!

Piping Plover

Piping Plover Photo

We went to the beach on Sunday looking for Snowy Owls but we didn’t see any. They probably have already migrated north although I don’t know why, we have plenty of arctic air right here on Cape Cod! So we didn’t see any Snowy Owls but we did see an itty bitty Piping Plover! It was so tiny and blended in so well if it hadn’t been moving I wouldn’t have seen it at all. It is one of the protected species around here and I had never seen one before so I was pretty excited! It was hard to get good shots. She kept his distance and moved along the shore line really, really fast. She sure is cute though, don’t you think?!

Here is an alphabet book of endangered animals and sadly the Piping Plover is included. Very nice book though (check it out at Amazon by clicking on image)…

GONE WILD written and illustrated by David McLimans

Spring Picks

spring picture book picks

Spring Picture Books Picks

Here’s a handful of picture books I am recommending for spring. They are all connected to spring but in not in perfectly obvious ways. They also happen to all be by author/illustrators!

DINOSAUR KISSES by David Ezra Stein begins with a dinosaur egg hatching. Dinosaurs learn by mimicking just like humans although learning to kiss comes a little harder for a dinosaurs. Yikes!

MAPLE by Lori Nichols is about a little girl with a special connection to a tree. The tree was planted for her birth. On spring day she sees a new tree planted beside her tree. This is a beautiful story about life connected to nature.

Next is the classic LET’S MAKE RABBITS by Leo Lionni. It is nice to read books about bunnies this time of year and this one is a little different. One rabbit is made with pencil and the other with cut paper right in the book. Then they come to life and are hungry for carrots. Maybe it will inspire some spring art making!

April is National Kite Month so April must be a windy month. Windy enough for WINDBLOWN by Eduard Manceau! In this cumulative story some cutout paper shapes are claimed by a series of animals then finally the wind who blows them to you! What will you make?

And finally is TWO LITTLE BIRDS by Mary Newell DePalma (who also wrote and illustrated A GRAND OLD TREE which I included in this tree book list). In this story a couple young birds decide to follow a group of birds in flight. After a long journey their surrounds are very different. They have migrated south and in the spring they return to their home again. This story made me feel like a young bird!

Have a favorite book with a spring connection? Please share!

Vanishing Water Tower

vanishing water tower

I think the water tower was playing an April Fools prank by trying to make itself disappear! Water towers always catch my eye. I think it is interesting how sometimes you can see them from far away but not when you are close (depending on the comparative elevation). I also enjoy spotting them on long drives. I saw lots on our drive to and from Florida last year. I also shared a post about how they work including instructions for making a mini version.

Good one, water tower! Do you partake in April Fools pranks? I almost never do. Either I forget then it is too late or I can’t think of anything that with be lighthearted enough. I don’t want to intentionally upset my kids!

Picture Book Project Update

traction

I have been busy the last couple days refining my March submission for 12X12. I am kind of proud of myself. Since signing up for 12X12, I haven’t missed an opportunity to submit yet! 12X12 is Julie Hedlund’s picture book writing challenge. It’s a year long challenge to write a picture book draft per month. I signed up for the gold level with also entities me to bypass the slush pile and submit a revised draft to one agent per month. There are also lots more resources available and a large community including experienced writers and illustrators sharing their knowledge on the forum and Facebook group. It has been a great motivator. I am learning as I go! I am really glad I signed up and would recommend 12X12 to others interested in writing picture books but who are having trouble gaining traction.

Also I added a portfolio page which includes an image slideshow, a little about my background, links to some of my illustrated short stories, and my creative intent. You can check it out here.

Here’s to achieving goals!