Category Archives: DISPATCH FROM DANIELLE
You know how I like book crafts, right? Well, since now I have a book(!), I thought it would be fun to have a craft for it. So I enlisted my friend, the very talented teacher and illustrator, Kait Walsh, to create a Zinnia and the Bees inspired craft.
Since my middle grade novel’s main character, Zinnia, is a knitter and yarn bomber, Kait opted for pom poms. They’re a super simple yarn craft that don’t take a lot of time or materials to make.
You can make one pom pom. You can make a bunch of pom poms. Or you can make pom poms with others, like say a group of kids, and then yarn bomb something together (no knitting skills required). Pom pom tree! Pom pom chair! Pom pom bulletin board! Pom poms are fun.
Here’s how to make a pom pom with just yarn, scissors, and some cardboard, in Kait’s wonderful hand drawn tutorial:
And here’s a printable PDF of the instructions!
Here’s a photo of the finished pom pom yarn bomb!
First we made pom poms.
The kids showed me how it’s done.
Then we set off to the park.
And a few of us talked about the book while having lunch.
We made more pom poms.
We yarn bombed!
Big thanks to Kait for the instructions and wonderful craft idea (as well as Chloe, the other art camp teacher)! And for spearheading the yarn bomb! It was such a special time. (Some of these images were taken by her as well.)
Kait Walsh is a Kindergarten teacher turned full-time artist. You can find her creating illustrations in her Silver Lake studio, teaching kid art classes at Makers Mess, or letting loose at her local dance studio. Follow her daily creations and discoveries on Instagram and feel free to contact her if you want to make something together or just say hi. @sealedwithakait
p.s. I’m coming to Green Bean Books in Portland August 13th and we’ll be making pom poms at the event!
I’m interrupting regularly scheduled programming because my debut middle grade novel, Zinnia and the Bees, has a book trailer, and I’m so excited to share it with you!
Enormous thanks to the following wonderful people who made this happen:
Emily Arrow, dear dear friend and gifted songwriter, for the original “Zinnia and the Bees” song that perfectly captures Zinnia’s journey.
Meiko Takechi Arquillos, brilliant photographer, for giving her time and talents to the project.
Stevie Nemazee, animator and puppeteer extraordinaire, for generously lending her skills.
And Todd Davis, my honey, for dreaming this up and making Zinnia and those bees come to life with paper and buttons and imagination.
Look for Zinnia and the Bees August 1st from Capstone. And it’s available for pre-order now! In fact, if you pre-order a copy, I’ll send you some snail mail goodies to thank you! All the details here.
It’s here! The cover of my debut middle grade novel, Zinnia and the Bees, is really here! I’m thrilled to share it with you (and promise to go back to regular blog programming tomorrow).
Vibrant and quirky, I couldn’t be more pleased! (Not to mention that it matches this blog perfectly.)
One of my favorite parts is that Zinnia is upside down—like her world is turned at the very start of the story. Right when she was expecting things to be the best ever, her yarn bomb flops. Next, her older brother—aka her best friend and yarn-bombing accomplice—leaves with no explanation. And then, to massively top off a whopper of a last day of seventh grade, a colony of honeybees lands in her hair!
The cover also captures the magical realism quality of the book as well as the important role the bees play: they actually collectively (and comically) narrate their own side of the story!
If you’d like to add the book on goodreads, you can find it here. Look for the Zinnia and those bees August 1st.
This Picture Book Life is three years old this month. Woo hoo!
The Importance of Being Three by Lindsay Ward (2016) is a joyfully good book to celebrate threes. And while a perfect toddler birthday gift, I think it works pretty well for a picture book blog third birthday too.
“Three bears, three pigs. Three kittens, too!
Three primary colors—red, yellow, and blue…
I’ve learned so much since I was two.”
To thank you for reading along here, I’m giving away a copy of The Importance of Being Three. Just leave a comment below for a chance to win.
(Open to N. America only; ends Saturday, July 23 at midnight PST.)
And cheers to the next year of picture books brought to life! I hope you’ll join me.
Have you heard? There’s a new website for children’s literature called All The Wonders. It’s “a home for readers to discover new books and to experience the stories they love in wondrous ways.” And I’m happy to be a contributor!
You’ll still find me here at This Picture Book Life on Tuesdays of course, but you’ll also find my crafts and book lists over there sometimes too. I’m delighted to be part of the stellar team and I hope you’ll come along to relish the wonders of books through songs, podcasts, studio visits, storytime posts, videos, and more from these talented folks!
You’ll find picture book songs from Emily Arrow, Matthew Winner‘s conversations, art and book posts from fellow blogger Carter Higgins, videos from Blake Hamilton, and animation from Mike Cicciotello.
My latest picture book craft up today: Make Your Own Clay Alien to celebrate Your Alien by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Goro Fujita. And Emily Arrow’s got an amazing, adorable song with my little green guy in the video!
And my latest list: 12 Delightful Picture Books with Diverse Characters.
I hope you’ll come see All The Wonders!
Big thanks to Brian Won for designing the gorgeous logo and custom artwork for the site that I’ve included here.