Tag Archives: danielle davis

back to school with to make!

It’s back to school, and this time around I’ve got a new book to share!

 

That’s where author visits come in! One of my favorite things is spending time with children while helping them tap into their unique voices and imaginations, inspiring them to read, write, create, and make! You’ll find all the info about my offerings in one place right here.

If you’re part of a school or library community, I hope you’ll get in touch if you’d like to arrange one!

 

And whether or not I visit your students, I have something special to share with you for the school year ahead! 

 

(Photo by Jenna Rothberg.)

 

Jenna Rothberg, PhD (KidlitBrain) and JD Smithson, MLIS created “Everyone is a Maker”: A Classroom and Library Companion Guide for To Make! You can download it in either color or black and white for easy printing too!

 

This treasure of a curriculum guide is meant to support teachers, librarians, and caregivers as you support the makers in your classrooms, libraries, and homes too. A resource that’s a myriad of making and TO MAKE resources all in one place, like an online community booklist for us all to create together and so much else for children to make: conversation, games, a change with their community, a plant press, an invitation, and at its heart and throughout, a maker’s journal where every child can reflect on, record, and reinvigorate their identity and process as maker through each creative endeavor.

So much gratitude to the two makers who poured their hearts and talents into this to make a gift for educators to use and witness little makers grow and bloom. And it is certainly a gift for me as well.

 

Wishing every educator everything they need for the year ahead, with much appreciation for making a difference!

 

 

 

to make is out + book trailer!

To Make, with art by Mags DeRoma is out today!

 

 

 

I’m filled with joy to be able to share our book with you and with children, all of whom are makers too!


It inspires and is an ode to the creative process with these steps:

gather, make, wait.


Those building blocks of making have meant so much to me and my own process, and this book reflects a lot of making and fifteen years specifically of my own work making picture book manuscripts. So today is the birthday of the first one of those to be an actual book! Honestly, and thankfully, the timing feels exactly right. My hope is that the story helps kid readers believe that they, too, have all the reason in the world to “keep making.” That is its heart and why I wrote it in the first place.

 

 

 

 

And the biggest thanks to illustrator Mags DeRoma
for going on this journey with me
and for stunning, scrumptious, story-rich illustrations!

And to the most stellar editor, Mabel Hsu at Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, Amy Ryan (art director), Molly Fehr (designer), and Hannah Mann who agented this project with courage and creativity.

As a way of celebrating, you’re invited to view this special
stop animation book trailer.
My partner and I collaborated on a concept and then he and a truly stellar, caring crew brought it to life. I am forever grateful.

 

 

 

 

We hope the To Make book trailer inspires you and the children in your life
to start creating!

 

 

+

 

You’re invited to our virtual book launch at truly wonderful Brave + Kind Bookshop
on June 7th!
Register for free right here!

You can get a copy of the book from Brave + Kind too.

Or your favorite indie bookstore.

You could also check it out from your local library instead! That’s just as wonderful! Or request it if they don’t have a copy—libraries for the win!

If you enjoy To Make and are able to leave a review
on Goodreads or elsewhere online, that’s super helpful to creators of books as well.

Thank you, thank you for your support! To celebrating, and to MAKING!

 

 

pom poms + zinnia and the bees yarn bomb!

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!

Kait generously invited me to visit the Makers Mess summer art camp to make pom poms and yarn bomb a tree with the mini makers there! It was loads of fun! (We had permission from the park.)

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!

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zinnia and the bees cover!

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).

 

 

 

I owe an enormous thanks to Laura K. Horton for her brilliant illustration as well as a giant thank you to the design team at Capstone.

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.

 

 

all the wonders: a new place for kids’ books and another place to find me

ATWlogo
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.

 

ATW_Crafts

your-alien-crafttimeMy 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!

 

 

ATW_Books

 

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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.