It doesn't feel like it when I'm in Central Park. Wandering amongst the beautiful fall leaves, all for research. Feeling so lucky!
Good news: Just south of Central Park (on Broadway around the corner from 59th st) and close to Lincoln Center, my favorite bakery from Paris, Maison Kayser, has opened a new branch. (Loved that summer of living on rue Monge)
Planning on having a patisserie while I watch the new show about New York City Ballet online- AGAIN!
There are 12 "episodes" each 5 or 6 minutes long. Watched as a whole it takes about an hour or so. I spotted my dancing daughter here and there! Avoiding the drama of a reality show, it is closer to a documentary, but still loaded with behind-the-scenes interest. I would have liked some Balanchine dancing and Stravinsky music, but can't have everything!
Children are the best reviewers!
COLORS FOR ZENA was reviewed at: CityBookReview
"I love this book. I want to read it again and again and again." Coming from a 2 year old, this means so much to me! Thank you for 5 stars!
After reading my new book COLORS FOR ZENA at Book Court here we are mixing colors with my paints, brushes and paper I brought along. It was fun and not too messy at all!
later I had the great pleasure of going to an exhibition of
illustrations by Ruth Chan, Sandra Javera and Violet Paek, all former
students in my SVA Class.
I would say rush to go see their show
but it was a one day event only. So instead, take a look at the websites
of these talented artists:
And I was thrilled to see Tori Corn, also from class: Congratulations on the recent publication of her first book, What Will It Be, Penelope!
Book event at Book Court in Brooklyn on Saturday August 3 at 11am!
Reading, signing, and painting with COLOR!
Nice review from Booklist for Colors for Zena:
"An energetic introduction to primary colors—red, blue, and yellow—and what happens when they are mixed. Minimal line drawing places the emphasis on color, which is boldly shown on every page once Zena, accompanied by her puppy, races off a subdued page of black and white and shades of gray to find out where the colors have gone. Encountering yellow in a school bus, taxi, sun, and building design, she next sees red and combines them into orange. A blue experience of water and sky combines with yellow to create green. These combinations continue until the secondary colors are created, reflected both in the landscapes and friendly animals whose faces appear on pages of the book in surprising ways. Zena’s initial bland bedroom is replaced at the conclusion with an abundance of colors and animal friends everywhere. Added to this charming introduction are endnotes that explain the color wheel and provide suggestions for activities related to color."
with several illustrators who I all know from my SVA Class:
Selina Alko discusses her next book, A Case for Loving; The Fight for Interracial Marriage. She is working on it together with her husband, Sean Qualls. It will be a beautiful collaboration - I love this sample picture!
Mike Herrod has a new book, Hiccup! Congratulations - this looks like a lot of fun!
And here is a link to Melissa Iwai who previously did the blog tour about Truck Stop
Next Big Thing is a global blog tour, started in Australia, to
showcase authors and illustrators and their current work. I was
tagged by the talented Rebecca Solow (I teach at SVA and she was in
my class a little while ago). It is great to see what she has been up
tohere. I'll answer some questions about my newest book, then pass
the Q & A along to several others (who were all in my SVA class
at one time or another!) They will continue the tour on their blogs -
so stay tuned!
is the working title of your next book?
is publishing your book?
“Colors for Zena” is my
newest book, out this July. My publisher is Dial, a division of
Penguin. (My previous publisher, Dutton and Dial combined into one
and now Penguin and Random House have combined into one - Lots of
what genre does your book fall?
Zena is a picturebook for
young children (age 2-6)
is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
black and white world becomes more and more colorful as she
discovers how colors work. And the longer summary: A
little girl named Zena has a big imagination. She has an adventure
with her dog and her toy animals to discover the three primary
colors and how they mix together to make all the colors in the
world. She first seems to see the world through a yellow lens.
Next she turns the cornerand
sees her world through a red lens. This monochrome world looks
strange and she wants more colors. Her toy lion shows her how red
and yellow mix together to make orange. And so the discovery of
colors continues with the green frog and the purple monster. And at
the end there is a way Zena brings all the colors together in her
own creative way!
did the idea come from for the book?
or what inspired you to write this book?
my daughter was little we played color games. Walking down the
street, we would pick out everything that we saw that was red, and
then blue, and so on. When we were in London one summer she loved
spotting the red double decker buses for example. (Actually she made
up her own word for red - “decker decker”. Back in New York she
continued to say “decker decker” instead of red and it even
caught on with her friends at preschool! I remember a mother was
confused as to why her daughter was no longer identifying red
correctly and was saying “decker decker”. I can explain, I said!)
It was fun to focus in on different colors and to notice how there
were so many shades of each one. Was that blue or was that purple, we
would ask? At home we always had many different art materials and my
daughter loved mixing and discovering for herself how colors worked.
actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a
I love dance so much that my
dream would be for my book to be acted out by dancers! And since my
daughter inspired the book and is a ballet dancer, who better than
her and her friends at New York City Ballet! I would love to see what
movements they would come up with for Zena and the various creatures
in the book.
long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I usually start a book
visually, with ideas of pictures I want to paint. I start making
sketches and then try to write a first draft. Both the pictures and
words go through many revisions, and I am often still working on
the words after I finish the pictures. From start to finish, from
first idea to sketches, revisions, and final art and manuscript,
Zena took about 1 ½ years.
other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by two of my
favorite illustrators: Alice and Martin Provensen
else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
the end of the book, on the last page there is a color wheel and
suggestions of some fun things to do with color. I hope readers will
be inspired to be creative and paint colorful pictures themselves!
I'd like to end with the first question again!
is the working title of your next book?
The book that I'm currently working on
is about a little girl collecting leaves in the fall. I've been working
on the sketches for awhile but I don't have a title yet - sometimes that is the last thing!
A BIG Congratulations to Mike Herrod on his new book Hiccup! He continues the blog tour here.
Selina Alko discusses here her next book, A Case for Loving; The Fight for Interracial Marriage. I was just getting ready to ask Susanna Pitzer - who was once in SVA class and author of Not Afraid of Dogs - to do the interview when I saw she did the blog tour in April: here is her interview. She came to my SVA class as a guest speaker last term and here are her wise words!
Love when I hear from a friend that she has made a book sighting, especially when books by both of us are there: Fran Manushkin's The TUSHY Bookand my Mr COOKIE Baker. Love West Side Kids at Amsterdam and 84th St here in NYC!
I'm missingNYCB- the winter season ended just a week ago. Here is a picture of some of the Sleeping Beauty Fairies that my daughter sent me. (She is amongst them!) Spring season doesn't start up until the beginning of May. In the meantime I've got a few things I'm excited about dance-wise:
First - Paul Taylor at Lincoln Center from March 5- 27. I love Esplanade and Company B, and Le Sacre du Printemps is on my list to see. Schedule: http://www.ptdc.org/nyc
On April 4th previews start for a new play at Lincoln Center, "Nikolai and the Others", the "others" including Balanchine, Stravinsky, and Maria Tallchief, and Nicholas Magallanes. It sounds intriguing: http://www.lct.org/showMain.htm?id=216
A young and talented illustrator, Danielle Meder, is staying with me for Fashion Week. This photo of her painting backstage with watercolors before one of the shows is in the New York Timestoday - Cool!
On my way to the theater to buy my last ballet ticket of the fall season, I stopped at the library to see the exhibition of photographs: "Martha Swope In Rehearsal."
The NYCB program tomorrow is Apollo, Agon, and Rubies. How perfect to see photos, including the one above, of Balanchine and Stravinsky rehearsing Arthur Mitchell and Diana Adams in Agon.
The Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center has acquired the archives of Martha Swope which consists of over 1.5 million images!!! It was a lovely little exhibition (in the downstairs gallery) leaving me with the wish to see lots more - it is on until January 26, 2013.
My favorite bakery in Paris has just opened in New York: makes coming home from my summer travels not so difficult!
My friend and I walked across Central Park to Maison Kayser. S is helping me in an important way with my Crepes by Suzette app project. What better way to rev up than to enjoy flavors of France together!
Here in the New York location (74th St and 3rd Ave) there is a cafe connected to the bakery: Mmmm, c'est bon!
First stop in Colorado was Denver. With the city up a mile in the air, I definitely noticed the change in altitude. I enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood where we were staying, the Highlands. I loved the mix of architecture: cute folk art style buildings
and Lego style buildings, right next to each other.
The next day we went to Vail, a few more thousand feet up in the Rocky Mountains. The air was lovely and cool and dry, but thin. I never felt like I was getting a full breath of air. Strange feeling. I was there to see NYCB's MOVES (and my dancing daughter!) perform at the dance festival. What a beautiful outdoor theater nestled in pine trees.
of people were bicycling up and down the mountains around Vail, but I
didn't quite have the energy. I would need more time to acclimate to the high altitude.
Here is the view from 14,130 feet, from the top of Mount Evans. I didn't climb all the way up there - just the very last bit. But even that felt like an accomplishment!
And here is a video from Vail about Jerome Robbin's Moves. It is a ballet in "silence" but not at Vail. What a sensational setting!
I am just back from seeing excellent ballet in Saratoga. NYCB of course!
And I explored the town more than I ever have, from one end to the other - on bicycle. I became fascinated with porches! All the houses, little, big, simple, fancy and everything in between, have porches. I wish I could bring one back to NYC, so instead, I took lots of pictures.
It all started with this one, in desperate need of repair:
It was interesting to see the porches being worked on:
And then so well maintained:
Like a dollhouse:
I admired many of the color choices:
And was impressed by some very grand houses with fancy porches
But at the end of the day, this is one of my favorites:
Hopefully someone will soon be taking care of this little house with it's crumbling porch.