• Books,  Smart Dummies,  Uncategorized

    Review of Teach Your Giraffe to Ski

    Inside of my copy of Teach Your Girafee to Ski!

    “Teach Your Giraffe To Ski” is a fantastically fun story about a child teaching their giraffe to ski. The story is written by Viviane Elbee and illustrated by Danni Gowdy. I picked up this copy because Viviane is one of my wonderful critique partners! Unfortunately (or fortunately) she had submitted and had this book accepted before we were in a critique group together! I can not claim to have helped her with this one, but she obviously didn’t need my help, because she wrote a wonderful story! 

    This is one book I’m happy to have on my shelf. I was so excited that my local indie bookstore could get the book in. Since Viviane lives so far away she sent me a lovely bookplate which I love. My kids were so excited to get this book as a gift for Christmas!



    This story is written in the second person. I don’t know that “Teach Your Giraffe to Ski” could have been written as well in a different P.O.V. I’m not sure how many other kids books are written in the second person. The second person usually doesn’t work for most books. It’s  especially hard for picture books to use the third person, but Viviane did a wonderful job writing this book. 

    I love the humor in this book. The illustrations and words meld perfectly together to make this a laugh out loud story! One thing about the story, be sure to read this on a full stomach. All the french fry and pizza talk was making me hungry. Be sure to have lots of french fries and pizza before starting this book! Especially pizza, pizza, pizza. That word is used a lot in this book. 

    My toddler wants you to get this book!


    I love the color scheme in this book. The colors are cool and perfect for a winter scene. I love the beautiful soft colors.

    All the characters have big, beautiful, outlines. It makes the whole story more comical. I also love how Danni makes the images so expansive. I believe that there is a whole wonderful world beyond the confines of this book.

    The expressions on the characters faces are priceless. Especially the poor child’s face who is just trying to get the giraffe to ski. It’s a very big task teaching a giraffe to ski!

    Buy the Book

    Buy the Book: https://vivianeelbee.com/wheretobuytygts.html

    Viviane Elbee’s Website: http://vivianeelbee.com/

    More about the book: http://vivianeelbee.com/teachgiraffetoski.html

    If you can’t afford to buy this book consider leaving a review or requesting your library buy this book!

  • Smart Dummies,  Uncategorized,  Writing

    Marla Lesage — Picture Book Layout

    To start out the community blog posting, Marla Lesage has found a great post on her site. This is all about picture book layout! You can find out more about this on her blog post here: https://marlalesage.com/2019/08/12/picture-books-length-layout/

    Have an art process you want to share with the rest of the Smart Dummies community? Let me know below or go to my contact me page!

  • Uncategorized

    Smart Dummies is Coming Soon!

    This year Smart Dummies is going to be a bit different. My year has had a lot of unexpected twists and turns. My options were either to skip the year, delay it (which caused problems last time), or rethink the event.

    The more I thought about it the more I realized that it might be a good idea to change up Smart Dummies a bit. The changes that will be happening this year may or may not be a permanent change.

    This year I’d like Smart Dummies to be more community oriented. I’d like to be able to spend more time with the community and for us to help out eachother.

    Over the next week I’m going to gather some people who are willing to show some process posts about their work. These can be old posts you’ve already made, and hosted either on this blog or your own. Below is a copy of the post I made in the Smart Dummies group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/548159692008535/

    Contact me below, using my contact form, or DM me on social media if you are interested:

    Looking for people who have a technique or process they’d like to share. Your post about this does not have to be on my blog (but it can be). It can be something from an old post of yours. Here are some of the subjects I’m looking for, but it doesn’t have to be limited to these:
    • Turning Public Domain Stories into Picture Books
    • Marking up a Script for Illustration
    • Researching Images
    • Doodling
    • Character Design
    • Character Emotions
    • Thumbnails
    • Loose Page Drafts
    • Preparing Substrates (traditional artists)
    • Any Posts About Technique
    • Anything Else to do with Art or Dummies
  • Uncategorized

    Look at the Week May 26th-31st

    This is a schedule of Events for Spring into Writing. If you haven’t signed up yet then go here: https://www.daniduck.com/register-for-the-writing-challenge/


    A Look at the Week May 26-31st:

    Monday, May 27th: Jennifer Ward http://www.jenniferwardbooks.com/

    Tuesday May 28th: Pictures of Where it all happens!

    Wednesday, May 29th: Julie Hedlund: http://12x12challenge.com/

    Becky Aren’t has generously donated “The Coloring Book for Writers” by
    Linda Faulkerson for one lucky winner! I will be adding this to one of the posts this week. 

    There may be more surprises later this week. Keep checking back (or look in your mail) for more fun! 


  • Uncategorized

    Look at the Week May 19th – 24th

    This is a schedule of Events for Spring into Writing. If you haven’t signed up yet then go here: https://www.daniduck.com/register-for-the-writing-challenge/


    A Look at the Week May 19th-24th:

    Monday, May 20th: Ksenia Anske https://www.kseniaanske.com/

    Tuesday May 21st: Facebook Live event with my kiddos! 

    Wednesday, May 22th: Robin Martin: http://sbpra.com/robinmartin-duttmann/

    Friday, May 24th: Jennifer Cole Judd: http://jennifercolejudd.com/

    Saturday, May 25th: Look at the Week May 26th-31st.


    How are you liking the event so far? Let me know. One of these posts this week might have a prize. I just need to remember what said prize is and if there was indeed a prize.