A Welcome Visitor

My husband, Al, is a waaaay better photographer than I am. Somehow my photos end up tilted or include something I didn’t want in the picture: a jacket sleeve obscuring a flower, a traffic light that looks like a hat on the person I was trying to capture. Al took this photo of our spring visitor Rhonda (for Rhonda alaa Turca) through our basement window! What a fascinating creature she is! We hope she returns with babies, as she (we like to think she’s the same feathered visitor) did 2 summers ago. Look at the detail on Al’s photo–through the glass!!BlogTurkey close up 1

A Sticky Situation

Waay back in a previous post (May 14, 2014 to be exact), I showed an example of my Sticker Art, in which I peel off fruit and vegetable stickers and make art out of them. Calling it # 1 of a series, I forgot to continue with # 2. Oops. I will remedy that right now!

# 2: Stick-toitiveness

# 2: Illustration of Stick-toitiveness

Fall Catalogue Arrived!

A lovely birthday present for me this year was Pelican Publishing’s fall catalogue! I was excited to find my new book–What’s Up With this Chicken?–along with bios and photos of the illustrator, Peter Welling, and moi: 


Isn’t the publisher’s logo adorable?!


Best Children’s Books of All Time

imgresA BBC poll of critics from around the world resulted in 21 favorites. # 1….drum roll? Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.

Roald Dahl has 2 books on this group of faves. Here is the complete list:


  1. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
  2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
  3. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
  4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  5. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  6. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  7. Winnie-the-Pooh – AA Milne
  8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  9. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula Le Guin
  10. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L’Engle
  11. The Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
  12. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  13. From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – EL Koenigsburg
  14. The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster
  15. His Dark Materials trilogy – Philip Pullman
  16. Matilda – Roald Dahl
  17. Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh
  18. Pippi Longstocking – Astrid Lindgren
  19. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
  20. Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown and Pat Hancock
  21. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien


New Class Starting Up

imgresFor anyone who lives within a reasonable drive of Lexington, MA: a new session of a community ed class I teach on writing for children will resume on Tuesday evening, April 14th. We always get a congenial group of writers working in a variety of genres and discuss issues like plot arc, character development, and query letters. Feel free to contact me with questions.


Writing Children’s Books for New and Returning Students (WCB2)
Start Date:Tuesday, April 14 (5 meetings) Location: 148, LHS
Instructor: Jane Sutton Meeting Time: 7:15 PM – 9:30 PM
Tuition: $125($95 for seniors) Status: Running/Still Openings
Taught by a Lexington author of eight published books this class on writing for children will work on character development, plot, and descriptive writing. This course is open to students who took Writing Children’s Books as well as to new students with some previous writing experience. Participants are encouraged to work in the genre(s) of their interest and to share and critique their manuscripts and submission cover letters. Meets April 14, May 12, May 26, June 9 and June 16.

Lexington Community Education
146 Maple Street, Lexington, MA 02421 | tel: 781 862 8043 | info@lexingtoncommunityed.org
Preregistration is required for all classes. (c) Copyright 2003 – 2012 Lexington Community Education.

Of course…

every week should be Children’s Book Week, in my opinion. But here’s this year’s charming poster, designed by Grace Lee:Children's Book Week 2015 poster

More From the Master!

I was so pleased, and I’m sure readers around the world will be pleased, to read that more Dr. Seuss manuscripts have been discovered! The first one, which the publisher (Random House) estimates was written between 1958 and 1962, is due out in July!!!!18artsbeat-seuss1-blog480

Could Use Some Help!

After getting 3 feet of snow in the last 10 days and more predicted tomorrow, we could use some help from the “Abbey Snowed” crew…Abbey_Snowed


I am NOT a fan of winter… I admit that our backyard looks dramatic in a snowstorm, as you can see from my husband’s photo below. And I suppose being stuck inside is conducive to writing…Rhododendron in snowstorm









But I’d much rather be looking out at (or rather, standing next to) those same rhododendrons in full June bloom…2 months ’til spring!

Rhododendrons in bloom