NEW eBook! Investigator Anne

I’m SO excited!  My first eBook is now available on Barnes&Noble.com.  Mark and I wrote the book together, and I illustrated it.

You might have guessed it.  This book is totally inspired by my oldest daughter, Anne.

Sometimes we really do call her “Investigator Anne,”  especially when there’s a case to be solved…like a missing ballet slipper.

…Or when there’s mysterious rabbit tracks in the backyard.

Or when a ball has been missing from the wacky popper toy for months…

Here she is decoding the secret message for a geo-cache box location.

She even has a “Case Book.”  This is the page where she wrote down her ideas about capillary action.

This page is about the case of a missing shoe.  No, not the ballet slipper, a different shoe.  We have a lot of missing shoe cases like that. :)

Whatever the case, Anne’s there to scope it out.

I made this “Investigator Kit” for her one Christmas.  It’s got all the clue-solving essentials.

Here she is studying the facts on an old pocket pc.  She has pictures of animals, animal tracks, and science charts on there.
Since we have so many mysteries around here, Anne stays pretty busy.

So back to the eBook.

This idea has been mulling in my head for quite awhile.  Mark and I had so much fun writing it and I loved illustrating it.  This book is a beginning level chapter book for young readers who are ready for their first chapter books.

Here’s a little sneak peak at a few other pages in the book…

There is a subtle science emphasis as “Investigator Anne” and her friends look for clues to find her mom’s missing watch.  The kids discover science around them while they work together to solve problems and develop ideas.

Find this book on sale, exclusively at Barnes&Noble.com.


Balloon Art

You: Seriously?!  What!  Are you kidding me?

MeYes, this is real folks.   This is a real life-size model of a dinosaur fossil made out of…balloons.   I’m totally blown away too.

So, backing up a little, this is how I came to know “Balloon Guy.”

There we were.  My family, enjoying a nice dinner out with my parents.  Then suddenly…

BAMM!, Kaaa-zamm!  Explosions of excitement went off in our children’s eyes.  We saw this guy going around the tables making balloon sculptures.  “How fun, I thought.  What a fun way to entertain the kids.”  But really, the entire jam-packed room of adults were just as fascinated as the kids were.

So what makes this guy so fascinating?  Well, let me first make a comparison.  I know you’ll identify with me because everyone at some point in their life has received a balloon character, right?   Sometimes it’s a flower, a poodle, or a sword.

Okay, hold on ’cause I’m backing up some more…ready for a flashback?

So one time I was shopping with all my kids and, needless to say, by the end of the excursion a few of the kids were having meltdowns in the very long checkout line.  I finally reached the checkout, paid and was high-tailin’ it outa there when suddenly an old man stepped in front of me.  He opened his jacket and reached down (I was a little freaked out at this point wondering “What the heck?”).  Anyway, he reached down and slowly pulled out this long skinny balloon and started blowing up balloons and twisting them into unrecognizable shapes.  Um, weird and awkward timing obviously.  I suppose he saw my screaming kids and tried to divert their attention, but yeah, it didn’t really work.  I grabbed all my kids and ran out the door, pretty much crying myself at that point.

That was the psycho balloon guy day.


Back to now.

So this day at the restaurant was a complete opposite of the psycho balloon guy day.  Sure my kids were in a better mood and all, but still this “Balloon Guy” could have turned any frowns up-side-down for sure.  I expected him to make some little dinky doggy balloon or something.  He asked what my kids would like and when they said a dog, he replied “Are you sure?  I can do a lot of different things.”  So of course that prompted me to ask, “How many designs can you make?”

It turned out that this guy can make thousands of different designs, all imagined by him.  He uses many balloons and makes the most amazing details.  My three daughters were fascinated and as each of their turns came around, each daughter tried to think of something more challenging.  The first was a panda bear holding a heart.  The second was mini mouse (complete with pink dress and high heels).  The third was a kangaroo holding a joey in it’s pouch.

Mark and I exchange “Wow!” glances.  We couldn’t help it.  Suddenly we saw balloons as art and wanted to know more.  We had to find out more about this guy.

So “Balloon Guy” is Jeremy Telford.  He creates art for all kinds of parties and events–from birthdays to museum displays.  You can see his website at www.balloonguyentertainment.com.

Jeremy also has a book out called Balloonology. It has “32 fun projects to take you from beginner to expert.”  Cool.  I think I’ll have to try this.

Anyway, we had a very fun (and non-freaky) evening at the restaurant.  Thanks Balloon Guy! :)

Mother’s Day Cards for Kids to Make

I just finished making these little printable cards for Mother’s Day.  My kids are anxious to make some for their grandmas.  Enjoy! ;)

BTW, if you like these and want to see more, please go to my Angel Street Kids Facebook page and click “LIKE.”  Chat with me there and I will make sure you are up-to-date on new printables, products and more! ;)

Click on each image to see the full-size PDF, or CLICK HERE to open the multi-page PDF.