Tag Archives: angel street kids books

Getting Flashbacks

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Except for the red hair, this is pretty much a flash back moment.  Yes, this illustration is flashing me back to my good old college days.  I always had paint on my cheek, and all over my art smock.  In my early married days we lived in a small apartment.  I had a small painting space to work in, so when I was working on large paintings, I’d turn some binoculars backwards so that I could “back up” in a way and see my paintings from a distance.  I’d use a small ladder to reach the top of the painting.  I had a habit of turning the paintbrush backwards and scratching the top of my head with the end of it, so I would often get paint strokes on the ceiling.  There were always smudges of paint on the phone and the doorknobs.

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This character is an important key in the solving of the newest case for the Gumshoe Crew.  I am getting so close to finishing the illustrations for the new Investigator Anne book, “Case #5 – The Grave of the Indian Princess.”  I just finished illustration #84 out of about 100.  Hoping to do some more tonight.  (I’ve got to go out and weed my garden in the meantime though.  Planting time is coming!)

The Librarian

There is a part in the new book where the Gumshoe Crew visits the library in search of some needed clues.

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This was the original sketch I created of the librarian, but then I thought it would be more fun to style the character after my friend, Sylvia, who actually works at the town library.

 

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This is how it turned out and I think it works much better this way.  Thanks for the inspiration Sylvia!

My Day So Far

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I finished this illustration last night.  Funny thing, while I was working on it, I just kept yawning.  It made me tired to draw someone tired.  Well, that and it was about 11:30 pm.  Today, I’m working on new drawings.  Maybe if I draw someone with lots of energy, it will make me feel energetic…here’s hoping.  Is it okay to play with my own mind this way???

Character Sketch — “Lily”

Lily is one of the characters in my Investigator Anne series.  She’s smart and she loves all things to do with nature, plants, and animals.  She always wears a flower in her hair, and she often helps solve the mysteries by contributing knowledge about her interests.

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In this scene in the upcoming book, Lily and Anne are having a discussion about lemons and invisible ink.  What is the connection you may ask?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Anyway, I just reached my halfway point with these illustrations!  I “only” have about 50 more illustrations to go.  Stay tuned, I’m in the groove and so excited to complete the book.  It’s a fun story and I think you’re kids will love it.  My kids have read it already, so it truly is kid-tested and kid-approved.  As always, I’ll keep you updated on the progress!

Investigator Anne – Sketch

Yesterday I worked on some illustrations while my kiddos were job shadowing me.

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This is an illustration for the scene where Anne is trying to figure out the meaning of a cryptic message the crew discovers in a forgotten old building, dating back to the days of the Pony Express.

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Investigator Anne book #5 is called “The Grave of the Indian Princess.”

Yesterday, I gave my kids a mock assignment for “Take Your Child to Work Day,” and told them to draw the Indian princess.

Here are some of my kids’ assignment paintings:

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Gizmo Sketch

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in sketches and illustrations for the newest Investigator Anne book, so I thought I’d post a little teaser.

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I’ve been sketching the spot illustrations for “Investigator Anne – Case #5 Grave of the Indian Princess.”  Usually there is anywhere between 80 and 130 illustrations in the Investigator Anne books.  I feel like it’s important to have a lot of pictures in early chapter books.  It helps to break up the wall of words that can look so overwhelming to young readers.

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After the sketches are done, I finish them up with a cleaner drawing.  Gizmo is a fun character to draw.  I love his big goggles and inventive personality.  He is always creating some kind of gadget.  In this book, his newest, one-of-a-kind invention, is just as brilliant as ever.

BTW, you may wonder why this style is so different from other styles I’ve done.  It’s obviously very different from the watercolor I recently finished.  The reason is simply that this style is a relatively quick way to illustrate a book with so many pictures.  There really aren’t many chapter books out there with a full-color illustration on nearly every page.  I use this style mainly to save the book buyer’s money.  My books are always a low affordable price, and this is just one way of how I can make it that way.

Bunny’s Easter Surprise – eBook

Bunny’s Easter Surprise is a delightful children’s eBook about the beauty of springtime and of Easter.

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In the book, Bunny and his friends set off for an exciting Easter Egg hunt.

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They learn very quickly that Easter is about more than just candy and goodies.

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This book is a wonderful addition to your Easter library.  It is a book about the beauty of new life in Bunny’s garden.  While the book does not talk specifically about religion, it opens the door to talk to your children about the true meaning and beauty of Easter.

Find this eBook HERE.  Enjoy, and happy Easter everyone!

Cookin’ Up Some Cuteness

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She’s got the oven mit on.  My daughter is about to make a scrumptious meal.  No biggie, she’s quite a good cook.

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Check out the cute kitchen I made for her birthday.  I’m super thrilled with the way it turned out.  But first…

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The “before” pictures.  I found this winning cabinet at the local Goodwill for just $8.  It even has wheels on the bottom, which I was pretty thrilled about.

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Mr. Everything helped me cut a hole in the top for the sink (a silver bowl).

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I used Annie Sloan chalk paint (Provence color) to paint the cabinet, plus a homemade mix of gray, and the off-white color is Country Grey.  I bought the small silver bowl at Walmart for $5, and the utility faucet on the clearance shelf at Home Depot for $15.

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The stove burners are furniture Sliders and the stove knobs are painted wooden drawer pulls.  We drilled the holes slightly too big so that the knobs can twist and rotate, like the knobs on a stove.

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Mr. Everything also helped me drill those holes in the side so Brother can pretend to fix Em’s kitchen with his cool tools and toy power drill.

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A few weeks later I found the taller cabinet and painted it to make it into her toy fridge.  It was the perfect size!

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I love the fridge handle, a lift-up pull!  Perfect.

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I just love how this kitchen set turned out, and love that my Em enjoys it so much.  But enough of my creative drabblings…it’s dinner time with Miss Em.  She’s cookin’ up something good.

Investigator Anne – Case #2 Sneaky Sneakers on KINDLE

It’s here!   My book, Investigator Anne – Case #2 Sneaky Sneakers, has just been released on Amazon for the Kindle!  Find the Kindle version HERE! Previously available only for Nook, I’m pleased that this is now available for Kindle.  I LOVE how this looks on the Kindle!  (Books #3 and #4 will be released for Kindle over the next two weeks)

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In this book, Anne and her Gumshoe Crew friends discover a mystery involving the disappearance of shoes around town.  Mary’s favorite glow-in-the-dark sneakers are gone, as well as Mr. Treadwell’s army boot, Gizmo’s favorite tennis shoe, and lots of others.  Mom thinks it’s a matter of irresponsibility, until her own shoe goes missing.  Anne and her friends use creative and inventive ways to find the sneaky, and unlikely, culprit.  Their efforts lead them on a great chase through the city, and an unforgettable adventure.

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This story began in my mind after we had some of our own sneaky sneakers disappearing from our house.  With five kids, and ten little feet, we seem to have a lot of shoe mysteries and are constantly looking for all of those sneaky shoes.

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The Investigator Anne series has a subtle science emphasis.  In this book the kids learn about friction.  There is a fun friction science experiment idea at the end of the book that kids can try at home, as well as a glossary of words to learn and know.

Being a very visual person myself, I feel like kids need more pictures in early chapter book readers.  While they are adjusting from reading picture books to reading their own chapter books, I think pictures help to break up the large and intimidating word wall, and helps them keep looking forward to the next page.  The Investigator Anne books are packed with fun and bright illustrations.

I loved writing this book with my husband, and I’ve loved illustrating it.  Hope you all enjoy it as much as we did creating it!

 

Here are some great reviews from some B&N readers: (BTW, thanks for all your great reviews, I really appreciate your comments and feedback!)

 

“We are big fans of Investigator Anne at our house. I bought the first book when it came out, and we absolutely love this one too. This one has a cute plot and an unexpected ending. The characters are all very curious and creative and they learn about science concepts in a subtle way throughout the book. I think it is very well done and we are anxious for more! FYI, this is not an advanced chapter book. This is a perfect book for kids who are just getting in to lengthier readers. :)”

-MorningGloryST

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“I bought this for my daughter. My son saw it and read it too. They both loved it. There is a science experiment idea at the end. We’ve been making “Hover crafts” today for our homeschool science assignment on friction. I highly recommend this for any child.”

-nyBaby

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“This book is an early chapter reader for kids who are just starting to get into longer books–about ages 6-8, depending on the child’s reading level. So it’s not a book that is 300 pages long, this one is about 80 pages. My kids love it because it has a fun story and it has a picture on every page. My kids are still learning to read and get really overwhelmed with a page full of text. It helps so much to have a picture on every page to keep them interested. The story is really cute and the characters are nice, imaginative, creative, and caring. A good book for kids in a culture that is moving away from those qualities. My family can’t wait for more!”

-LineaS

Investigator Anne for KINDLE!

Woohoo!  I’m so excited to announce that we will be releasing my Investigator Anne books on Amazon.com!

The first book, “Investigator Anne – Case #1 Timeless Treasure Lost” is NOW AVAILABLE for Kindle!  This book has been on the top ten list in it’s age category on Barnes & Noble Nook books for the past 2 years.  I’m thrilled that it will now be available for Kindle readers too.  Please go buy this book if you haven’t already.  I appreciate any positive reviews too!  Click HERE to look inside the book at the Kindle store.

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One book in the series will be released each week for the next four weeks.  Watch for “Investigator Anne – Case#2 Sneaky Sneakers” at the Kindle store next week.

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Thank you, everyone, for your support and great feedback.  I couldn’t do this without you!  I hope you and your kids continue to enjoy these books.  There are many more ideas in my head, and the next book is always in the works.  I’m looking forward to the release of Case #5 and will keep you updated on my progress.