Saturday, January 13, 2018


Buy me here!
Buy me here!
Zomo the rabbit.
He is not big.
He is not strong.

But he is very clever.

Zomo The Rabbit is a trickster tale from West Africa by Gerald McDermott. McDermott was an award winning author, illustrator and film maker who specialized in mythology. Zomo The Rabbit is one of my recent recycled story projects featured at the end of this post. It was a trickster tale and a tricky collage to put together. I truly enjoyed saving this book and it also made me think about ALL of the wonderful stories that McDermott adapted. I also took the opportunity to reread several and I encourage you to read them as well.

Buy me here!
One of his most well-known trickster tales is the 1973 Caldecott Honor Book Anansi the Spider. He adapted many tales and won the Caldecott in 1975 for Arrow to the Sun a Pueblo Indian Tale. He also made a film version that is linked in the Horn Book Review above (click on Gerald McDermott!). 
There are so many ways to use these books in your classroom or as a family read. Teachers can inbox me for lesson plan assistance or google Gerald McDermott and you will find a mountain of materials. These books also make an amazing themed gift or you can visit your local library and read them for free!

16" x 20"

Monday, January 1, 2018


Green Eggs and Ham Collage
In case you missed some of my earlier posts and you're looking for something to do on this cold January 1st day why not take some time to view some of the collages I made over the last two years in my archived posts. 

ALL of my collages except Green Eggs and Ham are for sale. My RECYCLED STORIES are one-of-a-kind and are made from a single damaged book. I detail my "process" in my first RECYCLED STORIES Blog post origin of my recycled stories. 

I have been making collages for many years but only recently decided to share. 2017 was the year I took my first step in sharing my work on this BLOG and by participating in a POP UP MUSEUM at Westerly Public Library where I shared my collage of The Rainbow Fish. The participants were gracious with their compliments. I have been making different types of collages for many years but only recently decided to share my picture book collages. The books I have shared on this site are generally well known and I used them in my own classroom. I thought I knew everything about them but in the process of making the collages I find out so many more interesting things about the story and the illustrations that further reinforces my belief that picture books are for every age. I hope when you view one of my collages it will inspire you to read and re-read the books with someone you love. Happy New Year.

The Rainbow Fish Collage

Friday, December 15, 2017


Buy me here!
I have always been a fan of both Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt but I learned so much more about both of them while making my collage of Amelia and Eleanor Go For A Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan, pictures by Brian Selznick. I also absolutely love both of these authors and have followed Brian’s unique style of illustration as well. What resonated for me as I worked on this collage was that Ryan and Selznick conveyed the friendship, admiration and love that Earhart and Roosevelt had for each other. Ryan created the dialogue in the story almost exclusively from newspaper accounts, book transcripts and diaries. Selznick researched the illustrations for six months and lived in Washington, D.C. If you have time and want to learn more about his process check out his visit with students from Capitol Hill Day School on C-Span.

As a library media specialist, I always pulled this book as a resource for biography units
More information from the Smithsonian here.
and/or women’s history month e
ven though it is categorized as “fiction” or "juvenile picture book." The story is actually based on several factual events; Earhart speaking in Washington D.C. and sleeping at the Whitehouse and a night flight that Earhart and Roosevelt took together (in picture). Mrs. Roosevelt also had the distinction of logging more passenger miles than any other woman in the 1920s and 1930s. 

In my collage you will notice that I included a reporter’s notebook entry that reads, “Amelia and Eleanor were birds of a feather...” Both women challenged stereotypes but it was more than that. Amelia Earhart was a famous aviator and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. She was outspoken against war and an advocate for women’s rights. Together these women were “birds of a feather.” Eleanor, originally a very shy, introvert, she thought driving was practical, loved to fly and cared about dignity for every human. Watch this interview with Frank Sinatra and where he asks the first lady if she had only one word to share with the world what would it be.

Amelia and Eleanor Go For A Ride was published in 1999 and as sad as I was to see this book damaged, I hope I have piqued your interest about reading the book. One final note, in my collage I added the “pink” on their desserts (difficult to see in the photo). It’s a recipe that appears at the end of the book known as Eleanor Roosevelt’s Pink Clouds on Angel Food Cake. According to Ryan, (a fact she confirmed), angel food cake was Eleanor's favorite dessert. 

There’s only one collage and it’s for sale, but everyone can read the book! I hope you enjoy the book and the collage as much as I did.

(Note: computer images do not properly show the 3D collage. The photo was taken outside the glass frame to prevent glare. This collage is framed in a black 1 inch frame 16" x 20")

Friday, November 17, 2017


Buy me here!
My Green Eggs and Ham collage is one of my favorites. I'm sorry, but it's not for sale. The collage is actually made from a book that my sister and brothers shared when we were young. We didn't have much but we did belong to a Dr. Seuss Book Club that sent books once a month. Each month one of us would get to "own" the book that came in and that included opening it after dinner. I remember the excitement of the moment when the book of the month was revealed. At this point I believe I have all or most of the books that were delivered to us and they are all in less than ideal condition to hold and read, but perfect for a recycled story. 
In an apparent bet with his editor, Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Seuss Geisel), created Green Eggs and Ham with just 50 different words to tell the story. The Cat in the Hat uses 225 words. Our cover, published in 1960, promotes the 50 word vocabulary as a feature. As an educator I loved reading this book with my students and would use "You do not like them so you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may I say." as a callback to encourage students to try new things. Green Eggs and Ham is a wonderful edition to your personal library. 
I've taken the collage out of the frame so you can see the detail. Hope it  makes you want to read the book!

Saturday, October 14, 2017


16" x 13" framed collage
Another collage that I am making available for purchase is based on the children's book Corduroy by Don Freeman. Corduroy lives in a fancy department store but he is missing a button. A little girl named Lisa is walking through the department store with her mother and spies the teddy bear. She loves him immediately and asks her mom if she can have him. Her mother's response, "Not today, dear. Besides he doesn't look new." Corduroy did not know he was missing a button and comes to life that night in the department store to search for a new button. Readers of all ages love the idea of a toy coming to life, but I admire this story most because it is ultimately about friendship and belonging. Reading this book with your students or your child provides a wealth of discussion topics and so it's no surprise that Corduroy was named one of the Top 100 Great Children's Books by the New York Public Library.

Buy me here!

Buy me here!
Buy me here!

Buy me here!
Author Don Freeman was an extremely interesting person. As a graphic artist, he sketched street life and New York City Theatre Life for 20 years. He wrote Corduroy and A Pocket for Corduroy but all other Corduroy books are based on his characters. Freeman also wrote several other children's books including the Caldecott Honor book Fly High, Fly Low.

If you have a spot for Corduroy in your home contact me for pricing.  I also encourage you to make Corduroy part of your classroom or home library. Corduroy books make great gifts. More information on Corduroy Books can be found here or click on my fast links below the books to check out these great reads.

Friday, October 13, 2017


Want to add this book to your collection? Buy it here!
In case you missed it! The framed collage below is based on the book I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley and illustrated by E.B. Lewis. This is a fabulous book that I read to hundreds of students as a teacher in Boston. (See Ms. M’s Materials on Ms. M’s Mass Media). The collage grew from a very tattered paperback with pages falling out. I've been a collage artist for many years but only recently have had the courage to start sharing some of my favorite pieces. 

It can take me several weeks to complete a collage. My visual art process starts with writing and I create a précis of the story. A précis is a summary of the story that includes the critical elements. I like to think of it as the essence of the story. I ask myself, what words could tell this story completely if I could only use a few sentences? This is like the process I might use when I introduce a story to my students. What is this book about? Why am I reading it to my class? Why is this an important book to share? In the case of I Love My Hair the text that appears in the final collage is a combination of the the original précis and the pictures that I used to tell the story. Not everyone can own my collage, but everyone can read the book. I hope that all my collages encourage MORE reading.

I’ve made quite a few Recycled Stories since my first and do not have the wall space to keep all my beloved art. The one-of-a-kind collage is framed and measures 18” x 22” and comes complete with a new, hard cover copy of I Love My Hair!  Contact me for pricing on the collage if you have a place for this gem in your world!

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Buy me here!
Buy me here!
I had the awesome opportunity to attend a Pop-Up Museum at Westerly Public Library yesterday.  I brought my Rainbow Fish Collage for feedback. The Rainbow Fish was written and illustrated by Marcus Pfister.  I've put a link to Marcus Pfister's official website for you because there is such a wealth of information, resources and more amazing books to read with your students or children. Marcus Pfister was originally a graphic artist that worked in advertising. He published his first book entitled The Sleepy Owl in 1986. The Rainbow Fish came to America around 1992 and has been translated to over 80 languages and has sold over 30 million copies. The Rainbow Fish is also an animated show. Students and teachers love The Rainbow Fish. For my display yesterday, I included the cover of the badly damaged book that I made the collage from. Thank you to everyone for your positive feedback at the Pop-Up. I've included a better picture of the collage below.
The Rainbow Fish Collage