Leave a Comment · Posted on September 20, 2016
I've finally joined those who seek perfection in a square—that's right. You can find me on #Instagram!
And I'm learning Italian from the ground up. To help me, I am sketching my way through the language, noting in pictures what words and expressions mean.
Learn along with me and enjoy my sketchbook project 'Imparlo Italiano,' which is also going to help me get around the International Children's Book Fair in Bologna, where I hope to get a bite of real Italian spaghetti and acquire a few new book projects.
Leave a Comment · Posted on September 9, 2016
Why is there a 'K' behind a rattlesnake wrapped around a cactus?
Well, that isn't too difficult to explain. You see 'rattlesnake' and 'cactus' both begin with a 'K' in German, and both being nouns, they begin with a capital 'K'.
Test your German and your ability to speak a foreign tongue twister:
Die Klapperschlange klapperte bis ihr Klapper schlapper klang.
(Try it with my American pronunciation: Dee klah-per-schlahng-eh klahp-pear-teh bis eer klah-per schlahp-pear klahng.)
This silliness means: The rattlesnake rattled till her rattle rattled out.
Leave a Comment · Posted on August 22, 2016
I can’t believe all the hype my new search-and-find book, “Heidelberg wimmelt” is getting. Last week, I was in Heidelberg for a second to for research and two event drawings (I even got to draw the Oberburgermeister (Mayor in Chief)). All in all there were seven interviews: one tv, two with radio stations and four with print & online journalists, including the German national press association, the DPA.
I’ll be adding more links to this and showing off my event drawings as the week goes along.
And I’d like to say here thanks to all the Heidelbergers who showed up to have their portraits drawn and to be included as figures in ‘Heidelberg wimmelt’, including Frau B. who wanted to be drawn directly as a figure for the book.
Leave a Comment · Posted on August 11, 2016
A rough life at sea on board tight quarters, it must have felt like a blast of adrenaline and a a sense of freedom flying from ship to ship. But most of the pirates couldn't swim. Modern kids with their beginner's swimming insignia probably are stronger swimmers than any a pirate who went to sea ever was.
Often the 'pirates' were sailors hired by monarchies to plunder their enemies' treasure chests. "I don't think much of our profession, but, contrasted with respectability, it is comparatively honest.". (The King, Pirates of Penzance)
And many a pirate had never set out to be a pirate. Some were just kidnapped and set to sea. From there there was no going back to 'normal' life, because once you'd been forced into piracy, you could be hung for piracy.
Leave a Comment · Posted on August 2, 2016
Who never wanted to live the adventurous pirate life as a kid? Find buried treasure? Living life with just a bit of larceny in their heart?
The Pirate Kids are part of a personal project for a birthday planner, full of ways to involve the whole family in the preparations, with easy pop-up invitations and party favors to make. My book project includes original fun, pirate themed recipes and activities with a special secret bonus in the back of the book.
Leave a Comment · Posted on August 2, 2016
If you have been following along with attention, you'll already know that I am an American illustrator based in Germany. And that I do enjoy funny tongue twisters. Here is one that is a little long: Die sieben Riesen niesen, weil die Nieselwinde bliesen. Liessen die Winde das Nieseln, dann würden die Riesen nicht niesen.
And all that boils down to: The seven giants are sneezing because the drizzly winds are breezy. Were the winds not so breezy, then the giants wouldn't be so sneezy.
(Admittedly not as cute as in German, but you get the idea).
What is your favorite tongue twister? Maybe I'll sketch it for you.
Here you see the idea behind the tongue twister drawings. Tongue twisters are great for children who have speech deficiencies (and are really good for adults who need to keep a nimble mind). Children can color during speech practice and laugh while they are doing it, too.
Leave a Comment · Posted on May 18, 2016
This is the tale of two brothers who turn themselves into a scorpion and a hummingbird to secretly follow their grandfather to a secret well, which was actually a tree from which water flowed. The brothers gathered the forest animals together to try to chop down the tree, but the tree was so mighty, that they could hardly saw through the wood. They tried many times over many days and saw to their chagrin, that every morning, the tree showed no signs of their efforts.
But what was Grandfather\'s role in all of this… and what does the tree have to do with the Amazon River?
Read more about it in \'Im Kochtopf um die Welt\', ISBN 978‑3‑9814448‑0‑3.
Leave a Comment · Posted on March 18, 2016
Smutje is what the Northern Germans once called the ship’s cook and he was a pretty important man on board.
He was the one who kept his comrades happy by keeping their tummies full and healthy in his secondary role as a ship’s doctor who would perform an occasional emergency amputation. (Not that an amputation would make a person happy, but the alternative would have been bleaker).