Got the winter blahs? Join me for a Baby Penguins story time and activity!

Saturday 1/12 @ 11am, at Greenlight Bookstore (Fort Greene)

Wednesday 1/23 @ 10:30am, at Brooklyn Central Library (Grand Army Plaza)

Saturday 1/26 @ 2pm, at Fort Washington Library (Washington Heights)

Sunday 1/27 @ 11:30am, at the new powerHouse on 8th (Park Slope)

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Happy New Year Penguins

The penguins wish you an ice-and-snow-filled 2013, with plenty of herring and sardines!

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Review

Not allowed to reprint the whole article, so if you like complete sentences, check out this weekend's Sunday New York Times roundup of penguin books.

From The New York Times, Dec. 14, 2012 © 2012 The New York Times All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of the Material without express written permission is prohibited.

 

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This is it: Baby Penguins Everywhere! is officially published. As in, it's on real bookstore shelves across the US -- and Canada, eh!

Whether you buy a copy from your friendly local bookshop or borrow one from your library, I hope you'll share it with the little penguins in your life. If you don't have penguins, share it with your kids!

xo, Melissa

p.s. Remember to request your free signed bookplate!

many little penguins

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My December blog tour starts today! Pop over to Nerdy Book Club (where I get nerdy about Roald Dahl), then check in as I waddle along. I'll be visiting established kidslit favorites and sparkly new upstarts; we'll talk about my drawing process, a favorite book, how I got my agent...And of course we'll give away books!

Dec 4 - NERDY BOOK CLUB
Dec 9 - 7 IMPOSSIBLE THINGS BEFORE BREAKFAST
Dec 10 - CYNSATIONS, CREATIVE TIMES
Dec 11 - WRITER'S DIGEST GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS
Dec 15 - PEN & OINK

 

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Dear NYC: My book will be published December 6th, but I'm reading at two local events before the book comes out. Come get your signed copies early! We will eat goodies and get our pictures taken with Santa (at the first event anyway). I've always wanted to meet him!

December 2, 3pm
powerHouse Arena Kids Holiday Party
(with Carin Berger)
37 Main Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn

December 3, 2pm
JCC Holiday Book Fair
(with Ame Dyckman, Michael Leviton, and Jeanne C. Blackmore)
344 Amsterdam Ave. (@ 76th St.), Manhattan

powerHouse Kids Holiday Party

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I don't often sell my original artwork, but I'm auctioning one of my preparatory paintings for Baby Penguins Everywhere! to raise money for storm relief in NYC.

Proceeds go to Red Hook Initiative, a local youth and community development organization that is taking major responsiblity for relief efforts in Red Hook.

Please bid, and spread word of Storm Penguin throughout the land!

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Welcome to the first day of Picture Book Month! And for new subscribers, welcome to my blog!

Sandy delayed this post a week, but I'm not complaining! Being unable to blog is nothing compared to what others are dealing with. I'm going to be offering one of my penguin paintings for sale to raise funds for NYC storm recovery efforts; watch this space for details.

Original Art Crowd

Last Thursday night was the opening of The Original Art 2012 at the Society of Illustrators. The Original Art is an annual exhibition of artwork from the year’s best children’s books, as determined by a jury of art directors, editors, publishers and illustrators.

Gianna Marino and Melissa Guion

Illustrator friends new and old were selected: Brian Biggs, Matthew Meyers, and of course Jon Klassen, who accepted the Silver Medal for This is Not My Hat. Christian Robinson came all the way from California, as did Gianna Marino.

Kelly Light

Kelly Light was there, too: we have a visual on that. (P.S. My heart goes out to Kelly, whose town on the South Shore of Long Island was devastated by the storm a few days later.)

I always swore that if I met Paul O. Zelinsky I would tell him how much I love The Story of Mrs. Lovewright And Purrless Her Cat. Well, I forgot.

My spot on the wall

My good friends Laure and Jennifer helped me find my picture in the sea of illustration goodness. It hangs below a beautiful piece by my friend Carson Ellis, and opposite paintings by Lifetime Achievement Award-winners Tomie de Paola and Richard Scarry.

Richard Scarry Gives Me Butterflies

If it's not clear from my face, I Am A Bunny is one of my favorite children's books. Sharing a gallery wall with little Nicholas and those butterflies is like being in a dream.

It was also an honor to be selected in the same year as author/illustrator Jeanette Winter. Eight years ago, when I was an aspiring illustrator, Jeanette and her husband Roger took me to see my first Original Art show. Sadly, we didn't cross paths on this night (like my art director Semadar Megged, they were smart enough to come early). Happily, I ran into my former teacher, the professional heckler Sergio Ruzzier.

Sergio Ruzzier and Melissa Guion

The show is at The Society of Illustrators until December 22, 2012. Getting to East 63rd St. in Manhattan may pose a challenge in coming days. If you can manage in coming weeks, I think it's worth it. And when you go, tell me, I'll join you. I want to see it again!

Original Art Books

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I am dying to own one of these adorable wooden penguin statues being given away by Penguin Classics!

Sadly, the contest is only open to UK residents. :( If you live in the UK (or have a good friend who does) will you please enter on my behalf? I know it's a long shot, but I will happily send a signed copy of my book to anyone who can procure one of these!!

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Big thanks to all who came out to 440 Gallery this weekend.  It was great to read my book in public for the first time (with my trusty studio assistant by my side)!

I also led a workshop to show how I made the book. First we looked at source material.

(Someone asked how penguins sound, so we listened to them, too.)

I shared a handful of the hundreds of sketches I made while inventing the look of the penguins and their world. Even grown illustrators use trial and error!

Next I painted a penguin to show how easy it is if you're like me and don't worry about staying in the lines. (As you can see, I was passion in motion, never still long enough for a clear photo):

Finally we turned the kids loose on the art supplies!

At this age, process is more important than product. That said, the results were nothing short of spectacular!

What a great day.  Kids, go make your own books!

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