Thursday, December 19, 2013

Around the World with Little Raindrop: From New York to Georgia!

Hiya, Readers!

So, did I tell you what I did last month in November?

NO?!?!! Golly, I'd better hurry up!

Well, we all know November is a pretty cool month for many of us. Cool because it's c-c-cold, and cool because we get to celebrate all the things we're thankful for during Thanksgiving! But I got to do some reaallly cool things on top of all that!

At the beginning of the month, Miss Lucy took me with her on a super duper fast Amtrak train to New York City! I sure love trains! I had been to the city before, but I hadn't seen some of these other sights before now...

Let's hang out here and watch the world zooooom by!

The New York City Marathon finish line!!! Wowie!
I wonder how many water bottles they used up?

Without water, there would be no baked goods! Mmmmm, cake!

This cute fat little pigeon looks like he needs a drop of water!
(Just DON'T let him drive a bus!)

WHOA. Times Square!

This is the Washington Square Arch! It was completed and dedicated
wayyy back in 1895! The fountain we are leaning on was built in 1872.
That's, like, older than Grampa Drop and Gramma Drop!

Then, during the week of Thanksgiving, Aaron's family took me with them on a road trip! The best part was when we went climbing on rock walls like monkeys at Stone Summit in Atlanta, GA. It was SO FUN! I hope I get to go climbing again because it was super cool!

Gahhhhh! I'm up so high!!!

Don't we just look LOVEly, hee hee!

Yay, we are on our way home again!

It was great seeing all the sights in the city, and just hanging out and having a good ol' time with family and friends. I can't wait to see where I'm going next! :D

In the mean time, I better go make sure Miss Melanie is staying on track with the illustrations. She just finished some really fun activity pages, and I want to see what she is working on now!

See ya around and around!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tales of a Third Grade Classroom: Activity Page Tryouts!

Hi, Kids!

Do you remember how I said in October that I am working on new Activity Pages for Mr. H's class to try out? Well, I've already made a whole bunch of them! Here are some final images for you to see for yourself:

 Aren't they fun?!

You might even notice this new logo on the page...

That's because with every new Activity Page I share with students, or post on the blog here, that logo will let people know that I am still testing out these activities! Sometimes I make mistakes, or create a puzzle that could be too hard, or even too easy, for kids. It's good to learn how well I am doing or not!

In fact, I sent them to Mr. H's students this week, and the kids have been trying out the activities! These kids sure look like they're having fun!

The cutest Crabby Cumulonimbus, ever!

GREAT JOB, kids!

Guess what? YOU can even try out these Activity Pages for yourself! Just have a parent click on each image and Print each page, and viola! You have your very own Tester Page! Send us photos of your finished pages and let us know how you like them to Or if you want to send it through the Snail Mail instead, ask for further instructions on how to do so via email. If you include your mailing address, I will even send you a button as a Thank You!

Thanks SO much for your help! Because of you, Little Raindrop's book is going to be totally AWESOME!
~Miss Melanie

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Around the World with Little Raindrop: Lake Lure, North Carolina!

Hiya, Kiddos!

BRRRRRR! Boy, is it chilly CHILLY! *shiver*

It's a good thing it snowed so I could land on someone's jacket and get inside to thaw out, or else I would be stuck in a sheet of ice somewhere all Winter long! How on Earth am I supposed to type if I'm frozen?! Anyway, I hope you're all toasty warm somewhere right now, and maybe even doing some good deeds while your elf keeps a close watch on you! Christmas is just around the corner, you know!

Speaking of good deeds- I haven't yet told you about the good deed Miss Karenna did back in October: she took me along to Lake Lure with her family! Isn't that so sweet of her?! Here are some fun photos from our trip...

Karenna and I are getting goofy on this long car ride!

MMMM, spaghetti!

What... I have something on my face? Where?

A nice day to go out on the lake!

Look at the pristine water! I can even see my reflection!

AHHHH! It's sooo relaxing here!

Everybody look at the camera and say "SANDWICH!"

Such a lovely view with such a lovely friend!

Can we send this picture to my Mama?

It was great being outdoors and so close to nature again! Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in all the fun indoor stuff, that we forget all about the even MORE fun outdoor stuff! This trip made me realize how important it is to stay connected with nature and the people we care about most. That reminds me... I need to go write a letter to Mama Drop ASAP!

So whether there is sand or snow outside your window, make sure to take a step outdoors for some fresh air! You never know what Mother Nature will teach you next!

Keep on flowing!
p.s. I found some pretty amazing photos of the lake here, too! :D

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tales of a Third Grade Classroom: Postcards from the Class of 2014!

All this... for ME?!?!!


Mr. H told me to expect something in the mail, but I had no idea there would be over FORTY postcards from all his amazing students! I love reading all about the kids, and looking at their cute drawings. And I like answering questions and telling the kids more about the project, and about my art.

So, here they are! And here is where I write back to the kids, in the comments below each picture, as well as at the end of this post. As always, I have removed any last names so as to protect the privacy of the children. :)

From Mr. H's Homeroom Class:

 Hi, Laura! I am so glad you like my owls- thank you so much!
I really like how you drew Momma Raindrop with her cute hat and lipstick!

Hi, Aidan! That's cool that you love Math! Geometry was my favorite kind of
Math in school. Thanks for your inspiration- I had fun looking for Little Raindrop!

Hi, Fletcher! 1. I can't wait to hear how you like the book so far! 
2. Thank you so much! I think your writing is really good!
3. I sure hope I can come visit, too! I really want to meet everyone!

Hi, Erin! I bet Little Raindrop would LOVE going to the beach with you in NY!
And I really like how you colored the sun in your Water Cycle picture! It's so pretty! :)

Hi, Jonathan! You know, I haven't drawn a Hail Drop yet! That's a great idea! 
But you will soon see a snowflake in the book. Thanks for the inspiration!
Also, I really like your lifeguard shack in your picture. :)

Hi, Gillian! You totally CAN write stories for fun, if you want! Your handwriting
is excellent, and you will do a great job! I used to make my own stories 
all the time when I was your age. I will show you some of them sometime! 

Hi, Damon! Thank you for your nice words and encouragement! I really hope
our book will be a bestseller, too! I found Little Raindrop in your drawing...
twice! He is so cute! :)

Hi, Amanda! Thanks for your sweet letter! I'm glad you like my husky,
because he is one of my favorites, too! I can't have pets at home, except for fish,
so I like to draw them instead. :)

Hi, Shai! I bet you have figured out that I like owls, a LOT! They are lucky animals for me! 
Little Raindrop has never been to Sarasota, FL. He would have so much fun there with you!

Hi, Daniel! I really like how you drew the water cycle! You even included snow in your picture,
which is one of Little Raindrop's favorite things to turn into! And I see Santa is there, too!
I wonder if Little Raindrop has met Santa yet?

Hi, Xander! Thank you for the super nice letter! I really hope to meet you, too!
I think it would be nice to visit during the Spring, because I have never seen the
cherry blossoms in bloom before. That would be so cool!

Hi, Gabriela! It is so nice to hear you like art and music, too! Music is important
to have, because I listen to it when I work on my art. Good music helps me make 
better art! I love flowers, too. Their colors are the best! My favorite is the Gerbera Daisy.
What is your favorite?

Hi, Allie! Thanks so much! I think I'm lucky that Mr. H chose me to be the illustrator! 
He is the best author, ever! His ideas are super fun and he is very funny. It makes
my job really awesome, and the best part is, I get to know cool kids like YOU!

Hi, Payton! Thanks for writing! I'm glad you like my pug drawing! Pugs are very funny
dogs because they sound like little piggies. They are so cute! What kind of dogs are your dogs?
I like how you drew a girl raindrop with a bow! She is very sweet! :)

Hi, Charlotte! That is so cool that you play softball! I used to play tee ball when I was little, but I learned 
I wasn't very good at sports. I was too busy picking flowers in the field and watching the butterflies 
instead of the ball! I bet you are really good, though. I love the cute clouds you drew!

Hi, Aaron! If you like writing and drawing, you should try making your own story 
some day! I agree with you- I think Mr. H might just be the very best teacher at your school!

Hi, Ellie! You can definitely be as good as me in Art one day! I can tell just by looking
at your Water Cycle drawing that you would be very good, because you already 
ARE very good! Just keep drawing all the time, and save your favorite pictures
so you can see how much better you draw each year! :)

Hi, Rory! Thank you so much! I'm glad that Little Raindrop's book reminds you of 
all those other amazing books, because it means we are doing a good job!
I found your Little Raindrop hanging out in the ocean! He is so cute!

Hi, Galang! I food, and I LOVE pasta mixed with butter! That was my favorite thing to eat when 
I was a kid. I think my mom thought I was silly to want butter on my pasta instead of red sauce, 
hee hee! Now one of my favorite things to eat is avocado. And I put it in my pasta, too!

From Mrs. Arce's Class:

Hi, Ava! I hope Little Raindrop was able to go with you to Keuka Lake!
You did a great job on your Water Cycle picture- I really like how you did the lettering!
In fact, you might have the BEST handwriting I have seen so far out of all of Mr. H's students!
Lettering and Type is very important in book making. Take a look at Little Raindrop's book and
see what you can learn from all the different fonts in the book. :)

Hi, Lucy! Oh, I hope you can take Little Raindrop with you to Costa Rica, too! I have never been
there, and I would love to see the photos! It is SO cool that you want to be the youngest child
to write a book. Have you ever read "Olivia's Birds" by Olivia Bouler
who was 11 years old when she wrote and illustrated it?

Hi, Karenna! I hope you had fun in North Carolina! I hope Little Raindrop was able to
join you there! Boy, he sure is going to be a busy little dude! I like how you drew him
taking a dive into the ocean!

Hi, Areen! Thank you for your nice letter! I love YOUR illustrations of Little Raindrop!
He is such a silly little drop! And I also like your name... it is very original, and it sounds nice
when you say it out loud. I like names that begin with the letter A, like my middle name... Anne! :)

Hi, Claire! I know what you mean about having too much art work! I take good photographs of 
each piece of art I make. I learned to keep all of my very favorites, and certain special ones from every 
school year. And I also learned to give some away to family and friends who appreciate it most!
I keep my art in giant flat files to keep them all safe. Keep up the good work! :D

Hi, Sofia! Thanks for writing! What is your favorite thing to draw?
I am now drawing some new things to show the class, soon!
I hope you will like them!

Hi, Jasmine! I like pink, too! But my absolute favorite colors are purple and teal. My
studio has lots of purple, and the rest of my house has lots of teal! Little Raindrop would
absolutely LOVE Thailand! I have never been there myself, though I have been to China! 
It's awesome that you love making up stories and drawing... never ever stop doing it!

Hi, Grace! Wow, drawing people is very hard for me to do! That's great that you can do it!
I think Little Raindrop would like to become sleet and hail sometime, too! I like how you 
drew the waves of heat coming off the sun in your picture. That's how I like to do it, too!

Hi, Tallula! I sure hope you can take Little Raindrop with you to Massachusetts! I don't think
he has had a visit with friends there just yet. I like how you colored the clouds different shades,
because that's exactly what they do in nature! And Little Raindrop looks SO cute in your drawing!

Hi, Jeremy! Thank you for your nice letter! It took me a LONG time to be able to draw like I do now. 
It took a lot of practice! Animals are my favorite to draw, too! I am having so much fun drawing everything for Little Raindrop's book. It's very important to love what you do!

Hi, Sophia! Great job on drawing Little Raindrop! And I really like your happy sunshine! Thank you for all 
your nice compliments! I agree- cream cheese icing is my favorite topping for Carrot Cake, and even cinnamon rolls. I also LOVE coconut cream pie! But I might be allergic to coconut now, so I can't have it anymore.

Hi, Ben! I really enjoy a good comic book, too! I have been wanting to read Bone but I haven't
had the chance to yet. I have two favorite comic books- the Amulet series, by Kazu Kibuishi, and also
My Sister the Freak, by Dani Jones. (Dani's comic is a FREE web comic, and both comics are great for kids!)
Both artists are AMAZING at what they do, and I totally wish I was as good an artist as them! 
My favorite non-comic books are: the Harry Potter Series, the Artemis Fowl series, the Percy Jackson series, 
and right now I am listening to Ender's Game on audiobook. I LOVE audiobooks!

Hi, Abby! Oh, so you met Mr. Mark Teague! He is a fabulous illustrator! I was lucky enough to meet him once, too! 
I asked him some questions about how he paints his art so neatly, because I can sometimes paint very messy if I'm not careful enough. I really like how you drew Evaporation in your water cycle! It's very pretty!

Hi, Katherine! Thank you so very much! I don't know if I can visit during a holiday party,
but it would sure be cool if we could turn my visit INTO a party, wouldn't it? Especially during
the Cherry Blossom festival! I have taken Little Raindrop with me to Disney World once, and also 
to a few places around Rhode Island where I live. I LOVE the cute little houses you drew in your picture!

Hi, Elizabeth! Thanks so much for your kind words! Yes, everything about working on a book
is fun to me. I like to write and read, and to edit words, to create worlds, to draw. I also
like doing things like layout, which is deciding where to put the words and the pictures on the page.
I love doing every bit of it!

Hi, Jackson! If you like drawing firetrucks and houses, you will love looking at the art in
But the BEST person to learn drawing architecture from is David Macaulay. He is SO good at
drawing buildings! I like the sunglasses on your sun! :)

Hi, Sandro! Thanks so much for writing! I like the way you use color in your art! I noticed how 
you mixed your blues together in the ocean, and that's exactly how I would have done it!
I like all the Little Raindrops you drew, too! Keep up the good work! :)

Hi, Antonio! I hope to had a great time at Great Wolf Lodge! I have never been there,
but my brother takes his kids there and they have SO much fun! I really like how you 
drew Little Raindrop and the clouds! They are all very cute!

Hi, Michael! WOW! you have a lot of awesome ideas for Little Raindrop and his friends!
Mr. H and I hope that the graphic novel will be a three book series, and after that is finished,
we hope to make some picture books with all of Little Raindrop's friends! Who knows, maybe
we will find them on a baseball team together! :D

Hi, Gunnan! I hope Little Raindrop can go to the Floriday Keys with you, too! He really
loves to travel just about anywhere, but Florida is especially nice because of all the sunshine!
I love the colors you chose to use for the water drops in your drawing! It is the perfect shade
of teal, and teal is one of my favorite colors!

Hi, Jayson! Thank you for writing! Tanzania sounds like an amazing place to visit! 
I have never been to Africa, and I really like tigers, too! I once got very close to a real 
White Tiger at a zoo in China. It was so big, and it wasn't even in a cage! His paws were as big as my head!

Hi, Beck! I don't have any other books out yet. But I am working really hard! I am also
writing a novel, and it will probably be Middle Grade, or around the same age as the Percy 
Jackson series. I have read all the books in the first series, and they were awesome!
Did you know that John Rocco is one of my favorite illustrators, and that he also illustrated
many of Rick Riordan's books? He is a very talented artist!

Dear Mr. H's Class and Mrs. Arce's Class, 
Thank you all SO much for writing to me! You all wrote such nice letters. It really means a lot knowing there are awesome kids out there like you, cheering me on! I promise to do my best and work very hard on the book, so it's perfect for YOU! Little Raindrop's book is taking me much longer than Mr. H and I ever expected. But every day I work a little bit more and a little bit more on it, and every day the list of things to do gets smaller. I read an inspiring Chinese Proverb the other day, and here it is: "Those who remove mountains, begin by carrying away small stones."  
The moral to the story is... you can do anything if you just keep working at it! So keep working hard to follow your dreams, and they just might come true! 
See you soon, I hope! :)
Miss Melanie