author & illustrator


wild things for halloween

Inspired by the new movie coming out, Where the Wild Things Are, I thought I'd share these masks.

I made these for our Halloween costumes about ten years ago. It was the first time my daughter "trick or treated". She was only two years old at the time and I sewed her a Max costume as well. At the time I thought it was very unique and cool, but I think the neighbors thought we were the clown posse....

I sculpted clay heads of our own faces, then paper mache'd over them. It was really fun and challenging to get those "just right" Sendak expressions. They were lined with felt for comfort...

bologna 2

The last three paintings are done! These will be sent off to Italy this week. Keep your fingers crossed they make it safely. The exhibit is in March.

I painted these just for the show based on my wip Scarletta: The-Not-So-Famous Pig Opera. Next on my agenda is whipping the manuscript into shape...

frog flu

Symptoms: boredom, lack of energy, dry croaky throat. Treatment: read Tissue, Please!

Okay, as far as I can tell there is no such thing as the frog flu, but the swine flu is a huge concern this fall. There are a lot of great ways to educate kids on staying healthy and one of them is reading books together with themes about the use of tissues, washing hands etc. and even better, a little role playing with humor. PBS Teachers has a great list of books to help address health concerns and Tissue, Please! is one of their recommended books. Yay! Check out the PBS list of books for some great ideas.

You can find Tissue, Please! at or your local library.

kids rock

This is my daughter in the KUER (Salt Lake City) studio talking with Melissa Block from NPR's All Things Considered. She is a contributor in a book called "Dear President Obama: Letters of Hope From Children Across America". No matter what side of the aisle you're on, these letters are an excellent example of how all our children feel about the state of their world, and know they have a right to speak up. To hear the broadcast, click here.

And congratulations to my daughter for shining brighter than her parents!


One of the really cool things about being an author is that it gets you entrance into some very unique places for research. I recently was given access to the underground tunnels at a local Jr. High School. It was kind of impromptu so I only had sandals on which limited where I could climb or crawl, but what I got to see was pretty interesting! The staff that works at the school tell me stories, one in particular of an unexplained dark figure that walks into the art room in the early morning hours and voices in the gym when the building is locked up tight. While my book in progress is not about ghosts, it is a dark & sinister story.The tunnels inspired a lot of material and depth (get it?) to the plot. Thanks Mike for the tour!

its not August 4th, but hey I'll take it!

The Daddy Longlegs Blues is officially released on Amazon and getting great reviews already!
Here's a thumbnail from the first storyboard. You can see he changed quite a bit...for the better.


Here are a couple of new paintings I'm working on for my pig opera book. These have been really fun because I'm not tethered to typical book illustration format but have been able to just make paintings (I didn't have to make room for text!). These I'll be sending off this Fall to enter in the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2010 Illustrator's exhibit. It's been a dream of mine for years, and even if I don't get picked, I'm just happy to finally be doing it!

excuse me!

Its finally up! My book "Excuse Me!" seems to have a life of it's own. This is a really cool program called Read to Me Las Vegas and I'm really proud to be a part of it. Carrot Top does a pretty funny performance, but burps a lot better. Go watch the video: Excuse Me! as performed by Carrot Top


Here's a trailer for a project I'm working on:

This book hasn't sold yet, but working on it this summer!

daddy makes his debut!

Daddy is one cool cat, or rather, a very cool eight legged opilione in this perfectly bluesy book written by Mike Ornstein.The illustrations are a nod to the King Bee himself, Muddy Waters.

Just don’t you call him no spider!

composed by mike ornstein & illustrated by lisa kopelke
Coming August 4, 2009