childrenbooks

November Drury Lane Books Newsletter

From the newsletter, WINTER AT DRURY LANE BOOKS, Garnd Marais, MN
Vol 24, November 2018

"GRACE'S RECOMMENDATION
The Mukluk Ball — Katherine Johnson, illus. Alicia Schwab
3-year-old Grace loves dancing with her stuffed bear; he even has his own tutu. So this wintery Northwoods picture book of a Bear preparing for a Mukluk Ball was an instant hit. Bear learns to polka, tango, and chachacha...and then just has to figure out how to wake up from hibernation to attend the Ball!"

I love Indie's and this recommendation made my day! Grace is a girl after my own heart. I began dancing in the living room around 3-years-old. My parents bought a cassette tape of the Chieftains (Irish folk music) and when I heard that I couldn't stop myself. I had to cut a rug. Mind you, our living room was wall-to-wall shag carpeting. And if I shuffled my feet fast enough and touched the lamp...ZAP!–I could do static electricity experiments, as well! Keep on dancing, Grace!

Star Tribune & The Pioneer Press—The Mukluk Ball


Minnesota Flavor
Sunday, November 25th, 2018 Star Tribune article "Picture Books with Minnesota Flavor" by Laurie Hertzel featuring THE MUKLUK BALL, by Katharine Johnson and illustrated by Alicia Schwab. "A young bear sells blueberries to make money for mukluks — and then worries that he'll be hibernating during the midwinter mukluk ball. An entertaining tale of cooperation and fun, with illustrations that place the bear and the dance in a place that looks a whole lot like Ely (MN)."

Other notable Minnesotan Children's Books author and illustrators such as: Mary Cassanova, Stephanie Watson, Marion Dane Bauer, Cori Doerrfeld, Katharine Johnson, Alicia Schwab, Elizabeth Verdick, Laura Purdie Salas, Mélina Mangal, and Alexs Pate. Here in Minnesota we have a rich literary community with lots of talent and meaningful voices.

December Midwest Connection Picks
The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association listed THE MUKLUK BALL for its Midwest connections. Both the author and illustrator live in Minnesota, and the book is set in a snowy Northwoods setting. Karhu the bear wants to go to the Mukluk Ball. He will need mukluks, dance moves, and someone to wake him up from hibernation. Will the Ball live up to Karhu's dreams? The music and fellowship filling Finn Town Hall might just make for the best night of his life. Read more

Top 60 Books Guide
The Mukluk Ball is also listed on Star Tribune's online Holiday Books article: "Your Guide to nearly 60 books to give (and love) over the holidays"  THE MUKLUK BALL made the top 10 Picture Books in this article! Read more

Teachable Moments
THE MUKLUK BALL,
by Katharine Johnson,
illus. Alicia Schwab
October 7th, 2018 The Pioneer Press also featured THE MUKLUK BALL in this article: "New Books Provide Teachable Moments for Young Readers — and Fun! Put this “up north” picture book at the top of your Christmas gift list. It is one of the most joyful tales (tails?) of the season. Karhu, the bear, tells his owl friend Zazaa that this is the year he’s going to the Mukluk Ball, Finn Town’s liveliest winter event. But he has to earn money to buy mukluks, so he picks blueberries and sells them at the Blueberry Festival. It’s $2 “for a PAW-ful” that comes with a real bear hug." Read more

Pioneer Press Article — The Mukluk Ball

link to article

New books provide teachable moments for young readers – and fun! 

by Mary Ann Grossmann

PICTURE BOOKS

“The Mukluk Ball” by Katharine Johnson, illustrated by Alicia Schwab (Minnesota Historical Society Press, $16.95.) Put this “up north” picture book at the top of your Christmas gift list. It is one of the most joyful tales (tails?) of the season. Karhu, the bear, tells his owl friend Zazaa that this is the year he’s going to the Mukluk Ball, Finn Town’s liveliest winter event. But he has to earn money to buy mukluks, so he picks blueberries and sells them at the Blueberry Festival. It’s $2 “for a PAW-ful” that comes with a real bear hug.
Karhu laces up his mukluks and learns to dance; Millie twirls him in a polka; Mary Ann the librarian shows him the boogie-woogie, and Inga the folksinger teaches him the chachacha. But Karhu has a problem. The ball is in January and he can’t stay awake. So he takes a nap snug in his den until Zazaa wakes him to go to the ball, where the Finn Hall band plays and Karhu “twirled and whirled, twizzled and spun” until he fell asleep on Inga’s shoulder. It takes the Shagawa Square Dancers to take him to their bus and then he is pulled home on a dog sled.
Back home, Karhu snored and dreamed of dancing. His toes tapped in time to the music of the Mukluk Ball.
Author Johnson says she  wears mukluks all winter in Cloquet. Illustrator Schwab, who lives in Minneapolis, calls this a super fun project for which “I danced and listened to a lot of music to fall into the rhythm of the book’s illustrations.” Her colorful, muscular pictures leave no doubt this is a northern Minnesota story, from the log cabin-style buildings to Karhu’s den (with a round window), rabbits tobogganing, and happy dogs pulling the sleeping bear on the sled. Even the endpapers are covered with colorful floral designs and different pairs of mukluks. There’s lots of hugging and happiness in this book that will make readers of all ages smile.
Johnson and Schwab will launch their book at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Red Balloon Bookshop, 891 Grand Ave., St. Paul.

Mice Are Nice

I painted a series of mice going on an adventure in the woods. I grew up in the lush wooded hills of southern Wisconsin where spent many happy hours wandering the woods, building forts with my brother and sister. I love to the feel of earth between my toes.

In these paintings, I had a lot of fun with the mark making in the negative space.


Shoutout onTwitter #mailersandcoffee






Each week Giuseppe Castellano @pinocastellano shares on Twitter #mailersandcoffee — a weekly illustration mailer review with his design assistant @jayrosenfeld. This week he featured my illustration!  Here's a link to Giuseppe Castellano's tweet.  My postcard is also featured over at SCBWI-Minnesota Postcard Gallery page. You can find me on twitter @aschwabart.

2017 MN SCBWI Banner Contest

I am the Illustrator Coord. for SCBWI Minnesota. In 2015, I began hosting an annual Banner Contest for MN SCBWI members to participate in.

We have had great participation in years past when the contest was displayed at the MN SCBWI Fall Conference, but this year we moved the event online so that everyone can view the art at anytime.

The winning entry will be displayed in the regional SCBWI Minnesota website and the new! SCBWI Minnesota Postcard Gallery for one year. All MN SCBWI members are eligible to vote on the entries through a survey sent to their inbox.