March 14, 2019


Springing into spring in a spotlight!

Click here for a peek at my illustrator-ness through the lens of my literary agency:

photo by Smallish Studio/Christina Shires

Cheers and happy spring!

March 8, 2019

Way Past Time for Some Catch-up!

Lots has happened! 

HENNY and PEDDLES have made room for BUB
BUB was released in January 2018 . . .
and now we are three!
BUT soon Bub will truly be the middle child, because my next
picture book, COWIE, will be out in January of 2020!

In case you missed it, among other things,
BUB made an appearance on Publishers Weekly Children's Bookshelf:
Click HERE and scroll down to the Featured Reviews 
and click again for their spot-on take on him and his story.

And Bub had a stellar review in The Wall Street Journal:

But that's not all . . . I had another gig as faculty for the Illustration Intensive at the Highlights Foundation last summer. I got to reunite with my pal Mike Curato, and we had the pleasure of co-faculty-ing with Matthew Cordell, who was fresh off his Caldecott win. It was a blast!
And I'm happy to report I will be at it again this coming September. Stay tuned for more!

As ever, thanks for stopping by!


August 7, 2017


Greetings, friends!
Where has my blog-time gone?
Wellll . . .
since the first post on this blog in 2011 (not knowing where anything was going to lead) the Universe has bestowed on me a bunch of picture books:  two out, and two more on the way!
Between this and all the usual lifestuff and the other obligatory social media garbola we have to do, my poor little blog has taken a hit.

So it's wakey-wakey time for Penspaper Studio!

First up:
If any of you dear readers are aspiring to illustrate and/or write picture books, this may be your ticket:

It's such an honor to have been asked by the Highlights Foundation to be on the faculty for this event!
Besides yours truly, the faculty includes picture book awesomes Lori Nichols, Mike Curato, James Ransome . . . as well as art director Giueseppe Castellano and literary agent Adriana Dominguez   We will have fun building books, doodling around, and splashing around in the watercolor (not to mention good food and kidlit companionship)!

If you want to know anything more, feel free to ask me.
There's still time to register!

September 8, 2016

Bunnies and a Crown!

Greetings, friends!

It's been a while since I last posted, but I wanted to pop on to let you know about a wonderful organization supporting children's literature—the Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival. It happens every fall, and is devoted to bringing talented people from the world of kidlit to the heart of the USA to benefit children's literacy.

Check out their auction! I have donated two pieces and a couple of books!

"Bunny Hooray" (signed, original watercolor and pencil on paper), includes a signed copy each of HENNY and PEDDLES:

and "Midsummer Fairy Crown" (signed, limited edition archival print):

note: both pieces are signed on the front (I scanned them before I signed)

If Bunnies and a crown are not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other marvelous pieces up for grabs. Check 'em out! Click HERE

Happy bidding and, one way or the other, thanks for considering supporting this great cause for kids.

November 25, 2015


I haven't posted on Illustration Friday for an eternity. The topic for this week is, "City."
I've loosened up a bit from my architect-days :)

November 7, 2015

More Whatsit Fun!

Playing Whatsit catch-up here!

Pop on for some fun cartoons by Whatsit Kevan Atteberry.
They go along with an equally fun ditty on work-at-home-types not working at home!
  click here:
Satellite Offices

©2015 Kevan Atteberry

Also, award-winning Whatsit Jennifer K. Mann posts about how virtual mentors helped her in her writing/illustrating endeavors. You don't want to miss this! 
  click here:  

September 18, 2015

What's a WHATSIT?

Greetings Blogfriends!

There are some new kids on the blogck, and I’m happy to say I’m one of them!

We are a little band of published picture book author/illustrators from the Seattle area called, THE WHATSITS!

Whatsit you say. . . another blog?? Fear not! You won't regret it. We will post about the world of children's literature about every two weeks and we promise we'll be short on words and long on pictures (just like our books)! 

So if you follow me here, pop on over and follow us there.

Thanks, friends!! 

August 21, 2015


Hello, dear Blogfriends!

There's change in the air, and not just the seasons!
I'm gearing up for some blog-shifting soon—so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, hop on for my interview with Mr. Henry Herz at the San Diego Children's Book Examiner:

There's a little PEDDLES and HENNY talk, as well as some other sense and nonsense: bacon? Nuclear (chicken) arms? Ghosts? Mr. Herz asks such fun questions, and his answer-banter is always entertaining! Oh, and be sure to click the link at the end for the whole interview!

You can check out some of the other interviews, too:
Scroll down and you'll find the likes of  Caldecott-types Dan Santat, Molly Idle, and Aaron Becker— as well as picture book stars like Debbie Ohi, Deborah Freedman, and Mac Barnett. The list goes on!

See you soon!

June 4, 2015

Want a Penguin?

Everyone needs a penguin in a house coat. . . right? If you agree, then now's your chance! :)  Read on:

The American Booksellers for Free Expression's (ABFE) online auction of more than 50 works of art created by children's book illustrators (including yours truly) is open on eBay through Monday, June 8.

Proceeds from the auction support the Kids' Right to Read Project (KRRP) and Banned Books Week, the national celebration of the freedom to read. KRRP, which was founded by ABFE and the National Coalition Against Censorship, helps students, parents, teachers, librarians, and booksellers fight book censorship in schools and libraries.

So heeerrrr's Ms. Penguin!

It's an original, signed, pencil and watercolor on paper, and it can be yours.

Just pop on HERE and bid it up--it's a great cause! Oh, and please note that the scan they have on eBay is pretty rough. Much of the subtle detail has dropped out. The one here is not perfect, but more accurate :)

Thanks, everyone! Cheers!

February 2, 2015

What's Up, Chicken. . .

Greetings blog friends!

2015 has gotten off to a great start for HENNY and me :)

First up,
Henny had the honor of being interviewed by Mr. Pig over at The Little Crooked Cottage and then was a literary lunch star in her very own bento box!
Check them out here:

and here:

Meanwhile, we're off again to New York!
We will be visiting the  East Harlem Scholars Academy in Manhattan. Henny has been selected as their Book of the Month for February, and I can't wait to share her story and some fun art projects with the kids!

Then we go to the SCBWI NY conference. It's always an informative and fun time with the peeps of the kidlit world.

Finally, the weekend wraps up with a visit to the quintessential children's bookshop,
Books of Wonder, for their February Picture Book BonanzaHenny and I are so proud to have been invited to be on a panel with the amazing Matt de la Pena and his new picture book, "Last Stop on Market Street," Toni Yuly and her new little picture book gem, "Night Owl," and author/illustrator Migy, with his colorful pb, "Away We Go."
Details here:

If you're in the New York City area, please stop on by and say hello!

I hope 2015 finds you all well and thanks, as ever, for stopping by!
Check back soon for some whisperings about PEDDLES ;)

December 19, 2014

NYPL Loves Henny!

Henny's wrapping up her first year on another high note! 
She was just named to the New York Public Library's 
best children's books of 2014 list

She's so proud, and is especially thrilled to be on the list with
so many other wonderful books! 

Here is the link to the interactive list (The list includes books for ages 2-12):

. . .and to the list, divided by categories, here:

Tis the season for giving so be sure and check out the list, 
and consider giving BOOKS for the holidays. . .
especially books from real-live bookstores)! 

So Happy Holidays to one and all! 
And thank you all for being such great friends! 
Here's to and happy and healthy 2015 for everyone.


December 7, 2014

How About a Henny?

The Holidays approach!

 The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression Holiday Art Auction is just about to wrap up, so here's a chance to own some wonderful art by children's book illustrators (including yours truly)*

Here's what it's about:

Proceeds support the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and help underwrite the Kids' Right to Read Project, which was co-founded by ABFFE and the National Coalition Against Censorship, and Banned Books Week - the only national celebration of the freedom to read.

Kids' Right to Read Project provides support to students, parents, teachers, librarians and booksellers who are fighting efforts to ban children's and young adult books in their communities. Since its founding in 2006, KRRP has opposed challenges to 222 titles in 35 states.

How can you resist? 

*AND how about an original HENNY

I've donated an original watercolor study from one of the spreads in HENNY (oh, and look-- is that little Peddles in the cart? (Back when he was but a twinkle in my eye) ;-)

Please take a look and bid 'er up!

Meanwhile. . .
I've got more travel on the horizon, as well as finishing up some final touches for PEDDLES as they come in from my art director at Simon and Schuster. I will be posting more about my little piggy, soon, so stay tuned!

Thanks, friends and I hope all is well in your worlds!
ERS, Henny, and Peddles :)

September 2, 2014

A Pig and a Cat

Two little (big) reasons . . .



. . . I haven't been around much lately (not to mention all the relatives visiting from out of town this summer):

*1. I just finished my next picture book, PEDDLES. As of last Thursday, all the final art is in the hands of my capable art director at Simon and Schuster. Stay tuned for updates through the following year. He's due out January 2016.

*2. My posterior has been in the chair every available moment working on Peddles and concurrently providing, since the second week in July, a lap for BEATRIX!  Bea is my new Scottish Fold kitten.

It was a herculean feat keeping my concentration going, as you might imagine.
My Facebook posts of her were so popular, she now has her own page. So if you want to see more, pop on and give her a "like."

Hope you all have had a great summer and, as ever, thanks for stopping by!
Oink and meow,

July 9, 2014

We Survived Vegas!

Henny and I survived Las Vegas!
The American Library Association (ALA) Conference was totally worth putting up with dashing between 106+ degree (41 c) outdoor heat, and the interiors that have to be air conditioned so people don't die. What a trip!

That said, the Henny signing went extremely well:
Game Face

The Signing

Henny's line began forming at the Simon and Schuster booth about 15-20 min before start-time.
I donned my chicken hat, and away we went--or, I should say, away the Hennys went.
 The entire case of books was gone within the half-hour time slot. 
 Yay! All those Henny's in the hands of the best book people in the world-- librarians!

Henny wore her ALA Booklist star proudly the whole weekend (even though she was in the shadow (physically speaking, of course ;)) of the Caldecott-winning "Locomotive."

Best of all, I got to meet/hang out with some AMAZING picture book people:
--with fellow PNWer Nikki McClure at her signing for "May the Stars Drip Down"

--with Caldecott winner ("Locomotive") Brian Floca!! What a super nice guy! 

with the delightful Caldecott honoree ("Flora and the Flamingo") Molly Idle

with the talented Llama's mama Anna Dewdney (holding her new gnu book)! 

YES! That IS Jon Klassen!!--also in the super-nice-guy category!

with the hilarious and ALSO super-nice-guy Dan Santat holding his book, "Beekle"

My adoration for Judy Schachner (Skippyjon Jones) is obvious. What a gracious, sweet person! 

--with writer/librarian/new-favorite-person Carter Higgins--and the creator of NINJA, Arree Chung (yet another in the super-nice-guy category)!

I got to meet and chat with THE Doris Kearns Goodwin at a beautiful S and S dessert reception. 
(I was so proud of my Simon and Schuster red author beads. I guess Doris decided not to wear hers. 
I guess that's cuz maybe everyone KNOWS who she is ;) ). 

Here's Henny looking delicious among the desserts: deftly and briefly placed for a  photo-op 
by Lori Kilkelly (see below)

and, last but not least, my ALA roomie and PB debut sister-soul-mate, Toni Yuly
Here she is holding her acclaimed debut picture book, EARLY BIRD, flanked by her devoted lit agents, Paul Rodeen and Lori Kilkelly. I had so much fun with these guys! 

There were so many other amazing, kind, and talented people I met, 
not to mention ALL those awesome librarians! 
In the end, it IS all about the BOOKS!

Here's a stack of some of what I hauled back. SO much talent and fun in one pile! 

And one last highlight-- I can now kick going to Las Vegas off my bucket list.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

June 26, 2014

Las Vegas!

Henny's heading to Las Vegas for some fun with the American Library Association!
We've packed up our buttons and bangles and are anticipating a fine time with the people who do books best!

I'll be there in my chicken hat, signing books, this Sunday at the Simon and Schuster (booth #302-303) from 2:30-3:00 p.m. So if you're planning on attending, DO stop by for a Henny hi-5!

Should be a blast--as well as a blast of heat--it's supposed to be 108 degrees on Sunday!

Hope you all are fine, and Henny and I will check in next week!