Get a behind-the-scenes look with a Q&A with Marketing and Sales Associate Nicole Smith!Read More
It’s graduation season—the end of one chapter and the start of a new one! This reminded us of baby development, and we wanted to help you celebrate your baby’s changes!Read More
Mother’s Day is just a little over one week away! It’s the perfect opportunity to show all the Moms in the world how much we appreciate them, so let’s get creative! Here are 5 ways to bond with Mom this Mother’s Day!
1. Play pretend!
Be a surgeon, an architect, or a mechanic! There’s nobody better to play pretend with than Mama!
2. Make a healthy snack!
We know we’re not supposed to play with our food, but if it’s with Mom, we know it’ll still be healthy!
3. Learn something new together!
Did you know that an Elephant’s closest relative is a Rock Hyrax? Maybe you and Mom can learn about some odd animals together!
Pull up a blanket and spend some quality quiet time with Mom!
5. Read a bedtime story!
After a long day of fun activities, prepare for bedtime and read a book together!
How do you plan on celebrating Mom this Mother’s Day? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on instagram @bluemanateepress for for your daily dose of books, art and inspiration!
Independent Bookstore Day is a day-long celebration of all local bookstores! Here’s how to support your local independent bookstore all year long!Read More
Did you know that this Monday is Earth Day? We love celebrating the planet we call home! How much do you know about Earth? Let’s learn some new things about our planet together, and maybe you can share something you already know!
Earth is one of nine planets in our solar system!
From the sun (which is a big star!) it goes: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and the dwarf planet Pluto!
Did you know how much of the Earth is made up of water?
71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered! Of that 71 percent, 96.5 percent comes from the oceans!
But that’s not all! Water also exists in the air as water vapor, in rivers and lakes, in icecaps and glaciers, in the soil moisture, and even in you and me!
Then that means how much of the Earth is made of land?
29% of the Earth’s surface is covered by land! Deserts make up one-third of that number, but don’t worry—there’s still plenty of land for you to run around and play on!
One important flying bug helps keep our Earth happy and healthy! Do you know which bug that is?
Bees! They may seem scary, but bees are natural pollinators! Flowers provide the nectar and pollen resources that bees feed on. About one-third of the food we eat every single day relies on pollination, which means we rely on bees, as well as other pollinators like birds and bats!
What’s a fun fact about Earth you can share for Earth Day? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on instagram @bluemanateepress for your daily dose of books, art and inspiration!
Claire studied graphic design and minored in printmaking at Drake University, where she says she “developed an understanding of the interplay between text and imagery.” But by the age of six, she already knew she wanted to be an illustrator.
“Everyday experiences, such as childhood dance classes, working in the garden with my mother, and cooking dinner with my sister, have provided inspiration for the words and pictures that fill my sketchbooks.” — Claire Sedovic on what inspires her
After graduating, Claire started to work more consistently with watercolor, and ultimately left her corporate graphic design job to pursue her dream of becoming a published illustrator.
Odd Animal ABC’s!
One thing that Claire hopes readers get out of Odd Animal ABC’s is understanding how diverse the animal kingdom is. “Of course I hope they laugh along with all the wonderful, and often weird critters as they travel from A to Z,” she says, “but on a deeper level, I also hope that it sparks new curiosity about the natural world and a desire preserve and protect it for future generations.”
The Artist’s Process!
In her own words, this is Claire’s artistic process:
I work primarily with traditional media: paper, pencil, watercolor, and brush. I begin by lightly sketching my illustrations (and always keep an eraser close by!)
When I am satisfied with the pencil drawing, I fill it in with watercolor. I especially love to add a little more life to my creations with a light touch of the magenta on cheeks, noses, and chins. After the watercolor is dry, I retrace the pencil with a softer lead for added detail and contrast.
Once I’m happy with the finished illustration, I scan it so I have a high-resolution digital file that matches the color of the original work as closely as possible. From here, I take that file into Photoshop, drop out the white paper background, and clean up the edges. Finally, I take the edited illustration and add it as a layer to the storybook spread.
Her Favorite Odd Animal!
With so many fun animals to choose from, we were curious which was Claire’s favorite. “I fell in love with the Tree Kangaroo!” she says. “They look more like cuddly teddy bears than they do kangaroos, and I enjoyed mixing the paint for their reddish fur and pale pink noses.
“The animal that gave me the most difficulty was the leaf-tailed gecko,” she adds. “These amazing amphibians look more like a piece of dried foliage than they do a living animal!”
Advice For Young Artists!
Claire has simple but important advice for children who show an interest in art: Make art, and lots of it! “The old adage of practice makes perfect really is true,” she says. “The more you practice your craft, the more you will improve your skills and build confidence in your own abilities.
“And most importantly, draw what you know, what you love, and what you’re curious about,” she adds. “If you’re not first and foremost making art for yourself, then what’s the point of making it at all? We make time for the things we love, so if you want to keep yourself coming back to the drawing board, make art you are passionate about. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Every doodle, every scratch and scrawl of your pencil is mark closer to becoming the illustrator you wish to be.”
Do you have any young artists in your family? Share their work in the comments below, and make sure to follow us on instagram @bluemanateepress for your daily dose of books, art and inspiration!
This Sunday is Health Day! Here at blue manatee press, we strive to live happy and healthy lives every single day! We want to help you do the same! Here are 5 ways you and your family can celebrate Health Day!
1. Begin with mindfulness!
Mindful breathing is one of the fastest ways to find inner calm. Start your morning by closing your eyes and taking 3-5 slow breaths!
2. Learn Something New!
Pick up an instrument for the first time and play a few notes!
3. Make a healthy snack!
Eat a healthy serving of fruits and vegetables for that extra boost of energy!
4. Play with a friend!
Take your friend to the park and enjoy some quality playtime!
5. Get a good night’s sleep!
After a long, healthy day, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep to make every day Health Day!
How do you plan on celebrating Health Day? Tell us in the comments below, and make sure to follow us on instagram @bluemanateepress for your for your daily dose of books, art and inspiration!
Mark Powers wants to teach children all about reading, music, and more! Get to know the blue manatee author here!Read More
Spring is upon us! With warmer weather comes more opportunities to play outside! Here are 5 unplugged activities for you and your family this spring!Read More
June Smalls loves letters and odd animals, and she’s written the perfect picture book that combines the two!Read More
Bedtime is a common struggle for parents! Here are 3 bedtime stories sure to put you and your little one at ease!Read More
Sarah Jones teaches us important concepts through her beautifully illustrated ROYGBaby series!Read More
Dialogic reading gets the grown-up and the child to actively analyze books as you read them! Learn more about dialogic reading and see what books we have to help practice this skill!Read More
Get to know one of blue manatee press’s authors and illustrators, Doug Cenko!Read More
Tell your baby “I love you” in a special way this Valentine’s Day! Here are 4 special ways to say “I love you”!Read More
Reading to your newborn baby for the first full year is so important for brain development! Let us make it easier for you with these easy-to-follow steps!Read More
It’s Fiona the Hippo’s 2nd birthday! Here’s how she’s celebrating the milestone!Read More
Baby Unplugged encourages babies and parents to play without the use of electronics! Read more about this fun, inspiring series!Read More
A new year is upon us! With a few days under 2019’s belt, it’s time to put to practice some of those new year’s resolutions! Here are 5 easy-to-follow resolutions for you and your baby to lead a healthy, mindful 2019!
1. Read more books!
Babies are constantly learning by sound! Read to your baby for 15 minutes a day from birth! They may not understand what you’re saying yet, but they sure do love the sound of your voice!
2. Learn a new language!
Learning more than one language is good for baby’s brain, and yours too! Being multilingual improves cognitive and social-emotional development, learning, and the chances for long-term success!
3. Get involved with nature!
Did you know that 1/3 of the food people and animals eat will only grow if pollinated by bees? There’s so much to learn and to teach yourself and your baby! Get outdoors to learn and play together!
4. Eat healthier!
Between 4-6 months of age, your baby is ready to have 1 to 2 tablespoons of plain, strained fruits and vegetables up to twice a day!
5. Slow down and embrace mindfulness!
Babies respond to your emotional cues, which makes it so important to self-soothe! Try mindful breathing or simply smiling, and you and your baby will feel more peaceful!
What are your new year’s resolutions? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to follow blue manatee press on instagram @bluemanateepress for your daily dose of books, art and inspiration!
The days are shorter and the nights are colder—yes, winter is officially here, the perfect time to jump into a new book! Here are our eight favorite spots to read in the wintertime!
1. With a view!
Too cold to go outside? Stay inside with a good book and read by the window!
2. By the fire!
Baby, it’s cold outside! Warm up by the fireplace while you flip through the pages!
3. At a bookstore!
A bookstore is the best place to finish a book, because you can pick up another one right away!
4. In a café!
Grab a handful of your favorite books and get comfortable at your favorite local café or restaurant!
5. In a pillow fort!
Nothing screams “cozy” quite like a pillow and blanket fort!
6. At school!
Catch up on your homework early and spend down time in your favorite fictional world!
7. At the library!
Get happily lost in the stacks and stacks of books!
8. Cozy on the couch with your family!
A book is always better with a loved one!