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!
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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!