Filed under: Uncategorized • March 8, 2022

Over my girls’ February break from school, our family worked our tushies off rearranging the rooms in our house.

The master bedroom got moved upstairs and my daughters FINALLY got their own rooms downstairs which left me without a workspace. Soooooo…. I got a shed! My husband gets all the credit for this. He gave up his little woodworking space and fixed it up for me!

Check it out…



Filed under: Uncategorized • March 8, 2022

Little Red and the Big Bad Editor written by Rebecca Kraft Rector, illustrated by Shanda McCloskey (me!) and published by Aladdin, will be published September 6.

I’m just giddy about this book! It’s a book-smart vs. street-smart kind of story, and it was a blast to illustrate. Not only is it packed with fun and action, but also full of learning how to craft a proper letter— finger spaces between words, when to use capital letters, a greeting, and a closing. (Truth be told, my 11-year-old could benefit from this book :)

In this clever and playful fractured fairy tale picture book, the Big Bad Wolf is so distracted by Little Red’s poorly written thank you note to her grandmother that he keeps missing the chance to eat her!

Here’s a peek inside the book!













I hope you enjoyed this peek into the book!

LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR will swoop into stores on September 6, 2022.

Mark as Want-to-Read on Goodreads, or pre-order now from your local bookstoreBarnes & Noble, or on Amazon.
Filed under: Book Reviews, Growing Up Reading • January 7, 2022

My kid side loves robots and the possibilities they bring! My author side enjoys exploring what makes a reader “care” for a character that’s human, animal, and machine alike. And my parent side is ever interested in childhood with technology – the bad AND the good.

Childhood today is very different from the childhood I experienced, but that doesn’t mean my experience was better, more correct, or even healthier. It’s just different! Kids today will remember their childhoods just as fondly as I remember mine. I aim to celebrate kids today and not to demonize the reality of their tech-infused world. I believe this list does just that!

Check out my top 5 favorite robot books for kids (and why) at the link below!

https://shepherd.com/best-books/robots-for-kids

Filed under: Uncategorized • October 21, 2021

Click here for the PDF with links to buy!

Thank you to everyone who has ever read/purchased one of my books, left a review, or invited me for an author visit!

Happy shopping!

Filed under: Doll-E, For Teachers, Free Stuff, Growing Up Reading, Printable Activities • September 3, 2021

With schools starting back in-person all over, I wanted to share a “Read and Recharge” poster (with character’s from my first book, DOLL-E 1.0) that’s FREE for printing, laminating, and decorating your classroom! AND there’s a free matching coloring sheet so your students can also make their own poster!

Print Poster

Print Coloring Page

As always, I’d LOVE to see photos of your using these in your classroom :)

All My Best,

Shanda

Filed under: Free Stuff, Growing Up Artsy, Printable Activities, Sketchbook • August 18, 2021

There’s a lot going on in the world right now, so I’m just posting a happy horse coloring page today! (Remember, it’s totally socially acceptable for grownups to color too, but you can call it something fancy like “coloring meditation” if you like :)

Filed under: Book Reviews, Growing Up Reading, Printable Activities • August 18, 2021

There’s no better FREE way to support your favorite authors than by leaving good reviews of their books on Amazon and/or GoodReads. They can be short and sweet. No need for long drawn out write-ups unless you want to do that.

How to write a book review (for Teens/Adults): 
https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/tips-and-advice/writing-tips/writing-tips-for-teens/how-to-write-a-book-review/

Kid Book Review (printable)

Kids can write a review with this printable activity, then fold it in half and draw the book’s cover on the front. My 7 yo reviewed BLUE, BARRY, AND PANCAKES by Dan and Jason below…

Then (with my help) she went over to https://www.speakpipe.com/AuthorVisitPocast to voice record her review to be used on a future episode of the Author Visit Podcast and your kiddos can do the same!

Listen to Beni’s book review

Do you know Dan and Jason?

These guys make the funnest graphic novels for kids. We have thoroughly enjoyed the Blue, Barry, and Pancakes series and they have a brand new series hitting shelves soon called Barb the Last Berzerker!


I hope you enjoyed this letter, and I’d love to know if you found the printables useful. Till next time, all my best!

-Shanda

Filed under: Uncategorized • March 6, 2021

I’m still beating out the story of the young graphic novel chapter book that I’m working on. I’m pretty sure I told you guys about it before… the one about the rock who is constantly trampled and turns into a mean tough guy but finally figures out how to be tough and friendly when he joins a floral punk bandPunk Rock? Well, I got as far as sketching out the first chapter (50 pages!) and sharing it with my online comics critique group. They loved the character, the art, and the premise of this odd little punk story, BUUUUUT the story and the way I begin the story still need work.

So… I have committed to going back to the basics of good storytelling to relearn how to make it sing! And I’ve put together this email full of what I’m reading and what I’m watching so that it might help others. Enjoy!


What I’m Reading:

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder is a CLASSIC storytelling book for grownups. I’m reading it for the first time and although there are some chapters that only apply to writing movies, this book has been eye opening!


What I’m Watching:

THIS video series is truly awesome! It’s called “PIXAR in a Box” and it’s on the Khan Academy website. There are 6 lessons, but you only need the first 3 (unless you are an animator). I got so much out of this as an adult, but I can see it being phenomenally useful in the classroom too! (Probably best for ages 3rd grade and up.)


Storytelling Kit For Students:

I made these graphic organizers with teachers and students in mind! Feel free to download them here and have fun writing your own stories.

Happy writing!

-Shanda

Filed under: Printable Activities • February 19, 2021

I was SO excited to learn about the successful landing of the newest Mars rover called “Perseverance” and it’s little buddy on board (a drone) called “Ingenuity”! This Mars-copter is the first aircraft flown on another planet!

Ingenuity will simply stretch its propellers on this mission to see how viable using drones (at this point) will be for space exploration. It’s such an exciting moment!

It struck me as a super cute thought that Perseverance and Ingenuity are little buddies up there… exploring and having grand Martian adventures!

Here’s a printable coloring page for kids…

Filed under: Uncategorized • January 20, 2021

It’s the second day since BEDTIME BALLET has been out in the world! Will you celebrate by drawing a rose with me? And PLEASE share YOUR rose drawing by tagging me on Instagram.

Click the image below for the printable page.

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Shanda McCloskey, Children's Illustrator & Author