Filed under: Uncategorized • June 17, 2019

I’m starting to gear up for the release of T-BONE THE DRONE on September 10, 2019! Similar to some of my DOLL-E 1.0 activities, I created some coloring pages and a how-to-draw a drone activity :) Click on the images below to print. Happy drawing! Happy coloring!


Filed under: Uncategorized • February 15, 2019

My very first out-of-town school visit was a 5-school event over 3 days! I can’t believe it has already come and gone. It was a really fun experience with many firsts… First out-of-state school visit, first multi-school event, first time in the Houston area, first time speaking in a gym to a really big group, first time speaking at an evening family event, and even the first time experiencing a student get sick in the middle of my presentation – HA!

These are such fun memories that I’ll remember always. I hope the kids remember it too!

Here’s the gist of the trip in photos:

First stop, Jane Long Elementary :)
Second stop, Williams Elementary!
Kid art up on the wall – a hairy and scary robot!
A comedian robot named Beef-E 1.0 :)
And a dino/dragon-making robot!
Third stop, Adolphus Elementary!
Look at all the kids that ride bikes to school here :)
Then, we had several hours to ourselves. So, Ben drove us to see the ocean at Galveston, TX.
Nice frizz.
We tried to find sharks teeth in the sand with no luck, but we did find some cool sea glass, shells, and crab pincers.
Fourth stop was an evening family event at Dickinson Elementary :)
This was longer trip than usual, and seemed particularly tough on my babies :( But we got through it with lots of FaceTime calls, prayers… and promises of surprises :)

(Thank God for Didi and Amama too!)
The fifth and final school stop was at Huggins Elementary!
But before we left the Houston area, we HAD to visit the awesome Blue Willow Books!
I signed a few copies of Doll-E 1.0 there. They were SO kind, and they even had me “sign the wall” because thats what authors and illustrators that come through there get to do!
I signed under Salina Yoon and above Amy Krouse Rosenthal!
There it is! I officially left my mark in Houston, Texas, and I’m so glad I did.
Cool kids, fantastic librarians, and bodacious booksellers were found here!

Photo by Colleen Graves

Photo by Colleen Graves

So many cool things have happened as a result of the writing/publishing of DOLL-E 1.0. I am so humbled to be a part of a circuit of creatives! So many hands touched this book from its conception to birth … critique groups, editors, art directors, publicists, my husband, my kids, my mom, sales departments, educators, librarians, bookstores, etc.!


And now another creative hand has tinkered with this book and made its existence even cooler … a real coder and “maker” … a girl named Colleen Graves! She creates activities and guides for Makey-Makey (that appears multiple times in the illustrations of Doll-E 1.0). So, Colleen was charged up to create an activity guide for creating your own doll or robot from spare parts and a Makey-Makey, then adding words to its database using Scratch! It. Is. RAD!


If you are a STEM or STEAM teacher, I truly hope you check this out and share your creations with us! It’s reading, creating, problem solving, programing, electronics, engineering, and fun all in one! Colleen suggests this project works best with grades 3-6. So without further adieu, here is the guide:


And here is Colleen’s blogpost about the inspiration behind creating the guide:

Making and Literacy Guide for Doll-E 1.0




Filed under: Events, Growing Up Writing, Parenting, School Visits • October 1, 2018

All last week, and for the first time ever, I had the pleasure of working with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders of Sonoraville Elementary School in a writing and illustrating workshop! It was so much fun and very successful I thought! (But my feet thought otherwise :) I was definitely reminded how hard teachers and media specialists work for our kiddos. Much RESPECT.

Mrs. Beth Mitchell, the Media Specialist there, was awesome to plan and scheme with. She almost never sits down and remains die-hard-patient with her students. I was impressed an encouraged to be more patient with my own kids after watching her. Our whole Artist in Residency concept began with her approaching me and just throwing the idea at me. And because I’m local to her school, it worked out really well and simply.

In order to maximize the potential of our program, Mrs. Mitchell spoke with the teachers of the grades we wanted to involve and asked those educators what they would like to see covered in the program to help reinforce skills their students are already working on. After that, Mrs. Mitchell and I developed the 3 day curriculum, and I worked hard to add in some good ‘ol cheesy fun too. We put it all to the test last week, and I think we have a winner!

If you are interested in me doing this 3-day workshop at your school, click here and scroll to the bottom.


This sheet was inspired by Debbie Ohi’s character sheet on!

Filed under: Awards, Coolness, Doll-E • September 20, 2018

I was really excited when I got an email from Connecticut’s Charter Oak Children’s Book Award that DOLL-E 1.0 was one of four fiction finalists! State lists are new to my radar, and the coolest part about them is that kids get to vote on the finalists. I love it! I’m hoping to get to spend a week in CT visiting several schools in the area! This is so much fun :)

Filed under: Doll-E, Free Stuff • August 3, 2018

Educators, parents, and kids, please read DOLL-E 1.0, and enjoy this FREE fun!


Balancing Robot STEM activity!

Filed under: Coolness, Doll-E, Events, Shanda's Journey • July 22, 2018

My first book publication experience has been nothing short of awesome! I am very honored and grateful, because I realize this isn’t the norm. My book has some very hot themes in it … STEM, STEAM, girls in tech, and robotics, so my publisher, Little Brown, has gone above and beyond the call of duty to make sure DOLL-E 1.0 gets in the hands of kids! And one of those awesome efforts led to DOLL-E 1.0 being selected for Barnes and Noble’s National Storytime! This means that on July 28, 2018, EVERY Barnes and Noble IN THE COUNTRY will be reading my book during their 11am Saturday story time! Whaaaa?! There’s even Doll-E activities to follow and a discount on the book if you are a member or a kids club member.

I’ll be involved in this national event at my local B&N in Cumming, GA at The Collection! Please join me this Saturday at 11 am if you can! I’d LOVE to meet some new friends and visit with old friends, read my book to you, show you how to draw some of the characters, and sign some books too!

Here’s the Barnes & Noble blog post about it:

Special thanks to Shawn Foster and the Little, Brown sales team and to Barnes and Noble!!! Thank you for selecting DOLL-E 1.0 for B&N National Storytime💙🤖💙 I also want to constantly thank my Heavenly Father, my husband- Ben, my girls, my parents, Ben’s parents, my big family, Ben’s big family, my friends and church friends, my agent- Erica, my editor- Andrea, and last but not ever least … my Trail Mix Critique Group and best buds: Colleen, Bonnie, Christi, Shannon, Jaclyn, Vaughan, Tosha, and Kim!

Filed under: A Picture Book & A Project, Coolness, Doll-E, Free Stuff • May 22, 2018

Read “Doll-E 1.0”, then click on the FREE activity to print it onto card stock.

You’ll need:

  • card stock
  • crayons, colored pencils, or markers
  • scissors
  • poster putty (or glue)
  • 2 pennies

Filed under: Doll-E, Free Stuff • May 22, 2018

Filed under: A Picture Book & A Project, Art Lessons, Doll-E, Free Stuff • March 29, 2018

Learn to draw Doll-E and Blutooth characters from my new book, DOLL-E 1.0! Just print and enjoy! Happy drawing!

Nice work, Andre!

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Shanda McCloskey, Children's Illustrator & Author