Posts Tagged ‘Book art projects’

A Picture Book & A Project: Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad (by David Soman and Jacky Davis) and painting rocks like bugs!


A Picture Book & A Project: Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad (by David Soman and Jacky Davis) and painting rocks like bugs!

A Picture Book & A Project: Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad (by David Soman and Jacky Davis) and painting rocks like bugs!

Ladybug Girl is so excited to have the perfect playdate planned with her friends (the bug squad). She wants everything to be just the way she imagined! But when an unexpected catastrophe arises, Ladybug Girl has to deal with it like a hero.

Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by David Soman and Jacky Davis DIAL BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS, 2011

Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by David Soman and Jacky Davis

SHANDA: I like this book because it has a female super hero, and it shows that even good girls make mistakes, and heros don’t run away when things get hard. Lots of character building built into this fun adventure!

David Soman and Jacky Davis (husband/wife team) hit a home run with introducing the Bug Squad characters! These characters have the potential for many different adventures (and still room to maybe meet new friends/squad members in the future.)

I am awed by the beauty of the artwork! The painted/fine art-like backgrounds with the comic/inky characters on top is a lovely and exciting combination throughout all the Ladybug Girl books. It meshes painting and illustration in a new way for me.

This book is longer than most modern picture books, but it absolutely works. HJ (3 yr old) is captivated all the way through! She asks to read Ladybug Girl series books more than any other books these days.

HJ: My favorite part is when Kiki gets mad.
HJ: Because I like her!

Well there you have it! Our project is a scene right from the story…

Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad





We hope you enjoyed this very first “A Picture Book & A Project”! Now go have a blast reading and creating with your sweet peas :) Also, I’d love to see the art you create from this post- email me if you like, and I’ll them on the blog!

Love, Shanda & HJ!

Lesson #3: Give Your Blog Readers Good Free Content (& they’ll probably be excited about your books too :)

This lesson I learned from my Southern Breeze Illustrator Coordinator, Elizabeth O. Dulemba. About 5 years ago, she started offerring a FREE coloring page every Tuesday on her blog. Every Tuesday. For 5 years (and still going). Wow!


Readers loved it. Teachers loved it. Librarians loved it. Kids loved it! Her blog blew up! Coloring Page Tuesdays are hotter than hotcakes! Now she has a super nice platform of readers to tell about her new books when they come out! Genius! And she did this by GIVING!

So, the lesson here is the title above: Give your blog readers good, free content, and they’ll probably be excited about your books too! At this point, they would probably be willing to buy your books for their kids, kid’s friends gifts, nieces, nephews, classrooms, or themselves.

Well then, what can I do on my blog that could serve a similar purpose? Of course, I would not copy Elizabeth’s coloring page idea, so I thought about my own strengths, experiences, and what I enjoy. At this point in my journey, I like to experience lots of books and learn from them. Especially picture books. Reading with my daughter is my favorite way to spend time with her. We are both into books, and can have a lot of fun together. I’m not the best to get on the floor and play each day, but reading is different. We read together just about every day.

Our Reading Chair

Our Reading Chair

I love to see what books she asks for again and again. Reading together is such a great way to learn what kids respond to, and the breadth of their understanding of a story. It’s that stuff and so much more! Here’s a great quote from The Encyclopedia of Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books:

A picture book may seem like a simple proposition- a decorated story. In fact, a picture book contains several modes of expression and can contain multiple layers of meaning. What a picture book “means” to a child is more than just a story with illustrations. From an early age, children learn what a book is, how to hold it the right way up, the order in which to turn the pages, and how to read- first the images and then later the words. The imagery may be “realistic” or entirely graphic. Imagery and colors may form patterns throughout the book, accruing meaning as motif; white space may imply content and demand that the child mentally “fill in the gaps”; and the illustrations may expand on and extend the information in the text. Sometimes, the illustrations may even tell a different story. This tension between what is said and what is shown makes picture books a unique and exciting form of graphic expression.

So I’ve decided to offer up picture book suggestions that my daughter and I both enjoy and why. I’ll share my point of view, and then she’ll share hers :) But I’m also going to add an art element to it, and we’ll demonstrate a project to do with your little ones that expand on the book and are fun! And there you have it! I think I’ll call it “A Picture Book & A Project”.

I try to do it once a week, and my projects will be suited for young kids for now, My daughter is just about to turn 3. But as she grows, so will the complexity of the projects.


Which books will she pick??

Be on the lookout for “A Picture Book & A Project”. Coming soon!


P.S.- Notice anything different about the look of my site? It’s nice to change things up every so often :)

Shanda McCloskey, Children's Illustrator & Author