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Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Ever have this thing where you don’t know what you’re looking for, but you absolutely know it when you see it?

That’s exactly what happened when I spotted Deidre Wicks’s charming animal paintings on Pinterest recently.

Cerebral dogs and cats wearing glasses! Birdies balancing on the edges of pretty china teacups! Other animals decked out in derby hats, bowties, berets, and tutus, some blowing bubbles, others stealing cupcakes! And a good number of them with mustaches :).

Since Deidre’s watercolors got me right where I live, I had to find out more about her work. A fashion design major from Toronto, Canada, Deidre was unhappily working as a pattern drafter when she decided to follow her passion for illustration.

She’s an ardent animal lover living with two dogs and two cats who happily keep her company and provide endless inspiration for her drawings. I love the blend of realistic animals + whimsy + humor. Each of her paintings tells a story and you just can’t help but smile when you see them.

Deidre sells originals, archival prints, t-shirts and other goodies at her Etsy Shop — and yes, she takes custom orders. I thank her for visiting Alphabet Soup today along with Schaffer, Bronie, Orange Peel and Tina.

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Confession: I am obsessed with have a penchant for dishes.

Oh, you noticed?  :D

I especially love novelty china and porcelain with drawings and words on them. Food simply tastes better on cool plates, in cheeky bowls, and sipped from nifty cups. Beautiful handcut crystal usually leaves me cold. But give me a fetching illustrated ceramic plate and I’m all yours. Yes to color, pattern, detail, and personality!

Several months ago, I was delighted to discover JimboBart, featuring the work of London-based artist/designer James Ward. I saw his “Eats Cake and Leaves” side plate on Liberty of London’s Pinterest board and was immediately hooked.

He mostly likes to draw cheeky animals paired with clever sayings. While Cornelius and I are crazy enamoured with his BEARS, we also covet his badgers, mice, foxes, penguins, and owls.

Seriously, how could you not love an artist who draws a big bear in a bathtub?

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rat day cover (2)450

Usually I don’t like to say this in polite company, but ahem . . .  I smell a rat!

Actually four rats, nattily sporting bowtie, necktie, fedora, and boater, casually working the stripes, football jerseys, overalls, scuba gear and yes, bunny ears, as they boogie, strut, scamper and cavort through the pages of this brand new poetry collection by our studly but relentlessly mischievous Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis.

Due props to him and award-winning illustrator Anna Raff for creating this zany celebration of 22 “Real Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of ” in World Rat Day (Candlewick, 2013), destined to be an instant favorite among munchkins and short grown-ups who enjoy quirky-fun animal poems, what poet Bobbi Katz calls “ear food for elementary school kids.”

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Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.

Well, not only do we feel like a nut, we ARE nuts about OH, NUTS! (Bloomsbury, 2012), a brand new picture book by Tammi Sauer and Dan Krall, which officially drops today!

C-C-R-R-R-A-C-K!

Oops.

You know the old saying, “It takes one to know one”? Ahem, Tammi Sauer, Dan Krall. Need I say more? Totally qualified in the nuts department. But somebody should get on their shells about slacking off. Tammi = 5 books out this year. Dan = 2 books out this year. If they’d only stop polishing their pecans, attacking acorns and waltzing with walnuts, they’d have time to make more books! Yeah!

*crowd grows restless* “Par-tay! Par-tay!”

So, are you ready to channel your inner chipmunk? I hope Tammi and Dan have time to drop by today’s celebration. They were last seen at the City Zoo, “meeting their public.” Throngs of peanut nibblers want their copies signed.

Tammi and Dan Chipmunk are the biggest attraction at the zoo today: DO NOT FEED. (This illo fashioned by Dan just for Alphabet Soup)!

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Happy Poetry Friday!

It’s always a treat to see a new poetry collection by the one and only Marilyn Singer, who, if I’m not mistaken, has published six books this year (what a slacker :))!

Today, I’m happy to feature two poems from her latest picture book, A Strange Place to Call Home: The World’s Most Dangerous Habitats & The Animals That Call Them Home (Chronicle, 2012), which is officially out this week.

In A Strange Place, we meet 14 wondrous creatures who’ve somehow managed to survive and adapt despite harsh, extreme, unusual and/or dangerous conditions. Who would expect to find billions of ice worms flourishing in glaciers and ice fields, flies who hatch in petroleum pools, or blind freshwater fish living in deep underground caves?

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