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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Edward Gets Book Clubbed!

Hi, friends! There a few happy things I'd like to share today: 

1) ALL New York City libraries will be waiving ALL fines for kids and teens today so they can start off with a clean slate and get their borrowing privileges back! This is a very good thing, so come on back to the library if you have been avoiding it because of $$. 


2) My picture book Edward Gets Messy has been picked up by Scholastic Book Club! I loved the Scholastic Book fair as a kid and I'm so excited that more kids will have access to Edward nationwide starting this February (in paperback, how cool)! 

3) This is more practical news than purely happy, but with the help of a very generous friend and colleague named Mike, I've finally got an official website up and running. You can find it at ritameade.com and more than likely I will be updating that more than I do this blog (hopefully more than once every five months, at least). The site still needs work, obviously, but at the very least, I have an official landing page. Thanks, Mike! 

And thank you, reader, for your support (as always)! I hope you have a happy day too. 

Rita

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Edward Gets An Award!

Hi! I have some VERY belated news/ a follow-up from a post from a few months agoEdward Gets Messy won the Dewdney Read Together award! Hooray! Here's the press release from the Children's Book Council, and a few photos from the award ceremony. I am so beyond honored about this and I want to thank everyone involved and everyone who has ever read Edward with kids! Keep reading, y'all. 





Friday, March 31, 2017

Let's Get Messy With Art

Art imitates life.

Life gets messy. 

Mess imitates books.

Okay, I kind of lost the thread there. Really, I just want to share some photos of messy art inspired by Edward Gets Messy (illustrated by the talented Olga Stern) that some lovely people have created and allowed me to post here. 


1) A wonderful library mom shared her toddler son's creation. Many artistic techniques (I assume, I know nothing about art) are being used here: 







2) Lauren Manu at the Poplar Creek Library District in the state of Illinois does a wonderful "Messy Art Monday" program at her library and used Edward Gets Messy as the book for one of the sessions. Here are some of the pointilism-esque (that's an art term, right?) paintings the kids made: 





3) A recent visit to a children's center on Long Island yielded many fantastically messy results:





Edward as drawn by one of the teachers! 













Sorry, parents. 


4) And this simple-yet-colorful Edward silhouette was created during a library visit with some "magic" no-mess Crayola paint and paper (which I think they don't make anymore, boo): 




If you have any Edward-inspired art, I'd love to see it! Please email me at ScrewyDecimalBlog@gmail.com. Thanks to all who have shared with me so far! 
Get messy, everyone. 

~Rita


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Edward Gets Nominated!

Just a quick note: I am very happy to tell you that my picture book Edward Gets Messy has been chosen as a finalist for the Anna Dewdney Read Together Award. This is is the first year of the award's existence - it "will be given to a picture book published in the U.S. during the previous five years that inspires empathy and connection and makes for an exceptional read-aloud." 

I wrote 'Edward' specifically to be read aloud and to be a resource that might help kids alleviate anxiety (or at least recognize that they are not alone in experiencing it), so being nominated for this particular award is especially meaningful to me. 

Thank you to anyone who may have nominated the book for this award, and thank you to all of those who have read the book to/with children, use it in library programs, review it online, etc. I appreciate it so much and I'm very honored to be in such fine literary company on the finalists list.

Happy reading, everyone! 







Monday, February 13, 2017

Kid Notes

I recently found a few cute kid notes in the library. They helped my day and I hope they help yours. 






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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Edward Goes to School

I'm not going to sugarcoat it: the world is a weird, scary place right now for a lot of people (to put it mildly). I'm thrilled to have published Edward Gets Messy, but it's honestly a bit strange to be promoting a kid's book during this time, because it feels self-important and almost a little crass when there are so many bad things happening all over the place. Like, "sign this petition to stop this particular human rights disaster, but also BUY MY BOOK!" It's hard to keep perspective about any one thing. 

However, I was reminded of something (something that I am always aware of, but don't always feel in a tangible sense) when doing my first big school visit as an author a couple of weeks ago. I was reminded that books ACTUALLY CAN provide hope and inspiration or at the very least spark conversations that leads to these things. For me, talking to kids about reading and writing was a way to get a handle on things at the ground level while still being able to look at the bigger picture. After all, our own problems (as well as our dreams, passions, and aspirations) don't go away just because there are other problems in the world. All we can do is deal with them, help other people, and try to make the world around us a better place as much as we can.  

So when I spoke to the students at this school, I was heartened by stories of their creativity, their own wishes to write a book someday, their love of art, and even the things they used to be afraid of and are not afraid of anymore. In this context, these discussions stemmed from talking about Edward Gets Messy and it's my hope that the kids came away from the presentation with a sense that they can someday be who they want to be and that they have the ability to create beauty in a world that is not always beautiful. Some of the teachers told me that I inspired the kids, but really it was the other was around. Thank you, kids. 

(Also, I got a whole bunch of wonderful notes like the one below, which is basically the best review I could ever ask for. The universe is a big place, you know.) 




If you'd like, you can read more about the visit here:

"Local Author Comes back to Northport!"


And I also came across this lovely review of Edward that I wanted to share with you because it gave me hope personally: 

"Read All About It: Persnickety pig loosens up in ‘Edward Gets Messy’"

"The book jacket for 'Edward Gets Messy' states that this is Rita Meade’s first picture book for children. She is a public librarian living in Brooklyn, New York. Here’s hoping she picks up her pen again soon for more adventures with Edward or some totally new tale."

Here's to hope in all shapes and forms, my friends. 

~Rita


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Elmo Reads Edward!

To follow up on my post from Halloween - this is ALSO the best thing ever. (More than one "best thing ever" can exist in the world, right?) Last week, Sesame Street used my library branch as a location for a photo shoot with local families and staff with their kids. My wonderful BPL Robin colleague attended with her adorable son (below) and while they were waiting for their turn, they started reading Edward Gets Messy at one of the tables.

At that exact moment, the actual, "real-life" Elmo came over to their table and started READING EDWARD GETS MESSY WITH THEM. (I have a video of this, which I'm not allowed to share, but, once again, it's the coolest thing EVER.) I'm not sure if "Elmo reading your picture book out loud in the library" can be considered a life goal, but if it is, I'm thrilled to have achieved it.



(Photo credit: Ryan Heffernan. Used with permission from Sesame Street. Thanks, Sesame Street!)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Edward Gets Pumpkined!

A kid had an assignment to decorate a pumpkin as her favorite book character and she chose Edward from EDWARD GETS MESSY! Happy Halloween to me!