Picture Book Look

All the LOST things

Olive, the star of our story, is a peppy, optimistic girl who one day decides to go for a walk. She walks through her city, hearing all the typical, somewhat unpleasant, city sounds. There are people yelling at each other and horns honking. If you’ve ever visited a big city, you may recall just how loud and clamorous those sounds can be. Olive continues walking when suddenly, she hears a new sound coming from an open manhole. Curious, she peeks in and finds a little old lady who is keeper of All the Lost Things.

The lost things are packed away in box after box, stacked high, each box with its own label. The boxes are filled with bus passes and laughter, thoughts and bibs, marbles and homework. The old woman explains that no one has ever come for the items and Olive is free to take whatever she likes. The little girl fills five jars with treasure. Memory for her grandfather, sense of humor for her older sister, eyesight for her dad, the way for her mom (“who could never seem to go anywhere without completely losing it”) and the last jar she fills with “a rather big, rather enormous scoop of HOPE.”

The beauty of this book begins as the illustrations transform from primarily black and white into glorious color as Olive walks through her city, bits of HOPE sprinkling from the jar.

Debut author/illustrator Kelly Canby’s ( imaginative take on storytelling is truly compelling. All the Lost Things provides adults with an opportunity to talk with children about   perspective and attitude, and the impact our attitudes can have on other people.

This simple, sweet story reminds me again why I love picture books so much. They epitomize childhood, and in childhood, anything can and often does happen. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were all a little bit more like Olive, and went about our day spreading things like HOPE and JOY to others?






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Out of the Mouths, Er, Hands of Babes

Have you ever gone through life, minding you own business, and then, one day something happens that makes you question one of your core beliefs? That day came for me on November 5, 2007.

On that day, my 10 year old son sat down at the kitchen table with a piece of paper and pencil. He balled up his left hand and began sketching his fist. After a few minutes, I noticed went to see what he was doing. As I looked over his shoulder, I was amazed at what I saw. Appearing right before my eyes was the image of a clenched hand. . .my son’s. I stood, eyes fixed on the sketch as it took shape on paper. My son was oblivious to my presence, lost in his own world.

I had suspicions the kid was artistically talented. Since the age of two he had been able to pick out hidden images in the Highlights magazine faster than either me or my husband could. And, he saw things in ways other people didn’t. He saw everyday objects in clouds, on the bark of trees and in the grass. But on that November day, I couldn’t deny the creativity pouring forth from my son. My son. The question formed in my mind, “How did he get so creative? Where did that talent come from.” Not really expecting an answer, I was surprised when, within my spirit, I heard the following, “He is your son. His creativity comes from you and David. He is creative because you are, and you are creative because I am the Creator and I have created you in my image.”


From me, total silence as I soaked in the message and meaning of what I’d just “heard.” This, to me, was a game changer. A life changing idea. Me, creative? “Hold on a minute,” I wanted to argue. “Not me. Not creative.” And then, I started to wonder if it could be true. Was I creative? If so, how, and in what fashion?

I had believed my lie for so long, that I needed to take some time to just let the concept sink in. I went to my Bible, which I have been reading since 1988, and there it was – the fifth word in Genesis 1:1, “created.” “In the beginning God created. . .”  Wow. How had I missed this?

And then, it started to all make sense. I was creative. I am creative. I had to be. I’m God’s creation, created in his image. But how? How was I creative? I mentally glanced back at my life, looking for any glimpse of creativity. Any sparkle. Any glimmer of color splashed upon an otherwise barren desert, and found nothing. Some ladies flashed their creative side in fashion. Not me. Some, in decking out their homes in the trendiest colors and accessories. Nada. Others spent the whole of their careers creatively as actresses, artists, singers and such. That sure wasn’t me either. So where did I fit in to this whole creative concept? I really had no idea, but like a child free to linger over the candy counter, the horizon ahead of me was spotted with colors of all kinds. I could do this. . .Hmmm. Or, I could try that. . .Maybe I would enjoy this. . .

And so it began. November 5, 2007.

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Yipee! I have worked out the kinks in posting in “real time” so to speak. So, this post is actually “live” in that it is being penned January 7.   🙂

Also, Ive continued to sketch as often as possible. I think I’ve missed two sketches this first week and I’m good with that. I haven’t gotten to the class offered through the library yet, but what I have been doing is learning about Randolph Caldecott in my spare time. Any of you home schooling moms can attest to the fact that there never seems to be much “spare” time in any given 24 hour period. Lol

I will be posting the daily sketches soon.

Keep drawing and encouraging creativity!

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