Monday, July 16, 2012

Mondays with Mira - Teaching Picture Books - "Except if" by Jim Averbeck.


In today's Teaching Picture Books Video Review we're going to explore Jim Averbeck's delightful children's picture book "Except if" and talk about what makes it so delightful,  briefly sharing how Jim went about structuring this book and his illustrating techniques. I hope you enjoy and forward to friends.

I'm also delighted to say that Jim is one of the featured contributors in the Art and Business of Writing Children's Picture Books e-course at starting August 27th. Here he shares his writing process, which was super fascinating to me as it is very different than my normal process and one that I'll be experimenting with myself in the future. There are only 15 spaces left in this super innovative and empowering course so if you feel now might be the time for you to hone or explore your picture book writing skills click here (it's only 249 for early birds with the price going up to 350 in August). Let me know what you think about Jim's book and this video. I love getting comments and please share : )

Monday, July 9, 2012

Exploring four children's picture books and a currency of caring

Hullo all,

Normally, I feature a picture book or board book video review that includes teaching tips for aspiring authors or illustrators, parents, and teachers. But this week I came upon the finiteness of my computer and even tho I shot 3 enticing videos, I didn't have room to upload, edit, and transfer them (groan). I've been so busy generating juicy content for the Picture Book Academy course starting August 27th that I didn't notice how many gigabites I'd used (unfortunately video eats up hard drive storage and saving movies onto an external hard drive is more complicated than you'd think).

So just for this week (I'll have it figured out by next week) I'm sharing an article I wrote for a top art education journal about four picture books that have some deep content, exploring how they intersect within the contexts of time and culture and the visual culture of money. Hopefully you're intrigued.

Because I was a university professor at the time, some of the language is a bit intellectual and if you come across any dense bits, just skip them to get at the good stuff about how picture books often carry important messages.

I'm also redesigning my old website and working on the Picture Book Academy site, so to give you a teaser, here's some compilation images I put together of some of the many books my former students have published. When I have time, I'll create more of these fun collages.

Award winners Kathryn Otoshi • Yuyi Morales

Award winners Deborah Underwood • Youme Lansdowne • Debra Sartell • Felicia Hoshino 

Award winner Lea Lyon • Brian Gage • Hugh D'Andrade • Brooke Scudder • Mati Rose McDonough • Karen Stanton

If you're ready to work with me and join a supportive group of picture book people, do sign up for the first online Picture Book Academy e-course on writing and publishing children's picture books with this link  - there are only 20 spaces left). Add to Cart

And just a little FYI - Picture Book Writing and Publishing is a fun and empowering online course that comes with a money back guarantee and walks you through the steps of writing and submitting a children's picture books using a workshop format and lots of individual attention. It features fresh content 5 days a week from August 27th through October 7th including templates, pdfs, step by step directions, alternative approaches, critiques, written and video interviews with award winning authors, editors, and agents and much more. It is unlike anything ever offered before. At the end of the course, you will have a completed manuscript and cover letter targeted to a specific appropriate editor or agent. Questions? Feel free to email me at or visit

And here's the link to download the article.
Reisberg Currency

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mondays with Mira and some really exciting news!!!

Last week I promised to share some incredibly exciting news and here it is for anyone interested in learning how to write children's picture books or board books. The Picture Book Academy is now open for enrollment with it's first online course - Writing Children's Picture Books for Publication. The course runs from August 27th through October 7th (with a week off Labor Day week) and is limited to 30 students to ensure lots of individual attention and critiques. 

Today is my first official day of announcing this course and there are currently 24 spaces left in what will be one of the most comprehensive, cutting-edge courses ever.

So the question is
Do you have a picture book in you?
One that you've already started that needs help? Or one that's been rejected and needs reworking to get at its essence with less words and more elegance? Or perhaps you are a total beginner with a tender idea that's hiding in there somewhere, longing to come out into the world?
Then this course could be what you've been waiting for and dreaming of!
Guest contributors include Elisa Kleven, Yuyi Morales, Alexis O'Neill, Caroline Arnold, Ashley Wolff, agent Mary Kole from MoveableType Management, editor Brett Dubuque from Sterling Publishing, and Andrea Tompa from Candlewick Press to name a few. Course content includes everything from genres to easy ways of creating a dynamic plot, to creating compelling characters, to children's developmental stages, to creating concept and non-fiction books, to poetry and prose, to finding your ideal publisher or agent, to how the business works and much more. Wow - I hope you are as excited as I am and do tell your smarter friends.
Here's the link to the Picture Book Academy and the link to the course details
And if you don't want to miss out and are ready to register now - click on the "homage to Maurice Sendak" button below to register for 5 weeks of incredible content in this life-changing and enriching adventure - for only $249 (it even has a money back guarantee).

Or you can always just click here:

Now for this week's delightful board book Two at the Zoo written by Danna Smith and illustrated by Valerie Petrone, where you'll learn about how Danna works with rhyme and the sweet relationship of a boy and his granddad as they go to the zoo and practice counting together. Wonderful text and equally wonderful illustrations. Lots to learn from this lovely book, which I'm sure you'll enjoy apart from the dreadful lighting making me look a little ghoulish : )