Friday, December 23, 2022

"Mighty Wings" Wins the Golden Wizard Book Prize 2022


"Mighty Wings" Monarch Picture Book wins Golden Wizard Book Award 2022


and LOOK what they have to say:

"Mighty Wings" Monarch Picture Book wins Golden Wizard Book Award 2022

Our scientifically accurate, passion project all about Monarch butterflies, from metamorphosis to migration, has been honored with the "Golden Wizard Book Prize 2022" and we are thrilled. 

Our most sincere hope is that this award will bring further visibility to our efforts to contribute to the conservation of this beloved Ambassador insect that faces threats to flying among us. 

With each book that we sell at the retail price of $20.00, we are now in the position to donate $5.00 from each book sold, directly to the Monarch Butterfly Fund. We just sent in our first contribution to MBF earlier this week! So it has been a thrilling week for us! A gold seal of approval and our first monetary contribution! What a way to end the year. 

"Mighty Wings" book publication makes donation to Monarch Butterfly Fund

We won because of your support from the very beginning. It literally took a village to get to this point. It took 2 Kickstarter projects. The first Kickstarter was to fund the musical arrangements and the second was to fund the printing of the first 1000 copies of the book. Because hundreds of people got involved in that muscle and money, we have arrived at these milestones. 


"Mighty Wings" Monarch picture book gets Golden Wizard Book Prize 2022

We are awaiting the arrival of our physical seals, which will be affixed to newly purchased books moving forward.... but when we reprint this is what the cover will look like in the future. (I bet we will affix stickers for 2023 and then refit the cover for the second edition once our books on hand are sold.) 

"Mighty Wings" Monarch picture book gets Golden Wizard Book Prize 2022

That's not all! 
I was featured on the cover of our local Vero Beach magazine! 

Debbie Clement on the cover of 53rd Neighbor Magazine, Vero Beach FL

Another DREAM comes true!!!

My local neighbors were as impressed as I was humbly thrilled. Just yesterday, I had a friend send me a snapshot from her beauty parlor and I was still on the end table! 

Yes. There was a professional photographer that came to our "Happy House" to take the photos. The cover image is in our guest room. Yes. I painted the duo of happy flowers as a backdrop for my Zoom and Virtual presentations. 

Debbie Clement on the cover of 53rd Neighbor Magazine, Vero Beach FL

Debbie Clement on the cover of 53rd Neighbor Magazine, Vero Beach FL

I was also just in our LOCAL Newspaper!

This was a delightful evening of my working with teachers from across our county. Each participant received their own copy of "Mighty Wings" and a fabric Monarch prop to use while reading the book. 

Debbie Clement Newspaper Article on "Mighty Wings"

This Newsletter below, from the Vero Beach Rotary Club documents another absolutely incredible day! Due to the kindness of angel Linda Scalco, in honor of her 70th birthday, I was given the opportunity to gift a copy of "Mighty Wings" to every single teacher at Dodgertown Elementary School! 

We've also received a great review from "Writer's Digest." 

I have to be candid  completely honest and tell you that it is something of an 'out-of-body' experience for me as I read these sentiments from the professional review people. I have to remind myself that they are speaking of me, my work, my rhymes, my art, my ability to collaborate all of that with my daughter -- the creation of the songs, the fabrication of the mixed media illustrations, while they are my vision, they also are full of a mind meld with Sarah Joy.... and as I have said repeatedly, the entire project was her idea. 


My very first kindergarten author-school-visit of the "Mighty Wings" era, was to the amazing Columbus Jewish Day School, where the brilliant Annelyn Baron had worked with her Kinder-Kids ahead of my arrival. So much brilliance! Their entrance, as I captured in the little video above, was absolutely breathtaking for me. I had to pinch my lips together while filming!

Take a look at these a-ma-zing wings that each student built under the direction of their school's art teacher. Simply stunning, am I right? This is such a brilliant example of collaboration between teaching professionals!

It literally just doesn't get any better than this (as an illustrator) -- to have a classroom teacher so infuse your work into the lives of the students that it becomes three-dimensional! 

Annelyn also directed her students to choose their own 'Mighty' word AND THEN BUILD A 3D Chrysalis! 
Love is my "Mighty" word! 

Power is my "Mighty" word! 

Here's the author welcome I received at an east-side Columbus Preschool last spring! 

Children's butterfly photo backdrop for Author Visit

Children's Art for Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars

Young Children's Hand-painted Monarch Butterflies

Monarch butterfly symmetrical paintings

I received this next photo of a sweetie in Dallas from my preschool director friend.
I was given permission to share her sweet smile with the wider world. 
Her mommy says that she wanted to be a Monarch for Halloween, because of her delight over "Mighty Wings." 

So that's the hook! Get the book. 
Then they want to be a butterfly for Halloween. 
Before you know it, they are nagging you to plant milkweed to save the Monarch! 

"Mighty Wings" Monarch picture book wins Golden Wizard Book Prize 2022

Now let me conclude with another exciting honor, but this one is in the future. 

I have been selected to present at the ELEVATE VIRTUAL 2023 summer cyber event. ALL new for 2023. 

Some of your favorite presenters have returned (me, me, me) and there are new faces as well, but all of the sessions will be brand new. 

This is the brainchild of the very generous Greg Smedley Warren and produced by his Mister Jason. 

Anyhow, they give us AFFILIATE codes, so that when you register through my LINK, I receive actual-factual dollars as a result. Did I mention that they are generous people? My participation last summer helped to pay off the printing expenses of the extra two thousand copies of "Mighty Wings" that we ordered.

See how this all works together for good? 

Have you watched the book trailer on YouTube? FREEEE! 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

"Mighty Wings" on Educational Podcast & Stars with Radio Personality!


We are working daily to bring visibility to our Monarch butterfly conservation project and picture book, "Mighty Wings." It is thrilling to have had some recent media coverage! 

I was interviewed by Vanessa Levin on her educational podcast through her platform at Pre-K Pages, Elevating Early Childhood.  

Vanessa Levin's Podcast: Elevating Early Childhood 

Vanessa is such a gracious host. Even MORE than that? She did her homework regarding our picture book and found NUMEROUS Early Learning Standards that align directly with our book. Talk about teaching to the test! 

[Note-to-self. Take a deep breath and slow down. I may have been just a smidge excited during this conversation.] 

And if that isn't enough information on the background of the book, here's a radio personality interview with a local celebrity right here in Vero Beach! RHETT PALMER! 

He seriously kept me on my toes! Here's the studio set-up at Vero's Voice! Talk about impromptu. Click here to listen to that non-stop fun! 

Our book is making progress on gaining visibility at McKee Botanical Garden. The giftshop manager, Michelle has gone to great lengths to help us make a BIG first impression. Look at this display. 

Why yes. That is quite-a-few Monarch butterfly magnets encircling our "Mighty Wings." 

At this point "Mighty Wings" is still only available directly on my website. I will sign and date each copy that we ship out. There's a spot on the site for you to request that I personalize your book -- which is certainly the highlight of my day! 

Let me tell you! Here's the evidence that it is literally jaw-dropping! Take a look at the expression of this three year old as he reacts to the end pages. 

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Author-Illustrator Wearable Art Ensemble for Picture Book "Mighty Wings"

 "Begin with the end in mind."

Our new book is born! "Mighty Wings" flies. Our goal from the beginning was to create a scientifically accurate, nonfiction, STEAM extravaganza resource on metamorphosis that could contribute to the conservation of the Monarch butterfly. BOOM!

So here I am yesterday. At McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach where I had a 2:30 appointment with Michelle-the-Manager of the gift shop and Amy the coordinator of children's programming. They like it! They like it! Immediately Michelle bought 12 copies outright to go into the gift shop! 

Amy has scheduled me to make my first guest appearance on Wednesday, February 23rd at 11:00. In less than 3 weeks now!!! I will perform "Mighty Wings"  as part of their music series for young children. I will be wearing my author-ensemble that is still under construction as I type. You can see the stage that it was yesterday. Yesterday morning I added the sleeves. 

I want this article to document the progression of my author outfit and allow my mom to see the metamorphosis of this ensemble! She's proud of me. She's proud of us. I started painting the Monarch while I was visiting my parents in Augusta last month. 

Phase one was complete! 

This all got started with a $5 cotton shirt I bought while we were in Key West at the end of last year. I wasn't even able to try it on, but for five dollars I figured it would fit someone. 

I asked FB folks if they thought I should leave it alone or continue on. I bet 85% suggested leaving it as a simple, elegant, sophisticated dress and let the book be the focal point and speak for itself.

But our books hadn't been delivered and I had time on my hands and I started looking through my various little drawers of 'goodies.' Then I got excited!!! I found these little 'crocheted' buttons from a by-gone era. 

It was off-to-the-races! LUPINES! Build blooming button LUPINES! 

And once I got started? I just kept opening drawers and I found fabric yo-yos and buttons and gears left over from the book and and and and I just kept going: 

I got the two different trims added to the hemline -- 

and I just kept going and going and going..... I painted wooden disc circles to represent the caterpillar crawling along: 

and then I hand painted some milkweed: 
and the milkweed blooms were created from pink seed beads gathered together on thread. 

Add the milkweed flowers to the painted milkweed blooms, continue adding the word 'hope' wherever possible, a few more yo-yo's and VOILA: an author/illustrator ensemble! 

Next came the sleeves! 
I cut off the bottom of a dancing dress.

Then the sleeves seemed a little dark,
so I painted in the spots along the edge.

Take a look at how our display has grown, over at McKee Botantical Garden. 

Order your copy of "Mighty Wings: 
on our website: 

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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