Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day: Picture Book Author Tribute

Memorial Day Weekend. Memorial Day. 
What does it mean to you? What is the meaning to your family? 
Is it a day of family-fun and picnics? The opening of the community pool? 
Deviled eggs and a cook-out on the grill? Popsicles perhaps?
Do you make it to a parade with marching bands? 

My husband served in the Navy for four years aboard the John F. Kennedy air craft carrier, back in the day. My son-in-law Scott is currently a captain and pilot in the Ohio Air Guard and has had numerous deployments to war zones leaving our daughter to hold down the fort here with their three children. My son-in-law Zac is in the Navy and is permanently stationed in Annapolis. So perhaps I have a slightly different view when it comes to Memorial Day. Our men are all well and among us. Thank heavens. I'm so proud of each of them for their service to our country.  

I wrote my patriotic original children's song, "Red, White and Blue" immediately after 9-11. As a result of creating the song in it's picture book format I had the amazing opportunity last spring to go on tour to four of our US Army bases across Germany and Italy. 

National Indie Award of Excellence Winner for Children's Picture Book with Audio: shiny gold sticker!!!

Singing and sharing my picture book with the children of our troops stationed abroad gave me a much richer perspective of the sacrifice of our people in the service. It was amazing to have men and women in their fatigues, holding babes and toddlers and chasing their big kids at our family concerts together. 

Family Concert: Meeting the Troops and Signing Autographs in Italy

My travels to their midst were part of the celebration of "Month of the Military Child." I got to take my songs, picture books and camera to amazing moments cherished in my heart. My leading songs in the midst of such heroes was beyond humbling. 

Daddy hug at Army base concert in Italy

My very favorite photo of my two week European tour is this next image captured in Italy. I chose two daddies to help me explain how I make quilts for illustrations for my picture books. One daddy is holding the quilt I designed and sewed while the other holds my open book. These images are of the 'end papers' of my book. The adoring little daughter looking up at the comparison is what captures my heart forever!! (You can see that I was literally in motion the entire two weeks.)

I have seen those very same dusty boots captured above in the midst of my WonderPeep's (grandchildren) kitchen awaiting yet another departure from their midst. So Memorial Day holds a very special place in my heart. 

Close up images of the Kindergarten Bulletin Board Welcome for my Author Visit with "Red, White and Blue" picture book

Last Friday I made my final 'author visit' for this concluding school year. It's such a thrill to return to St. Paul's in Westerville -- where I have been every year for almost a decade as a part of their end-of-the-year festivities. Yeah, kindergarten!!! 

The teachers went over-the-top this year to welcome me back into their midst. The students created amazing work in response to all three of my picture books, making a bulletin board in honor of each one!! Today I want to take a look at the patriotic projects they created in response to "Red, White and Blue."

I asked Mrs. Grote how on earth her students had achieved such awesome results as these photographed above. She told me that the Statue of Liberty drawings are a result of a guided drawing exercise from a packet of ideas by Deanna Jump, available at Teachers Pay Teachers. The very same Deanna I have come to know and love this year through our collaboration together at PreK+K Sharing. Cue: "It's a Small World After All." 

Kindergarten Room 26, St. Paul, Westerville OH, in anticipation of my author visit: WALL of patriotism

Imagine my heart as I walk into this classroom. To walk into their kindergarten room here in Ohio and to literally be SURROUNDED with their patriotic art projects in honor of my arrival, my patriotic picture book and the coinciding observation of Memorial Day is again way beyond humbling. Its moments like this that I have to pinch myself. I really am living the dream.

Blue sky parade and Old Glory in abundance

However you spend this Memorial Day, I'd ask that you take a few moments to ponder those who currently serve our country. Those separated from their loved ones this weekend. Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country. Their contribution and sacrifices go beyond words. These are very real people, doing very real work, with very real families who love them. 

I am honored to share these images with you on this significant weekend. Come back tomorrow for the concluding fireworks project. 

   -- Debbie --
Of course those who know me know I have a Pinterest board for each of my picture books. 
Here's the direct link to the collection of nearly 350 patriotic pin-spirations!

Last week I had an article with several great patriotic project ideas. Click here to go see those. 
photo of: Flag of painted handprints
Handprint painted flag project
To view the overview of my book, please read my blog article from September 11th

To view the 45 blog posts relating to my European tour click on the link "Month of the Military Child" 
To view the comprehensive round up of images and impressions of response to the picture book itself, you can click on the link "Red White Blue"

As always I welcome your visit to my store at my dot com. 
Anytime you order my materials, use the promo code: GREAT to receive a 10% discount. 

Linked this article up to Itsy Bitsy Paper!!


  1. This is a wonderful post, Debbie! Thank you for sharing with us!

    Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

    1. Mary, I am so appreciative of your kind and continuing support. I can envision great things ahead as you enter the world of the k-kiddos!!!! We welcome you with open arms and I'm looking forward to writing a guest post for your blog!


  2. I am so glad I found your blog on the Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies blogroll. Your post really touched me and I am thrilled to see such a wonderful display of American symbols by talented young students. Come take a peek at my blog sometime.
    Stories by Storie

    1. Welcome, Storie. I can't wait to do a froggie-hop over to your blog. I'm so excited to finally be connecting to others out here in the blog-o-sphere and I'm so appreciative of your support and encouragement.


  3. Thanks for sharing these images and you thoughtful words with us at the Kids Co-op Debbie.

    1. Cathy, thanks so much for popping though. I appreciate your support -- as always, all the way across the pond.


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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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