Character Development

Carl Jung’s (and later Joseph Campbell’s) monomyth theory holds that all human stories—across all ages and cultures—experience the same basic journey. And over the course of that life story, the “hero” (or main character) encounters this cast of characters: Mentor Threshold Guardian Herald Henchmen Shape Shifter Hero’s Shadow (Villain) Trickster Take The Wizard of Oz, for instance:

Inspiring Minds: Ed Emberley

I first heard about Ed Emberley at a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference. Ed has been making kids’ books since 1961, when his first book was declared an ALA winner. Since then, he’s illustrated more than 50 (!) children’s books, including Caldecott winners. But that wasn’t what caught my attention about Ed.

Innovation

We had boxes of these in my house growing up. Do you know what it is? It’s a toothpaste tube roller. My Great Uncle Albert made them—hundreds of them actually. He invented them. I remember going to Uncle Charlie’s inventors’ shop once when I was little. My eyes were just high enough to peer down … More Innovation

Story

Once upon a time, there was a hero. (S)he lived in a world where things weren’t perfect, but they were livable. Then something happened to change all that. At first (s)he denied it. Then someone convinced the hero otherwise. (S)he set off to do something. Things challenged the hero along the way. Eventually, (s)he got … More Story

DIY Wall Art

What do you get when you combine these? I wasn’t sure, but I had a blank wall in my guest bedroom and two blank canvases daring me to find out. Time for some DIY wall art. Care to join me? Here’s the step by step.

The 4 Pillars of Play

When I worked at Cranium, I learned a lot about Dr. Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory. It stressed that there are multiple ways to be “smart,” beyond standardized tests for verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematic skills. Gardner demonstrated that humans actually have eight intelligences:

Soul Food

Sometimes you just need a little soul food, a breadcrumb from the universe, a taste of that dream ever waiting beyond the bend. Sunday I enjoyed some much-needed soul food at the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators conference—along with these tasty morsels of encouragement. May they help feed your dream, too.