Hello out there,
I just wanted to pop in and let you know Philip and Erin have created a little blog called Number Five Bus Presents where they will host conversations with fellow “book people” as they say. So far they’ve talked with Eric Rohmann, Cece Bell, Rebecca Stead and Julie Danielson with many more interesting folks to follow soon.

If you’ve already landed here, I really think you might enjoy it there too. Click here to check it out.

Happy summering,
The Blog Thief

Hello again! Your local blog thief here.

It seems things are heating up around here and I have many exciting events to tell you about these days. This time, I’m here to let you know both Philip and Erin will be speaking at the Fifth Annual Storymakers Dinner here in Ann Arbor. The dinner benefits 826michigan which happens to be one of the Steads’ favorite institutions in town and will take place on April 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Zingerman’s Roadhouse. They hope you will be able to join them to help make the event a success.

Space is limited so be sure to get your tickets soon! And, just so you feel extra welcomed, below is the invitation to the event. I think 826michigan is cool with blog thieves inviting people too.

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Before I made books, I sold books. There may come a day when no one buys the books I make anymore, and, if anyone will hire me, I will probably try to go back to selling books again. I loved selling books. I love the way a new box of books smells when you crack the tape open. I loved the pace of working in a store (there was always something to do, but the interruptions were nice). I loved the people I worked with.

One year ago, a new independent bookstore opened in downtown Ann Arbor. It was a risky thing to do, even in a town that’s often cited as being one of the most literate. Even though lately it’s felt like we have become a little less breathless about it, it’s still a time where we need to defend the book (the simple, already technologically advanced book). In an odd turn of events, we also need to defend the store. Kurt Vonnegut wrote once about us being social animals. It’s a brilliant essay which I will not attempt to recap here, but, ahem, in summary he basically reminds us we need to go out and fart around with other people. Our phones and social networking whatnots have made us connected in one way, but they don’t tend to nurture our mirror neurons. And so enters this new bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor. It’s been one year, and their doors are open, and we can wander in from time to time and buy books to read. It’s delightful.

The fun thing about an independent bookstore is that you often can find books that you wouldn’t necessarily find easily through an online algorithm. The fun thing about Literati’s one year anniversary is that they asked us to help celebrate it. Phil and I knocked our heads together and decided we would like to talk about some books we love and why we love them. This can turn into a rather long list, so we thought we would talk about some books that aren’t exactly hard to find, but don’t exactly have a movie tie-in and plush toys surrounding them, either. The point is that these are books you can stumble upon on the shelf of your local bookstore– and that’s how we’d like to celebrate ours. The rest of the weekend will also be a celebration of reading for the store, but Friday night, March 28th at 7pm, will be a small celebration of reading kids books (our wheelhouse). Come by if you can! We’re pretty excited about it. We’ll also sign books and answer any questions you might have for us.

Hooray, books!

Deep Cuts with Philip and Erin Stead
A night to celebrate little known children’s books that will make you laugh, cry, or scratch your head and wonder “Why?”

Friday, March 28, 2014
7 p.m.
Literati Bookstore
124 E. Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Downtown on a Friday night! Click here for parking information.

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Just wanted to pop in and let you know Philip and Erin will be at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Friday, March 28 at 7 p.m. to help celebrate the store’s one year anniversary. (Hooray, Literati!)

The anniversary celebrations will continue all weekend and the Steads are very honored to be part of helping to celebrate books and independent bookstores. Beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, the Steads will read and discuss many of their favorite obscure and semi-obscure children’s books which will also be made available for purchase by the store. Philip and Erin will also be happy to sign any of the books they have created should you wish to bring one along or pick one up at Literati.

Definitely stay updated with more information about Literati’s celebrations via their website and Facebook page. And, again, here is the information for Philip and Erin’s portion of the celebration:

Deep Cuts with Philip and Erin Stead
A night to celebrate little known children’s books that will make you laugh, cry, or scratch your head and wonder “Why?”

Friday, March 28, 2014
7 p.m.
Literati Bookstore
124 E. Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

941330_182938581864394_1494886109_nphoto courtesy: Literati Bookstore

Hello and happy Friday to you! It’s a balmy 40ish degrees here in Michigan today which is downright warm compared to what we’re used to. In celebration, I bring you more sights from around the Steads’ studio.

Today, some progress Philip is making on his book! A blue horse:

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A happy looking Wednesday:

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The sun!

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Some shapes (which I’m positive are much more useful and vital to this project than my irreverent declaration that they are “some shapes”):

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And ducks!

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Also, I have a feeling this handy little tool will get some good use in Phil’s book:

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In Erin’s part of the studio, there are lots of colors (and I always think this looks like art all by itself):

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And much anticipation for exciting college basketball games (yes, there is a calendar in the studio dedicated to college basketball):

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Hope this finds you with something exciting to look forward to. Yours in peaceful blog thievery,

nicole
(The Blog Thief)

Hello out there,
I hope your year is off to a good start. Blog thievery has been a little slow so far this year because I didn’t want to take anything away from the Phildecott and Steadbery Award announcements. But I’ve been getting antsy so I’m back to take over.

There has been much happening around the studio and I had a feeling some of you might be interested in a few of the things I see and hear and (maybe sometimes) smell around here. So consider today the first of a not-so-regular-that-I-don’t-keep-you-on-your-toes series where I tell you about things happening in and around the studio.

Today, everyone was hard at work making art:

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On most days – but especially days when Philip and Erin are strictly devoted to art-making – the music streams from morning to night. Oftentimes one artist or one album dominates the day but today there was a wide variety covered. At the moment I chose to photograph “the music”, the Beatles were playing which seemed pretty appropriate given all the hubbub lately.

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You might wonder what a studio where much art is being made smells like. Well, I have a surprise for you. Today, it’s one part expected – the spray fixative on the left which Philip and Erin use to set their art once it’s finalized – and one part unexpected – the wintergreen essential oil on the right. Erin is using the oil for some transfer work on the book she is currently making and it’s been a delightful smell around the studio for the last few winter months. Think fresh trees during the part of winter where you’re still excited about winter smells.

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Speaking of winter, most things are white and brown outside in Michigan but both Philip and Erin have been hard at work selecting colors for their books. Erin’s selections:

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And Phil’s possibilities below. He was most excited about the yellow…said he wanted to frame just this Color-aid sample to contrast what’s going on outside. I have a feeling most of the country can relate, Phil.

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And here are a few photos of Phil’s current projects. A complete storyboard of one book:

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And some ideas coming together for another:

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And, last, one of Erin’s spreads coming along nicely in the evening light:

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Well, that’s all for today’s installment of studio sights and sounds and smells. I’ll be on the lookout for interesting things to share with you. In the meantime, I hope you can find some yellow in your lives to enjoy.

Cheers,
nicole
(The Blog Thief)

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