Peacocks and bullies, what could they possibly have in common? Well you can find them both in Splat!, a new book by Ellen Raine and illustrated by yours truly!
Bullies don't have to get the better of you. Lucas endures a lot of insults and frustration in his quest to be like everybody else--to fit in. Sad and alone, Lucas goes to extreme measures to fit in, but a freak accident and a new friend encourage him to be different. Follow Lucas as he discovers his true colors and gains new self-confidence in the unrelenting sameness "in a dry dusty desert."
Get your copy today.
Christmas is just around the corner and a copy of The Curious Little Snail is a great gift for kids of all ages, and dogs too! Don't take my word for it, read these rave reviews!
"Anyone who is anybody should read this book, it's thoughtful, adventurous and perfect for young readers." Ida Bralower age 8.
"If you like adventures, large or small, then you would love this book!" Viviana Pearl Castle-Messenger age 8
"I think my dog should read this book, because he asks a lot of questions." Ruby Bryson- Beane age 8
"The Curious Little Snail is an educator’s delight! Young’s dazzling illustrations of Serena the snail and her surroundings draw readers into the thoughtful and beautiful world of snails. It is easy to slime along with Serena and adopt her youthful, wondrous perspective of the world. Young reflects children’s capacity for questioning, encouraging adults and children alike to slow down and take a closer look at our surroundings. As a 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teacher, I highly recommend this book. Young provides resources for educators and parents in the back of the book which helped me launch a conversation with my 4th grade students about noticing and questioning that which we take for granted."
Lindsay Lang M. Ed. Elementary School Teacher
"The Curious Little Snail is sweet, thoughtful, and full of wonder! The author does a great job of bringing the reader along on a snail’s paced adventure that will get kids laughing, thinking, and questioning alongside Serena the snail. A small snail with a big message, Serena is the perfect heroine to encourage kids to use scientific reasoning to think about the world around them. Perfect for environmental educators, classroom teachers, and anyone with an adventurous kid in their lives The Curious Little Snail wants you to join her on the next BIG ADVENTURE!"
Katherine Rose Taulbee M. Ed. 1st grade teacher and environmental educator
"A tiny snail asking big questions about the forest around her. Children will love the story and beautiful illustrations. Parents and teachers will find important strategies for slowing down and supporting a young learner’s curiosity in nature. Ashley Young’s, The Curious Little Snail, should not be kept next to the bed, but rather be brought outdoors as preparation for outdoor adventures."
Dr. John Haskin Senior Vice President for Education, IslandWood
Thank you friends for your kind words and support! Want to leave your own review? Enter it here and see your thoughts in our next blog!
Ashley and Serena
Serena has come out of incubation just in time for cyber Monday! We have been packing and moving our world to a new space. Never have I envied snails and their mobile home so much. Oh the joy of being able to have everything I need tucked away in the little shell on my back.
A new space means a new studio and time to pick up work on the next book in the Curious Snail Series. Serena has been squirming to tell you all about her adventures and new friends in the big city.
Exciting news!! Serena is in a store near you! Make sure you are stocked up on your copies of The Curious Little Snail for the holidays! The book can be purchased retail at the Wolverine Publishing House Bookstore and the Gardens on Spring Creek for you Coloradans and at IslandWood for our PNW friends. We are working on Barnes and Nobel and some other local CO shops. Living someplace else? You can always pick up a copy online at Lulu.com they are currently running a sale for $8.97 + S&H. Doesn’t get better then that!!
How do you sum up your life’s passion in three to four sentences? How do you choose the life experiences, relevant and novel facts all wrapped up in witty prose but not too witty that you turn people off. “Make them trust you.” They say, “Don’t brag but also don’t be self deprecating.”
Oh the joys and challenges of embracing a calling, putting it into words and realizing how much you still have to learn! Every task that comes before me in the field of children book illustrating and writing is like reading the first page of an great adventure story – both trilling and terrifying at the same time.
I started drawing young, way young. My mother, like many mothers, bragged about my magical skills of rendering and still keeps my ‘first great drawing’ in our fireproof safe, tucked between birth certificates and passports. So you may wonder if I was born with this amazing talent or if I accepted a prescribed identity at a young age that I practiced and was affirmed over the years. Okay, so you probably have not thought about that, but I can’t stop wondering about it! How do we become the people we are with unique interests, talents, predispositions and personalities? Were we shaped out of the clay of the earth with each characteristic etched-in and perfected before we took our first breath or did we explode into this world a blank canvas to which we brush in new details as we travel this wild and precious life? Everyday that I sit with young children, I wonder how much control we have over our story, the personal narrative we write for ourselves.
How much of who we are comes from our view of ourselves, from the environment around us, from the “truths” that we tattoo on our hearts from a young age. I was a lucky child. I am grateful for words of affirmation and opportunities, for wild adventures and passionate parents. I am grateful for an ability to express myself in creative ways. More than anything I am grateful for permission to dream like a child, to play, to create and to drift off into magical worlds of the imagination.
To illustrate is to open the gates, break down the walls and let the possibilities twist, wander and dance around the room. Characters emerge out of the white paper, their shape, form and personality come to life and make a home in my heart.
So how do you sum up my identity as an artist, a storyteller or a person in three to four sentences? Only with the grace of God, a little bit of imagination, a dash of truth and a whole lot of pixie dust.
(20 revisions later I settled and told myself I could always redo it later)
From the ocean to the mountains Ashley Young spends her life exploring the wild places and documenting their inhabitants in her sketchbook. An artist of many mediums, her subjects are unique and expressive animals drawn from her experiences as a zookeeper and environmental educator. At home in Fort Collins, Colorado she spends her days dreaming, creating and adventuring with her four-footed sidekick Harvey.
Wow! What a month April was and now May has almost passed us by as well. Serena has reminded me time and again to slow down and appreciate this “one wild and precious life” (Mary Oliver) but it has been hard as the world moves around me at a furious pace. Today, however, I am slowing down to say a huge thank you! Serena hit the web April 27th and in three days sold 39 copies!! I have not seen the numbers for May yet but we are excited to see how many Serena snails are out in the world.
We have been busy replacing pixelated copies that were ordered in the first 24hours of sales. Please let me know if you have a book that seems out of focus and I will send you a new, signed copy.
Here are some numbers:
39 Books Sold in the first 72 hours
5 schools with the Curious Little Snail in their classrooms
1,500 business cards ordered
19 signed copies mail to eager friends
1 big beautiful ceramic snail on my desk that needs to be painted! ,
Check back in Monday to see how this ceramic snail comes to life.
Wow! What a tremendous outpouring of support Serena and I have received from you all! Our first few days have been an amazing success and it is all thanks to you wonderful people.
That being said, it has come to our attention that some of the books being printed have come out fuzzy (a pixilation issue)!! That is not okay! The quality and presentation of this book is very important to me. I want you all to be able to enjoy the book to its full potential.
If you receive your book and notice that the images are fuzzy please email me at thecuriouslittlesnail.com with your name and mailing address and we will replace your book immediately with a signed copy.
Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding,
Ashley and Serena the Snail
The day has come! Serena and I are thrilled to share our story with you and the world. Our book The Curious Little Snail is available exclusively at Lulu.com. Check it out!
Wednesday is a big day for Serena the Snail and Ashley!
Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 we will finally be able to share our first story, The Curious Little Snail, with the world. The book will be available as a 9x7 paperback on Lulu.com and they will ship it right to your home or classroom.
The Curious Little Snail is a new children’s book intended to engage young minds and assist parents and teachers in fostering curiosity. It brings to life the secret world of snails through lively images and intentional storytelling. The story takes place in the deep green forest where Serena the Snail and her Papa search for answers to life's big questions. By bringing together adventure and learning, this tale is a powerful and practical book for explorers big and small.
Stay tuned for news on upcoming book release parties and community readings. You can sign up for the most recent updates an information on our store page.
What a learning experience! Exploring this new world of children’s book publishing has been a BIG adventure! First, I have to begin by apologizing for building the excitement and craze for the release of this book and then making you wait! Second, I have to extend a HUGE thank you for all your support, interest and patience through this process. Serena the Snail reminded me that life is a learning process and we must enter these new adventures with an open mind and a graceful spirit.
Right now we have beautiful large hardback copies of the book that are extremely expensive to make one at a time and all the costs go to printing the book. If you are interested in one of these please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the link. However, if you are not in an hurry, we hope to have ordered a supply of these gorgeous books later this year that will be available for a much more reasonable price. In the meantime, Crystal Publishing is working on re-formatting the book into a paperback version that will be available for buying online soon. I wish I could be more specific then “soon” but I am learning that patience is also an important part of the process. This portable version will be great for learners on the go, environmental educators and the beautiful majority of us who have limited disposable income. It is important that this story and teaching tool is accessible to all learners and educators. Additionally, if you are interested but unable to afford to bring this booking into your learning environment please let me know and I will make sure we get you a copy.
While we wait for the inevitable release of The Curious Little Snail, Serena is encouraging me as I plan out our next big adventure and work on illustrating a grand peacock tail written by local author Ellen Raine.
Serena and I want to thank you all for your presence and encouragement on this epic adventure! It means the world to us.
This week was an awfully big week for Ashley. She started a new job! Exhausted from a week of Spring Break camp at the Gardens on Spring Creek, she asked if I would write the blog this week! I said, ‘Of course!” Sorry it is a day late. I work at a snail's pace.
Author & Illustrator
Ashley M. Young