Welcome to Celebri-dots

International Dot Day is a celebration of creativity that was inspired by Peter H. Reynolds' book "The Dot". This site is filled with other authors, illustrators, and celebrities who share in the dream of a more creative world. Learn more about International Dot Day!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Seymour Simon

Seymour Simon, whom the NY Times called "the dean of [children’s science] writers," is the author of more than 250 highly acclaimed science books (many of which have been named Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children by the National Science Teachers Association).  
Simon taught science and creative writing in elementary and secondary schools and was chair of the science department at a junior high school in the New York City public school system before leaving to become a full-time writer.

Seymour Simon has been honored with many awards for his work, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Lifetime Achievement Award for his lasting contribution to children’s science literature; the New York State Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature; the Hope S. Dean Memorial Award from the Boston Public Library for his contribution to children’s science literature; The Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Award for Non-fiction; the Jeremiah Ludington Award for his outstanding contribution to children’s nonfiction; the Empire State Award for excellence in literature for young people; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Forum on Children’s Science Books.

Seymour Simon writes and photographs nature from his hilltop home in Columbia County in upstate New York. You can follow his daily nature walks and see his photographs from the field on Twitter (@seymoursimon) or on his Facebook Author page. 

Learn more about Seymour on his website.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Frans Vischer

Frans Vischer grew up in Holland, playing soccer and drawing on rainy afternoons. At the age of eleven his family immigrated to America, settling in Cupertino, Northern California. Being the shy, new kid in school that spoke little English, Frans relied on his drawings to communicate.
Enthralled by the abundance of cartoons on American television, Frans marveled at Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, Tom and Jerry, and “The Wonderful World Of Disney,” and was quickly inspired to become an animator. 

At a local junior college event Frans met legendary Warner Bros. cartoon director Chuck Jones, and sent him one of his animated films. With a recommendation from Mr. Jones, Frans was accepted at California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) in Valencia, Southern California, where he studied animation under Disney veterans. Upon graduation in 1981 Frans went to work at the The Walt Disney Company.  Since then he’s worked on such films as The Princess and The Frog and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? at Disney, Cats Don't Dance at Warner Bros., and The Road To El Dorado at DreamWorks.

Observing and sketching his kids and telling bedtime stories produced a wealth of ideas for new projects. Frans wrote and illustrated his first book, Jimmy Dabble, published in 2001 by Dutton. And inspired by the antics of their enormous and lovable cat, Frans created Fuddles, about a pampered, fat cat seeking an adventure, published by Simon & Schuster in 2011. And for the 2013 holidays, A Very Fuddles Christmas.

Learn more about Frans on his website

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ethan Long

Ethan Long
 is an internationally recognized children's book author and illustrator who has over 70 titles to his credit, which include Tickle the Duck, Chamelia and the New Kid in Class, Me and My Big Mouse, My Dad, My Hero, Scribbles & Ink, One Drowsy Dragon and  Up, Tall and High!, the winner of the 2013 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. He is also the creator of the Emmy-Nominated animated preschool series Tasty Time with ZeFronk, which currently airs daily on The Disney Channel. He lives with his wife and three children in Orlando, Florida.

Learn more about Ethan on his website.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lisa M. Griffin

Lisa M. Griffin received a BFA in Visual Design/Illustration and started her career working as an in-house Designer for a leading financial company in Boston. Years later she made the leap to freelancing and has successfully established herself as a professional Illustrator and Designer. She regularly works with clients on a variety of creative projects including children's books, editorial/magazine illustration, graphic design and most recently, greeting cards and licensing.

With an affinity for wildlife and nature, as well as art, Lisa has developed her own mixed-media technique that is blend of both traditional and digital mediums. She enjoys making art that is lively with subtle textures and vibrant colors. Lisa hopes that her artwork will bring a smile to many... young, old and everyone in-between.

While working from her studio, she is surrounded by lots of creative inspiration. Lisa resides in scenic New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Lisa writes about her dot, "My plan was to create an inquisitive character who spies an opening in the woods. But I wanted to leave the viewer guessing about whether he/she would explore what was beyond that opening. Would this little fox have the courage to move beyond a "safe place" to discover new and wonderful possibilities?"

Learn more about Lisa on her website.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Anika Denise

Anika Denise is a picture book author and poet. Her titles include Pigs Love Potatoes and Bella and Stella Come Home (both illustrated by her husband, artist Christopher Denise.)  School Library Journal called the couple's forthcoming picture book, Baking Day At Grandma's (August 14, 2014) "a wonderful rhyming poem. . . perfect for individual sharing, storytime, baking time, and pretty much any time."  Anika and Chris live with their three daughters in Rhode Island, in a converted 1910 beach cottage, just a stone's throw from the sparkling waters of Narragansett  Bay.

Anika writes about her dot:

"In many ways, creating a picture book is like cooking or baking. You balance and blend all the different ingredients to create a greater, sweeter whole.  I really do believe joy is the essential ingredient in any creative endeavor, and I'm blessed to experience so much of it, doing what I do." 

Learn more about Anika on her website.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tina Kugler

Tina Kugler lives in Los Angeles with her artist husband, three boys and an enormous hairy dog named Harryhausen.

Tina's illustration debut is the May 2014 picture book The Change Your Name Store, written by Leanne Shirtliffe, published by Sky Pony Press. Tina writes about her dot, "Here is a dot of Wilma Lee Wu from The Change Your Name Store...a picture book about self-acceptance, with an Asian-American main character. Wilma Lee Wu decides she doesn't like her name, so she visits the Change Your Name Store. With each new name she tries, she travels to its country of origin to try it out."                                                              
Her picture book written and illustrated with her husband Carson Kugler, In Mary's Garden, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. Their book connects the life and work of Wisconsin artist Mary Nohl with the ability to perceive the world in a creative way.
The release date is Spring 2015. (Source)
Learn more about Tina on her website.

Teacher's guide, printables, and projects for The Change Your Name Store available here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Donna Gephart

Donna Gephart's first novel, As If Being 12-3/4 Isn't Bad Enough, My Mother Is Running For President! won the prestigious Sid Fleischman Humor Award. Her second novel, How To Survive Middle School, received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal and landed on these state reading lists: Texas, New York, Louisiana and Illinois. Donna's next book was, Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen, about a girl determined to get on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!, received a starred review from Kirkus! Her next book, Death By Toilet Paper!, is due out in August.

In addition to writing books for children, Donna has written for the following publications: Family Circle Magazine, The Los Angeles Times Newspaper, Parenting, Highlights for Children, Scholastic's Storyworks Magazine and many others.

Donna writes about her dot, "My dot is filled with the things that matter to me:  Books, creativity, love, indie bookstores, characters from my books created by a friend's daughter, etc.  If only I could fit my family and friends and some Florida sunshine on that dot, it would be perfect.  The plate on which the items rest was given to me by one of my wonderful creative writing students."

Originally from Philadelphia, Donna now lives in South Florida with her husband and two sons.
Learn more about Donna on her website.