Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kids have the best imagination

At a recent event I handed out these activity sheets from the Old Red Shoe web site (you can download them for free by going to the teachers page), and the kids came up with the best ideas for reusing tin cans. I especially loved these!

Tin can stilts:

This is a "recycling robot" (!):

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A busy week for SHOE!

The past week has been a whirlwind! Earth Week brought a flurry of activity around What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?... here are a few highlights.

First of all, when I found out that USA Today was going to include the book in their Earth Day section I pictured a nice, small mention in a round-up of green products... maybe they would include the book cover. But when I managed to find a copy of the paper on Wednesday, I was shocked to see a full half page article! Pictures, excerpts, and all! I've never gotten press like this, so it was really a thrill. You can read the article here.

But that wasn't the only chance to celebrate SHOE, I also had a lovely event at The Wellesley Booksmith where we made our own shoe planters. I brought in a stack of old, worn out shoes I collected, and some cheerful marigolds:

Here are some of the kid's planters:

The next day I visited the Wenham Museum and gave a presentation on how the book was made in coordination with their exhibit "Soul of the Shoe". Unfortunately I couldn't take pictures in the museum of the amazing collection of shoes they had on display, but I did get these pics:

I finished my presentation by drawing some of the characters in the book, then hung them up for kids to color. A very focused brother and sister team got to work right away:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Last week's blog tour

In case you missed my visit around the kidlit blog community, here are some links to some of the places where either my book or myself paid a visit:

The Miss Rumphius Effect
Wild Rose Reader
Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
A Patchwork of Books
Katie's Literature Lounge: guest post
Katie's Literature Lounge: review
A Year of Reading

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Recycled notebooks by Martha

I just found this sweet craft on the Martha Stewart Show site- a great way to find a use for the extra paper scraps you have laying around the house (I know I always have tons left over from various book projects).

Its similar to a project I did with some kids during an art workshop a few years ago, where we hand bound notebooks (only instead of decorative paper on the outside, we marbled paper with shaving cream). Here is a picture of the notebook covers:

I'll post the directions for making them soon!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Other Earth Day books

There have been a number of great Earth Day book round ups that I've been honored to be included in, check them out here to read reviews of Old Red Shoe and find out about other green books for kids:

The Spokesman-Review
Dakota Moms
Mcdowell News

Recycled crayons from SHOE

I originally posted this on my blog Painting Bunnies back in December, when I recycled some crayons a la Old Red Shoe and sent them out as holiday gifts. I thought I would repost the process here for any readers of the book who want to see what the crayon craft looks like...

First I gathered up my bits of crayons from past art classes taught, and melted them in my oven. Then came the fun part, splattering them into ice cube trays:

Here is the result, in their imperfect glory:

I got some little envelopes from Paper Source and covered them with my web site stickers:

Then packaged up the little guys so they were all ready to go:

This is what my ice cube tray looked like after:

Old Red Shoe on ScrippsNews

What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? has made it onto another Earth Day books round-up, hurray!

"For younger children, look for "What Can You Do With An Old Red Shoe?" (Henry Holt, $16.95). Author-illustrator Anna Alter offers a dozen craft projects using recycled materials; a flip-flop becomes an art stamp, a T-shirt is transformed into a pillow. Alter's directions are easy to follow, and her illustrations are charming. While these are kid-friendly projects, Alter also carefully notes when adult assistance is needed. (Ages 6-10.)"

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Earth Week!

This is a busy week for me as I celebrate Old Red Shoe during Earth Week. As I mentioned here, I am blog touring this week to give a peek into the process of creating the book... yesterday I was lucky enough to be featured on The Miss Rumphius Effect and today you can find me at fellow BRG Elaine's lovely blog Wild Rose Reader. She is having a book give away, so leave a comment if you'd like to win a copy! For a full schedule of blog interviews and other chances to win a free book click here.

Also I am very excited to announce that the book will be featured in tomorrow's issue of USA Today, in their Earth Day section. If you find yourself at a newsstand go check it out!

And lastly, I have some Earth Day events this week that are free and open to the public (I told you I was busy). If you are in the area, please come join me!

*Celebrate Earth Day with What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? at the Wellesley Booksmith. I will give a presentation about how the book was made, read and sign books, and run an art activity from the book. Make your own old red shoe planter.

April 22nd at 3 pm
Wellesley Booksmith

*I will present the process of creating What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? at the Wenham Museum in coordination with the exhibit Soul of the Shoe; artists interpreting how shoes are shaped by our culture. I will read the book followed by a presentation and kid's craft activity!

April 23rd at 10:30 am, presentation
Craft activity and booksigning will follow at 11:00 am
Wenham Museum

Another great site for environmental resources and finding Earth Day events in your area.

This page offers links to federal government sites for kids related to Earth Day and the environment.

Find classroom activities here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Earth Day Network

I recently discovered the Earth Day Network, a great place to get a wide variety of advice and information about the environment and what we can do to protect it. There is also a very useful page that lets you find events to attend on Earth Day.

This looks especially appealing (I live about 35 minutes from Walden Pond and spend much of the summer there when I can):

"Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau opens internationally on Earth Day 2009

Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau is a two act, four character play reflects a conversation between Thoreau and Emerson set during the final two days Thoreau spent in his cabin before leaving Walden Pond. Over 7,100 colleges and schools have already performed the play. On Earth Day, April 22, 2009, the play will be broadcast nationwide on public TV, public radio, movie theaters and through Earth Day TV. Earth Day Network and the producers of the play have created lesson plans that make Walden a perfect educational tool.

Learn more about Thoreau with Earth Day Network’s virtual tour of the Walden Pond."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Earth Week Blog Tour

Next week is Earth Week and I plan to celebrate by doing a mini-blog tour to talk about What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? A Green Activity Book About Reuse. Join me on the following lovely kidlit blogs to find out more about the making of the book, read reviews, and win a prize too! Several of the blogs will be holding book giveaways, your chance to get a copy of the book to share with kiddos you know for free. What better way to celebrate Earth Day then to do some recycling art activities with kids?

Here is the schedule:

Monday the 20th: *Miss Rumphius Effect
Tuesday the 21st: *Wild Rose Reader
Wednesday the 22nd: 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Thursday the 23rd: *A Patchwork of Books
Friday the 24th: Katie's Literature Lounge

*These blogs are having book give aways!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Welcome to the Old Red Shoe blog!

I hope this blog will be a great resource for young crafters out there, as well as a place to share ideas and feature green living tips of all kinds. Please feel free to email me as we go with ideas you'd like to share with others and I will feature them here. I look forward to hearing your ideas, and sharing crafty recycling tips of my own!

Happy crafting,