Tuesday, March 6, 2012


International Dot Day is a celebration of creativity around the globe which was inspired by Peter H. Reynolds' book, "The Dot." The Dot is a sweet story about a girl who thinks she can't draw and the teacher encourages her to "make a dot and see where it takes you." I personally believe it belongs in every library in the world.

Last year, over 17,000 students and 1,000 adults on six continents 'made their mark' by creating a dot on or around International Dot Day, September 15. Next year we want to have an even bigger and better celebration!

Inspired by a very special dot created by Newbery Award Winning (and all around amazing human being) Sharon Creech last year, I am creating a very special blog for Celebri-dots. I would love for authors, illustrators, and any kind of celebrity to create a dot to be shown in this special online gallery. You may create this using any medium and email it to me. Be sure to 'sign it' like Vashti does in "The Dot".

I think it will be really cool for kids to see a bunch of different awesome people contributing to this. Please help spreading the word. Within the post about your signed dot, I would like to include books you have written, shows you have been on, anything you are willing to share. This is a love-fest!

You can email your submissions any time, but would love to have them soon so I can start building. Be BRAVE, you don't have to have the world's best looking dot, just 'make your mark and see where it takes you!"

You can email me at tjshay (at) gmail (dot) com

Peter H. Reynolds has given his blessing for this project.

Thank you in advance!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Peter H. Reynolds and Carrie Hillman- Conspiring to Inspire

Today I had lunch with my favorite boy, my nine year old great-nephew. He can be pretty shy around other people, so I was shocked when he told me he wanted me to ask Peter H. Reynolds if he would illustrate the book he was writing. I sent Peter a text message and the boy smiled from ear to ear.

I was asked to find the blog post he had written in school on my phone and send that along to Peter to help encourage him to be his illustrator. Yes, a lot of nine year old's have dreams, but in the beginning of this year, this little boy thought blogs were stupid and he hated to write....now he wants to be an author.

Fortunately for me, my favorite boy has the world's best teacher, Mrs. Hillman. Almost every day I wonder what the world would be like if every kid had a teacher like her. She encourages the kids, nudges them to take steps outside of their comfort zone, and loves them into success. I had the good fortune to be able to spend a morning in her classroom and I was just amazed by the way she handled the class.

I am also blessed with a dear friend in Peter H. Reynolds. An inspiring author and illustrator and a great human. My favorite boy has many books signed by Peter and he loves them. I love the gentle nature of the books and how they inspire kids to greatness. His work encourages kids by letting them know they matter, that they are important, that they can make mistakes and move on.

Today, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to these amazing people and the gift they have given children everywhere, and especially my favorite boy. Imagine a world where every kid thinks they can be an author (or painter, astronaut, chemist, etc) and being surrounded by loving caring people who made them think anything was possible.

Dream Big!