Friday, March 4, 2016

To Grace Lin and Flannel Friday with Love

Borrowing from Oprah, an A-ha moment

Why I do what I do?  Like so many of list is kids, love books, creative soul, literacy advocate... The good news is that I am mostly passionate about everything I do.  One of the lucky ones...a loving family, lifelong friendships, I know my strengths, I've worked in children's librarianship for 28 years, I volunteer with an amazing national non-profit.  My professional friendships are vast and varied.  The professional organizations I belong to inspire me.  Life is good.  Amen to that, humble pie and a healthy sense of humor!

Recently, Sarah Lynch, Wolcott School librarian extraordiniare invited me to attend author/illustrator Grace Lin's presentation.  And here...sitting behind the second grade students I experienced a moment, a message, an clearly meant for me that my heart filled with gratefulness.  An A-ha moment and I recognized it.

Already of fan of Ms Lin's work I was prepared to enjoy myself.  Grace Lin's presentation began and ended with the word IDEA.  I adored the complete full circle of her style and message.  She told me, and the entire second grade, we needed a-take-everywhere-IDEA-book.  Not a new concept but it was the absolute best delivery. Perhaps I am a second grader at heart!  She kept everyone involved in her presentation in a very creative, curious way.   She is now my personal rock-star on how to present...anything and preschoolers, families, colleagues...the world! (I do tend to think big)  And now I have a fancy idea book to take on my worldly travels. I picked it up at Michaels that very day.  It is exactly what I need as my life moves on. 

During Grace Lin's presentation she taught everyone to draw the dog from her book the Year of the Dog.  I had the chance to meet her, she signed this drawing and I brought it to my little library because I had an idea!!!  A Saturday pop-up craft and a book display featuring Grace Lin's work.

It's always rewarding to join hands: school library and town library.  The children are so excited to be the expert on a display like this in the public library.  They get to show, tell and demonstrate for their parents.  Very cool.  Write that down in the Idea Book, really!  Thank you Sarah Lynch and Wolcott Elementary School for making Faxon shine!
Grace Lin is an artist of the most generous sort.  She has a facebook page, a twitter handle @pacylin and a newsletter GraceNotes - sign up for this, you'll be happy you did.  (if you can't sign up now write it down in your IDEA book! I mean it)
Why I do what I do? Giving and receiving are big parts of why I maintain this blog and my Flannel Friday participation.  The other day FF member, Sharon Lawrence Hrycewicz posted on FB "how long have you been involved?" I joined just about 4 years ago following a very similar A-ha moment.  My colleague Kari Ann and I discovered Mel's Desk and Storytime Katie while looking for flannel inspiration. Needless to say - jackpot!  And a perfect place to share IDEAS.
Flannel Friday is about to celebrate 5 years! Oddly enough I feel like I have been with them for much longer than my 4years.  I suppose that is a sign of a good fit.  Good people, good work...good brings good. 
I made flannel cupcakes here - please take a look.  Easy no-bake recipe!  Celebrate!
Thank you Grace Lin and thank you Melissa Depper.  You inspire curiosity, creativity and ideas.
Namaste ~ jane & piper 

Update 3.20.16  Grace Lin's Ted Talk posted last week and I thought I should add it here.  Please click


  1. You inspire me, Jane. Thanks for this!!

  2. We love you Ms. Breen! Thank you for all you do for the kids and all your love and hard work. It never goes unnoticed.


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