“F” Is For Pirate… and Friday!

“F” is for pirate because a pirate’s reading comprehension was low. “F” is for a sketch involving pirates, who didn’t know where to go.
Without the letter “F” you can’t spell words like Yes, Maybe or foe.


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Eventful Vet Visit and A Few Pirates Thrown In To Lighten The Mood

Thursday I took Stella, my dog, to the Vet for routine vaccinations and blood work. She lost half a pound and seems in good health for those who care! Everyone else seemed to be having a bad day though.

As I sat down in the waiting room while my dog was in the back getting blood draw, I was instantly hit by a fairly powerful smell. Looking down I saw the cause right between my feet. “Excuse me.” I said to the receptionist. “Someone left a poop here on the floor.” I said indicating that it wasn’t me who did it.

She was very sorry and came out to clean it up as a woman with a small dog arrived wearing torn pants and in obvious pain. On the way to the vet, she had fallen on the sidewalk and cut her knee as well as hurting her arm.

“I’m just happy I didn’t fall on my dog” She said before asking for band aids. The vet tech came out with bandages and alcohol wipes for her wounds. She often dropped these items and I had to help her here and there as her one hand hurt. She blessed me.

Then another woman arrived, crying and telling the receptionist that her dog had diarrhea. I wondered what the crying was about as dogs often have diarrhea (and yes diarrhea CAN drive one to tears). She was soon on the phone and telling a friend that her dog had diarrhea in her cousin’s house and he kicked her dog. She is living there temporarily as she just moved here for a job. The dog was active and appeared in good spirits.

“God will sort those people out.” The woman we had just patched up told her, but this wasn’t advice that would help with the current situation. Sadly none of us had any solutions for her situation as more people showed up with their dogs. One 13 year old dog with a tumor the size of a soft ball on his leg. Finally, Stella came out, overjoyed that she was free. Stella, being a cute small dog, then endures many people asking what type of dog she is, can they pet her, and re enactments of the “STELLA!” line from ‘A Street Car Named Desire.’ Yes, everyone does that. Every. Time. They. Meet. Her. I told the woman with the cut knee that I hoped she recovers okay and she assured me she would. We both wished the other woman who’s dog had been kicked good luck with her situation. We both wished we could help more so, but we had no real solution for her.


And…as for something completely different, just so you have something to look at, yes I’m drawing pirates again. I can’t tell you why, who or what for, but this is a little peek at a what is a whole boat load of them!  pirate bit2flat

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The September issue of School Library Journal reviews But!

After a few summer weeks off from posting, September arrives like a monkey and finds my new book reviewed in The School Library Journal! If you don’t subscribe to that magazine (or only read it for the pictures) you can read the review below. Or not. But…you’re already here and have invested THIS much time in my blog…

BUT! Cover

HAMILTON, Tim. But! illus. by Tim Hamilton. 32p. Holiday House. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780823430468; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823432172.

K-Gr 2–By the rickety, ramshackle houses of Halibut Bay, pelicans hug themselves for warmth. Actually, so do cats, mice, and all humans, for everyone in Halibut Bay has a cold head, as hats are hard to come by. Eddie and his dog Phil have been given the unenviable task of taking care of his Aunt Sue during her recovery from a broken leg, and the two sail forth with a strong headwind into the cold, keeping an eye out for pirates. Eddie first struggles with the loss of his fishing day, then gamely attempts to complete Aunt Sue’s extensive list of chores, highlighted in a background of zany perspective and detail—from the top of three stories looking down, inside a darkened room looking out, and as viewed through curved lens. Among the items on the scrolled to-do list are the instructions to throw a birthday party for Sue’s pirate friend, Captain Rugbeard—and “get him a good present.” Eddie’s initial choice appears to be a disaster until quick thinking not only gives the Captain what he needs but also appears to be a solution for a common problem of every hatless resident. This title has much to engage readers: frequent page-ending pauses of the title conjunction “but”; humorous plot twists; quirky, cartoon characterizations; and friendly, neighborhood pirates. An entertaining addition.–Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX


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BUT!… With One T. (Ask for it by name!)

BUT  art

BUT! My next children’s book has been released to the world (ISBN 978-0-8234-3046-8 if you needed that info). When you ask for it at book stores, be sure to use your best Katharine Hepburn accent as you say, “Yes, it’s called But!, with ONE T.” I will be that proud author who teaches very young giggling kids the difference between spelling “but” with one “T” or two.” But! has lived in my head since WAY back when Nickelodeon Magazine was around. Back then I would send one page pitches to editor Chris Duffy and he would then call me up (this was before email and texting), and ask the butler if I was available to talk to him. Ten minutes later when I got to the phone, Chris would do his best Peter Lorre impersonation and inform me that I was NOT funny. I told him that the cartoon I had submitted about two pirate birds and a birthday party was a sure hit, but he was having none of it. I told him his Peter Lorre impersonation stunk, and he has since cut me out of his Will. Well, I turned that cartoon into a rough book called “Pirate Birthday” that was rejected several places due it’s complicated sub plot involving cowboys, space men and how to kill off the adult in the story. Always have to get rid of the adult in the story. I was ready to set my rough book on fire and leave it on Chris Duffy’s door step. And ring his bell and run. After I put dog poop under it. On Christmas Eve. And Christmas morning. But then the good people at Holiday House showed a bit of interest.

“We like it,” they said cautiously. “BUT…”

“But?” I asked.

“But… it needs something.” They said with a cold stair.

And with that, one of those light bulbs went off inside my head. And then it went on again. My book was born agai…er, yet once more. A painful birth at home in one of those birthing pools. But… enough about that. If you have kids, run out and buy my book! Remember, BUT with one T! In the meantime, have a look at the cover and some inside art above and below.

BUT! Cover

BUT! page

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Thrilling Pirate Thursday

These are not exactly how I would want them, but I’m using some left over pirate reference to explore new directions in how I illustrate. Perhaps I can show my process next week if I get my taxes done! treasure island spot 3Pirate climb2

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Thrilling Thursday (rejected pirates)

This illustration will probably not be in the final children’s book I’m currently putting together. I changed my mind about a few story details. Thus, the sub plot involving pirates looking for a telescope before ultimately realizing that one of the pirates was in fact using a telescope all along (HA!) will be jettisoned! Oh that was a hilarious 15 pages of the book I regret leaving on the subway by accident.
Spot illo

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Thrilling Thursday Children’s Art

I am working on my second children’s book that won’t be out
til…well, some time next year I would guess. In the mean time,
here are some sketches of said book I can share. Some houses and
yes, a pirate. You see, you can never have TOO many children’s
books featuring pirates. Look it up. It’s a fact.

























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Fancy Beard Bobby

Still testing out this mixed media look.
not TOO mixed really. Water color, pencil and
a touch of photo shop.

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