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First book of Celia Science and Anna Art is available!

Published in on by Lindsay

Some months ago, my good friend and swell cousin Justin told me he was working on a book series and wanted me to do the illustrations for it. I read through the first draft and happily agreed. Just last month, the finished book hit the Amazon interweb shelves!

Celia Science and Anna Art is a series focused on two sisters that enjoy computers, science, art and solving troublesome problems. The first book focuses on Celia, the older of the two, who manages to soup up the family computer with new parts and also cause trouble for a sneaky computer hacker in the process! This story is super fun with an accurate focus on computer science and web coding. It’s also engaging for kids who may be having trouble finding books aimed at their advanced reading level. ( Plus, this particular volume includes some sassy dolphins! )

Concept sketches for hairstyles for Celia and Anna, which sometimes included broccoli hair.

Concept sketches for hairstyles for Celia and Anna, which sometimes included broccoli hair.

 

Concept sketch for the dolphins that seek vengeance in this book.

Concept sketch for the dolphins that seek vengeance in this book.

Justin created a great series and I’m honored he asked for my help in developing the characters and world. After working through the character designs, I also contributed color cover artwork and chapter illustrations.

The cover illustration in Just Inks.

The cover illustration in Just Inks.

The cover illustration, with colors!

The cover illustration, with colors!

 

The book’s available as both an eBook and a print edition over on Amazon right now. Pick up a copy today, especially if you know a young girl who’s excited for computers and coding!

Pet Toy Reviews: Kong Squeaky Toys Pass the Labrador-Hound Test

Published in and tagged on by Lindsay

Our dog Hannah is a lab-hound mix, so she’s a fairly big puppy dog. Somewhere between 40 – 50 pounds, she gets to be a handful and loves toys. We spoil her rotten, and during one trip to PetCo, we loaded up on some super-cute produce-inspired plush squeaky toys.

PetCo Produce Plush dog toys

PetCo Produce Plushes were so cute! Before doom befell them….

So cute! Lookit those lil’ funny produce faces! The corn was angry (complete with angry eyebrows), the eggplant was happy, and the asparagus was in a cute bundle with four different faces!

However, Hannah has the bad habit of ripping open plush squeaky toys and strewing their cottony innards all over the place. And occasionally eating said cotton, because she’s a Chow Hound. We soon learned of all the different shapes and sizes of the squeakers that make such a cute sound ( before they’re yanked out onto the floor and rendered mostly useless from chewing, that is). And no matter how cute the plush squeaky toy, Hannah makes a point to rip it up.

Hannah is always very proud of the plush squeaky toys she empties of cotton.

Hannah is always very proud of the plush squeaky toys she empties of cotton.

This obviously gives us several problems. Cotton all over the place. Trips outside to watch Hannah eat grass to help her stomach all the cotton she ate when we weren’t looking. The sad, sad plush toy skins that stare at us with their sad eyes, as if to say “why, why did your dog rip out my cottony guts?” Granted, Hannah still enjoys said plush-skins. She’ll chase them around if you throw them. She even carries them in her mouth as part of her “I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE FINALLY HOME” ritual.

Holding a pile of toys is accompanied by a lot of seal-like whining noises from Hannah.

Holding a pile of toys is accompanied by a lot of seal-like whining noises from Hannah.

There was a family meeting during one of our cotton clean-ups where we declared: “No more!” No more cottony squeaky toys, that is. Hannah can have chew bones and tennis balls but no more cute, cuddly squeaky things to destroy!

Then one day while at another pet store, we came across some Halloween-themed Kong brand squeaky toys. A super-cute and tough sqeaky spider and a super-cute squeaky bat with a tug ring?! And they had supposedly un-breakable Kong squeakers in them? AND they were on SALE?!

Needless to say, we decided to give them a shot.

The three Kong-brand squeaky plush toys acquired for Hannah.

The three Kong-brand squeaky plush toys acquired for Hannah.

When we gave Hannah her new toys, she was super excited. The construction of them is basically a large Kong-constructed squeaker with fabric overlaid on top of it – so no piles of stuffing involved. There are some fabric portions, but these are generally just thick fabric with decorative parts. The exception is the Kong Dodo bird we bought some time later, which has some small feet with a bit of stuffing . But his main body is still one big Kong squeaker, sans cotton, so I’ll let it slide. All three of these toys vary in sizes, which is also fun, since seeing Hannah lug around a big cuddly Dodo bird is adorable.

Overall, if you have a dog with a habit of ripping and pulling stuffing out of plush squeaky toys, I’d highly recommend switched them up with Kong squeaky toys. They are going to cost a few more bucks comparatively, but there’s less cleanup and they last so much longer; Hannah has yet to rip any major parts off of her Kong squeaky toys.

And she still manages to stuff multiples of them in her mouth for her “I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE FINALLY HOME” ritual.

Hannah carries her Kong-brand squeaky toys with joy and delight.

Hannah carries her Kong-brand squeaky toys with joy and delight.