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South Carolina Book Festival

I'm happy to announce that I will be at the South Carolina Book Festival in Columbia, SC. Starting on Friday, May 18th, I will be one of three authors chosen for Children's Field Trip Day. Then, on the 19th I will speak with children's book authors Kwame Alexander and Dinah Johnson. Drop by if you're in the area.

Meet Margot and Rusty

My second children's book, Grandma is an Author was released on November 8th, 2011. The story features Margot, her grandson Rusty, and a cardboard monster named Gus. There's a little journal in the back for when the story inspires you to write and draw.

neighborhood

The New Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis is scheduled to open on November 15th. They have put together a great collection of art for the space including over two dozen prints featuring woOberry dolls.This image is inspired by my neighborhood in Philadelphia. We are blessed with great sycamore trees and row houses built in the 1920's to resemble an english village. It makes a good stage set for the woOberry dolls. That's a 1960 Buick LeSabre, by the way. But, Memphis is different from Philly. Old row homes are more of a mid-atlantic, northeast phenomenon. I grew up in Atlanta and found the brownstones of Sesame Street exotic. Many of the kids in Memphis live in rural areas and single family homes which is why I made a second large print of a country home.

Country House

doctors

The pictures are coming together for Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis. When Dianne Papasan (see her doppelganger below) asked me to create art for the hospital the plan was to bring dolls down to memphis for a workshop and photo session. I decided I would be remiss if I didn't create Dr. dolls for the occassion.

Meet Dee Dee

Here is Dee Dee, inspired by a lovely lady named Dianne in Memphis, Tennessee. Dee Dee was commissioned by a good friend of Dianne's and she has already travelled from Philadelphia to Memphis to New Orleans. I've spent some quality time with Dianne myself and decided her doppelganger should have a handknit sweater.

Fat Zaza

Meet Zaza the Cat

She's done well. She enjoys a good strip of sunshine. The sound of the can opener is music to her ears. Her life began as a street cat. Now, at age 17 she lives with a loving family.

You can now become a woOberry fan on Facebook. Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/woOberry/330401181499?ref=ts

Coming Soon, The Mt. Airy Kid's Literary Festival at Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Philadelphia, PA

Come down to the Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, April 9th-11th. Melissa will present Poppy's Pants on April 10th at 11:00 a.m. Call Big Blue Marble at 215-844-1870 for more information.

poppy

Photo: Steve Leimberg Photo/UnSeenImages

The Amelia Island Book Festival hosted a "Night with Poppy" and what a night it was. One of the attendees, Anne Entriken wrote a short essay about her family's experience watching Dad and I. She has graciously allowed me to post it below. Enjoy!

ODE TO ‘A NIGHT WITH POPPY’

What is it about those Conroy’s?

Little did I know, when the opportunity came my way to do some biography research on the thirty-eight authors coming to the Amelia Island Book Festival, that there would be a stand-out for my three young granddaughters, ages nine, six and two. Of course, the precious link for them is ‘Poppy’s Pants’ by Melissa Conroy.

Thinking they might be amused by the light banter in the new, colorful book filled with characters they may like—a gift from ‘Grandma’ – I had no idea this would turn out to be a lifetime experience for them. Christmas gifts of the book, ‘Poppy’s Pants,’ and the handmade character doll of Penelope, their favorite, came to be more than the average book and doll.

Turns out that ‘Poppy’s Pants,’ in all its simplicity, explodes with heart. Like the characters in the book, where closeness of family is an absolute dominant factor, and the heroine was able to accomplish her daunting task, the two older girls were very excited and primed to attend ‘A Night With Poppy.’ All of the girls have grown to love and appreciate books and their reading time and have become quite voracious readers.

They were definitely the youngest in the assembly at the historic First Baptist Church that night, but they took away something that will live with them forever. We relived the experience many times the next day. By chance, they even had a brief face-to-face encounter with Pat Conroy himself outside of the church, and they quickly recognized him knowing the featured entourage was arriving to a sequestered place readying for their own presentations. (Penelope was hanging out of the six-year-old’s backpack.)

The six and nine-year-olds will share this with their classmates at home in North Carolina and will always remember this as one of those moments in life for the love of books and being able to see and hear such accomplished artists. Our two-year-old is such a fan that I actually had to purchase another book for Melissa to sign. Seems our little one had read her Christmas gift book so often that several pages needed to be repaired with tape. Both copies will be very precious to her in years to come, and Penelope is one of her best friends.

We look forward to Melissa’s future books, and my granddaughters are looking forward to more of her precious doll characters with that wonderful Conroy caricature, wit and total personality.

Anne Entriken
2/19/10

Dr. Dave

Photo: Michelle East

Dr. Dave

Do you remember dAve? The guy who wore those great pants with the black and white damask print? The one who enjoys gardening and has a particular affection for sunflowers? Well, you can call him Dr. Dave now, because that is what he is. Dave went to medical school to fulfill his dream of becoming a Pediatrician and is currently a Resident at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN. Dave is one of several dolls I made for Le Bonheur when they asked for a troop of woOberry models to photograph and adorn the walls of the new hospital. The grand opening is slated for June. I plan to post sneak peaks of the photos in the coming months.

dAve

isaiah & mom  
poppy & penelope

Here we come Memphis!

We have a big week ahead. I am packing up for a trip to Memphis, TN and we'll be so busy, there won't be time to visit Sun Records, where you can hear Elvis and Johnny Cash's first recordings or the Peabody Hotel where live ducks grace the lobby fountain. Instead, I will bring a suitcase full of woOberry dolls to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. The dolls will serve as inspiration for stories as I run a workshop and all around play time with a group of kids at the hospital. After the workshop, photographer Michelle East, who has generously donated her time and studio will photograph the dolls using the stories the children write as inspiration. After the photographs are printed, they will adorn the halls of Le Bonheur.

And That's not all! Those in the Memphis Area can come to an informal discussion and book signing at Davis-Kidd Booksellers on January 28th from 6:00-7:00p.m.

I will also give a lecture at the Memphis Botanic Garden about my work with an emphasis on how I made Poppy's Pants on Friday, January 29th at 7:00 p.m.

Finally, on Saturday the 30th from 10:00-12:00 in the morning I will run a bookmaking workshop that will include writing and illustrating for children ages 6-12 at the Memphis Botanic Garden. Davis-Kidd Booksellers will have Poppy's Pants available for sale at all of the events and will donate a portion of the sales to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.

Hello, Arkansas!

If you live near Blytheville, come to story hour and hear me read Poppy's Pants from 3:30-4:30 on Saturday January 30 at That Bookstore in Blytheville

 

Kathy L. Patrick & Melissa Conroy

Hurray for the Pulpwood Queens!

It's hard to describe the annual Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend in the historic western town of Jefferson, TX. There are many chances to play dress up including a Barbie Birthday Party and the annual Hair Ball, whose theme this year was the Wizard of OZ. There are many Authors, who come to sit on panels and discuss their books with Kathy Patrick, Author of The Pulpwood Queen's Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life and Robert Leleux, Author of Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy. The best part of Girlfriend Weekend is that it is a gathering of people (mostly women) who absolutely love books. It's nice to be in such company when you are an author.

I was honored to bring my Dad, Pat Conroy with me. He is the inspiration for Poppy and was nice enough to wear his khaki pants. We had great fun as a Father/Daughter panel and signed Poppy's Pants together. Dad even doodled his own version of the pants next to his signature. It didn't take long to sell out of copies.

Pictured at left is Kathy L. Patrick, founder of the Pulpwood Queens with me. Kathy is dressed as the Tippy Hedren Barbie, hence the birds. I was going for Little Barbie on the Prairie.

In addition to the events of Girlfriend Weekend, I visited Jefferson Elementary School, where I spoke to 320+ students and faculty. We had a wonderful time. Several students gave me drawings afterwards, which you can take a look at by clicking the drawing below.

 

Melissa & Pat Conroy drawing by abdul khan
thread

A big thank you to the Pulpwood Queens Book Club which happens to be the ;argest book club in the country. When it came time to vote on which children's book was the best from 2009, they chose Poppy's Pants! I already had plans to attend their annual Girlfriend Weekend celebration this January, now I will have a bigger smile on my face.

I will be in Memphis, TN at the end of January to help raise money for Le Bonheur Children's hospital and the Memphis Botanic Garden. Click on the events link above for more information.

foxtales

Here we come Atlanta!

Poppy, Penelope and even angry Penelope (it's always good to have a devil's advocate around) recently went to Georgia to do some visiting. They saw family and visited students at The Paideia School in Atlanta and Boston Elementary School in Woodstock. Then they went to the Mercer University Author's Luncheon and visited two bookstores to read Poppy's Pants, FoxTale's Book Shoppe and The Little Shop of Stories. All that socializing made angry Penelope happy.

miami book fair

The Miami Book Fair!

I Read Poppy's Pants at the Miami Book Fair to a great group of kids. They had a lot of good questions, and wondered why I brought pOppy and pEnelope and not mAma. I'm glad they appreciate mAmas.

The next event will be a reading at The Little Treehouse in Philadelphia, PA and then on to Georgia. Click on the events link above for more information.

poppy writing

COME TO THE MIAMI BOOK FAIR!

If you will be in the Miami, FL area in mid-November, come to the MIAMI INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR and see Melissa present her book, Poppy's Pants on November 14th & 15th. You will find her at the CHILDREN'S ALLEY STAGE both days at 3:45 p.m.

THE MERCER UNIVERSITY AUTHORS LUNCHEON

Melissa will be part of an impressive group of Authors at the 20th Annual Mercer University Authors Luncheon to benefit the Mercer University Press on December 12th. Click here for more information

COME TO FOXTALE BOOK SHOPPE!

Foxtale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA will host a Christmas reception featuring Melissa who will read from Poppy's Pants. Come at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 12th. Click here for more information.

suzanne & will

 

Congratulations to Suzanne & Will! This lovely Irish couple recently tied the knot in London.

 

 

penelope

We are taking orders for pEnelope,the star of pOppy's pants. To order, click on the link below. We will only make a limited number of dolls. The first ones will be ready to be shipped in mid-November.

If you are in the Philadelphia area, come pick out a woOberry doll for your collection at the Highlands Craft Show to be held on October 17th at the Highlands Mansion. There will be a Preview Party on Friday, October 16th.

The address is: 7001 Sheaff Lane
Fort Washington, PA 19034 (215-641-2687)

order penelope

 

big blue marble After hosting a reading on September 26th, the Big Blue Marble Bookstore offered to host pEnelope for a while in their store window. You can see her next to her favorite book, above the princess wearing a pink crown.
Decatur Book Festival

9/24/09 - Sally Lodge wrote a very nice article about Poppy's Pants for Children's Bookshelf at Publisher's Weekly. Click here to read.

Melissa presented Poppy's Pants at the Decatur Book Festival over Labor Day Weekend at the Little Shop of Stories tent. This picture was taken by the Pulpwood Queen of East Texas, Kathy Louise Patrick.

at BEA Signing posters of pOppy's pants at the Book Expo of America in May.
poppy's pants

Introducing, pOppy's Pants to be released in September. Thank you Blue Apple Books!

pOppy's Pants features pOppy, who always wears khaki pants and enjoys a glass of tomato clam juice while he writes. His granddaughter, pEnelope enjoys a challenge, but he gives her a big one when he asks her to sew the hole up in one of his pairs of khaki pants.

To pre-order your copy through Chronicle Books click on the cover at left.

poppy's pants

Upcoming Events:

Melissa will be signing advance copies of pOppy's pants at the Book Expo of America at Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Here's the details:

May 30th 4:00-4:30 p.m. at the Chronicle Books Booth #2641 Come get a poster!

May 31st 11:30-12:00 in the BEA Autographing Area at table 13.

darya & viggo Congratulations to newlyweds, Darya & Viggo who were recently married in Rome, Italy.
Play All Day

It's official, woOberry is innovative and good design too. Thank you to publisher Gestalten Verlag in Berlin for including us in their book, Play All Day , a source book of inspiring design for kids. Play All Day is currently available in continental Europe and will be released in the U.S., Asia and the U.K. by the end of April. Click on the book to learn more.

Multiple Monsters

Say Happy Birthday to prolific monster drawer, Torin. This latest custom woOberry is inspired by his drawing, "Multiple Monsters" pictured below.

Lion Tiger

Happy New Year to everyone and congratulations to ourselves, for being a Pick of the Year at Cool Mom Picks! If you haven't checked their site out yet, you are in for a treat. Click the button above to see it.
lion tiger drawing Sometimes you want the best of both worlds. This drawing by Jackson captures what makes both lions and tigers so cool, the lion's fuzzy mane and the tiger's orange and black stripes.

Congratulations eLLen & mAhmood! Our latest custom dolls were made specially for the bride and groom.

 

 

wester's drawing Truck! Our latest custom one may look like a race car, but to Wester, our newest little protege, it is a big truck (pronounced beeg cluck!). At age 20 months, Wester discovered that by drawing two circles and a blob, you get a truck.

wester's truck

The woOberry Interview! woOberry founder, Melissa Conroy was recently interviewed by Author Lori Tharps for her excellent blog, My American Melting Pot. The interview was posted on Friday, September 26th. Here is the link: http://www.myamericanmeltingpot.blogspot.com/

 

wester's truck

 

 

the woOberrys The woOberry family recently acquired this couch. Now everyone wants to cozy up on it. 9/22/08

Lila

Meet Lila. She is our latest custom doll who likes to wear fancy bows in her hair. She was made for her Great-Grandmother's 90th birthday. 9/16/08

Lately, if you google woOberry you might be surprised by the number of pages that show up. I know we have. It started back in the spring when Babble Magazine's blog "Droolicious" featured woOberry. Since then we have been featured on blogs as far away as Hungary, Spain and Japan. I wish the Google translations made sense. If someone out there speaks Spanish, Hungarian or Japanese, we'd love to know what is being said about woOberry. Some of the Spanish blogs include bebesymas.com and compradiccion.com. Back in the U.S. we've been featured on coolmompicks.com and babygadget.net as well as being listed in Toy Directory Monthly's June edition. 9/12/08

woOberry dOLLS at Tumbleweed Toy Store in Paris woOberry dOLLs arrive in Paris! We just returned from a great trip abroad. If you plan to visit Paris, drop by the exquisite Tumbleweed Toy Store in the Marais section, where you may find jOnathan, jOsephine, rUsty, pEnelope, gEorge and rOsemary of the woOberry family. To see a video about the store featuring Lynn Rovida, Pictured at left, click here. 8/1/08
dAryl & tHomas get married Meet dARyl & tHomas gEt mArried! They are the latest custom woOberry dOLLS made specifically for the bride and groom. 7/16/08

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