Monday, December 29, 2008

Writing: Ideas Become A Story

I need to write a story to be able to publish a book. Since I had never marched in a mermaid parade before, I decided to interview the Superfine Dinettes, a performance troupe I was going march with; they had already been in the parade.

In late Spring 2005, I attended the Dinette's mermaid rehearsals. I met women artists, performers and musicians; their talents were inspiring. I mostly work alone when writing and illustrating, so I looked forward to seeing them each week.

I asked many questions and took notes while they practiced their dance steps to surf music as The MerMod Squad, based on the 1960's TV show, The Mod Squad.

Dinette Lisa Flores said she felt less and less shy about marching and had "come out of her shell". Her answer became the story for the main character in my book, MERMAIDS ON PARADE.

* from MERMAIDS ON PARADE by Melanie Hope Greenberg published by GP Putnam's Sons
* The MerMod Squad at Coney Island. Lisa Flores is in the purple hat. Can you find her in the book?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Peaceful World, Joyous Hearts. Believe in Love.

Image: Mermaid Angel by Bersarta Sela Class 2-420 PS 217 Brooklyn , NY

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Events: Read To Me Program 12/18/08

I was delighted to visit young mothers who go to Brandeis High School. They are a part of the Read To Me program (RTM).

These single mothers bring their children to high school with them. While they attend classes, their children go to the Lyfe Center, a nursery/kindergarten. I explained how my book ideas become published; how women can have a fufllling career and to go for their dreams. Then I read GOOD MORNING, DIGGER to the mothers and their children while they enjoyed holiday cupcakes.

RTM also gave each mother an autographed copy of a book that I illustrated called A CITY IS, and had them sign up for library cards. Thank you to Susan Straub for this wonderful program; and to Deanna Pacelli, Kristen Lynch, Leslie Fass, Teresa Tartaglione, and the Lyfe Center.

* In the Brandeis High School library holding MERMAIDS ON PARADE. I'm with Susan Straub, Director of the Read To Me program (center), and Leslie Fass, from the New York Public Library.
* Mothers and their children love A CITY IS.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What is Mermaids on Parade?

I wrote and illustrated a picture book about real life. I was invited to march in a parade that celebrates the ocean. Tanya Rynd who owns Superfine, a restaurant in Dumbo, asked me to join her performance troupe, the Superfine Dinettes. I learned some dance steps and how to make a mermaid tail to get ready to open the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island, in south Brooklyn.

In the parade, people of all ages, sizes and colors come together to celebrate in the spirit of fun. They dress up in shiny colorful costumes and transform into mermaids, neptunes, pirates and sea creatures. Wonderous floats and creative performers march around a famous amusement park.

I found marching in a mermaid parade magical and enchanting. I thought kids of all ages would too.

* Cover: MERMAIDS ON PARADE written and illustrated by Melanie Hope Greenberg / GP Putnam's Sons May 2008
* The Wonder Wheel is a New York City landmark at Coney Island.
Photo Credit: Tim Galbreath
* Superfine 126 Front Street, Brooklyn NY 11201 718 243-9005
Sells signed copies of MERMAIDS ON PARADE
Photo Credit: Nina Westervelt

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Who is Melanie?

My full name is Melanie Hope Greenberg. You might have seen my children's picture books in bookstores, or in your classroom or school libraries. Or you might have borrowed my picture books from the public library.

So far, I've illustrated 16 picture books, six of them I've written. I taught myself how to draw and paint. Some of my stories are about life in a city. Writing and illustrating about that subject comes easy. I grew up and went to public schools in the Bronx and now live in Brooklyn. Both are boroughs of New York City.

I want to inspire the love of reading and art when I visit elementary schools and libraries to talk about my exciting career as a picture book author and illustrator.

Photo: I gave a presentation to elementary students at the Dweck Center at the the Brooklyn Public Central Library.
BPL's fabulous librarian, Deloris McCullough holds my book.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Events: Mermaid Tail Making at the Moxie Spot

Even the cold cannot stop a mermaid from having fun. Today, I read and signed books at a fantastic kid friendly spot called the Moxie Spot. MERMAIDS ON PARADE was a big hit with both the kids and their parents. After the readings, which also included GOOD MORNING, DIGGER and A CITY IS (poems by Brooklyn's first poet laureate, Norman Rosten), we all enjoyed making mermaid tails.

Get down to 81 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, to the Moxie Spot for their great food and kid fun. Thanks to everyone who showed up on such a cold day.

* Young mermaids decorate tails for the Summer Solstice.
* I'm with the owner of the Moxie Spot, Nat Rubin.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Beginning: Brooklyn Public Library

The idea for my book MERMAIDS ON PARADE started from a discussion after a class visit in the Youth Wing at Brooklyn's Central Library. Youth Wing Division Managers Deloris McCullough and David Mowery knew what was missing from their shelves. This is a photo of the magnificent front of the Central Library. I always feel like royalty climbing the steps to a palace of knowledge.