Denise Fleming

Denise Fleming
David Powers
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Denise Fleming won a Caldecott Honor for In the Small, Small Pond. She is the author and illustrator of fifteen picture books, including Buster. She lives in Toledo, Ohio.


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Denise Fleming demonstrates her paper pulp illustrations

Watch this video to see renowned children's book author and illustrator Denise Fleming create a picture book for children. In this author interview, Fleming talks her unique process of creating illustrations for picture books, and then demonstrates how she creates her beautiful illustrations using colorful paper pulp and stencils.

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Q & A

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Toledo,Ohio, where I live still. I am a midwestern girl.
 
What is your earliest memory of writing/drawing?
It seems like I was always writing and drawing. I wanted to share my ideas from the beginning. A bit bossy am I.
 
What inspired you to write/illustrate your first book?
I started collecting picture books in art school. I was crazy about the whole picture book format. I realized, as I was sharing books with my daughter, that making books is what I needed to do.
 
Do you use your childhood as inspiration?
I have always been interested in nature and the outdoors which is the subject of many of my books.
 
What books from your childhood have most influenced your work? What about adult titles?
The Giant Golden Book Of Cat Stories is the book I remember most. It is full of great illustrations. I can't think of any specific adult titles. I do read a lot of poetry. Mary Oliver and Maya Angelou are favorite poets .
 
What are your hobbies and interests besides reading and books?
I work in clay, create art from tin cans, and make art dolls. Right now I am working on combining all three media. I also dye and paint fabric for the dolls.
Planting flowers and painting the outside of my house and studio is what I am busy doing right now.
 
Who are a couple of your favorite author/illustrators? What is it about their work that inspires and interests you?
Chris Raschka is a big favorite. He has the most spontaneous, expressive line.
Vera Williams work is full of soul. I have always loved her work.
 
What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?
Experiment with different styles and media.
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books
by the author

The First Day of Winter

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Square Fish

A cozy, cumulative book to warm a cold winter day   Alive with swirling snow and lots of outdoor fun, the first ten days of winter bring special gifts for a...


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Shout! Shout It Out!

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Henry Holt and Co.

Kids are often told to sit still and be quiet. But Denise Fleming encourages them to shout, shout it out! By taking basic learning concepts like numbers,...


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Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Henry Holt and Co.

Baby animals are going to sleep one by one, but the tiny human baby is the most special of all. Denise Fleming's knack for understanding the preschool set...


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Buster

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Square Fish

Buster hoped there would be juicy steaks or fancy cheeses or spicy sausages in the box. But inside was something Buster did not want. And that something was a...


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Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Henry Holt and Co.

Brown Shoes is going on vacation. Betty is staying with Mrs. Pink Slippers, but Mrs. Pink Slippers does not like dogs. So Buster will be going to . . . Cowboy...


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The Cow Who Clucked

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Henry Holt and Co.

Cow has lost her moo—can she find it again? Having lost her moo, Cow is stuck clucking. The only thing to do is go out and find that moo! Join Cow and her...


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Alphabet Under Construction

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Square Fish

An artist’s approach to introducing the alphabet Mouse airbrushes the A, buttons the B, carves the C . . . Mouse is hard at work constructing each...


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Pumpkin Eye

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Square Fish

A Halloween story with just the right amount of spookiness for preschoolers It’s Halloween night! The rising moon lights the way for...


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Mama Cat Has Three Kittens

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Square Fish

Some kittens march to the beat of a different drummer. Mama Cat has three kittens, Fluffy, Skinny, and Boris. Where Mama Cat leads, Fluffy and Skinny...


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Time to Sleep

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Square Fish

A warm, inviting bedtime book from a Caldecott winning illustrator. Bear sniffed once. She sniffed twice. "I smell winter in the air," said Bear. "It is...


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The Everything Book

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Henry Holt and Co.

ABCs, 1-2-3s, colors, shapes, nursery rhymes, finger games, and more...The Everything Book has something for everyone!


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Where Once There Was a Wood

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Square Fish

A powerful poem and stunning, handmade-paper art encourage children to protect nature. "Where once there was a wood, A meadow and a creek . . ....


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In the Small, Small Pond

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Henry Holt and Co.

Denise Fleming's book gives young readers a frog's-eye view of life in a pond throughout the seasons. In the Small, Small Pond is a 1994 Caldecott Honor...


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Barnyard Banter

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Square Fish

This farm favorite is now a board book, perfect for preschoolers. "Cows in the pasture, moo, moo, moo. Roosters in the barnyard, cock-a-doodle-doo . ....


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Lunch

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Square Fish

It's time for lunch, and one little mouse is famished! In fact, he's so hungry that once he starts eating, he can't stop. He sinks his teeth into a crisp white...


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Count!

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Square Fish

Count! by the author and illustrator of the 1994 Caldecott Honor Book In the Small, Small Pond.


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In the Tall, Tall Grass

Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming
Square Fish

If you were a fuzzy caterpillar crawling through the tall, tall grass on a sunny afternoon, what would you see? Beginning as the sun is high in the sky and...


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