Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wow! Debbie Clement is IN THE HOUSE!

Welcome to the first annual Blog Hop and Swap!
Some of the best bloggers have united today to switch it up a little and post for someone else's blog.  I don't know how I lucked out and got the super-talented Debbie Clement from Rainbows Within Reach to be posting on MMMB todaay??!!  If you wantt to see what I have up my sleeve for this special day of posting, you can hop on over to Kindergarten Lifestyle's blog and find out how to get your kids moving and keep them engaged and learning at the same time.  Also, check out all of the other incredible participants by clicking on their buttons at the end of this post. 

Please join me in welcoming Debbie Clement as a guest blogger in honor of the Blog Hop (seriously, how'd I luck out??).  Thank you so much Debbie!
What an honor to get to contribute a guest post here at such a dynamic blog! I'm so thrilled to introduce your readers to my work, Krissy. I was so appreciative of having my materials included in your recent and colossal K-give-away. Now I can tell your readers 'the rest of the story.'
Photo of: Kindergarten Thank You Letter and Drawing following Debbie Clement author visit

I am the hardest working music-lady, author/illustrator woman that your readers most likely have never met. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to introduce myself. Drum roll...... I'm Debbie Clement!!! I get to spend a lot of time making author illustrator school visits in Kindergarten. I know that you can relate to this drawing. I bet you have something similar hanging above your desk!

Its an honor to be invited to kindergarten. I get to come for a day -- or sometimes two -- and my plan is to share my 'story' with the children in your room. My goal is to encourage your students. Inspire them. Delight them. Sing with them. And yes. Show them love in the course of our time together. How awesome is that?

photo of: "Red, White and Blue" picture book by Debbie Clement with CD insert and music notation
For the last 16 years I have used the motto, "Have guitar, will travel." From those early classroom visits and staff development presentations I went on to record my original songs for the classroom onto 6 CDs. They're known to my fan club as, "Debbie's Ditties."  At this point I've recorded over 100 original songs! Most recently I have added the layer of being an 'Author and Illustrator,' as I have turned 3 of my songs into traditional picture books, acting as author, illustrator AND publisher! These little projects of mine have taken me on some amazing adventures. Can I have a whooop-whoooop? 

photo of: Author Illustrator Visit to US Army Base in Italy, Comparing original Quilt to Finished Book
Comparing the Actual Quilt and the Finished Book on US Army Base
The most amazing thing about being an author is that my books can travel places without me. My newest one is entitled, "Red, White and Blue" and was honored with a national INDY Award of Excellence! I wrote the song immediately after 9-11 and then worked on the patriotic quilted illustrations for over five years in the process of turning the song into a traditional picture book format.  VOILA!

photo of: Quilted Illustrations for "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

With the approach of the Fourth of July I thought it would be fun today,  to share THE MOST AMAZING response by a kindergarten teacher to my work -- at a school where I've never visited. I met Carie the Kindergarten teacher at a reading conference where I was presenting workshops. She fell in LUV with my picture book and promised that she'd have her class 'respond' with some type of patriotic quilted project. They got to work with marble painting the necessary colors of paper. 

photo of: Marble Painting in Kindergarten
Kindergarten Student Preparing Marble Painted Papers

photo of: Creating Quilt Squares in response to "Red, White and Blue" picture book
Kindergarten Student Creates Quilt Squares for "Red, White and Blue" 
Here's a close up of their hard work as it is beginning to come together to create their master-piece. 

photo of: Kindergarten Quilt Project in response to picture book, "Red, White and Blue"
Carie's Kindergarten Close Up Response

Are you ready for the BIG reveal? Here's the shot of the finished project hanging in the school gym! It finally measured in at 19 feet wide and 11 feet high!!!! How's that for a kindergarten project? Carie is that sweet smile on the left and her story is pretty remarkable. She served in the US Army for nine years, including a year of active duty in Iraq. She then came back from that final year of service to teach kindergarten. Needless to say, the flag and patriotism hold a special place in her heart. 

photo of: Kindergarten Children Pose in front of their Collaborative Quilt Project, for "Red, White and Blue" picture book by Debbie Clement

That my friends is the true story of what happens in kindergarten. What happens when a teacher is inspired by a picture book. What happens when a teacher has an inspiration. I'm getting choked up just typing this story for a new set of readers. 

My story is a compelling one. I am the poster child for 'do-what-you-love and amazing opportunities will present themselves'. I could ramble on and on about:

  • my two European adventures to present concerts and presentations to the children of our troops stationed abroad PLUS my day in Reggio, ITALY
  • my other two books and classroom responses to those works 
  • taking out a loan on our house to get my first book into your hands 
  • being a two-time Breast Cancer survivor with a zest for living
  • my quest to get my blog connected to a wider world
  • my travels giving keynotes and workshops across the country.
Based on the enthusiastic response of children to my visits, I would encourage you to pursue creating an 'author' visit when ever possible. No doubt you have a local dignitary eager to make a visit. Check SCBWI (Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) for a possible local candidate for your consideration. My goal for the new school year is to create Skype author visits for classrooms too far away from my itinerary. Let's use the technology available to make excitement unfold in your room!!

photo of: Kindergarten writing sample in Thank You letter
"I like Debbie Clement because she writes songs and that she's colorful." Cory

My own blog of my travels into schools around the country and around the globe is over at RainbowsWithinReach. My newest claim to fame is that I am editor-in-chief over at the collaborative blog PreK+K Sharing where we have about 35 authors contributing one article each month. I throw down the welcome mat for each -- when you have the opportunity to hop over for a visit. Mrs. Miner is one of our monthly collaborative authors + so is Carie!!! Small world. I've gathered up the very best contributors.

The number one article on my blog is one on Organization in the Classroom, people seem to really appreciate the photos from my travels into oodles of classrooms. My article over at PreK+K with the most views is one I wrote on the distinction between Process + Product in Children's Art.  It seems that the old art-teacher in me is quite opinionated. 

I get to give the keynote for the state of Arkansas this fall and Tennessee next winter. Lots of other conferences from FL to OH are getting the details worked out as I type. Wouldn't it be awesome to meet in person? Until then please follow my blog(s) or my growing Pinterest collection, where 17,500++ of your peers have already got a jump on you and my ever-growing pin-boards!

Let me close by offering an opportunity for you to look over my shoulder at a kindergarten school visit in Amityville, NY as we started off our time together in their school gym. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of children everywhere. 

-- Debbie --

photo of: HUGE GIVE-AWAY of one entire set of Debbie Clement materials: 6 CDs + 3 Picture Books
Krissy made this graphic for me: HOW COOL IS THAT? Bloggy buddies for real!
***If you ever order from my website, please use the promo code "great" and receive 10% off your order. That should pay for the shipping. 

Be sure to check out some of the other Blog Swappers below!  Great posts to read while sipping on iced tea in the sun! ;)


  1. You are super talented and famous! The paper quilt they made for you was so sweet. Singer and writer and I am sure your do act when you speak- you are a triplet threat! Congrats on all your success-it was great to get to know you!

  2. Jennifer, She is a triple threat for sure!
    Thanks for coming by!

  3. Jennifer, I am fortunate to get to 'explore' in all areas. YES!!! The paper SUPER quilt still amazes me as I look at the pictures all over again! Nice to meet you here at Krissy's house. I'm so fortunate to get to have new friends as a result of our blog hopping thru Top Teachers.

    Blowin' you a kiss Mrs. M!!!!!!!

    Debbie Clement

  4. Oh my goodness...can I have your autograph?!?!?!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

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