A Proper Toast

Meet a toast with a LOT of personality! Today’s blog post is a story time, simple project, and quick snack, all rolled into one!

We recommend Toasty by Sarah Hwang (Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House Books, 2021, read here by the Loveland Public Library). Toasty is a slice of bread, but he really wants to be a dog. Even though he knows there are differences and major challenges, the intrepid Toasty heads to the park to meet some pups. Unfortunately, all does not go as planned. But when a girl appears at the moment Toasty needs her the most, a beautiful friendship begins.

You’ll need:

  • A piece of toast
  • A toaster or oven

Why I didn’t figure out this toast drawing thing when my kids were smaller?!? It’s adorable. First, use you fingers to firmly press a design (or a letter or word) into an uncooked slice of bread. Pop the slice in the toaster, and done!

Of course, me being who I am, I did wonder if the cooking time/temperature impacted how the design appeared on the toast…

toast test 3The answer is basically no. Above you can see 3 slices of toast cooked on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd settings on my toaster. The design appears about the same. Or…maybe I did the experiment so I would have an excuse to eat three yummy slices of toast that morning? Hmmmmm. Totally not telling.

Pop’s Top 10: Our Favorite Posts of 2021

12 month 46 hour library 4Wow wowzers wowie WOW are we looking forward to turning the page to 2022! But before we put a lid on 2021, we thought we would revisit some of our favorite posts! Here they are, in no particular order, our Top 10 posts of 2021!

#1 TOTALLY RANDOM


Never in a million years did I think a recycled pasta box would go viral, but this was one of our most popular projects! It’s a simple writing prompt machine, inspired by an arcade claw machine from summer vacations past.

#2 LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND NOBLE


Medieval Vogue front 1

Katie and I had a good time revisiting this fashion-parody-but-it’s-actually-historically-factual magazine. Medieval Vogue was part of a massive 2012 Robin Hood event. You can read more about the event fun here.

#3 DESTINATION: SLEEPY HOLLOW


It’s not everyday you get to check a box on the life list! Visiting Sleepy Hollow, NY has been something I’ve always dreamed of….and our 2021 trip will always be something to remember.

#4 BRINGING LITERATURE TO LIFE


Katie was delighted to interview Australian blogger Bryton Taylor, whose amazing literary parties and original recipes give us much inspiration!

#5 LITERARY AMUSEMENT PARK RIDES


moby dick ride_2

A Top 10 list in a Top 10 list? We couldn’t resist including this one because it was pure joy to research.

#6 FLOWERS FOR FERDINAND


In addition to featuring one of Katie’s favorite picture books, this post was full of hope, spring, and a fantastic wildflower identification app!

#7 FROM FOLKLORE TO FANTASY


Co-hosted with Vineet Chander from Princeton University’s Office of Religious Life, Hindu Life Program, this live Zoom webinar with talented authors Sanyantani DasGupta and Roshani Chokshi was just magical. And the Q&A with the kids was epic! You can find the entire event here.

#8 SPLASHY SPELLING


This one made the list because it was almost a huge fail and it turned my hand pink. Yes, PINK! Though I ultimately managed to produce a cute bath time spelling craft, my digits were blush for days!

#9 PUPPY POST


more puppy post 1Of course we’re going to include the post that introduced Finley, the newest addition to Katie’s family! Look at him, rocking that doggie delivery mailbox! Awwwww!

#10 THE 12 MONTH, 46 HOUR LIBRARY


12 month 46 hour library 4 Otherwise known as the craft kit that almost took Katie down. It might have taken a year, but now we have an adorable physical representation of Katie’s persistence and perseverance (and just look at that cute library ladder)!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! HERE’S TO 2022!

Studio Snapshots: Stevie Lewis

Get ready to be amazed… this studio is on wheels! Today, we’re visiting Stevie Lewis. For half the year, Stevie, her partner, and her dogs (Kiki and Tigger, seen smiling above) travel to hiking and rock climbing destinations. And Stevie takes her work with her in a sweet van she customized herself! An animator for four years, Stevie has also illustrated a number of beautiful picture books. Her newest releases, I Am Thinking My Life (Bala Kids), and We Are Better Together (Henry Holt) will be available in 2022.


Picture 1: Here’s a picture of my workspace, which I share with my partner while we’re on the road in our van. I built out the van (all by myself!) before I met him, and we travel as often as we can. I usually work from the road on my computer.

Picture 2: Having a van home makes traveling feel very comfortable. I can park anywhere, and gather endless inspiration from the outdoors. Here’s the van parked off a road in Moab, Utah, where I enjoyed painting and drawing in the desert.

Picture 3: Another view of the kitchen/studio/living room area. It’s so important to stay organized living in such a small space!

Picture 4: The trunk is where we keep our outdoor climbing, camping, and biking gear, as well as any art supplies I bring on the road with me.

Picture 5: Sometimes I”ll bring my art outside, and use traditional mediums like color pencil and gouache. I can’t bring too many supplies with me on the road, but I can manage a few paints and pencils! I’m looking forward to having a real, non-moving art studio someday!


Images courtesy of Stevie Lewis