Blog tours are all about discovery. The following blogs are hosting me or writing about Tessalation! over the next few weeks. I love these sites and their owners -- all of them are excited about the existence of a children's picture book about tessellations out in the world. I invite you to explore their pages to learn about what they do.
June 17: Denise Gaskins' Let's Play Math blog hosts a story on how to celebrate the first-ever World Tessellation Day.
July 1: On Lucy Ravitch's fantastic site for teachers of math (and parents who want to support math learning), we're doing a lesson plan for how to use Tessalation! in the classroom.
July 2: A post on the Hybrid publisher Mascot Books' site about how to find and work effectively with an illustrator.
July 3: Hike it Baby is a parents group dedicated to getting families together and out into nature with newborns and little ones. There are branches in over 200 cities around the country and internationally. We have a wide variety of hikes and urban strolls and the best part is being a member of Hike it Baby is FREE!
July 4: Janice Novakowski's blog for the Richmond School District looks at creative ways to approach the math curriculum.
July 5: America's favorite stop for Waldorf-related education books hosts a Q & A with author Emily Grosvenor about Tessalation!
July 6: John Vonhof's podcast about writing will light the fire under you to launch your creative projects into the world.
How Kickstarter Children's books are changing society's views on everything from diversity to technology.
July 8: Writer Maria Stuart, aka "Pinot Mom," lover of cookbooks and all things hospitality, offers a way to bake tessellated cookies alongside a reading of Tessalation!
July 9: Educator and tessellation lover John Golden hosts a great resource page on tessellations.
July 10: This site shares creative approaches to math learning for at-home teachers and childcare providers.
July 11: You've heard that you should read 20 minutes a day with your kids. But what about 20 minutes of math play? Christopher Danielson's excellent Talking Math with Your Kids site offers ample opportunities for engaging math play.
July 12: Game creator and math advocate Daniel Finkel's inspiring blog about how to make math learning more fun.
July 13: Donna Boucher's excellent Math Coach's Corner site is a treasure trove for explorations in math.
July 14: Brent Yorgey, a visiting professor at Hendrix College, explores the intersection between beauty and mathematics on his blog The Math Less Traveled.
July 15: Clarissa Grandi's gorgeous site Artful Maths explores the connection between math and creativity.
I invite you to visit these sites and see what these creators and educators have to offer. Being connected to them has truly changed how I encourage my children in the area of math learning.
Why do anything unless you shoot for the moon?
I launched Tessalation! into the world on June 17, World Tessellation Day, a holiday I created. But I didn't do any of this alone. I had a lot of help, and half that helped seemed to show up a few Fridays ago.
I really don't like doing things small. If I'm going to take the time to create something, I want it to have impact, to touch people if possible, to be as fun as possible and to give fans and readers a real experience. So here's what I did to launch Tessalation!
1. There will be cookies
I would never think of having a party without food. In this case, Angie's Kitchen, our dedicated gluten-free bakery, designed and made these adorable tessellated hexagon cookies with tiny bees on them. They fit with the theme of the book and were sweet as all get out. I planned for 100 and there was only one left at the end of the event.
2. Hands-on play
I used Talking Math with Kids' tiling turtles at one station to give kids a chance to play with tessellations in a tactile way. I love these turtles -- I have bought three sets already -- and I never get tired of putting them in various patterns or exploring how they fit together.
Part of the fun of Tessalation! is how it inspires children to make their own tessellation. My bestie Jill ran the tessellation station, teaching kids how to make their own with a simple square pattern. It was so fun my husband sat down and worked on his for about an hour.
4. Up in lights
I screened the entire book by putting the pages in a powerpoint and beaming it onto the wall in the McMinnville Public Library's Carnegie Room. Did they like it? I don't know. But the kids definitely wanted me to keep screening more books up like that. Movies shmovies. There's something in this idea!
5. Color me happy
I set up a station where kids could color pages directly from the book. I had five coloring pages in all. Happy to report that the adults liked this station best of all. We had a few linger there coloring throughout the event.
6. Make it social
I made a poster where people could "tessellate," that is, try to fit themselves together like puzzle pieces with a friend. I love this idea, and a few did it, but it didn't really fly because the poster didn't explicitly tell people what to do. If I had this to do over again I would post the hashtag and make a sign inviting people to do just that. Live and learn, baby!
What have you done to launch your children's picture book?
Today is World Tessellation Day! Happy #WorldTessellationDay to You!
I'm happy to announce that we're partnering with WaldorfBooks.com to make the book available to the public before it is officially published on Aug. 2.
That means, if you want a copy, you can pre-order at WaldorfBooks.com! A physical copy will be sent to you mid-July, the second it becomes available.
If you've ordered through the Kickstarter and also want more copies for your friends, I'd be thrilled if you would order from this independent, family-run online site.
How independent and family-run is it? Well, it's run by my friend Angela and her family right in my hometown of McMinnville.
Pre-order Tessalation at WaldorfBooks.com here
It's coming! The first-ever World Tessellation Day celebration will happen this Friday, June 17.
Why June 17?
This date, suggested by math advocate John Golden, was chosen by a group of committed tessellation fans around the world and is the birth date of M.C. Escher, the Dutch artist whose tessellated artworks put tessellation at the forefront of art.
We have a Facebook community going where people are sharing images of their favorite tessellations in the run-up to this brand new holiday. But since this is a holiday-in-the-making, I thought I'd put together this list of simple ways you can be a part of the making of a global event.
Simple Ways to Celebrate #WorldTessellationDay #WorldTessDay
1. Take a picture of a tessellated floor.
2. Make Your Own Tessellation
Need a primer on how? Use this tutorial.
3. Wear houndstooth or other tessellated pattern
4. Make some hexagon cookies -- they tessellate!
5. Play with a toy that tessellates, like these turtles.
6. Post your favorite M.C. Escher tessellation
7. Find the nearest chain-link fence
8. Wear something with a beehive on it
9. Find the nearest tessellation station (like this one at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle)
10. Play Settlers of Catan
11. Read Tessalation!, my story book about a little girl named Tessa who hides in patterns
12. Discover how people have used tessellations
13. Color one of these tessellation coloring pages
14. Find tessellated tiles in a public setting (like these from Spain)
15. Explore how artists, such as Chris Watson, are using tessellation
16. Hug some friends under a tessellated quilt
17. Or: Plan your next quilt and make it a tessellation
18. Get patriotic with your tessellations (like with this box lid by Bruce Bilney)
19. Solve age-old conflicts with tessellation to show how we are all connected
20. Discover how people are using tessellation to solve problems, as in the creation of this Tessellation Pavillion
22. Explore this tessellation Pinterest Page
23. Declare your love of tessellations to the world on June 17!
Use the hashtags #WorldTessellationDay and #WorldTessDay to help create this holiday celebrating the beauty, wonder and practical applications of tessellation.
I'm speaking this August at the Willamette Writers Conference -- strangely enough, about memoir writing. Although now that I'm almost at the end of this Kickstarter journey I can see that I might have to put together a talk on how to Kickstart a children's book.
The conference has a silent auction associated with it. So many silent auctions. And for once, I have the perfect thing to contribute I'm calling it the Perfect Tessellation Playdate.
About a week to go before the first ever #WorldTessellationDay and things are getting busy over on the Facebook page.
Thanks to a group of dedicated fans the chances of this actually becoming a holiday are getting greater with each new "like."
Special thanks to Math Hombre John Golden for suggesting June 17, M.C. Escher's birthday, as the day we celebrate.
This holiday started because of a group of math advocates, a children's book author (me!), and a whole lot of pattern-loving people who wanted a day of the year to celebrate tessellations, tiling repeated patterns. What draws us to tessellations differs from person to person. Some people love the connection to math, the real world application, or just the beauty of the patterns. But nearly everyone recognizes just how cool tessellations are!
How you can help
In order to get the holiday registered as such, we need to prove it exists. Around the world, people will be taking pictures of tessellations -- making them, pointing them out, loving on them in plain sight -- and posting them with the hashtag #WorldTessellationDay.
We hope you'll join us in the creation of this holiday by posting a tessellated images to your social media accounts. Next week, I'll be writing about other creative ways to celebrate the holiday.
Will you help create a global holiday?