Endorsements for Super Simple Sumi-e
“Super Simple Sumi-e is a visual delight. Short phrases weave their way around the charming, step-by-step illustrations, making the painting process easy to follow. As I turned the pages, I felt I was entering a new world, a wonderful treasure hunt.
This little book will bring hours of creative fun to anyone who picks up a brush and follows along. The author/illustrator shows you how to make your own birds, rabbits, mice, pandas with bamboo for them to eat, and even dragons! And who knows, perhaps you will create creatures of your very own.”
Marilyn Webberly, Artist, Seattle, WA
“Yvonne Palka’s Super Simple Sumi-e is a playful and clear introduction to the time-honored art of Asian brush painting, inviting young people (and the child in many an adult) to try their hand at expressing their own creative spirit. With its magical creatures—from creeping snails and nibbling mice to its rotund pandas, and finally its fierce dragons literally bursting from the page—it is engaging, never heavily instructive.
Super Simple Sumi-e is a most delight-ful “un-coloring” book, encouraging each participant through playful experimentation to become familiar with the heart energy that underlies all true creation. This is a book sorely needed in our increasingly mechanical times.” Eva Sher , Poet, Sumi-e Artist, Author and Illustrator of The Scintillating Little Dragon, Medina, WA
“My 8 and 6 years old granddaughters were over this weekend and we had a Super Simple Sumi-e painting party. I went over the basic brush strokes with them first, then we started out with snail and mouse pictures. Ruby, my 8 year old, tried the panda on her own by looking at your easy to follow instructions and did a terrific job.
The book is nicely laid out, and the few steps involved are perfect for kids of all ages. We’ll try painting new critters from the book next time they’re over.” Susan Frederickson, sumi-e artist, Minneapolis, MN
My daughter couldn’t wait to get in the house and get her paints out after your presentation at school and then she independently painted 4 beautiful pictures. They were very meaningful to her. She has continued to paint the panda and bird pictures. Thank you for inspiring my daughter with your art! Caroline S.,Parent, Weaver Lake Elementary School, Maple Grove, MN
This is soooo fun (sumi-e painting, that is)! I don’t want to go back to class. I just want to paint all day! 6th grade student at Fernbrook Elementary School, Maple Grove, MN
See this cute art from our Colorado grandkids…apparently they did all their Christmas thank you cards with the sumi materials (book, ink and brushes) I gave them for Christmas. Look at how well they turned out!!” Bonnie Bledsoe, Artist, Seattle WA
“Your book is not only inspiring, but also taught me a great deal about the history and techniques of sumi-e. Although it is supposedly a children’s art book, I learned much from it.” Cilla Walford, Artist and instructor, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis, MN
“I love the book soooooo much! I’ve only read it 7 times! Write more books! You have the qualities of the greatest writer in the world, if you want my opinion. Do a sequel!”
–Katyrose J., age 9 Langley WA
“I really enjoyed Dragon Fire, Ocean Mist. I liked the dragon families. My favorite is Shyla. The story makes me wish that I could be on the beach playing with all of the dragons. I also like the part about the Northern Lights. I think all kids should read this book.”
–Caitlyn A., age 5 Langley, WA
“I liked how you made the characters come alive. It makes me want to go to Shi Shi beach. Here is a picture of Zorg stealing fish.”
–Christopher A., age 11 Langley, WA
“I like your book Dragon Fire, Ocean Mist. I like the way that you describe the dragons and the beach. It made it all come real in my mind. Your book also makes me want to learn how to draw dragons.”
–Erik A., age 8 Langley, WA
“Your book, Dragon Fire, Ocean Mist is awesome. I especially like the way dragon time is different than campsite time, and that Jaxon and Allie’s parents couldn’t see the dragons, or even the sandcastle. Also your sumi-e paintings are so cool. And I love the way Zorg changes at the end. PS – Niji is so cute!”
–Emily A., age 13 Langley, WA
“Grandma, can I come over to your house after school so we can read some more of that dragon book?” –Taylor M., age 8 Langley, WA
“I started the book in the morning and I read it in one day! I loved the dragons!”
–Rohini M., age 11, Langley, WA
“Your book is really good!”
–Mia T., age 10, Maple Grove, MN
“This book is perfect for anyone looking for a good adventure, and that’s what i liked about it. The descriptions were so realistic i could almost see them. If there were more books in this series i would happily buy them and read them whenever I could. To spread the genius of this story I decided to read this to my brother who thought it was equally as great. If you, or anyone you know is looking for a good book to read, I suggest DragonFire, Ocean Mist, one of the best stories I’ve ever read.”
–Rielley F., age 13,Bellingham, WA
“I really enjoyed your book and your paintings gave me inspiration for other paintings for me to draw. I liked the part where the jasper heart crystals changed Zorg. I would like to meet Jaxon and Allie.”–Jeremias A., age 9, Oakland, CA
“I loved the fact that it’s a Northwest book – that it’s tied to a local area that kids can relate to. It moves easily between fantasy and reality. I can go into the fantasy and come back to a real place with real people. The story is easy to follow; it captivates the reader. I could just fall into the story, as it just flows along. I love that you drew upon real things — the beach, the camp, the tidepools — to place the fantasy in a Northwest setting. Lighthearted and fun. Well done!”–Gary Bowman, 4th Grade Teacher, Fernbrook Elementary School, Maple Grove, MN
“I loved Dragon Fire, Ocean Mist and its delightful, vivid imagery. I couldn’t put it down! The gentle, yet powerful sumi-e illustrations had me reliving my summers in the San Juan Islands. I’m grateful to Yvonne Palka for creating this lovely book. Its message — about deep care for our environment and about standing up to, and making peace with even our most difficult dragons — is tremendously important.” –Eva Sher, Poet, Sumi-e Artist, Author and Illustrator of The Scintillating Little Dragon, Medina, WA
“Dragon Fire offers a delightful intertwining of imagination and love of our natural world as well as a charmed view of one of Washington state’s wildest and most serene places. Great for encouraging creative voyages with the young readers in your life, and for fostering young environmentalists as well.”–Gretchen Russell, Teacher and Librarian, Gig Harbor, WA
“The design of the book is exceptional. I love the paintings, especially the dragon faces, and how the art and the text flow around each other. And I’m really impressed with the telling of the story; the dialogue feels completely natural to me.” –Elizabeth Kincaid, Award-winning Watercolor Artist and Author of Paint Watercolors That Dance with Light, Kirkland, WA
“Dragon Fire, Ocean Mist is a fun, beautiful, and compelling story for young readers, set in the wild Northwest corner of the United States. In a Narnia-like world, two children cross over to a magical place where moral and ethical choices are made and lessons learned. With the dragons and their young friends, we come to understand the reasons behind bad behavior without condoning or excusing it.
The back of the book contains an appendix giving more information about the seashore, about dragons, and about the art of sumi-e painting.
As a school manager and librarian, I would recommend this book to boys and girls looking for a good adventure story. It would appeal to those who like magic, art, nature, and even sports, as dragon soccer is a featured game.”
–Valerie Sensabaugh, MA Ed., K-12 Teacher, Homeschool Partnership Manager and School Librarian, Seattle, WA
“Children love dragons and this engaging dragon tale will make them love them even more! Young readers will learn a lot about the Pacific Northwest coast without even realizing it, as the natural details of the region are beautifully interwoven with the story. Teachers will love using these dragon adventures to spark their student’s imagination and creativity in the classroom.” –Mary Knight, Author, Educator and Curriculum Writer, Langley,WA