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Free as a Bird
'Free as a Bird'
Mixed media collage by Sage Millen, 11 (Vancouver, Canada). Published September 2019.

A note from Sarah Ainsworth

I am a big fan of collages and all of the artistic possibilities they represent. If you look at the fine print to see what medium they are, it usually says “mixed media.” The category of “mixed media” has always struck me as an unfair standardization of such varied artwork. But at the same time, those two words do give the artist room to exploreafter all, there are so many media you can mix! Plus, it lends an air of mystery to artwork, as a viewer is often left wondering what materials they did mix.

I was excited to see two of Sage Millen’s collages published in this month’s issue (one of them featured in last week's Newsletter). In the one featured above, Free as a Bird, can you identify all of the materials that Sage used? How many “layers” of media are there?

My challenge for you this weekend is simply to create a collage. You can begin by assembling the materials you’d like to use, like magazines or colored paper. Is there anything in your recycling bin that you could use (and is clean enough to handle)? Maybe you want to incorporate some natural elements, as Sage does in her pieces.

Then the fun begins! If you create a collage you’re proud of, please send it to us via Submittable so we can consider it for publication!

Happy weekend,

Fundraising Update: the Refugee Project has almost reached its target already!

We are overwhelmed. Within days of launching our appeal for donations toward our Refugee Project, you had already donated almost all of our total goal! We set $5,000 as our target, thinking it was a huge stretch and that we’d be lucky to get even halfway there. But we only need $300 more to make it. Yes, our readers and supporters have already donated an incredible $4,700 to this project.

You are all just amazing. Thank you!

It’s obvious that this initiative means as much to our readers as it does to us. Besides being delighted to have the funding in place to support the creative journeys of kids in refugee camps, the whole Stone Soup team is really buoyed up by knowing that you, our extended Stone Soup family, are in this with us.

This is our fall fundraiser, and the season has barely begun. That $5,000 target is clearly in view, and maybe we are going to beat it! Click the button below if you want to join in supporting this project.

Highlights from the past week online

Don't miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at Stonesoup.com!

Take a look at the beautiful artwork that former contributor Jessica Libor creates in the interview we published with her from Tuesday. Jessica illustrated two stories from 2000, “A Strike for the Wind” and “A Christmas Wish,” and wrote and illustrated “Seventeen Years,” from 2001. Her interview is full of great advice.

From Stone Soup, September 2019

Trenza Francesa, French Braids

By Alina Samarasan, 12 (Brookline, MA)
Illustrated by Sage Millen, 11 (Vancouver, Canada)


“¡Ven aquí, Carlita! ¡No puedes ir a la escuela así! Tu cabello es un desastre!” Come here, Carlita! You can not go to school like that! Your hair is a mess! I walk into the room and sit down so Mamá can reach my hair, wishing that she spoke English. Then I wouldn’t be so embarrassed at school. Then no one would tell me to go back to Mexico.

My family’s from Cuba, not Mexico, and I wasn’t even born there. I was born here, unlike most of the kids at school, but that doesn’t really matter. Don’t be like them, my big brother said. Don’t fall to their level. You’re better than them, Carlita. And make that known.


Stone Soup is published by Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization registered
in the United States of America, EIN: 23-7317498.

Stone Soup's Advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky.

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