Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement today: #Act on Climate

I completely disagree with @potus re: the Paris Agreement, and made this to #actonclimate. In my opinion, The PA was a start and our withdrawal from it signifies the US's yielding to others in terms of technology, jobs, innovation & climate health for our future generations. I'll continue to fight for the only planet we've got.

Apologies for leaving this blog so dusty..I have been preoccupied by life, which has had it's ups and downs. Very grateful for the blessings I see each day in my family, friends, work, the beauty of nature, and a great community such as this. Thank you. I hope you've all been well and enjoy June ahead. Wow! We are blasting through 2017, aren't we?! Many thanks for your visit!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Project Popcorn By Laura Driscoll, Illustrated by me :) / Kane Press

Woohoooooo! I'm shouting it to the rooftops!

Yipppee! The smell of fresh books on a sunshiney day....

 I'm so excited and happy to share with you my most recent book project,
Project Popcorn by Laura Driscoll
with the very awesome people at Kane Press!

So why am I so excited and happy? Well, truth be told, it's because this book was the result of a wish. A year ago at this time, I was steadily working on my portfolio pieces, some very new pieces built on a focus of "story" and adding a narrative to my personal pieces. I was working like a madwoman over the holidays, steadily trying to get my portfolio to a point where I could share it with the world as I was getting ready for my very first SCBWI New York Conference. I had bitten the bullet and was looking forward to my solo trip back east in super freezing temps. This post shared my experience there.

So in prepping for the event, we were able to bring our portfolios and I believe up to 100 postcards to leave with our portfolios at the "Portfolio Showcase", which was a closed viewing of over 200 portfolios for the publishing industry representatives.

Long story short, one of my postcards was picked up by a Kane Press author, and about a week later, turned into this wonderful book project. I can't ask for any better to come from an event which completely blew me away, both inspirationally and motivationally. It was the cherry on top, and I am so honored.

What's even better than the cherry on top? If it were me, a side of truffle fries, or something equally delicious! And if that were translated to working relationships, well, working with the awesome Juliana and Edward at KP, are the truffle fries of clients. Thanks very much to Juliana, Edward, and my dear agent, Nicole Tugeau at for making this all's been a delight!
Ed did a great job adding touches like the popcorn on the frames..thanks Ed!

Here's a little about the book and series:
Project Popcorn
by Laura Driscoll; illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez
The Community Champs have an extra-special fundraiser this year—donating Thanksgiving dinners to families in need. With three weeks to go, can William and Lizzie sell more popcorn than ever before?

Math Matters is one of Kane Press' wonderful reading series, focused on math concepts while extending reading and math skills.
Here's a link to order


Share a story or give a shoutout

to an awesome volunteer (maybe it's you?!)

in your community

for a chance to WIN A COPY!

 I'll be picking a winner on February 1, 2017, 12noon PST, and will share swing on back!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hello! And a belated Happy New Year to you

Happy new year and I hope you're all well! 

 I wanted to give my blog a bit of an update and share a few recent pieces I did for my agent's promotional emails. The theme was "Hello", and as I often do, I had a lot of different ideas and characters in my sketches, and so I just went ahead and tried a few options. I gave Nicole both and asked her to share whichever one she preferred.

I'm curious which one you would choose... 

Thank you for visiting! It's always great to read your comments and I wish you all good health, peace, and a lot of fun projects ahead!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays everyone!

Sending you all my best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday! ~ Shirley

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy December!

Hope you're all well and enjoying December so far!
Over on Instagram, I've been posting an illustration a day and hope to continue to do so for all of the days leading up to Christmas. I noticed a wonderful post by Penny Neville Lee who started the #illo_advent and was inspired. I'm not sure if I'll make all of the days, but so far, I've been enjoying it and have successfully posted for four days in a row. :)

I wanted to give myself a prompt that would tie each piece together and so I came up with trying to do 25 of the USA's fifty states, starting with Alabama. I searched online for the states' symbols and as I always gravitate to animals, was happy to find Alabama's State mammal, the black bear! I then decided to add something that he could "do" - and so I thought about things that I would hope that we all could wish for or try to do this holiday season, or the year ahead..and the word CULTIVATE came up. Perfect..I'll try to cultivate things for each post.

So here are the first four and I hope that you all have happy, healthy days ahead. If you're inclined, please do join along..and you can post the hashtag #illo_advent along with it wherever you post (Facebook, Twitter, IG).

If you're on Twitter or IG, I'm @shirleysillos I look forward to seeing you out there sharing your wonderful work!

Alabama's Black Bear, blackberries and Northern Flicker

Alaska's Moose & King Salmon

Arizona's Ringtail and Cactus Wren

Arkansas' White-tailed Deer

Monday, November 14, 2016

A bear hug, a mouse hug, take one, give one...

Bear Hugs FREE Take one! Give One! ©Shirley Ng-Benitez
For everyone – #hugsfromkidlit

Hi everyone -
It's been a very, very big and long week. 

Though you don't know me as one to talk of my political beliefs, etc., I'm writing this down now as I have to share my thoughts on why I felt compelled to join the kidlit community with the piece above.

I've listened and read so much this past week and have spent the past year and a half immersed in the political news and world events–especially our own heated and contentious US election. Our country has become such a divided place, and as I continue to educate my children, I continue to educate myself about injustices, rights, the economy, race relations, global issues, religion and of course politics. My personal feelings about the election results are mine and though you may not agree, I hope that you respect mine, but I have to say that I am truly saddened about the outcome. I am working to understand all aspects of what this means for the future, but will continue to hope for wisdom and compassion to surround the transition from the Obama to Trump Presidency, and that it guides the future President and his staff, for the betterment of our country and future generations. I state this not to go into dialog about my thoughts, but just to let you know that I continue to support and hold high the work of people who treat people equally and justly, and without prejudice. Respectful words mean something to me, they always have, they always will. Devolving can be corrected and must be corrected. We must educate others by listening, reading, learning, and doing.

I've been thinking a lot about the recent movement by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (@studioJJK on Twitter) and the kidlit community (#hugsfromkidlit on Twitter) and their efforts to bring hope to the children in our communities who may feel scared or worried, or worse. I'm joining by offering this small piece so that educators and librarians can print and post images of hope in their schools. I'll be donating to organizations who continue to work for the rights of the underprivileged and underrepresented this year as well.

If you'd like to print this for yourself, please feel free to do so.

We can all help guide our children with messages of hope, compassion, wisdom and empathy and that is what is intended for in this piece.

Sending my best for a peaceful and happy holiday season ahead to all of you ~ Shirley