Author Blog- Monika Mira

Author Blog- Monika Mira

  • Day of the Dead Mask Making Craftivity

    Day of the Dead Mask Making Craftivity

    Halloween and Day of the Dead are right around the corner. I wanted to offer this fun craft for kids and adults alike. This craftivity is super simple. You will need a sugar skull mask template, card stock, scissors, tape, a large tongue depressor, and crayons, markers, or colored pencils. The sugar skull templates are easy to find. I offer several free templates right on this website. The sugar skull masks in this image were taken from my Day of the Dead sugar skull coloring books, which are also offered as downloads on Teachers Pay Teachers. Or you can learn how to create your own with one my craft tutorial videos. First, print out your Sugar Skull Template. Then color it in. Cut it out and tape it to a large tongue depressor, popsicle stick, chopstick, recycled plastic fork, etc. Then have a parade! We love to see what you create with our templates and coloring books! Please tag us on Facebook with your amazing creations. ( There are lots of coloring craftivities for your kids and your classroom available on this site. We also offer free coloring sheets by signing up in the box at the right.Read More

  • Marine Debris Art Project for Earth Day

    Marine Debris Art Project for Earth Day

    As Earth Day approaches, I always reflect on all of the things that I do in my life and what impact it has the environment. It seems that every single thing we do as humans has some sort of consequence for the planet. Humans are really the only species on Earth that are responsible for this predicament. As I was pondering what I could do to make a difference, I got a call from a local elementary school science club asking me to make presentation about marine debris. Surfrider Foundation assisted me by sharing a PowerPoint that revealed images of wildlife injured by or entangled in marine debris, the work of net patrol volunteers removing nets from the shorelines, and staggering statistics about the amount and kind of trash that is ending up in the ocean and on our shores. For example, according to a study published in Science, 800 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean annually! That’s a lot of plastic. Kids in Hawaii are all familiar with marine debris. They all know that plastic is bad for the environment, but what they didn’t know is that some of this trash is now being used in industry to make new products and to spread awareness about marine debris. The kids also learned about advocacy and what they could do to help.Read More

  • Read Across America is a Little Different in Hawaii

    Read Across America is a Little Different in Hawaii

    March 2nd is Read Across America Day. It is also World Book Day, but in Hawaii, things are done a little differently. This is because in Hawaii, many of the classic children’s books regularly read to children during these celebrations have little significance. The culture is different, the local flora and fauna are different, and the way we do things here is different. So, a group of local children’s authors have taken a more regional approach to promoting literacy in Hawaii. For the past several years this group has devoted their spring to reading to the children of Hawaii and distributing locally produced books. Last year alone, these authors visited nearly a thousand students in Hawaii. Recently, the authors combined forces with the Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Program for a synergistic effect. Not only does the group get to read books to children, but through the process, the children learn about a variety of native and endangered animals including Kauai’s forest birds. For the authors, literacy is not confined to reading, in fact environmental literacy is a major component of their program. This is due in part to subject matter of the authors’ books like The Complete Hawaiian Reef Fish Coloring Book, Albatross of Kauai, and Who Lives in the Sea? Ocean Animals of Hawaii. The program is the brainchild of local author, Monika Mira. After banding together with a group of local authors, she approached the Mayor, to designate an official day devoted to literacy.Read More

  • Marine Biologist turned Coloring Book Illustrator

    Marine Biologist turned Coloring Book Illustrator

    How does a marine biologist come to be an adult coloring book illustrator? Well, life is funny that way. Sometimes what you want out of life differs from what life wants from you. When I graduated from college with a degree in Marine Science, I was eager to get to work making a difference for the life in the ocean. In those early days, I worked on numerous conservation projects to protect aquatic resources but none of them fulfilled my desire to work with marine life. I began to go snorkeling more often, which provided me with much awe and wonder. Then, I began to draw fish…everyday. Each morning, I would draw a new fish. This wasn’t just an exercise in drawing, but I had the intention of creating a book of illustrations that would help students and visitors (to Hawaii) learn more about Hawaii’s fish. I always found that drawing and coloring helped me with learning processes and so I was learning and hopefully my illustrations would be teaching. My collection grew to over eighty species of fish! When they were complete, I added descriptions to each fish and labeled them with their common, scientific, and Hawaiian names. The Complete Hawaiian Reef Fish Coloring Book was born, but not published. This was back at the turn of the century (Y2K)….and so I began to submit my book to publishers.   Here is the best part of this story.Read More

  • Free Nutcracker Coloring Sheet

    Free Nutcracker Coloring Sheet

    I decided to include this fun little nutcracker coloring page in this months newsletter. Be sure to sign up on the right hand side of the page to receive FREE coloring pages every month.Read More

  • How to draw a Christmas Sugar Skull

    How to draw a Christmas Sugar Skull

    I thought it might be kind of fun to show you how to draw a Christmas themed sugar skull with santa hat.Read More

  • Discount Code for FineArtAmerica Prints

    Discount Code for FineArtAmerica Prints

    If you are interested in giving any of my Day of the Dead Art Prints as Christmas gifts this year, I will be including a discount code in our December Newsletter. The discount code will allow you to receive 20% off all prints, metal prints, canvas prints, and other products with my Sugar Skull artwork on them. Happy Holidays! Just sign up for our newsletter on the right hand side of the page.Read More

  • Free Paper Christmas Ornament Coloring Sheets & Templates

    Free Paper Christmas Ornament Coloring Sheets & Templates

    In our November Coloring Subscription Newsletter I will be offering some of the ornament templates from the Three-Dimensional Christmas Ornament Coloring Book and Paper Crafts. Decorating the Christmas tree has never been so fun! These Free Coloring Sheets can be colored in, cut out, and assembled into beautiful Christmas Ornaments for your tree! Instructions are included. You can see the entire book in the flip through video on our home page. To get the free coloring sheets, just sign up for the newsletter (on the right hand side of the page) and you will receive a link in our November Issue. The 3D Christmas Ornament Coloring Book & Paper Crafts is currently available on Amazon. It is also available in downloadable format on TeachersPayTeachers.Read More



    Today I am thankful for all of you. If you bought my book, I am thankful that you helped make it a best-seller! If you reviewed my book, I am thankful for your feedback (good or bad). I actually listen and make adjustments. I am thankful for the bloggers and vloggers who have taken the time to create flip-throughs and color in images for my books. I am thankful for all the children and adults who color in the images and share them with me. I LOVE to see the final products. It is amazing to me how colorful, creative, and different each image can become with each artist’s personal touch. I am grateful for my competition. They drive me to improve and they INSPIRE me with some amazing art. WOW! There are some amazing coloring book artists out there! Stay tuned….I will be highlighting them in a new post soon.Read More