What's New?

I've been hard at work on six new picture books!

Can't wait to show them to you. Until then, check

out my most recent titles. And scroll down to see

more news!

 

Click on each book cover to find out more.

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Facebook
and Twitter


NEW BOOK DEBUT!

On March 11, my newest picture book called ROOTING FOR YOU (see cover above) sprouts from Hyperion. It's about a tiny seed intent upon staying put in the cozy soil—"I am NOT coming out!" But with the encouragement of a friendly worm, the seeds plucks up the courage to bust out and bloom. Featuring fold-out pages that mimic putting down roots and sending up shoots, the book culminates in a three-page-tall burst as the seed breaks ground and blossoms in the sun.

 

Why did I write this one? I must have been working in our big vegetable garden. I had just switched fields, going from editor to author and was thinking about all the thrills and challenges of the unknown. Kids face new experiences every day—starting a new school, welcoming a new baby, moving to a new town. And these transitions can be scary! So this book is about new growth and the friends and family who are there rooting for you!

 

Here's what Booklist had to say:

"It’s an overall wonderful lesson in moving out of fear and inertia and into exploration and growth, with big Mo Willems–style art that makes simple shapes into highly emotive characters and backgrounds." For the full review, click here.

SHOW 'EM THOSE PEARLY WHITES! 

The Tooth Mouse is celebrating National Children's Dental Health Month with a Tooth Pillow Pouch kids can make! Children just cut it out, glue up the sides, place a lost tooth inside, tuck under their pillows and see what's inside the next day. They can also keep a record of each tooth lost by coloring in the appropriate number of teeth on The Tooth Mouse's Baby Tooth Tracker

 

Below, five-month-old Molina gets an early start learning about the Tooth Mouse, thanks to her grand-mére from Paris!

WELCOME TO MY FIRST AUTHOR BLOG HOP

Tag! I’m it! Fellow author Sarah Albee tagged me recently to participate in a children’s author blog hop. And what better way to celebrate the new year than to crow about some of my author/illustrator friends?

 

Here’s how it works. Sarah asks me a few questions and then I tag three other authors.  But first, a bit about Sarah. She and I first met when we worked together at Children’s Television Workshop, now Sesame Workshop. Sarah was fresh out of Harvard and as fellow editors we immersed ourselves in the words, wit and wisdom of Grover, Cookie Monster, Ernie, Bert and Elmo. Some of the very first books I wrote were Sesame Street books and that was true for Sarah, too. Since then, we’ve gone down similar career paths, writing oodles of books for Sesame Street, Nick Jr., Fisher Price and more, before branching out to our own original work. While I focus on picture books, Sarah channeled her passion for history into what she calls “Horribly Humorous History for Kids.” Here’s one of my favorite Facebook posts from Sarah: “Productive morning of fact checking at the library. Wondered why I got a look from a guy sorting through stuff at the printer, and then realized my printouts were about 1) Haydn's head being stolen by phrenologists, 2) Verrazzano being eaten by cannibals, and 3) Plutarch's account of Roman dictator Sulla's intestinal hemorrhage, where the corrupted flesh teemed with swarms of mites. #bestjobever#

 

Check out Sarah’s latest book coming in April:

BUGGED: How Insects Changed History

 

Get to know Sarah for yourself by visiting her website or her blog, by following her on Twitter, or by friending her on Facebook.

 

 

 

Now on with the interview! 

Sarah: What are you working on now?

Susan: I’m working on several picture books all in different stages of production. ROOTING FOR YOU (left) debuts in March 2014, followed by TICKLY TOES, a baby board book coming this fall. Meanwhile, I’m looking at sketches for a book with Random House, revising a manuscript for Candlewick and writing a brand-new picture book manuscript that I’ll submit to my agent later this month.

 

 

 

 

Sarah: How do your books differ from other works in the genre?

Susan: Many of my picture books have a multicultural bent. SPIKE, THE MIXED-UP MONSTER is set in Mexico and includes a little Spanish. THE TOOTH MOUSE is set in Paris and includes a little French. Showing diversity, encouraging inclusion and giving kids a global perspective are all important

to me. 

 

Sarah: Why do you write what you do?

Susan: A lot of people say to write what you know, but I find it more interesting to write about what surprises me. I was dumbfounded when I first saw a photo of an axolotl (left) or when I first found out that most children around the world have a Tooth Mouse, not a Tooth Fairy. I also like to combine science with poetry. 

 

 

 

Sarah: What’s the hardest part about writing? 

Susan: I agree with you, Sarah. It’s the waiting. And waiting and waiting. I sold my first three books in 2009, but they didn’t appear until 2012! 

 

Now it’s time to tap three more children’s book talents! I first met Anna Raff through a mutual friend at the New York SCBWI conference. One peek at her portfolio and I knew she was going to be big! Sure enough, just a few years later she has a book by the Children’s Poet Laureate published by Candlewick and a spread featured in the prestigious Society of Illustrators Original Art show.

 

Matthew Cordell and I have yet to meet in person, but we’ve had the great good fortune to collaborate on two picture books. ROOTING FOR YOU debuts in March 2014 and LEAPS AND BOUNCE is slotted for 2016. When my editor first pitched his work to me, he described Matt as “the young Bill Steig.” Yes, as in William Steig, one of my favorite illustrators on the planet! How lucky could I get? And while I certainly see the reference to Steig, Matt has his own unique brand of humor and whimsy that makes him none other than “the young Matt Cordell.”  

 

Michaela MacColl is a friend and neighbor who lives in the next town over. She writes intriguing historical fiction for middle graders based on the lives of famous women such as Emily Dickinson. We met through SCBWI and she’s been incredibly kind in sharing her expertise about websites, school brochures and more. She even booked me into my first school visit! 

 

Okay, you three, over to you! 

 

ANNA RAFF has illustrated several books for children, including WORLD RAT DAY by Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis, SYLVIA'S SPINACH by Katherine Pryor and THINGS THAT FLOAT AND THINGS THAT DON'T by David A. Adler. She is currently at work on a picture book for G.P. Putnam's Sons by Lisa M. Bakos, to be released in 2015, followed by another non-fiction book by David A. Adler. Her illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Kiwi Magazine, among others; on TV on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and MTV's "Woodie Awards." In 2010, she created Ornithoblogical, a blog of bird-related imagery. Anna has an MFA from the School of Visual Arts and a BA from Connecticut College. She lives in New York City, where there are reportedly four rats per human resident.

 

Visit Anna at Annaraff.com

 

MATTHEW CORDELL is the illustrator and author of many acclaimed books for young readers. Though he spent most of his life in small town South Carolina, at the turn of the century he migrated midwest to set up shop in Chicago. It was there that he met his soon-to-be bride, his passion for children’s books, and deep dish pizza. Matthew is the illustrator of many books including the Justin Case series by Rachel Vail, If You Were a Chocolate Mustache by J. Patrick Lewis and Toby and the Snowflakes by Julie Halpern. He is the illustrator and author of hello! hello!, Another Brother and Trouble Gum. Matthew now lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his talented wife, author Julie Halpern, and their two children.

 

Visit Matt at matthewcordell.com

 

MICHAELA MACCOLL attended Vassar College and Yale University. She earned degrees in multi-disciplinary history. Unfortunately, it took her 20 years before she realized she was learning how to write historical fiction. Her favorite stories are the ones she finds about the childhood experiences of famous people. What happened that helped them to be great? Michaela has two daughters so she's hoping to identify those moments firsthand.

 

Visit Michaela at michaelamaccoll.com

 

SIGNING WITH SANTA

...and one of his "reindeer" (aka Lucas, the Fairfield University mascot), along with illustrator Bruce Degen of the Magic School Bus fame and illustrator Paul Meisel at the Fairfield University Downtown Bookstore's Holiday Open House

 

BACK TO BOSTON

Thrilled to be part of the ReadBoston Authors' Evening on December 9, signing THE TOOTH MOUSE which was named the "Gold Winner" of ReadBoston's Best Read Aloud Award. Thanks to Mayor Tom Menino and congrats to all the Silver Winners.

 

 

 Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino with Theresa Lynn, Russell Holmes and the panel of judges reviewing the books

 

John Lee, from the Harvard Kennedy School, and Theresa Lynn, announcing THE TOOTH MOUSE

as the winner of BostonRead's Best Read Aloud Award

WHEW! WHAT A MONTH! 

November was a whirlwind of book conferences and festivals!


BOSTON BOUND

I was delighted when Kids Can Press invited me to sign THE TOOTH MOUSE at my very first NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Convention in Boston. I hope to go back every year. I signed about 75 copies of the book, met some lovely teachers and attended the kinds of discussions that make me so thankful to be in this business. Add in scads of fellow authors / friends and free loot! I'm a fan.

Top right photo: the lovely ladies of Kids Can Press, Editorial Director

Yvette Ghione (left) and Marketing Manager Naseem Hrab (right).

 

Superstar authors were around every corner. Happy to visit with some of the talented folks

I worked with at Nick Jr. Magazine. And dinner was courtesy of Simon & Schuster where I got

to dine with the very first person I ever interviewed—Judy Blume!

Photos clockwise from upper left: Walter Dean Myers, Jon Scieszka

and Chris Raschka.

 

SPEED-DATING WITH LIBRARIANS

Never did I ever think I'd agree to speed-dating, but it's hard to say no to librarians who want to get to know you and your books. Held at the American Association of School Librarians Conference in Hartford, it was actually kinda fun. Authors sit at a table with 10 librarians, rattle on about their books for five minutes and then switch tables! As one author put it, it's like talking with the fast forward button on! 

 

R.L. STINE WAS IN THE HOUSE

...along with a slew of other big talents at the second (we hope biennial)

Pequot Library Children's Book Festival in my hometown of Southport, CT.

 

Authors and illustrators in attendance (front row, l to r): Laura Toffler-Corrie, Barbara Mariconda,

Jennifer Berne, Ann Haywood Leal, Deborah Freedman, me; (middle row, l to r): Marc Tyler Nobleman,

Dan Yaccarino, Brian Collier, Michael Rex; (back row, l to r): Tony Abbott, Bruce Degan and R.L. Stine.

Missing from this photo was Patricia Reilly Giff.

 

Okay, pop quiz: Can you pick out who in this group is one of two United States nominees

for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international recognition

given to an author and an illustrator of children's books? It's illustrator Brian Collier!

 

Here are some of my other favorite shots from the day!

Thanks to the library staff and extra special thanks to MaryJo Scott (center in red scarf)

for all her time and energy organizing this festival. Photo credits: Adair Heitmann, Pequot Library

 

CHAPPAQUA CHILDREN'S BOOK FESTIVAL

Join me and more than 70 authors this Saturday, October 5

from 10am - 4pm!

For a list of authors, click here. And for directions and more

about this FREE rain-or-shine event, click here.

IT'S BOOK FESTIVAL SEASON!

Can't wait to meet readers, writers and picture book lovers at the

upcoming fairs and festivals scheduled for this fall. Check the calendar

at right for details.

 

BOOKING AUTHOR VISITS NOW

I'm also busy booking author visits for winter 2013 and for

spring 2014 when my brand-new picture book hits the shelves

from Hyperion. If you're interested in scheduling a visit at your

school, bookstore, library or conference, find out more here.

 

 A SNEAK PEEK AT WHAT'S COMING THIS FALL

                    Poster by 2012 Caldecott Honor Medalist John Rocco

 

Can't wait to be part of this! 85 children's authors and illustrators

are headed to Princeton on September 21, including Avi, Sophie

Blackall, Nick Bruel, Bryan Collier, Edward Hemingway, Kate Hosford,

Leonard Marcus, Roxie Munro and so many others! For the complete

lineup, click here.

 

Photo credit: Richard Lewin

 

A perfect summer day at the East Hampton Children's Fair. Many thanks to

Alexandra Giambruno for running such a well-organized, super fun event.

 

JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER VACATIONS

Happy to announce that THE TOOTH MOUSE is now available as an e-book

for the iPad, Kindle, Nook, Kobo and for libraries using Overdrive. Just love

the voice reading the story!

MORE ABOUT NEW YORK STATE'S 2014 CHARLOTTE AWARD

Many thanks to students from Mrs. Toomajian’s class at Tamarac Elementary in Troy, NY,

who interviewed me and Melissa Sweet about our book SPIKE, THE MIXED-UP MONSTER,

which is on the ballot for the 2014 Charlotte Award. See our Q & A here! Live in New York

and want to vote? Find a complete list of resources here and ballots and complete voting

instructions here. And congrats to all the other nominees!

 

MY FIRST BOOK AWARDS CEREMONY   

Last week I attended my first book awards ceremony—the 15th International

Latino Book Awards held at the beautiful Instituto Cervantes in New York City.

Here's our group shot of all the nominees. That's me, last row in the center behind

the woman in red, and Sonia Manzano, Sesame Street's Maria, is in the white dress

on the right.

 

SPIKE was nominated in a children's picture book category and I'm thrilled to say

it won! Muchas gracias to sponsors Libros Publishing and Scholastic and congrats to

all the children's book winners listed here.

 

 

SUMMER READS

Almost time to break out the hammocks! Many thanks to Linda Williams for selecting both

SPIKE and THE TOOTH MOUSE as this summer's recommended reads for CT! You can find the whole list here.

 

2013 INTERNATIONAL LATINO AWARDS

SPIKE is a finalist and I'll be attending the awards ceremony in New York City

later this month. Muchas gracias for the nomination!

 

NEW YORK STATE READING ASSOCIATION CHARLOTTE AWARD

SPIKE is also nominated for the 2014 NYSRA Charlotte Award!

As Charlotte would say,

For more information and how to vote, click here.

It's been a busy month of panel discussions, school visits and book signings!

 

 

 

Author Melissa Stewart introduces Leslie Bulion, Carol Peacock, Melissa Sweet and me

at SCBWI's educator's event at the Eric Carle Museum. Thanks to Dr. Grace Enriquez,

Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy at Lesley University, for putting together

a fabulous teacher's guide to our books! You can find her ideas and resources

for teaching SPIKE, THE MIXED-UP MONSTER on The Classroom Bookshelf.

 

Our panel was followed by Holly Berry, Leda Schubert

and Tanya Lee Stone talking about their picture book biographies.

 

Celebrated Earth Day at the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium

in CT where I got to talk about SPIKE with live visual aids—

the aquarium's real axolotls!

 

 

BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR LIST

Thank you to the Cooperative Children's Book Center

for naming both SPIKE, THE MIXED-UP MONSTER

and THE TOOTH MOUSE to its 2013 best-books-of-

the-year list!

 

CCBC Choices 2013 includes full annotations,

age recommendations, and author/title and subject

indices. It also includes a brief commentary on the

2012 publishing year. Get your copy here.

 

UPCOMING APPEARANCES

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Join me, Melissa Sweet and six other authors!

SCBWI and Lesley University present
From Creative Process to Curriculum Connections:
Children's Books in the Classroom

10:00 am - 3:30 pm

 

This program, intended for teachers, librarians, and other educators,

features eight New England-based children's book authors and illustrators.

Panels focused on fiction, picture book biographies, and the craft of research

and writing will provide educators with plenty of ideas they can take back

to their classrooms. A book sale and signing will round out the day.

Registration includes Museum Admission.

 

 To register, download the following registration form and submit with

 payment to SCBWI: SCBWI Registration Form

 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Greenwich Academy Book Fair

200 North Maple Avenue

Greenwich, CT 06830

2:00 pm

 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Meet the axolotls—the real animals behind SPIKE, THE MIXED-UP MONSTER!

I'll be speaking at 10:30 am and 11:30 pm.

Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

10 North Water Street

Norwalk, CT 06854

203/852-0700

www.maritimeaquarium.org

 

LETTERS FROM KIDS

I love hearing from readers. Here's just one

of 22 thank you letters I received after a recent

school visit. I particularly like Will's vote of confidence,

since I've never written a chapter book before!

 

Other comments from other letters:

"I admire how you kept editing and editing and

editing when you were writing the story!" —Sean

 

"It made me feel very warm when you smiled. I

forgot to tell you but every month I make a family

newspaper. In the March issue, I added THE TOOTH

MOUSE review!" —Ruthie

 

"One of my favorite parts was when Sophie did

a jeté. I do ballet and we do jetés, too!  —Lanie

 

"I hope to become an illustrator and a writer when

I grow up like you." —Lila

 

"Can you write a story about the tooth pig?" —Colin

 


 

BUDDING AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS

At a school visit today, fourth grader Lila greeted me

with her recreation of this scene from THE TOOTH MOUSE.

I was impressed! Turns out Lila is also working a

comic book with friends and that many other kids

in the class have picture books, chapter books and

a play in the works! Here's to creative writing making

a comeback in the schools! Thanks to Jack, his mom

and Miss C. for having me.

 

AUTHORS LOVE SANDY HOOK

A huge shout-out to Marc Tyler Nobleman who organized

a day I and my fellow authors and illustrators will

never forget. With the help of Isabel Almeida from the

United Way, Sandy Hook School Librarian Yvonne Cech

and many others, Marc gathered 12 kidlit authors and

illustrators to visit the school for its first school assembly

since the tragedy. Billed as a type of "Authors Got Talent"

Variety Show, we spoke (joked, read, drew, sang) first at

Sandy Hook and then split up into smaller groups

to visit the three other Newtown Elementary Schools.

The day was a blessed reminder to ALL of us that

despite everything, there are still puppets and poetry,

ducks and dinosaurs, songs and silliness, laughs and

lovely everyday fun. See more photos and read about how

the day happened (and how it almost didn't!) on Marc's blog

Noblemania and hear a podcast courtesy of Katie Davis. It

was an honor and a joy to be a part of this.

 Back row (l to r): Alan Katz, Bruce Degen, Tad Hills, Katie Davis,

 Vincent X. Kirsch, Bob Shea, Meghan McCarthy. Front row (l to r):

 me, Mike Rex, Tracy Dockray, Marc Tyler Nobleman, Daniel Kirk.

 

LOST A TOOTH?

Make your own Tooth Mouse Tooth Pouch to tuck under your pillow!

To download the pattern for this and a Baby Tooth Tracker, click here.

 

Psst: The Tooth Mouse Tooth Pouch works for Tooth Fairy visits, too!

 

THE TOOTH FAIRY MEETS THE TOOTH MOUSE

It's National Children's Dental Health Month. Thanks to Ellie and Ashley for

these wonderful pictures. To see more from the Holland Hill Brownie Troop,

click here.

 

 

BOOK NEWS FOR THE NEW YEAR

 

"HIGHLY COMMENDED"

Over the moon to be included in the Charlotte Zolotow Award

Committe's list of "Highly Commended" Picture Books of 2013.

Such an honor! I remember reading WILLIAM'S DOLL for the first

time. It showed me the power of picture books. Congratulations

to Jacqueline Woodson and all the other winners listed

here. For the CCBC's review of SPIKE, click here.

 

SPIKE'S IN "THE PICNIC BASKET"

Thanks to Deborah Sloan for serving up the story behind

SPIKE, THE MIXED-UP MONSTER in The Picnic Basket, 

her "delicious blog for librarians, teachers and other gluttons

for good books." School and library professionals, you can

whet your appetite with a FREE review copy. Read the book,

then post your reviews on the blog for your colleagues

to read. First-come, first-served! (And scroll down to see

the September blog post about THE TOOTH MOUSE.)

 

USING PICTURE BOOKS IN THE CLASSROOM

Melissa Sweet and I will be speaking at the Eric Carle Museum

on Saturday, March 23, along with six other authors and illustrators

in a program called From Creative Process to Curriculum Connections.

Intended for teachers, librarians and other educators, panels focused on fiction,

picture book biographies and the craft of research and writing will provide

plenty of ideas to take back to the classroom. For more information and

registration, click here.

 

A LOOSE TOOTH KIT!

How cute is this?

If you know a child about to lose a tooth, ROMP store offers

THE TOOTH MOUSE complete with a ballerina mouse and a sweet

tooth box. To order, click here.

THE SEASON'S BURNING QUESTION

“How do I choose a book as a gift for a kid

I don’t know very well or see very often?"

Lisa Von Drasek, former librarian for New York’s

Bank Street College of Education, answers that

question on EarlyWord: "For young children,

we want picture books with writing that sings,

outstanding art that expands on the words,

and stories or information that are developmentally

appropriate." See all of Lisa's picks "for the family

with the new baby, the grandchildren who live

across the country, the godchildren who have

arrived for the weekend and to amaze your nieces and

nephews with your superior intuitive abilities, chosen

from the thousands of children’s books published this year."

 

SANTA CAME EARLY THIS YEAR

And he delivered the best present ever—a

lovely review of THE TOOTH MOUSE in

The New York Times! Pamela Paul

calls the book "charming" and says,

"these mice could even teach the tooth fairy

 a thing or two." Read the entire review here.

 

HOLIDAY READINGS AND SIGNINGS

Saturday, December 1 at 12 noon

Barnes & Noble with Melissa Sweet

86th & Lexington Ave
150 East 86th Street,

New York, NY 10028

212-369-2180

http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4059015


Sunday, December 2 from 1-3pm

Books of Wonder with James Howe, Corey Rosen Schwartz,

Lane Smith, Bryan Collier, Melissa Sweet, Douglas Florian

and Michelle Knudsen

18 West 18th Street

New York, NY 10011

212/989-3270

http://www.booksofwonder.com/events.asp

 

Tuesday, December 4 at 2:15pm

Easton Public Library
691 Morehouse Road
Easton, Connecticut 06612

203/261-0134

www.eastonlibrary.org

 

Saturday, December 8 at 2pm

The Hickory Stick Bookshop

with Barbara McClintock

2 Green Hill Road

Washington Depot, CT 06794

860-868-0525

www.hickorystickbookshop.com

 

Monday, December 10 at 10am

Southport Congregational Church Preschool

524 Pequot Avenue

Southport, CT  06890

(203) 255 -1594

UPCOMING READINGS & SIGNINGS

 

NOVEMBER, 2012

Saturday, November 10 at 3pm

The Yale Bookstore

77 Broadway @ York Square
New Haven, CT 06511
203/777-8440

www.yale.bncollege.com


Sunday, November 11 at 11am

JOIN US AT THE CONNECTICUT CHILDREN'S BOOK FAIR!

This wonderful annual event is planned for this weekend,

November 10 and 11, in Storrs, CT. Excited, and yes, a little

starstruck to be in this esteemed company! I'll be presenting

on 11/ 11 at 11am.

 

 

Saturday, November 17 at 11am

The Greens Farms Academy Book Fair

Barnes & Noble

Post Plaza Shopping Center
1076 Post Road East
Westport, CT 06880

203/221-7955

 

Friday, November 30 from 1-4pm

The Fairfield Women’s Exchange

332 Pequot Avenue

Southport, CT 06890

203/259-5138

HALLOWEEN TREATS

                                         Little Red at the Watertown Library

 

                              Face paint, balloons and boo-ing at Milly's NYC

 

            Making lollipop spiders at the Fairfield University Bookstore

 

AXOLOTLS IN THE NEWS—"Mexico's Mythic Salamanders"

Here's the story behind the story of SPIKE, THE MIXED-UP MONSTER

reported in this New York Times article on October 31. Efforts to save the

axolotl are crucial to science and medicine because of the animal's

amazing power to regrow almost any body part—limbs, tail, internal organs,

even parts of its brain and spinal cord!

 

"WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING"

Neither rain nor wind nor gloom of night (nor power outages) can stay

some amazing bloggers from their posts. Kathy Temean conducted this

interview right before Hurricane Sandy!

 

STORY TIME

                                             Ellie reads aloud to baby brother James

 

NEW REVIEWS FOR SPIKE

"A CHARMER"

"Sometimes kindness trumps scariness when it comes to being an

effective monster. That's the theme of ... [this] slyly engaging

picture book. ... A charmer."  Thanks to Jenny Brown, children's editor

at Shelf Awareness, for this wonderful new review of SPIKE.

 

"TINY, BUT MIGHTY"

"...author and illustrator establish a tale of unlikely friendship, while inviting

young readers to consider what it means to have courage. ... Spike will delight

children with his tiny but mighty ways." —Angie Zapata in Booklist

 

 

BOO, MR. SCHU & AN INTERVIEW

Find out about my most beloved Halloween costume, see favorite spooky

stories and try my writing advice to second graders in this Q&A with Mr. Schu,

K-5 teacher-librarian and blogger at Watch. Connect. Read. 

 
"Reading is like a magic mirror. Look in a book and reflect on yourself."

"BRILLIANT!" SAYS THE JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD

So honored to have SPIKE listed with the likes of Mo Willems in

this article in School Library Journal"On the Radar: Top Picks

from the Editors at Junior Library Guild."

 

SPIKE'S BOOK BIRTHDAY IS TODAY — SEPTEMBER 25

                 A cake for SPIKE's launch baked by Karen Jordan, a friend and fellow author

 

Way back in summer of 2009, SPIKE, THE MIXED-UP MONSTER

went to auction with three publishing houses bidding. Heady stuff

for a new picture book author! 

 

When it came time to think about illustrators, our top pick was

Melissa Sweet, who had just won a Caldecott Honor Medal for

A RIVER OF WORDS: The Story of William Carlos Williams by

Jen Bryant. Given that award, Melissa was booked solid through

2009, 2010 and into 2011, but she said she was "over the moon

about Spike!" So we waited. And now the big day is here. It was

worth the wait!

 

CHILDREN'S BOOK DAY AT WASHINGTON IRVING'S SUNNYSIDE

Felt starstruck to be in the company of children's literature greats like

Jerry Pinkney, Peter Sis, and Ed Young (to name just a few) last Saturday

at this wonderful event organized by Susan Brandes and Beth Vetare Civitello.

How fitting that it was held at the Hudson River "cottage" of Washington Irving

(you know, author of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle"), the

first American to make a living solely from writing. A few tidbits about Irving:

 

* He first wrote under pen names, including Diedrich Knickerbocker. That last name

soon came to be was associated with "New Yorker" and that's where the Knicks

basketball team got their name!

 

* He was named after George Washington, who he met as a boy. The General

patted Irving's head and the author later joked that that's why he had a bald spot

there.

 

For more about kid-friendly tours of this historic house and a "Legend Days"

classroom curriculum guide, click here.

 

BOOKLIST'S REVIEW OF THE DAY — September 10

"How charming is this?" begins the starred review of THE TOOTH MOUSE

in today's "Review of the Day" featured on the home page of the

American Library Association's Booklist site. "..such a unique ending

that listeners and their parents will smile with the cleverness of it all."

 

THAT'S A WRAP!

Break out the candy corn! Our book trailer is out just in time for Halloween.

Thanks to all these sweet trick-or-treaters for just saying "BOO!"

 

MY BOOKS ON TV

Wow! I walked in the door from our lake vacation in Maine to find all three of my books

featured on News 12 Connecticut.

 

 

PAL AWARDS

Thanks to Play on Words speech and language expert Sherry Artemenko for

naming my books PAL (Play Advances Language) Award winners! The award

"recognizes exceptional toys, games and books that encourage language,

spark fun and invite creative play." What I love about Sherry is that she

selects her favorites and then tests them with kids. Here's what Sherry and

her young readers had to say about JUST SAY BOO, THE TOOTH MOUSE

and SPIKE, THE MIXED-UP MONSTER. 

 

BONJOUR, SOPHIE! THE TOOTH MOUSE IS HERE

Did you know that kids in France don't have a Tooth Fairy? They have a Tooth Mouse.

So do kids in Argentina, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Greece, Mexico, Russia,

South Africa, Spain and many other countries around the world. That's why I wrote

THE TOOTH MOUSE, just released August 1. "Beautifully executed," says Kirkus.

"Hood masterfully spins her story with lush language sprinkled with some French....

Readers will pour over the "exquisitely drawn details...." Here's a sneak peek!

 

 

 

STARRED REVIEW FOR BOO

More news! Jed Henry and I got a starred review for JUST SAY BOO! Thanks, Publishers Weekly!

See what they had to say here.

 

¡MUCHAS GRACIAS!

SPIKE, THE MIXED-UP MONSTER  was also named a Junior Library Guild selection for 2012.

To find out more, click here.

BOOK BIRTHDAY

JUST SAY BOO releases on July 24th. Find Halloween games and activities based on the book here.

JLG PICK

Many thanks to the Junior Library Guild for choosing THE TOOTH MOUSE as a 2012 Selection!

See more here.

Author Visits

I'd love to come to your event! Click here to contact me about scheduling a visit to your school, library, bookstore or book festival.

 

 

Download my Author Visit Brochure to get detailed information about my school and library presentations, along with testimonials and pricing.
Download Here.

Upcoming Events

  • Sunday, April 27, 2014

    Wakeman Town Farm Festival

    Join author/illustrator

    Lizzy Rockwell and me

    for a spring storytime

    and book signing

    down on the farm!

    134 Cross Highway

    Westport, CT 06880

    wakemantownfarm.org

    2:30pm to 4:00pm
  • Saturday, May 10, 2014

    Mother's Day Event

    Kids can celebrate spring with ROOTING FOR YOU and make a craft for Mother's Day gift-giving.

    Fairfield University Downtown Bookstore

    1499 Post Road

    Fairfield, CT 06824

    203/255-7756

    www.fairfieldbooks.bkstr.com

    4:00pm to 4:45pm
  • Monday, June 9, 2014

    Summer Reading

    Kickoff Presentation

    West Elementary School

    769 Ponus Ridge

    New Canaan, CT 06840

    203/594-4400

    http://www.newcanaan.k12.ct.us

    (All day)
  • Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014

    Princeton Children's

    Book Festival

    Thrilled to join Bryan Collier, Brian Floca, Greg Pizzoli, Chris Raschka, Jon Scieszka, Bob Shea, Dan Yaccarino, Jane Yolen and dozens of other kidlit luminaries at this festival!

    Princeton Public Library

    65 Witherspoon Street

    Princeton, NJ 08542

    (609) 924-9529

    http://www.princetonlibrary.org/find/kids/book-festival

    11:00am to 4:00pm
  • Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014

    2014 Chappaqua

    Children's Book Festival

    Join me and 70 other

    authors and illustrators

    at this spectacular fair!

    Robert E. Bell School

    50 Senter Street

    Chappaqua, NY 10514

    914/238-7202

    www.ccbfestival.org

    10:00am to 4:00pm