A PEEK INSIDE
Here's an inside look at some of my favorite pages from MISSION: NEW BABY
in stores on February 24. Hats off to illustrator Mary Lundquist!
MISSION: NEW BABY Top Secret Info for Big Brothers and Sisters hits bookstore shelves on February 24. It's illustrated by the talented Mary Lundquist whose first book, CAT & BUNNY, was an Indie Next Pick. Click on the cover below to see all MISSION: NEW BABY reviews. Available for pre-order now.
A PEEK INSIDE
Here's an inside look at some of my favorite pages from MISSION: NEW BABY
in stores on February 24. Hats off to illustrator Mary Lundquist!
"OUR FAVORITE 101 CHILDREN'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR" Thanks to Librarians Matthew Winner and Cynthia Alaniz for including ROOTING FOR YOU in Katie Davis's podcast about the best books of 2014! Katie also provides a downloadable PDF of all the book titles here. Thanks, Katie! And congratulations to all the other authors and illustrators!
TIME TO JUST SAY BOO!
Happy Halloween to one and all!
Illustration from JUST SAY BOO by Jed Henry (HarperCollins)
THE BEST ILLUSTRATORS OF 2014
A highlight of the month was attending the Society of Illustrators
Original Art show where Lane Smith and Arnold Lobel were given
Lifetime Achievement Awards. I was lucky enough to interview
Arnold Lobel for a magazine many years ago. He is missed.
FALL IS HERE AND IT'S TIME FOR . . . BOOK FESTIVALS!
I look forward to these children's book events all year. First up:
Poster by my friend Dan Yaccarino!
Who else will be there? Check out the all-star lineup here.
Then next weekend, September 27, many of us get together
again for the Chappaqua Children's Book Festival, in
Chappaqua, NY. Click here to see the list of more than 80
favorite authors and illustrators reading and signing their books.
This is going to be fun!
Poster by Matthew Van Fleet
SLIDING THROUGH SUMMER
Wow, where did the last two months go? July and August have been a rush of writing, revising (and revising and revising), looking at illustrations, traveling, and sailing. Highlights were sailing to Martha's Vineyard and a trip to Toronto where I got to visit my friends at Kids Can Press, publisher of THE TOOTH MOUSE and my new book TICKLY TOES. Every office should be this much fun!
NEW WORK AHEAD
Feeling excited and challenged as I work on my first nonfiction picture book. Immersed in research and busy setting up interviews right now. More news to come!
In the meantime, I'm thrilled to provide a sneak peek of my new baby board book called TICKLY TOES (see cover above), available August 1 from Kids Can Press. With pictures by French illustrator Barroux, this book is a celebration of baby's first playthings—her toes—and her first success—getting those toes into her mouth!
Kirkus says, the "rhymes beg to be read aloud as they speak directly to the baby in the story and to little listeners snuggled up for a bedtime story and perhaps a toe-tickling of their own. A lovely addition to the bedtime storybook shelf." For the full review, click here.
THANKS TO THE NEW YORK TIMES!
In 2012, The New York Times was kind enough to review my book THE TOOTH MOUSE online and it was such a thrill! It was a big, beautiful article for which I am so grateful.
So why is it that a tiny blurb in the print version of the Sunday Book Review is so exciting? I think it was this quote: "ROOTING FOR YOU is a cheerful alternative to Dr. Seuss's OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!" And if that wasn't enough, I get to share the page with my old friend Sarah Albee from Sesame Street.
ON THE ROAD
April was a blur of author visits and I have to thank each and every school, bookstore and book festival for inviting me. A highlight was a two-day gig at Miller Driscoll in Wilton, CT: 2 days, 8 presentations, 900+ kids!
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:
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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-
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.
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
Greenwich Academy Book Fair
200 North Maple Avenue
Greenwich, CT 06830
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
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
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,
BOOK NEWS FOR THE NEW YEAR
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
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
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
Tuesday, December 4 at 2:15pm
Easton Public Library
691 Morehouse Road
Easton, Connecticut 06612
Saturday, December 8 at 2pm
The Hickory Stick Bookshop
with Barbara McClintock
2 Green Hill Road
Washington Depot, CT 06794
Monday, December 10 at 10am
Southport Congregational Church Preschool
524 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT 06890
(203) 255 -1594
UPCOMING READINGS & SIGNINGS
Saturday, November 10 at 3pm
The Yale Bookstore
77 Broadway @ York Square
New Haven, CT 06511
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
Friday, November 30 from 1-4pm
The Fairfield Women’s Exchange
332 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT 06890
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"
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!
Ellie reads aloud to baby brother James
NEW REVIEWS FOR SPIKE
"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
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
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.
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
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.
SPIKE, THE MIXED-UP MONSTER was also named a Junior Library Guild selection for 2012.
To find out more, click here.
JUST SAY BOO releases on July 24th. Find Halloween games and activities based on the book here.
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.
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