Back to School with Busy Bus & an interview with Jody Jensen Shaffer!

Think writing a simple concept book is easy? Not. First, you have to come up with a topic to capture the interest of preschoolers. Then you have to get into the head space and emotions of a three or four year old. Always, you’re reminding yourself to keep it simple …

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Russell Wrestles the Relatives + interview w/Cindy Chambers Johnson & giveaway!

A few years back, I was given the happy opportunity to mentor Cindy Chambers Johnson through SCBWI-IA’s mentorship program. She was hugely talented, but she was also witty and charming and soon felt like a friend. So I couldn’t be more excited about her debut picture book, RUSSELL WRESTLES THE …

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HAWK RISING, an interview with Maria Gianferrari, + a giveaway!

Maria Gianferrari has another beautiful nature book hitting shelves this Friday, Hawk Rising (Roaring Brook Press, illus by Brian Floca). I started writing this post three or four times, but I kept getting hung up … where to begin, where to begin…  because the book has so many great elements …

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MOUSELING’S WORDS, + an interview with author Shutta Crum

If you’re longtime followers here, you may recognize this little story, because I’ve probably talked about it before. But I can remember the lightbulb moment (more like lightning!), as a little kindergartener, sitting in my small green chair, when I suddenly comprehended that letters could be put together to form …

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Behind the Scenes w/HOW TO GROW A DINOSAUR + a giveaway!

Mike Boldt and I have a new book entering the world TODAY. The flap copy sums it up beautifully… GOOD NEWS! Your mom’s hatching a baby! BAD NEWS! Babies take their sweet time. And when they finally do hatch? They don’t even know how to be a dinosaur. That’s where …

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Hoot & Honk Just Can’t Sleep + Giveaway x 3!

I love rhyming stories that employ brevity. I love colorful artwork. I love stories that provide talking points between reader and listener(s). Leslie Helakoski’s Hoot & Honk Just Can’t Sleep delivers all three. And look at this beeee-yootiful cover! A storm upsets two nests,  a goose’s and an owl’s. Each …

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Let’s Go Pick a Pine Tree (or put on your lucky elf hat and maybe you’ll win one)!

Johnny Mathis crooning The Christmas Song My mom’s Russian Tea Cake cookies The lumpy Santa’s face pillow that’s been propped atop my parents’ sofa every December as far back as I can remember. Those things are guaranteed to put me into a mellow Christmas mood. This year, I’m excited to add …

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Happy Halloween, Frankenbunny!

When my kids were little, one of the picture books they particularly loved was Nancy Carson’s Loud-Mouth George & the Sixth-Grade Bully. As I turned pages, getting closer and closer to the moment the bully got his comeuppance, they’d be leaning into me, practically clapping, gleefully anticipating that page turn. …

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