Thank You and Good Night: In Praise of Classic Bedtime Stories

Our son Jackson graduated from high school on Saturday. Cause for celebration, yes, but it also has me feeling a bit nostalgic. I love, respect and admire this young man who towers over me, and love that we can have adult conversations about all sorts of things—from news headlines to …

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Little Jumbo Cheers Up Dad (& the rest of us)

So, to follow up on Eliza’s last post about appealing anthropomorphic characters, have y’all met Little Jumbo? If not, get your hands on a copy of How to Cheer Up Dad by Fred Koehler (Dial, 2014). What’s so appealing about the little guy? For starters, he’s a bit naughty. Personally, I like …

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Debut Tuesday: Lucy Margaret Rozier & Jackrabbit McCabe

I love hearing people’s path-to-publication stories. I mean, who doesn’t love a tale of struggle, heartache, and resilience in overcoming steep odds? So when my friend Susie Wilde—writing coach, teacher, and Kid Lit Ambassador Extraordinaire—told me her student Lucy Rozier recently had her first book published, I knew I wanted her to visit …

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A Chat with Brooke Boynton Hughes (and a Book Giveaway!)

Three years ago, when Random House editor Maria Modugno was considering illustrators for my manuscript Henry Wants More!, she shared a sample of Brooke Boynton Hughes’s work.  Well, I was smitten. And I’m hardly alone in my admiration. Brooke has won SCBWI’s Mentorship Award and two Portfolio Honor Awards in …

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One Family: Counting & More (plus Giveaway Winners)

With the recent attacks in Paris—and chronic turmoil and violence elsewhere—I’ve been having bleak thoughts about humanity. How is peace possible when people have such deeply-ingrained beliefs and such intolerance for those who don’t share them? So I wanted to feature a hopeful book. At first glance, One Family (Frances Foster …

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A Visit with Kim Smith–and an OVER THE RIVER & THROUGH THE WOOD Giveaway!

Three years ago, my Sterling editor, Meredith Mundy, asked me to rewrite the holiday song Over the River and Through the Wood with “plenty of chaos and wackiness” as family members travel to Grandma’s house using various modes of transportation. We agreed that the characters should be a reflection of most …

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