New Release! DANGEROUS JANE (+ giveaways)

Exciting news! My picture book biography about Jane Addams, DANGEROUS JANE (illustrated by Alice Ratterree) releases from Peachtree Publishers September 1st — just in time for Jane’s birthday on September 6th! So I’d like to celebrate Ms. Addams by sharing a bit of my research, interviewing illustrator Alice Ratterree, and offering a …

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NextGen Picture Book Writers!

Last weekend I had the privilege of meeting many talented young writers who’d created their own picture books, and other types of books, at the 43rd Annual Illinois Young Authors Conference (Yes, the 43rd!) This fantastic event celebrated exceptional writers in grades Kindergarten through 8th who’d won writing contests at their schools. (Each …

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Book Release: OUT OF SCHOOL AND INTO NATURE (+Book Giveaway!)

Today I’m excited to introduce Anna Comstock, the pioneering scientist featured in my newest book — OUT OF SCHOOL AND INTO NATURE (Illus. by Jessica Lanan.) Anna was an important role model who boldly changed the “rules” of her day by proving that women could be researchers, scientists, and even …

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THE MUSIC IN GEORGE’S HEAD Release! (+ Giveaways)

Big news! My new picture book, THE MUSIC IN GEORGE’S HEAD: GEORGE GERSHWIN CREATES RHAPSODY IN BLUE, releases from Calkins Creek today. George Gershwin’s birthday is also this month (Sept. 26), so I’m glad you stopped by to celebrate this incredible composer/pianist. You can also find out where the idea for this story came from, …

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Illustrating THE INVENTOR’S SECRET—A Book Give-Away!!!!! And Suzanne’s Winners Announced!

Charlesbridge Publishing contacted me in June, of 2013 to ask if I would illustrate a non-fiction picture book written by our very own, spectacular, Suzanne Slade. The book is titled, THE INVENTOR’S SECRET, WHAT THOMAS EDISON TOLD HENRY FORD. In this 48 page non-fiction picture book, Suzanne shares the story of Thomas Edison’s successes and Henry …

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The Secret is Out: The Inventor’s Secret releases today (plus a unique give-away!)

Okay, so what are the odds? I post once a month on Picture Book Builders, and this month my turn fell on September 8, the release date of my newest book, The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford.  (By the way, my son calculated the odds of this …

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Building a Book — To the Printer We Go!

For this Picture Book Builders post, I thought it would be fun to take a look at how picture books are actually “built,” or printed and bound. I’ve wondered about this process for years (and have been asked about it many times during school visits) so I was excited when I …

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Thinking About the Common Core

On a recent school visit, a Media Specialist asked how I thought the Common Core State Standards have affected children’s authors. Mmmmm … interesting question. As most everyone knows, the Common Core State Standards emphasize the importance of students reading nonfiction books (called “informational text,” which includes biographies and autobiographies, …

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