Over the years, I have bonded with Kelly Starling Lyons through a sisterhood of storytelling and Syracuse University (SU). We graduated from college in the 90s, and we both studied magazine journalism at SU’s Newhouse School. One of our professors was the great Bill Glavin, an angel of a professor who loved words and the power of story. Bill passed away in 2010, and we are grateful to have known him.
Many years after college, Kelly and I connected and got to know each other when we began writing children’s books. It has been a joy to stay in touch and discuss our passion for family stories and children’s literature.
We both love this inspiring Toni Morrison quote – “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” Yes!
Kelly has published a lovely variety of children’s books celebrating positivity and hope – books that offer wonderful inspiration as we head toward a new year. Some examples:
Kelly grew up in Pittsburgh surrounded by stories. Her mother wrote plays and acted in local theaters. She made up bedtime tales for Kelly and her brother and took them to children’s theater productions. Kelly also loved going to her local Carnegie Library.
Kelly says, “My favorite spot to read was snuggled behind my bedroom door with my feet warmed by the heat from the radiator grate. I lost and found myself over and over in the pages of books.”
As an adult, Kelly was working as a magazine editor when she saw a picture book called SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL, written by Sharon Dennis Wyeth and illustrated by Chris Soenpiet. That impactful book inspired Kelly to add her voice to children’s books. Here’s to the power of picture books!
TY’S TRAVELS, written by Kelly and illustrated by Nina Mata, is an exciting new early reader series with HarperCollins.
Ty is a character with a big imagination who transforms the ordinary into something extra special. In TY’S TRAVELS ALL ABOARD! Ty’s family members are busy before dinnertime. So, Ty gets creative and let’s his imagination soar.
My favorite elements of this book include:
- Pleasing repetition: Ty asks each family member to play with him. He repeats the question and readers can see the answer on the next page.
- Endearing character and joyous illustrations: Facial expressions capture Ty’s joy and energy – from the sparkle in his eye to the way he smiles
- Sweet story with simple language: Readers will want to find out what Ty will do and where he will go with his new train. I can’t spoil it. Get this book to find out!
Along with ALL ABOARD, TY’S TRAVELS ZIP ZOOM also debuted in September 2020. Ty wants to ride his brand-new scooter at the park. And six more books in this charming series are on the way!
For a chance to win a copy of TY’s TRAVELS ALL ABOARD!, leave a comment by December 20. I’ll announce the randomly-selected winner in my January 2021 post.
Congratulations to Annette Pierce for winning an advance copy of my next book, FLYING HIGH: THE STORY OF GYMNASTICS CHAMPION SIMONE BILES.
Happy Holidays to all & see you in the new year!