On Departures, Arrivals & Imperfection (plus PHOEBE DUPREE IS COMING TO TEA giveaway)


In my first post of 2021, I wrote about the importance of making space for new things. And so, after more than six years and nearly 80 posts, I’m stepping away from PBB. I’m grateful to Jill Esbaum for inviting me to join this effort, to the talented authors and illustrators I’ve interviewed over the years, and to my fellow bloggers, who’ve introduced me to some wonderful books and inspiring creators. And, of course, to all of YOU! Thank you so much for reading the blog and taking the time to comment—it really means a lot to hear from you.

I’m happy to report that author Kim Norman will be taking my place. I’ve enjoyed Kim’s clever and musical books so much over the years, some of which have been featured here at PBB. She’s a master of the rollicking read aloud, a school visit expert, and I know she’ll bring a fresh and lively perspective to the blog.

But before I go . . . I’m doing a final giveaway to celebrate the publication of my 40th picture book. PHOEBE DUPREE IS COMING TO TEA!, illustrated by Alea Marley, will be published by Candlewick June 1st. It’s about budding friendships, high expectations and accidental mayhem—and about rebounding when things don’t go as planned. 

Here’s a quick preview. Abby thinks her new friend Phoebe is perfect.

So she wants everything to be perfect when she invites Phoebe to tea.  

When things go disastrously awry, Abby is certain the friendship is doomed.

But sometimes a big mess can lead to the start of something much better.

Kirkus called it “Funny, subtly empowering, and sweet.”

As usual, leave a comment below for the chance to win a copy. And, speaking of giveaways, the winner of MOO-MOO, I LOVE YOU from my interview with Tom Lichtenheld was Stephanie Amargi. 

I’ll miss seeing you here each month and hope we can connect elsewhere. Although I’m not a consistent presence on social media, I do have Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook accounts, so please look for me there. You can more reliably find me at my website, where you can sign up for occasional emails with info on classes, events, new books and writing tips. Hope to see you there.

Thanks so much for reading over the years. It’s been a pleasure to be part of this creative and enthusiastic book-loving community!

Wishing you the best in all things creative and otherwise—


*** Giveaway ***

To win a copy of PHOEBE DUPREE IS COMING TO TEA!, leave a comment below by May 30th. I’ll email the randomly selected winner the following week.

Linda Ashman

Linda Ashman is the author of more than 45 picture books, as well as The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books, a how-to guide for picture book writers. Her books have been included on the ‘best of the year’ lists of The New York Times, Kirkus Reviews, the American Library Association, the Children’s Book Council, and The New York Public Library, among others, and have been translated into many languages.


  1. Congrats, Linda on this newest book! We will miss your posts, but making room for new things is always important. PHOEBE sounds like a great book – we all have that friend we want things to be perfect or (or mother-in-law.) LOL

  2. Debra Kempf Shumaker

    Oh, this book sounds so sweet. Can’t wait to read it!

    And YAY for you and your new endeavors though I will miss you here on the PBB!

  3. All the best for the new things, Linda. Phoebe Dupreee looks like a fun read. I love that it is in rhyme.

  4. Your story sounds as perfect as Phoebe! Congratulations and best of luck in your new endeavors.

  5. This book looks adorable! Congrats on #40. Wow!

  6. Love your book. We will miss your posts. All the best Linda in your future endeavors.:)

  7. This looks adorable! Congratulations!

  8. Bon voyage, Linda. May your future be perfect!

  9. You will be missed on PBB. Your new book looks adorable, and I’m always impressed by rhyme. Can’t wait to see it!

  10. Congratulations on another fun book, Linda! What an accomplishment–40 published books! Amazing!

  11. Becky Scharnhorst

    This book looks and sounds delightful! Wishing you all the best with your new endeavors!

  12. Linda, I’ve followed your rhyming pbs for several years and used them as mentor texts! You’re the best!

  13. Virginia Garcia

    Oh my goodness! This is a precious book. The rhyming flows beautifully, while delivering a special message. I love it!

  14. Wow, this book seems perfect! Thanks for sharing and best of luck.

  15. Linda, you will be missed! I have enjoyed your posts over the years. Best wishes in your new endeavors!

    And congratulations on your newest book! It looks delightful! Amazing rhythm and rhyme and the story looks so sweet. Thank you again for all you do for the kid lit community! 🙂

  16. As a perfectionist myself, I can totally relate!

  17. Oh I’m so sad to see you go!!!

  18. What a sweet and fun book! Congrats and best wishes in all your new endeavors!

  19. Congrats on your 40th book! Thanks for spending time talking to us and teaching us through PBB.

  20. Linda, I’ll miss seeing you here but hope to see you in the flesh in 2022 at the Carolinas conference. It seems like a long way off but judging from how quickly time is flying, it’ll be a blink. Until then, thank you for all you’ve shared and a hearty congratulations on the publication of Phoebe Dupree is Coming to Tea! What a sweet and delightful story.

  21. Congratulations on your 40th book. Good luck on your next venture.

  22. This one looks amazing, Linda!
    You are a tough contributor to lose. 🙁 BEST of luck always, and I’m looking forward to your guest posts!

    • Thanks for bringing me in as one of the inaugural bloggers! You’ve built something really impressive here, and I’ve learned so much. Stay in touch! (And, yes, happy to guest post on occasion!)

  23. Phoebe was a *tough* name to learn how to pronounce when I was a kid! I love that kinds will learn it in this sweet rhyming tale!

    Wiil miss your posts but wish you all the best! Grateful that I have so many of your books to turn to for inspiration.

    • Ha! You’re so right about the challenging spelling/pronunciation. Thanks so much for the kind words and for being a regular here–always great to “see” you!!

  24. Danielle Hammelef

    Wishing you the best in your future pursuits! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this tea tale with a twist for mentor text and sharing too.

  25. Lisa Frenkel Riddiough

    Congratulations on your new book, Linda! And best wishes for all your future plans!!

  26. This tea party looks delightful and really fun to read. Thank you for all your posts. Best Wishes

  27. Such a darling book!

  28. Chris Whitlock

    Heidi should be sitting with them. She will be in love with this book.

  29. This book looks awfully cute. Thanks for the post.

  30. Thanks for sharing so many good stories with us.

  31. Another classic! I’d love to win, Linda.

  32. This book looks like a complete winner! It’s something that even adults need reminders about! I know how I want my dinner parties to be absolutely perfect, but in reality, my guests wouldn’t even notice if my centerpiece was off kilter!

  33. Thank you for all you’ve shared!

  34. Congratulations, Linda! Forty picture books is an amazing milestone. This book looks delightful, and I look forward to reading it.

  35. Linda, your new book looks lovely. Congrats on all the books and rhyme on!

  36. Congratulations on your 40th book. Wow! This looks really cute!

  37. Aimee Satterlee

    Congratulations on 40 books published! What an accomplishment! You will be missed here but we wish you well on all of your endeavors!

  38. Your book looks delightful, Linda! Thanks for all your wonderful posts for PBB. Best wishes on your future endeavors!

  39. Congrats Linda! Your 40th looks fabulous. What a sweet book.

  40. Zachary Snyder

    Oh wow, this book looks so fun! My twins would love it!

  41. “Phoebe Dupree looks just like me” my little one this morning…

  42. Doreen Robinson

    This story looks hilarious – and who doesn’t love a tea party with a side of mayhem? Congrats on the new book, Linda!

  43. Claire W Bobrow

    I enjoy your books so much and will miss your posts here! Good luck with your future pursuits and congrats on Phoebe Dupree – it looks absolutely adorable!

  44. Angie Quantrell

    Linda! Thanks for all you’ve shared with us! Best wishes for your future endeavors. I love stories about tea parties, so I can’t wait to read Phoebe Dupree. Congratulations!

  45. Rebecca Levington

    This book looks adorable and YAY for more rhyming books! You are an inspiration. Good luck with whatever and wherever tomorrow takes you!

  46. Annette Pierce

    This is a wonderful new book! It would be fun to pair with Teatime Around the World by Denyse Waissbluth!

  47. Thank you for sharing with PBB and congratulations on your new book. Love that it rhymes!

  48. Wow. Linda, this looks enchanting. Thank you for sharing this gem and all of your previous wisdom. Best wishes in all your other endeavors.

  49. What a fun way to approach perfectionism. I’ve learned so much from your posts and your books. Good luck with your new projects!

  50. This book sounds adorable! Can’t wait to read it.

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