DARING DOZEN (+Giveaway)

Do you know how many people have walked on the moon? (Hint: check out the post title.) That’s right! Only twelve astronauts—ever—have visited our beautiful moon. You’ve probably heard a lot about the moon’s first guests, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and their famous Apollo 11 landing. Yet most people …

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An Inconvenient Alphabet + An Interview w/Author Beth Anderson + a Giveaway!

I’m excited today to talk about Beth Anderson’s debut picture book, AN INCONVENIENT ALPHABET. This one had me at the cover. But when I got a look inside, word nerd me was absolutely bowled over. What struck me about this book—other than the delightful story itself and the lively, detail-packed …

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A Deep Conversation with Illustrator and Author Katherine Roy

A few weeks back, I was fortunate to interview Katherine Roy, author and illustrator of the Sibert Honor Book Neighborhood Sharks and her title from this past spring, How To Be An Elephant. And also (lucky me!) my partner as illustrator of our upcoming picture book Otis & Will Discover the …

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Sculpting a Picture Book (& A Double Giveaway!)

I’ve wrestled with my fair share of picture book manuscripts. A “brilliant” idea at 9 a.m. that falls apart by noon. That wonderful first sentence that pops up while making coffee, only to fade to confusion an hour later in the shower. An entire book theme that carries through perfectly, …

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MARGARET AND THE MOON: A very nice nonfiction addition

Margaret and tte Moon

When the movie “Hidden Figures” came out last year, chronicling the roles three African-American women played in NASA during the space race, I liked it so much, I watched it twice. So, I was predisposed to like MARGARET AND THE MOON  (Alfred Knopf, 2017), a picture book written by Dean …

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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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DAD AND THE DINOSAUR dazzles — for readers and writers

Dad and the Dinosaur

Recurring elements are one of my favorite features in picture books. Picture books are shorter affairs, so the writer has to fit a plot into a tighter-than-normal space. To make the story hang together and feel like a coherent whole, there often are words, phrases or themes that repeat throughout …

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