home books etc visits about contact EDITING SERVICES blog

SCBWI Summer Reading List 2016 now available!

Hey, everyone!

It’s almost summer, so it’s time to get your reading list pile started. Here to help is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and their summer reading list! It’s compiled by geographic region, so if you want to know what’s being published in your neck of the woods, use the Table of Contents to direct you to the right page. Or just thumb through the entire list for great books for babies through young adults. And most of all, enjoy your summer reads!

P.S. My book, THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLED, (Simon & Schuster) is on page 46. 🙂



Clubhouse Jr Publications

Happy Spring, Everyone!

In my neck of the woods, the sun is shining, there’s a light breeze, and baseball is in the air. What could be better?

I’ve had the good fortune of having two pieces published lately by Clubhouse Jr. In the March 2016 issue, my poem “Easter Hope” was printed. And today I received complimentary copies of the April issue with my rebus “Sandbox Day.” Fun!

I hope your spring is filled with hope and sandboxes and maybe even a little baseball.


Interview on author Barb Kramer’s blog

Happy March, Everyone!

I’m delighted to tell you that children’s author and blogger, Barb Kramer, has posted an interview with me today on her blog. We chat about my recent nonfiction biographies of Frederick Douglass and Sequoyah, among other projects, including my upcoming book about the history of cookies and my forthcoming picture books. It was great fun to chat with Barb. Stop by and give it a read, then let Barb and me know what you think!


Have a great day!




I’ve got something delicious to show you. The cover of my new book from Simon & Schuster, THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLED!

It’s all about the history of cookies. Scrumptious! It will be available July 5.

Here’s a description from my publisher’s website:

C is for cookie in this fact-tastic nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read that explores the history of cookies, part of a series about the history of fun stuff!

Did you know that Queen Elizabeth I used to have gingerbread cookies molded into the shapes of her favorite advisors? Or that Girl Scouts used to bake the cookies they sold themselves? Or that if you stacked all the Oreos ever made, they would reach to the moon and back five times? Become a History of Fun Stuff Expert on the super-sweet history of cookies and amaze your friends with all you’ve learned in this fun, fact-filled Level 3 Ready-to-Read!

A special section at the back of the book includes Common Core–vetted extras on subjects like science, social studies, and math, and there’s even a fun quiz so readers can test themselves to see what they’ve learned! Learning history has never been so much fun!

Two new books from Lerner! What’s Your Story, Frederick Douglass? and What’s Your Story, Sequoyah?

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

In the warm before the cold a couple days ago, my two newest books from Lerner Publishing landed on my doorstep: What’s Your Story, Frederick Douglass? and What’s Your Story, Sequoyah? Such fascinating men, both of whom fought for the rights of their people. Douglass for African Americans during the 1800s, and Sequoyah for the Cherokee and American Indian tribes. The books look great! I hope your library or school gets a copy.

“Koala Wanted” poem in Highlights, Dec 2015

Highlights Magazine

Hi, everyone,

Good news! My sleepy koalas have found their way to Highlights! Thanks, Joelle and the Highlights team, and thanks, Jess von Innerebner, for such an adorable illustration!

Please check out Jess’s other work here, http://www.jessvoni.com/published-works/jgtrl9sdv3823vomtv9j1jkg24bn0x.

Take care!

Please indulge me for a minute…



                                      KANSAS CITY ROYALS


                                             THE WORLD SERIES!!!

We’re huge baseball fans at my house, and following the Royals through the World Series was the most fun we’ve had in a long time. My family and I attended the parade in downtown Kansas City today, and it was a huge blast!

Here’s a great overview of the day’s events. Enjoy!


River Read Update–with Pictures!

What a great day to be a Pirate!

River Read was a huge success, thanks to the hard work of Shannon Cuff, her staff, and the Park students who ushered everyone around and made sure all the technology worked.

And thanks to the kids and teachers. You were great! Wish I’d gotten a picture or two of us.

Here are a few of the authors who participated in today’s event (photo credit: Natasha Hanova).

(l to r, Susan Schank, Ann Ingalls, me, Lisa McCormick, Mary Schulte, Debra McArthur)

(l to r, Susan Schank, Natasha Hanova, me, Lisa McCormick, Mary Schulte, Debra McArthur)

Park University’s River Read is Coming!

Hey Everyone,

Park University’s River Read is just around the corner–October 13, 2015–and I’m excited! River Read is a day-long event for 4th graders in the area to gather at Park University and interact with authors of children’s literature. Students will learn about writing fiction, nonfiction, the difference among genres, and more.

I’ll be participating for the fourth year, and I can’t wait to see the kids, their teachers, and parents! My session is called Creating Great Characters. We’re going to talk about how writers develop characters their readers care about. What makes fictional characters memorable? How they look? How they speak? How can you tell Henry from Mudge in the text?

I’ll try to post a picture or two afterwards. See you soon!



Look what the UPS man brought me!

Laura Sassi’s darling new picture book, GOODNIGHT, MANGER [Zonderkidz], illustrated by Jane Chapman [The Bear books]! It’s all about trying to get a good night’s sleep in a really busy stable, and it’s darling. The rhyming text is sweet and funny; the illustrations are huggable and witty.

Please go buy yourself a copy when it releases on October 6, 2015. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for the baby in your life.

home books etc visits about contact News blog