home books etc visits about contact EDITING SERVICES blog

A Box of Healthy Books

Hey, all,

Look what arrived on my doorstep last week–my latest titles from Amicus: INSIDE MY HEART, INSIDE MY LUNGS, and INSIDE MY MUSCLES.

Narrated by characters students will identify with, these super-informative books take readers on a journey inside their bodies. Eye-catching illustrations bring the texts to life.

Check out this description of the Inside My Body series on Amicus’ website:


Thanks, Amicus!

“Scarecrow’s Restaurant” in October Highlights magazine

Yay! My most recent poem is on page 7 in the October 2015 Highlights magazine. Such great art by the talented Luke Flowers!

Thanks, Highlights!


Hey Everyone,

Remember in early May when Marilou Reeder stopped by and told us about her picture book, THE DARING PRINCE DASHING?

Well now she’s got an awesome Kirkus review to show you! The part I especially like is when they acknowledge that Reeder’s heroine “isn’t in need of saving.” Princess Power!

Read the full review below.


Congratulations, Marilou!

Readers, you can visit Marilou on Twitter @MarilouReeder.

Smart, Fierce, Amazing (Kids and) Animals!

I had a great time recently talking with kids and their caregivers about smart, fierce, and amazing animals at the Mid-Continent Public Library in Liberty, Missouri. We’re just about to make grizzly bear claws!

Speaking Engagements

Hey, everyone,

I had the opportunity to speak to some great kids and their adults last Thursday, June 25 at the South Independence Mid-Continent Public Library. We talked about SMART, FIERCE, AMAZING ANIMALS, including chimpanzees, grizzly bears, and bearded dragons. The kids asked great questions and really had fun making their own four-inch long bear claws.

I’ll be presenting the same program at 1:00pm on Wednesday, July 8 at the Blue Ridge Mid-Continent Public Library in Kansas City, Missouri and at 10am on July 13 at the Liberty Mid-Continent Public Library in Liberty, Missouri. I hope you can join me to learn about these interesting animals!

Also on July 13 at 2:30pm, I’ll be reading a portion of Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD at Barnes & Noble’s Zona Rosa location in Kansas City, Missouri. You can read more about the Read-A-Thon here.

I hope to see you at one of these upcoming events!

Take care,


Critique Across Missouri

Hey, everyone,

Last week I had the opportunity to host four other picture book writers in my home to talk picture books. What fun!

We discussed characterization, pacing, story problems, illustration, the rule of three, emotional resonance, and lots more. We critiqued one another’s work and even heard a couple of original songs by one of the attendees.

The event was called Critique Across Missouri, and it was organized by Kim Piddington, Missouri’s RA for SCBWI. Several groups held similar sessions all over the state.

Thanks, Kim, for getting us started, and thanks to those of you who sat around my kitchen table last Wednesday morning!

Sue Gallion, Ann Ingalls, Shelly Long, Luanne Marten

“Fast Food” in Highlights for Children

Hey, everyone,

Good news! My nonfiction poem, “Fast Food,” is on page 19 of the July Highlights for Children. It’s about the harpy eagle. Talk about fast! If you’re not a Highlights’ subscriber, check out a copy at your local library.

Thanks, Highlights!



***Update May 5, 2015***

Thanks again to everyone who entered Marilou’s Cover Reveal Contest. We have a winner!

Danielle Farrelly Modzelewski

Congratulations, Danielle! Send me an email [address in profile], and I’ll forward your information to Marilou.

Thanks for playing, everyone. And congrats on the book, Marilou!


Hey everyone,

I’m thrilled to host my good friend and critique buddy, Marilou Reeder, on Just Kidding. Marilou is a fellow picture book author and an incredibly nice person. That’s why I’m honored she chose my blog to reveal the cover of her debut picture book, THE DARING PRINCE DASHING! (Woot!) Don’t you just love the illustrations by Karl West! You’ll love Prince Dashing’s story, too! Read on for more daring details.

Here’s Marilou:

Hi, everyone! I’m so excited to share the cover of my first picture book, The Daring Prince Dashing, with you. The illustrator is the über talented and hard-working  Karl West. He has added so many fun details in the spreads, and it’s been a real thrill to see my characters come to life through his artwork. This is a debut book for both of us.
The Daring Prince Dashing is about an adventurous prince who finds his kingdom pretty boring until he meets his fearless match. It releases on November 3, 2015.

To celebrate my cover reveal, Jody is hosting a giveaway on her blog beginning today! Just share my cover somewhere on social media (twitter, facebook,  etc.) and then leave a comment on Jody’s blog telling me what you’ve done. You’ll be entered into a drawing for a $15 gift card to Barnes and Noble. The deadline for entering is Monday, May 4th, and the winner will be announced on Jody’s blog the next day. 
Thank you, Jody!

I’m delighted to be part of your cover reveal, Marilou! Congratulations on your first picture book! 

Friends, don’t delay! Share Marilou’s cover, and then dash back here and tell us where you’ve shared! You can find Marilou on twitter @MarilouReeder.

Have a great day, everyone!

High Five–May 2015

Hey everyone,

It’s the Day-After-Earth-Day, and I’m celebrating with a little golden bird…and the May issue of High Five magazine. Why? I have a letter poem, “Lucinda’s Cake,” on pages 16-17 about a bird. I hope you’ll check it out at your local library. Or…listen to the issue at HighlightsParents.com. Click on the blue High Five image then on the “High Five Audio Edition” button on the right. Enjoy, and Happy Earth Day!


Hey everyone,

Some delicious news has been baking at my house! This went up on Publisher’s Marketplace today.

I’m so excited to be working with Chrissy Pulles at Simon Spotlight! And a big thanks to my agent, Kathleen Rushall, for providing all the right ingredients for this deal! (click once on the image to enlarge)

home books etc visits about contact News blog