Friday, November 17, 2017

ICYM: Why Picture Book Are Important by Me!

A Picture Book is a Love Triangle.
A picture book provides the perfect trifecta of literary love between the child, the reader, and the book. It’s a connector. A meeting place. 
Let me explain. 
After four years of serving on the Picture Book Month team as the Educational Consultant and creator of the Picture Book Month Teacher's Guide, it is an absolute honor this year to be a Picture Book Month Champion!

For those of you who don't know, Picture Book Month is an international initiative that celebrates picture books throughout the month of November. Each day a Champion is asked to share on Why Picture Books are Important.

The link to my post is here. I dedicate this to my dear friend, Dianne de las Casas, the founder of Picture Book Month who is no longer with us but who leaves behind an enduring legacy of connection, story, and love.

Monday, November 6, 2017

See You at the WNY Children's Book Expo in Buffalo, NY!

BUFFALO, NY friends, come on out!

Thank you to Salina Yoon for this graphic!

I'm looking forward to a super exciting author-filled event (38 authors in one place for 5 hrs with various readings and events happening) at the WNY Children's Book Expo, founded by Monkey See, Monkey Do... Children's Bookstore.

And while at the Book Expo, be sure to come by the BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Main Stage from 12:05-12:30pm for my presentation, "EXPLORE Imagination Through Pretend Play" and learn how to mine your stuffed animals and pets for storytelling inspiration!

Also looking forward to visiting my niece and her entire fourth grade at Maple East Elementary and my best friend's son's class at Edukids preschool.

It's SHAPING up to be one PARTY-filled week!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

I'm a Picture Book Month 2017 Champion

I am super honored to be a Picture Book Month Champion this year.

Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates print picture books during the month of November.

Every day there will be a new post from a Picture Book Champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important. 

I do hope you will consider reading along and sharing the love, joy, and importance of picture books in your own day to day throughout the month.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

It's Super Happy Party Time, Little Rock!

We're on the road again! 

Come meet LEGO Ziggy Bear at BrickUniverse Little Rock this weekend! He's 5ft tall!

For more information and tickets, visit

Thursday, October 19, 2017

TEACHERS: Get Your FREE DOWNLOAD of the LOVE, TRIANGLE Cross-Curricular Teacher's Guide

Teachers, students, and Love, Triangle! Now that's one spectacular trio!

Chockfull of STEMy goodness, both Love, Triangle and it's totally cross-curricular Teacher's Guide are shaping up to be excellent classroom library additions.

Download the FREE Love, Triangle Teacher's Guide here.
Oh, and if your school or classroom is interested in a school visit or Skype visit, go to for more information on booking today!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Happy Book Birthday to LOVE, TRIANGLE!

From Susan Hawk, Upstart Crow Literary (read the whole article at

…Circle and Square just fit, the way best friends do. Then someone new comes along: Triangle. Triangle is different, bold, inspiring. A wedge develops between Circle and Square and before long, they find they no longer fit the way they used to. Can this friendship for two grow to become one for three?
The genius of LOVE, TRIANGLE is its geometry-inspired wordplay, but the story will resonate with even the youngest readers – after all, you don’t have to understand the Pythagorean Theorem to know what it’s like when a friendship gets bent out of shape, and needs to be put back together again.
Find LOVE, TRIANGLE in your library or local bookstore today!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ziggy is Coming For Ya, Cleveland!

If you are in the Cleveland, Ohio area, the 5 FOOT TALL LEGO Ziggy (and me) wants to meet YOU at BrickUniverse!

Ziggy is part of Jonathan Lopes's gallery of 30+ LEGO sculptures, including the 10 foot long Manhattan Bridge and a 6 foot tall Mr. Tiger from Peter Brown's MR. TIGER GOES WILD.

We hope to see you!

For more information, visit:

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Winter is Coming! Get Your PRANCE On!

Happy Book Birthday to the SEVENTH book in the Super Happy Party Bears series!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in the Grumpy Woods―the Great Hibernation! Mayor Quill, Humphrey Hedgehog, and the rest of the animals are looking forward to some much-needed rest, but the Super Happy Party Bears want to add more YAY to the holiday―by delivering homemade presents! 
When the critters of the Grumpy Woods wish for a heavy snowfall to avoid the bears’ cheer, they end up getting completely snowed in at the Grumpy Bog. In the spirit of the season, the bears enlist Dawn Fawn to pull a sleigh full of fa-la-la-la cheer to rescue their neighbors and save the holiday!
Find TINY PRANCER wherever books are sold.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Happy Book Birthday to SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS #5 & #6!

Happy Book Birthday to everyone's favorite bears!

Two more Super Happy Party Bears books are out in the world! 

In BAT TO THE BONE, the bat-only punk rock band “Flying Blind” has a dedicated following of other nocturnal music lovers. Their screechy sound really meshes with sonar hearing. While on tour to expand its fan base, Flying Blind stops at the Grumpy Woods for a midnight show. Soon tons of rock fans are keeping everyone awake at night! But when the bears start jamming with the band, its sound changes, driving away the crowd. This time it’s Opal Owl who saves the day―and returns some peace and quiet to the woods.

In THE JITTERBUG, the Super Happy Party Bears are in awe of their new friend, Butter, a groovy caterpillar who’s got the moves. This Jitterbug can breakdance, tango, and boogie-woogie. Butter becomes an honorary Super Happy Party Bear dedicated to being goofy and spreading the party spirit!
When Butter mysteriously disappears, the bears frantically search for him, only to discover that the Jitterbug has morphed into a beautiful butterfly! The bears must accept that jitterbug has grown up and must follow his own fluttery path.
Cheerful, sweet, and full of fun, Super Happy Party Bears: THE JITTERBUG will put you in the mood to dance.
Join the party wherever books are sold!

I'm in the Author Spotlight!

What an absolute honor to be featured in the Author Spotlight over at Kidlit 411.

You can read my interview here. And while you are at it, browse the amazing  site. Kidlit 411 is most certainly the BIGGEST resource for all things children's literature, both reading and writing!

Thank you, Elaine and Sylvia for including me. xo

Friday, April 21, 2017

See You at the LA Times Festival of Books TOMORROW!!

I'll be signing in the Once Upon A Time booth #732 from 3-3:45pm tomorrow, Saturday, April 22nd.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

#ICYMI: I Talk Marty McFly, Cartoons, and Easter Eggs on the All The Wonders Podcast with Matthew Winner

I had such a blast stopping by All The Wonders and chatting all things kidlit and Super Happy Party Bears.

The best part for me was when librarian-extraordinaire, Matthew Winner, actually read the beginning of SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS #1: GNAWING AROUND. It was the first time I heard someone other than me read my words. 

Have you listened yet?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

#ICYMI: SUPER HAPPY Party Collection #1 Now Available

You can now catch the Super Happy Party Bears in HARDCOVER!
This collection includes the first two books in the Super Happy Party Bears chapter book series! 
In Gnawing Around, the animals of the Grumpy Woods are even grumpier than usual when a new family of beavers moves in. Their dam is drying up the river! Mayor Quill decrees they are not welcome, but the bears disagree. Can their dance party save the day?
In Knock Knock on Wood, Wallace Woodpecker’s pecking annoys the animals of the Grumpy Woods, but the Super Happy Party Bears think he’s beating a nice rhythm for dancercise! Can the bears help the rest of the Grumpy Woods appreciate his talents?
And don't forget the next two parties, Super Happy Party Bears: Staying A Hive! and Super Happy Party Bears: Going Nuts! are coming March 14th. 
So much to shimmy shimmy and shake about!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Guest Blogging Over at Storystorm Today PLUS a GIVEAWAY!

What do bestselling author Cassandra Clare, the SCBWI Winter Conference, and my debut picture book have in common?

Head on over to Storystorm today to read my guest post "Guard Your Ideas Like Gold" and learn about the unusual inspiration for my picture book, LOVE, TRIANGLE (Balzer+Bray, Fall 2017), illustrated by Bob Shea.

Registered Storystorm participants can comment on my post for a chance to win the first two books in the Super Happy Party Bears series!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Things Just Got SUPER HAPPY-er!

There's quite a party going on at my Party Patch, because NEW BOOKS ARE HERE!

I just received copies of the next two books in the Super Happy Party Bears chapter book series:


Both books will be hitting the shelves on March 14th, however you can pre-order from your favorite bookstore or online source today.

Please consider pre-ordering. If you do, let me know and I will be sure to get a Super Happy package in the mail to you, which includes bookmarks and personalized signed bookplates,.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Looking for a Mentor? I'm in the Spotlight

I am proud to be taking part in Tara Luebbe's Writing with the Stars this Spring. 

Writing with the Stars is a mentorship opportunity for picture book writers and illustrators.   

Applicants who are selected will be paired with an author or illustrator for a three-month mentorship.During that time, mentors will help mentees further develop their craft and share invaluable advice and insight into the publishing world.  

Its absolutely FREE and the application window will be open January 13 through midnight January 16 EDT. 

Be sure to visit for full mentorship information and application.
Today I am in the Mentorship Spotlight. Stop by and learn a little more about me -- 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

KNOCK KNOCK! It's the Scholastic Reading Club

I am excited to announce that KNOCK KNOCK ON WOOD will join GNAWING AROUND in the Scholastic Reading Club in 2017!

This comes just after Scholastic Reading Club editors named the second book in the Super Happy Party Bears chapter book series in their "Top Trends in Children's Books for 2017" in the "Funny" is Still Number One category. 

And who can forget when the Book Boys donned costumes to show off their beary awesome dance moves? 

Thank you, Scholastic Reading Club! The bears are SUPER HAPPY to keep this party going in the new year.