Misunderstood Shark – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Ready for a new take on JAWS? Well, a picture book take filled with dark humor, that is... So here we are watching Underwater World with our host, Bob the jelly, when—  Luckily, shark finds out that the cameras are rolling and changes tacks to save his image, saying "...showing him my new tooth!" While … Continue reading Misunderstood Shark – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Kidquake – Dream Big!

Litquake San Francisco, an annual literary festival comprising 850+ authors and hundreds of events in the span of 10 days, can be exhausting and daunting, but it can also be exhilarating and inspirational.  I'm a co-producer of Kidquake, an event that draws 1,000 elementary school kids, their teachers, and chaperones to four assemblies and 10 … Continue reading Kidquake – Dream Big!

Super Saurus and the Egg – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Looking for a funny twist on the "new baby in the house" picture book? Look no further. Deborah Underwood has it covered with a mash-up of space aliens and dinosaurs in comic book technicolor: Arnold, aka Super Saurus, is busy happily battling Zottlebots— when his parents interrupt to show him their egg. Arnold's nonchalant response? … Continue reading Super Saurus and the Egg – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Mary Had a Little Lab – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Looking for the perfect read aloud? Look no further. Here's a science-y, humorous twist on "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Mary may be a scientific genius, but she has no friends. So she sets out to create a pet, something that will "make her life complete." Her invention, a "sheepinator," turns out to be a … Continue reading Mary Had a Little Lab – Perfect Picture Book Friday

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

It appears that novels in verse are now the rage (at least for me), and it's a good rage (as opposed to the other rage I've been feeling lately.) I just finished the dazzling debut YA novel: by Elizabeth Acevedo, longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. In another life, Ms. … Continue reading The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime! – Perfect Picture Book Friday

It doesn't matter that they're wearing their jammies. It doesn't matter that they've taken a bath and are then brushing their teeth on the dedication page. No, none of that matters. Penguin and Tiny Shrimp want you to know: And so the great anti-bedtime saga begins. Penguin and Tiny Shrimp tell us a bold-faced fib … Continue reading Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime! – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Otis and Will Discover the Deep – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Barb Rosenstock is my nonfiction picture book author idol for several reasons: She always makes me care about the story/person/event. She uses a repetitive and lyrical line that pulses throughout the story. (In this case, she uses two.) She's a meticulous researcher. She includes fascinating back matter.  We meet the main characters as children. "Otis … Continue reading Otis and Will Discover the Deep – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Iver & Ellsworth – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Every once in awhile, a picture book comes along that falls into the deep well of classic reader response literature. A "quiet" book that reverberates for miles underground like the subtlest of seismic tremors. And it does this through the perfect marriage of evocative text and art. The story begins immediately, as the illustrator makes … Continue reading Iver & Ellsworth – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Story of a Little Mouse Building a House – Perfect Picture Book Friday

I organized our school's annual book swap this year, where families bring in bags of books they no longer want, the library committee sorts them, and then students, parents, and staff select books to supplement their summer reading. Any books remaining at the end of the swap get donated to a community thrift store. Kids … Continue reading Story of a Little Mouse Building a House – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Guest Post – Rutgers One-on-One Conference

See that lighthouse? That was me at the Rutgers One-on-One Conference last year, a juried one-day event that pairs writers/illustrators with editors, agents and published authors. Fellow #kidlit author, Jennifer Prevost, just posted my rundown and tips about the conference. If you're wondering what it was like, or if you're thinking about applying, take a … Continue reading Guest Post – Rutgers One-on-One Conference