Evanston Literary Salon: Publishing Books in the 21st Century

Enjoyed appearing on a panel at the Evanston Library last Saturday to discuss writing books for children. The panel was moderated by Betsy Bird, SLJ blogger and Evanston Library Manager, and included (l to r): Sara Shacter (author and SCBWI-IL Asst. Regional Advisor), Ruth Spiro (author), me (author and SCBWI-IL Network Rep.) , Terri Murphy (illustrator/author and Illustrator Network Coordinator), Betsy Bird, and Gemma Cooper (agent based in Chicago).

Evanston Program Pic Feb 2016

It’s the Season for . . . School Visits!

January is a great time to get out of my office and visit schools. Always ENJOY my time with readers and teachers! Here I am visiting an Illinois school and we’re talking NF research and writing during a 30 minute program for each grade level. Great enthusiasm from the students. Would show you photos of the kids in action with a fun skit . . . but most schools/parents don’t want any student photos posted with faces displayed — which I completely understand. The principal did say this . . .
“The staff and students LOVED having you. The elementary kids are very impressionable at this age and truly take what you say to heart. We had more kids wanting to write their own story after you left….. so I know you made a true impact on them.” HOORAY for School Visits!


Another nice review . . .

Sweet words for SWEET DREAMS, WILD ANIMALS! from School Library Journal:
“This mix of bedtime sleepytime verses and interesting content makes for an enjoyable two for one.”

Sweet Dreams Front Cover

Join me at the Printer’s Row Lit Fest on June 6th-7th!

This year marks the 31st annual Chicago Tribune Printer’s Row LitFest — June 6th-7th.
I will be appearing both days at the Lil’ Lit Park, Kids Stage.

Sat June 6th – 12:45 – 1:15 pm
We’ll high-five all things baseball for young readers and listeners with my picture book, Ballpark. Kids will join me in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, doing some baseball stretching exercises, and listening to my book.

Sun June 7th – 3:15 – 4:00 pm
Celebrate sports with the Poetry Team U.S.A.! During their lively program, they’ll share entertaining poems and skits with the crowd. These Illinois writers have poetry featured in the award- winning anthology, And the Crowd Goes Wild! Wear your favorite sports t-shirt and come join in the fun!

Kirkus Review

Sweet Dreams, Wild Animals!  releasing April 1, 2015

“Slumber and science in harmonious combination, equally suitable for bedtime reading or for sharing with wakeful groups.”

— Kirkus Reviews, 2015

Scholastic Book Fair/Club News!

GREAT NEWS — Ballpark, my picture book released in spring 2014, will be included in Scholastic’s Book Fairs / Book Clubs for the next 5 years! Excited that this story will reach more young listeners and readers through Scholastic’s marketing programs. Hooray!

Final Sketches for Spring 2015 Book!

I love to see how an illustrator takes my words and creates the art for a picture book. Here is a sketch from illustrator, Laurie Caple, for my next nonfiction book. She has an amazing style – detailed and dreamy, which is perfect for this bedtime book, Sweet Dreams, Wild Animals (final title still being determined).