Archive for September, 2017

Meet GRUMPY!!!

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

One of the BEST INVENTIONS EVER was the invention of the grandparent!  I say this as a former-kid who had some great ones myself, and also as  a mom who benefits from the fact that my kids have a spectacular array. We’ve got ALL KINDS of fun grandparents over here.  I feel pretty lucky about that.

Of course, Charlie & Mouse have grandparents too!  Some of them have yet to be written and illustrated.  But in book 2, readers meet GRUMPY!

Heeeeere’s GRUMPY!

Since Charlie & Mouse are based on my own boys, Mose and Lew, Grumpy is based on my dad.  In real life, we call him Boppy, but the truth is that he and Grumpy are pretty much identical, from their resting eyes to their snoring noses.  When Grumpy (or Boppy) comes to visit, everyone has a good time, in an easygoing, pizza-eating, fort-building, walking-the-dog sort of way.

Heeeeere’s BOPPY! (with a little baby Mouse)

Today, in honor of Grumpy (and Boppy), and to celebrate the publication of my new book, I’m giving away five signed copies!  All you have to do to enter is to tell me a funny or sweet or goofy story (in the comments below) about YOUR grandpa.  Every grandpa is different, but in my experience, they’re all special.

I’ll start the ball rolling, by telling you about my own Grandpa Bob, who was larger than life, and full of stories. He liked martinis.  He wore a ring with a star sapphire in it, and a cartouche he’d gotten in Egypt, and I thought he could do magic. Once, when I was a kid, he flew to Baltimore for my birthday, all the way from California, with a gigantic pinata and a suitcase full of green avocados (not things you could easily find on the East Coast in those days).  When he opened his suitcase, the avocados spilled out all over the floor!  Grandpa Bob was an adventure, always. He  glittered.

Now YOU go!  Tell me about your Grandpa Bob, or your Boppy, or your Grumpy, or your Gramps, or your Papa, or your Pappaw, and while we’re at it, tell me what you call him!

I’ve joined a village!

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

I’m so proud to have joined a new venture called The Author Village– the brainchild of my friend and fellow author, Phil Bildner!

From the website: “The Author Village is a community of forward-thinking and award-winning children’s book authors and illustrators available for school visits, library visits, festivals, conferences, panels, workshops, and special events.”

This isn’t just a group of writers.  It’s a group of especially inspiring authors, who all share a vision and a desire to create and a more inclusive community of readers, who want to make the world a better place for the kids we serve.

I seriously couldn’t be happier about this.  It’s a big honor.

A thing that happened…

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

A thing that happened… is that Orphan Island is somehow nominated for a National Book Award.

Four years ago, when I was starting over, trying to get back to dead-tree-writing, I thought this book was unlikely to be published.

Certainly, I never ever ever could have imagined this.

I want to thank everyone who has read and embraced this weird book of mine.  Seriously.  The little kid I was, the girl who dreamed of writing books someday… she never thought to dream of this.

I’m still pinching myself.


Thursday, September 14th, 2017

This is now a thing that has happened to me.



Monday, September 4th, 2017

A number of years ago, I was talking with my son, Mose.  Who was (and still is) an avid reader of picture books.

“Mommy,” said Mose.  ”I wonder why there are books with robots in them, and there are books with superheroes in them, and there are books with dragons in them, and there are books with kittens in them.  But there are no books with robots AND superheroes AND dragons AND kittens in them.”

In his mind, it only made sense that if you liked a bunch of things, you should put all the things together.  (proven by the deliciousness of ice cream covered in cherries AND gummi bears AND M&Ms AND sprinkles)

“I don’t know why there are no books like that,” I said to Mose.  ”Do you think we should try to make one?”

Mose thought that sounded like a good idea!

And so, tomorrow, many years later… I am pleased to announce the arrival of my new picture book, The King of Too Many Things! With candy-colored, perfectly-over-the-top art from Aurore Damant, and edited by my friend Eric Wight, this book is part of the very first season of Rodale Kids. I hope you’ll check it out, and I hope you’ll love it!

The King of Too Many Things is the story of King Jasper, a boy-king who has access to EVERYTHING HE WANTS. With a magical wizard for his advisor, and the realm at his command, there’s nothing to stop Jasper from living the dream.  Except that, as he finds out…. sometimes, less is more.

The irony here, of course, is that even as this book teaches kids that they shouldn’t always get their heart’s desire… the book owes its very existence to the fact that, when my son asked for ALL THE THINGS IN A PICTURE BOOK, I did everything in my power to give him what he asked for.