If you like to read, write, blog, talk or just share ideas and info about good books, welcome to my blog. Let your friends know about me and my books - and let me know what you'd like to read about!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Time to ring in the new year! Here are some of my favorite children's books of 2014!


ALPHABLOCK by Christopher Franceschelli
MR. WUFFLES by David Wiesner


BATTLE BUNNY by Jon Scieszka
DOLL BONES by Holly Black
HOW TO CATCH A BOGLE by Catherine Jinks
P.S. BE ELEVEN by Rita Williams-Garcia

Happy Reading!

Monday, December 8, 2014

And here are some newer titles for Christmas:
CHRISTMAS OWL by Angela Muse

Monday, December 1, 2014

If you are looking for some "oldies but goodies" to read during the Christmas holidays, try:
THE ELF'S HAT by Brigitte Wininger

Monday, November 24, 2014

Just read a charming book entitled FRANNY LOVES FLEABRAIN by Joanne Rocklin. The book takes place in 1952, the year that a polio vaccine was discovered and the year that CHARLOTTE'S WEB was first published. In this story, a young girl named Franny contracts polio and is paralyzed from the waist down. While she is in the hospital, one of the nurses reads CHARLOTTE'S WEB to her and Franny is enchanted with Charlotte - so much so that she wants a Charlotte of her own. Enter Fleabrain, a well-read and very tiny flea who lives on the tail of Franny's dog. Fleabrain takes Franny on many imaginary journeys and helps her to convalesce. He also turns out to be "some flea" . This is a lovely book about disabilities and friendship, not to be missed!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Day! EGGS OVER EVIE just hit the 12,000 mark (meaning it has sold 12,000 copies). This is good news because it means there is a much better chance that Henry Holt will publish my sequel, NEW YEAR'S EVIE. I am currently writing the manuscript, with only one more chapter to go!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Just finished reading RAIN REIGN by Anne Martin (yes, the Babysitter's Club author). It is a very touching story about an autistic girl who is obsessed with prime numbers and homonyms. When her father gives her a stray puppy, she names him Rain Reign. But she eventually discovers that the dog's previous owners are looking for him, and she must make a very difficult decision. The book reminded me very much of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME, especially in addressing the bravery needed for kids like that to venture out into the world and deal with other people. I highly recommend it!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Almost finished with my rewrite of NEW YEAR'S EVIE. In the meantime, my agent in New York is busy sending out my revised versions of HOLES ALL AROUND and BOXES BOXES. Hoping to hear some good news soon!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Some sad developments with HOLES ALL AROUND! Blue Apple seems to be having some financial and organizational troubles, so the book has been cancelled. I have, however, rewritten its companion piece, EVERYWHERE HOLES. My agent, Christine LeBlonde at the Schulman agency in New York is planning to shop them around to a number of publishers and feels confident that she will be successful.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I have totally rewritten EVERYWHERE HOLES for my editors at Blue Apple Press. The book is now entitled HOLES ALL AROUND, and it is more of a guessing game of all of the different types of holes all around us. One part is even like a "Where's Waldo" book, in which the young reader must find all of the holes described in the text. The book should be out sometime next spring.

Monday, September 8, 2014

At the suggestion of my editor at Henry Holt, Christy Ottaviano, I am completely rewriting my sequel to EGGS OVER EVIE. Still entitled NEW YEAR'S EVIE, the plot will now center around a cooking competition that Evie and Corey have both entered. Their rivalry becomes the focus of their relationship, as Evie must deal with her mother's new boyfriend, her father's growing family, and  her increasingly cantakerous neighbor, Mrs. Hamilton.

Monday, August 4, 2014

On my way to Chicago tomorrow! While there, I hope to visit the library and see how many of my books they have!

Monday, July 28, 2014

I just finished a new picture book manuscript entitled NONNA'S LADLE. Based on a true incident, it is the story of a young girl whose grandmother comes to live with her family. Nonna brings a mysterious soup ladle withe her, and Lia finally convinces her grandmother to reveal the secret behind the ladle's history. Very reminiscent of Patricia Polacco's KEEPING QUILT and BLESSING CUP, the story deals with traditions brought to America from Europe.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Oops! This is the cover of EGGS OVER EVIE in paperback, now available on Amazon.com!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Yay and hurray! The paperback of EGGS OVER EVIE is now available!

Description: Description: http://jacketupload.macmillanusa.com/jackets/high_res/jpgs/9780312551322.jpg

Monday, June 23, 2014

I have finished the final edits on HOLES, HOLES for Blue Apple Press. Only now, the title is HOLES ALL AROUND. It has been reformatted into a sort of guessing game, in which the reader finds or identifies different kinds of holes which are all around us.  I think the book is going to be lots of fun!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Just finished a new manuscript! Entitled MOMMY BEACH, it's a nostalgic look at a parent and child as they spend the day at a small protected beach with all of the other children and their "mommies". But there is a catch at the end, which I think children will enjoy. Hope to send the story off soon!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Congratulations to my son Kyle and his beautiful new wife, Mariia! They were married this past weekend in an  intimate and lovely ceremony on the beach in Monterey - followed by a fabulous dinner in Carmel. Many years of happiness to them both!!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Just got back from a very exciting visit to Charlotte, North Carolina! While there I visited a couple of lovely libraries in Davidson, Mooresville, and Cornelius. Plus I attended my nephew's wedding!

Monday, May 12, 2014

I'm excited to tell you that there is another local children's author/children's librarian in the Monterey Bay Area. Carol Diggory Shields has written more than a dozen books for young readers, and she is the children's librarian at the Seaside Branch of the Monterey County Free Libraries. You can check out all of her wonderful titles on Amazon.com, including:
and her newest book: BABY'S GOT THE BLUES

Monday, May 5, 2014

Just got back from a fun week of book signing! On Thursday, the Pacific Grove Public Library held a book signing "celebration" in honor of WHEN THE WIND BLEW. Then I drove down for two book signing events in Huntington Beach and in Fullerton, where I used to work as a children's librarian. It was all great fun!

Monday, April 14, 2014

If you live in the northern California area, then you might be interested in attending a book celebration and author signing party to launch the publication of my new book, WHEN THE WIND BLEW. The Pacific Grove Public Library will be hosting the event on Thursday afternoon, April 24, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Copies of my new book will be available for purchase, along with my other titles, and I will be signing them, of course!  Come join us! The address is 550 Central Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA.

Monday, April 7, 2014

WHEN THE WIND BLEW is currently featured in a blog authored by Kerri Hall! She has developed a list of good books to share with children. Check it out:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Great news! Cecile Gayette from Blue Apple Press has just purchased two of my manuscripts: BOXES BOXES and HOLES HOLES. Both are easy concept books for young readers, and Blue Apple hopes to  expand them into a series! Founded by author Harriet Ziefert, the publishing house specializes in simple books for Preschool through age 8, utilizing die-cuts and fold-outs. One of their more recent titles is DO YOU KNOW WHICH ONE WILL GROW. The publication date for my books will be spring 2015.

Monday, March 3, 2014

This just in! Another great review for WHEN THE WIND BLEW, from SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL this time!

JACKSON, Alison. When the Wind Blew. illus. by Doris Barrette. 32p. Holt/Christy Ottaviano. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780805086881.
PreS-Gr 1–Rollicking watercolor portraits of round characters chronicle nursery rhyme mishaps caused by an extended gust. The old woman of the shoe (a pink Victorian boot) and her many children restore treasures like rock-a-bye baby, Mary’s lamb, and Jack’s candlestick to their rightful places. The rhymed text reminds readers of each origin story and uses rich vocabulary such as “lament,” “instrument,” and “seize.” This companion to If the Shoe Fits (Holt, 2001) provides pleasant reunion with old favorites.–Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA

Monday, February 17, 2014

This week marks the passing of a truly wonderful librarian, Carolyn Johnson. Carolyn served as the head of Children's Services at the Fullerton Public Library for many years. She then accepted the position of City Librarian, elevating the Fullerton Library to the high standards of service it still offers today. She was a true inspiration to me and many others, and will be sorely missed.,

Monday, February 10, 2014

Another wonderful review of WHEN THE WIND BLEW:

Booklist Reviews 2014 February #1
We all know what happens to the cradle when the wind blows. But this time, the wind blows really hard, and the baby is blown clear over to the old woman in the shoe! Youngsters familiar with traditional nursery rhymes will delight in meeting old friends in this what-happens-next adventure. Attempting to return the baby to his treetop, the old woman finds the tree covered in woolen mittens, which she tries to take back to the three little kittens only to be almost nailed by Jack and Jill's bucket. Soon all havoc breaks loose: Mary's little lamb tumbles through the air, the money in the king's counting house is strewn all over the street, and Jack's candlestick goes winging past the poor old woman's head. Barrette's curvy watercolor illustrations swing along with Jackson's (Desert Rose and Her Highfalutin' Hog, 2009) rhyming text until the wind blows the entire gang—woman, kids, coins, sheep, bucket, baby, and all—topsy-turvily back to their rightful places. Great fun for grown-ups and little ones alike. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Just got back from the Huntington Beach Author Festival, where I spoke to all of the 1st - 4th graders at St. Bonaventure Elementary School. It was a wonderful day, and the students had lots of fun and interesting questions! Unfortunately, could not stay for the author reception at Huntington Beach Library, as I had to drive six hours back to Salinas. Next up...the arrival of WHEN THE WIND BLEW and many book signings!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Another great review of WHEN THE WIND BLEW (from Publishers Weekly this time)!

A follow-up to If the Shoe Fits (illustrated by Karla Firehammer, 2001) finds the old woman—not so old but cheery and buxom—and her many children solving a few dilemmas for other nursery rhyme denizens.
The footwear that is their home is quite a fancy shoe, with a lamp affixed to the end of its curled tip. The opening spread sets up the entire story with its panoramic view of shoe, tree with “cradle and all,” fields, town, castle and hill with well atop. The wind rocks the cradle so wildly that the wee tot is tumbled out onto the shoe, to be gently caught by the children, who try right away to put baby and cradle back. The tree from which it fell is now festooned with mittens, and the children soon find the desolate, mittenless kittens. As they go along, they find Mary’s lamb, Bo Peep’s crook, Jack’s candlestick, and Jack and Jill’s pail (among other items) and eventually restore them to their rightful places. It is all told in verse rhymed with grace—verve, even—and illustrated with soft, ballooning figures. The many children of the shoe have round heads and button features, and each is clad in the garb of various and sundry nations and ethnicities. Perspectives swoop and change with the rhythm. There is a moral about “examin[ing] the cost / Of constantly grasping for things that are lost,” but it doesn’t much get in the way.
Children who know the nursery rhymes will enjoy seeing them in a new context, and children who do not can enjoy the rollicking action anyway. (Picture book. 4-7)

Monday, January 13, 2014

My first review of WHEN THE WIND BLEW has arrived:

When the Wind Blew
Alison Jackson, illus. by Doris Barrette. Holt/Ottaviano, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8688-1
Extreme weather isn’t limited to the real world—it hits the country of nursery rhymes, too, as a gale breaks a famous bough and deposits a rock-a-bye baby on an equally famous shoe. “The woman and children who lived in the shoe/ Were nestled inside, but they knew what to do.” They set off to return the baby, discovering missing mittens (and some guilty kittens), a pail, a misplaced sheep that belongs to a girl named Mary... and that’s just the beginning. Barrette (Never Ask a Bear) sets the story in a fairytale European village with tiled roofs, a castle, and rolling hills; she captures the storm’s force with swirling skirts, waving branches, and flying coins. As in 2001’s If the Shoe Fits, Jackson puts nursery world elements together like a crossword puzzle, assembling smart rhymes (“The coins had been swept from the king’s counting room,/ And the woman surmised he’d be missing them soon”) and clever scenarios, although a moral about acquisitiveness (“From kitten to king, they examined the cost/ Of constantly grasping at things that are lost”) has a tacked-on feeling. Ages 4–7. (Mar.)

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's a new year and I have lots of new projects. I am currently working on a concept picture book entitled LINES, and I plan to start a new novel about a girl who moves to a new town with her family after a mysterious tragedy has befallen them. WHEN THE WIND BLEW has been completed and should be available within the next few weeks!