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 21, 2015

Time again for my annual Caldecott/Newbery predictions!

Drum Dream Girl illus. by Rafael Lopez
The Marvels illus. by Brian Selznick
Night World illus. by Mordicai Gerstein
Float illus. by Daniel Miyares
Waiting illus. by Kevin Henkes

Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schliz

Monday, December 7, 2015

Am headed back down to Southern California this weekend, for two Christmas parties - no author presentations this time around. But I will be attending the Huntington Beach Author Festival in January. Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 23, 2015

This past weekend I visited two libraries in Anaheim for an author presentation. Both programs were so fun and enjoyable! After the story time (featuring my books, of course) children were given a craft to complete and we all enjoyed pumpkin and apple pies which were donated from Polly's Pies!

Monday, November 16, 2015

I just finished another picture book manuscript that I think is lots of fun! Entitled EXTRA! EXTRA! the story begins with a news headline announcing that Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep. Then, enlisting the help of Old Mother Hubbard and Jack and Jill, Bo Peep sets off down the crooked mile and around the mulberry bush to rescue her sheep. The group soon encounters Mary, who informs them that her little lamb did not follow her to school today. Realizing that there is a "sheep thief" in their midst, the nursery rhyme characters proceed to solve the mystery, but not without a few twists and turns along the way. The book is chock full of Mother Goose allusions and puns about lambs and sheep.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Am heading down to Southern California to give two presentations at the Anaheim Public Library. As it is the weekend before Thanksgiving, I will be featuring two of my books: I KNOW AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A PIE and TURKEY'S BEST THANKSGIVING. The presentations will include crafts and pie to eat!

Monday, October 26, 2015

I am considering publishing NEW YEAR'S EVIE as an e-book on Kindle. EGGS OVER EVIE is currentky available as an e-book and is doing quite well. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 12, 2015

I have just been invited to be a presenter at the CSLA (California School Library Association) conference in San Diego this coming February, 2016. I am very excited to talk to school librarians about all of my books and to demonstrate how they can be used in an educational setting. I will have an opportunity to sell my books as well!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Also just sent a revised manuscript to my agent entitled SHIVER ME SHIVERS: A SWASHBUCKLING HALLOWEEN TALE. It is about a group of pirates who set out on Halloween night to capture a ghost ship which is only visible every year on All Hallow's Eve. The story combines two favorite subjects for kids: Halloween and pirates!

Monday, September 21, 2015

My agent just sent out THIS LITTLE TURTLE to a number of editors. Based on "This Little Piggy", it is a rhyming story about five little sea turtles and their round-trip journey from birth to laying eggs of their own. The book should fit nicely into the common core requirements for elementary school students.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I have revised SHIVER ME SHIVERS and THIS LITTLE TURTLE for my agent at the Susan Schulman agency. In the meantime, still waiting to hear from my editor at Henry Holt about the novel I sent her  a while ago. Entitled PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS, it is the story of a girl whose brother returns from Canada after becoming a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war.

Monday, August 24, 2015

I have been invited to visit two branches of the Anaheim Public Library for an author presentation. It is scheduled for November, which fits in nicely with I KNOW AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A PIE - since it is a Thanksgiving story!

Monday, August 10, 2015

We are currently planning to market THIS LITTLE TURTLE as  a tie-in to the common core curriculum. It is "literary non-fiction" that incorporates rhyme, science and new vocabulary. I'm hoping this helps in finding a home for the manuscript!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sent my agent a manuscript entitled SHIVER ME SHIVERS. Based on "The night before Christmas," it's the story of a group of pirates who set out on Halloween night to find a haunted ship. The ghostly galleon is only visible each year on Halloween, and they hope to steal the captain's treasure.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Just got back from Alaska. It truly is the last frontier! While there I visited the Juneau Public Library, and they have a number of my books. I also got some good ideas for a few new picture books. Can't wait to get started...

Monday, July 13, 2015

Completed a revision of THIS LITTLE TURTLE for my agent. In the meantime, I am keeping my fingers crossed for PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS, which is currently pending with my editor at Henry Holt. In the meantime, I leave for an Alaska cruise at the end of this week. Can't wait!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Just completed two picture book projects. SKYCAT is a humorous story about a farmer whose cat suddenly decides to fly. After many failed attempts to get the cat down, he and his dog come up with an ingenious plan. THIS LITTLE TURTLE is a take-off on "This little piggy went to market." It follows a young sea turtle from birth to her eventual return to the same beach in order  to lay her own eggs. The story has a conservationists perspective, and I think it would fit in quite nicely with the elementary education's common core standards.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sadly, Henry Holt has decided not to continue EGGS OVER EVIE as a series. My editor is eager to see PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS, however, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. In the meantime, I am working on two picture book projects: SKYCAT about a farmer whose cat suddenly decides to fly, and THIS LITTLE TURTLE, a factual take-off on "This little Piggy" that follows the migration of sea turtles.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Sent PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS to my agent and am very proud of the finished product. On to the next project!

Monday, May 4, 2015

I have finished my rewrite of PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS, a novel about a teenage girl whose older brother returns from Vietnam in 1974. Also, a picture book entitled UP TREETOP MOUNTAIN about a girl who attempts to scale a mountain but encounters a problem with each form of transportation she tries. Hopefully, my agent can find a home for both of them!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A wonderful children's author is visiting the Pacific Grove Library this afternoon. Anne Ylvisaker, author of BUTTON DOWN and CURSE OF THE BUTTONS will be talking to children about her writing and how she gets all of her great ideas. Using slides and old photographs, she explains her use of family history to create stories.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Just read a wonderful new picture book entitled THE NIGHT WORLD by Caldecott Medalist Mordicai Gerstein. A sleeping boy is awakened by a cat, who takes him on a tour of the house at nighttime. All of the illustrations are presented in shades of black and charcoal (with only the green of the cat's eyes as color), as the cat and boy travel outside and eventually witness the coming of a new day. There are many delightful images - and surprises - hidden in the shadows, and children will have fun finding them.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Just finished typing the last word of the last chapter of PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS. Now to the fun part: rewriting! I am really proud of this book and I feel that is quite good and very moving. Hope my agent and editors agree!

Monday, March 9, 2015

I am currently working on a novel for middle grade readers entitled PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS. The story takes place in 1974, shortly after President Ford gave amnesty to all of the young men who fled to Canada instead of choosing to fight in Vietnam. The girl's older brother returns, and she discovers that the family has hidden the truth about his defection and led everyone to believe that he did go to Vietnam and was reported "missing in action." In a series of flashbacks, we see the effect of his disappearance on the girl's life over the five years that he was gone.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Just finished a wonderful book entitled NUTS TO YOU by Lynn Rae Perkins (Newbery award winner for CRISS CROSS) Part WATERSHIP DOWN, part POPPY, and part INCREDIBLE JOURNEY it is the story of two squirrels who set out to rescue their companion, who has been snatched up by a hawk. In the meantime, their friend escapes from the hawk and is journeying home. Along the way they meet a host of colorful characters, and eventually become aware that men are cutting down trees and endangering their habitat. The three squirrels must return home and convince the rest of their community to flee, before it is too late.

Monday, February 16, 2015

I am currently working on a new novel about a high school girl in the early 1970's whose brother returns after five years in Canada as a conscientious objector. People in their small town have different attitudes and reactions to his return - most of all the girl's best friend who was wounded in Vietnam. The book is tentatively entitled PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The results are in for the 2015 Newbery and Caldecott Award Winners!

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Honor Books:
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

The Adventures of Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend illustrated by Dan Santat

Honor Books:
Nana in the City illustrated by Lauren Castillo
The Noisy Paint Box illustrated by Mary GrandPre
Sam & Dave Dig A Hole illustrated by Jon Klassen
Viva Frida illustrated by Yuyi Morales
The Right Word, Roget and His Thesaurus illustrated by Melissa Sweet
This One Summer illustrated by Jillian Tamaki

Monday, January 12, 2015

It's almost time for the announcement of this year's Newbery and Caldecott winners! Here are my predictions:
Newbery: BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson
Caldecott: DRAW! by Raul Colon
We'll see if I am right!