Thursday, December 02, 2010

Busy as a Bee

It's that time of year.
Breathe through the chaos of this hectic season and do what's most important—being with those you love. And if you've got a little time, help someone who needs a little love in their lives.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Festivals: Let's Celebrate Books!

September wanes and autumn has officially arrived. I'm looking forward to sharing my book at several upcoming book festivals, along with the glorious KidLit Authors Club.

If we're in your area, come by and say hi!

September 25th, BOOKFEST at the Ocean County Library in Toms River, NJ.

October 2nd, Collingswood Book Festival
October 9th, Burlington Book Festival

Monday, September 06, 2010

2010 Princeton Children's Book Festival

A wonderful day ahead on September 11th for those that love children's literature.
I'll be signing books, and seeing all the great authors appearing at The 5th Annual Princeton Children's Book Festival. I hope to see you there!

Monday, August 02, 2010


Whatever you're doing this August, I hope you enjoy every moment.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Boxcars, Books, & a Blog

Check out Albert Whitman & Company's new and improved blog.
It features podcasts, archival gems and useful resources for educators. Oh, did I mention there are also links to author blogs like this one, and some lovely illustrations, too, including one from THIS TREE COUNTS! by my wonderful illustrator Sarah Snow.

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's In Your Hands

Award winning author Ellen Jackson hosts a fabulous blog and website. For all aspiring writers, she generously shares a bevy of information entitled "Articles and Fun Stuff" which includes editors listed A-Z and their publishing needs.

I especially enjoy visiting her blog where she posts a daily suggestion of something you can do to make a difference in this world.

It's in your hands...

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Mary McKenna Siddals has written several lovely picture books. Her latest story, COMPOST STEW, is a tasty A to Z Earth Recipe, illustrated by Ashley Wolff. Younger children who may not know about composting will have fun learning from this whimsical, rhyming tale.

One of my favorite refrains from the book:
“Just add to the pot / and let it all rot / into Compost Stew.” 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2010 Children's Choice Awards

Congratulations to KitLit Authors Irene Breznak, author of SNEEZY LOUISE,  and Lee Harper, illustrator extraordinaire of TURKEY TROUBLE, for making the 2010 Children's Choice Award List. 

Both of these books are pure fun for readers of every age!

Thursday, May 06, 2010


In the noisy streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, another busy morning is beginning as Yasmin rides to work in her father's rattling rickshaw. Yasmin yearns to go to school so she can read. 

YASMIN'S HAMMER is a gorgeous new story by Ann Malaspina inspired by her travels in South Asia and the children she saw working there, many doing hard labor, and to whom this new picture book published by Lee & Low is dedicated. Doug Chayka's illustrations echo the extreme poverty in the story and Yasmin's hope for an education. With every brick Yasmin and her sister struggle to break, readers begin hoping, too, that the girls will find a way to attend school.

From BookDragon, blogger for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program: She [Malaspina] also provides a welcome list of ways that readers – both the youngest and their parents – can help the children of Bangladesh … if you can read, you can also help.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Arbor Day!

Hug a tree! Or better yet—
plant one—or several.

Read about trees. 
Maybe you'd enjoy this book.  :)
Enjoy learning about Arbor Day and the different ways you and your family can celebrate.

Friday, April 23, 2010



Sarah is an author for middle grade readers and teens and posted her tree love for the beautiful Copper Beech. I'll be sending her a copy of THIS TREE COUNTS! and donating $40 for 40 trees to American in her name.

Thanks to all who entered
to celebrate 40 years of Earth Day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Plant Trees for the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day!

Win a copy of my book, THIS TREE COUNTS! and help plant trees.  The winner will receive my book and I'll donate $40 in your name to AMERICAN FORESTS to plant 40 new trees to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day.  

To enter, it's simple:  

Contest ends midnight, Thursday April 22nd, EARTH DAY!

On April 23rd, I'll do a drawing and announce the winner. 

Monday, April 12, 2010


Take a moment and support your local library. Due to proposed budget cuts, drastic changes may affect libraries all over America.

When one library is in trouble, ALL libraries are in trouble.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

KidLit Authors Spring into Party Time!

KidLit Authors Club celebrates Spring!
Visit the KidLit Authors Club blog for all the details.


Hopefully, I'll see you at one of the KAC events below:
Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Mt. Airy, PA, April 10
Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, DE, April 14
Barnes & Noble, Moorestown, NJ, April 15
Barnes & Noble, Rittenhouse Sq, Phila, PA, April 17
Barnes & Noble, E. Brunswick, NJ, April 20
Barnes & Noble, Deptford, NJ, May 2
Sparta Books, Sparta, NJ, May 22
Barnes & Noble, Howell, NJ, June 2
N. Wildwood Beach Writers Conference, N. Wildwood, NJ, June 8-9

You may win a pretty party bag!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We're All a Little Irish Today

Here's to going GREEN! A shamrock is a lovely way to start.

We all need a bit of Irish wisdom now and then. Here's one to remember on your life's journey:

As you slide down the banister of life, 
may the splinters never point in the wrong direction!

Monday, March 01, 2010

It's time to plant trees!

THIS TREE COUNTS! is officially released today. Kudos to Sarah Snow, the amazing illustrator who makes my tree huggable on every page. And to the lovely folks at Albert Whitman & Company for all the wonderful books you publish.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Announcing KidLit Authors Club!

The KidsLit Authors Club has arrived!

Are you a teacher or librarian in the PA, NJ, DE area who would love to have one-stop shopping available for author visits? How about a whole group of young adult, middle grade and picture book authors arriving at your doorstep in one day? If you think this is a fabulous idea - look no further.

The KidLit Authors Club (KAC) is a group of of authors and illustrators from PA, NJ and DE who will bring the party to you! The KAC is new, but gosh, are we busy already! Check out the website for a list of where we will be visiting: bookstores, schools, libraries and writing conferences. This terrific mix of debut and multi-book authors combines fun with valuable writing tips. You make the contact, we'll take it from there - talk about a party planner!

Check out our website and be inspired!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


In honor of President Lincoln's birthday, consider reading FINDING LINCOLN, a new picture book written by Ann Malaspina and illustrated by Coretta Scott King Honor artist Colin Bootman. Since its release, FINDING LINCOLN has received stellar reviews and the following recognitions:

2009 National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA) Gold Winner
2010 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People

I believe President Lincoln, an avid reader himself, would approve of Malaspina's historically based story and her lovely dedication:
For the brave children who walked into a segregated library and asked to borrow a book.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Today's Tree is....

A surprise! Check out the new addition to my website in anticipation of my soon-to-be-released picture book, THIS TREE COUNTS!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Kindling Words

Meeting authors.
Writing time.
Learning much.
I "retreated" to Vermont last weekend.

For a lovely sense of the experience, visit author Amy Timberlake's site and see the slide show she's posted.

Monday, January 25, 2010


There's a reason to celebrate. Congratulations to Jean Reidy on her new picture book, TOO PURPLEY! Visit her on-line book launch  this week. Lots of prizes and surprise visitors, too.

It's sure to be a perfectly purpley party!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Character Actor

Often it's the background characters that help drive a story, just like the "character actor" in film. There's always that guy you recognize and ask yourself, "Where have I seen him before?"

One of my favorite character actors is THOMAS MITCHELL. From portraying Scarlett's father in Gone With The Wind to Uncle Billy in It's A Wonderful Life to the mayor in High Noon, Mitchell was not only a talented character actor, but a playwright and screenwriter, as well. Mitchell is one of the few actors to win the triple crown of acting awards—a Tony, an Oscar and an Emmy. The Oscar Mitchell won was for his role of Doc Boone in Stagecoach, released in 1939, the same year as Gone With the Wind.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yéle Haiti Earthquake Fund

Wyclef Jean is helping Haiti.

From CNN earlier today—
"Within two hours of Tuesday's 7.0 magnitude earthquake, Jean and Yéle mobilized on social networking sites to raise funds for disaster relief. Jean is encouraging people to text "Yéle" to 501501, which will automatically donate $5 to the Yéle Haiti Earthquake Fund, or to visit"

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Congratulations, KATHERINE PATERSON!

Katherine Paterson is the newly appointed National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Here's the article and announcement in today's New York Times. Ms. Paterson clearly recognizes her inner child just like I try to do every day. 
“People often say, ‘Now that your children are grown up, how can you still write for children?’ And I say, ‘I never wrote for them.’ I always write for the child in me, and she is still in there.”