September 22, 2014

Sneak Peek: ARCTIC WHITE, Fall 2015

I am pleased to share this amazing first sketch by Lee White for our picture book ARCTIC WHITE to be released in Fall 2015 by Henry Holt BFYR.  Isn't it beautiful?

Lee's art style is a perfect fit for the lyrical text about family and community.
I will share more when I can so please stay tuned! 

August 18, 2014

Illustrators for next four picture books revealed!


Gifts come in all shapes and forms.  I am so happy to have received the exciting news of who will illustrate my next four picture books. This news is truly a gift as four AMAZING illustrators believe in my work and are willing to give their time and talent to create terrific books for children with me.

To be released in Fall of 2015:  Virginia Allyn will illustrate Mother Goose's Pajama Party published by Doubleday Random House. 

To be released in Fall 2015: Lee White will illustrate Arctic White, a celebration of family and community, published by Henry Holt BFYR.

To be released in Spring, 2016: Kevin Sherry will illustrate Swallow the Leader, an underwater counting book, published by Clarion Books.

And last but not least, with a release date to be announced later, Bagram Ibatoulline will illustrate Hawk of the Castle, published by Candlewick Press.

Between the text, the art, and the direction of the editors and publishers, I know they will be beautiful books!

I look forward to sharing some "sneak peeks" with you as soon as I can.

March 5, 2014

Happy Birthday, Balloon Trees!

Balloon Trees turns one year old today! Hooray!

Since its release on March 5, 2013 we have been celebrating non-stop! 

In just a short year, Balloon Trees has received many excellent reviews, took home the gold for the Florida Authors and Publishers Association children's picture book President's Award, and earned the Children's Literary Classics Seal of approval. Plus we've had bunches of fun reading and doing balloon crafts at events!

Thank you to all the children, teachers, parents, and librarians who read and share this book about how balloons are made!

February 24, 2014

Fan Letters for Two at the Zoo

These fan letters made my day!  The students at an elementary school in Florida like TWO AT THE ZOO and took the time to let me know.  Thanks kids you are awesome!





December 27, 2013

Happy New Year! Looking back on 2013 and looking forward to 2014

2013 turned out to be a great year for my writing career and my personal life.

I spent the first few months of the new year promoting my book, BALLOON TREES. Fun times were had at the W.O.W. Science museum, sharing my book and participating in balloon experiments of all kinds.  I made the rounds to libraries and enjoyed meeting many young readers (and writers) and doing balloon crafts with them.  I also promoted my other books in print and I always enjoy the interaction with those sweet little ones when sharing these books.

I really buckled down this year, writing so many new picture books that I wore myself out (as well as my agent, no doubt).  Luckily this writing whirlwind has already resulted in offers and interest from some major publishers.

In January, reviews for my latest book, Balloon Trees started rolling in - great reviews by all including Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly.

In May, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers made an offer on my picture book manuscript titled Arctic White.  This picture book is a lyrical celebration of family and community.  The talented Lee White is the chosen illustrator and I couldn't be more pleased!  This is going to be one beautiful book if I do say so myself :)

In September, Random House/Doubleday Books made an offer on my picture book manuscript tentatively titled Mother Goose's Pajama Party. I am so excited for this book as it is a dream of mine to take on a classic such as Mother Goose, put my own creative spin on it, and have it so well received by those at Random House. The search for an illustrator is ongoing and I can't wait to see who will bring my words to life.

In September, BALLOON TREES won the gold medal in the children's book category for the 2013 Florida Author's & Publishers Presidents Award as well as earning the Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

I am anxiously awaiting for word on who will be illustrating Swallow the Leader which was sold last year and will be published by Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).  I know they will find the perfect illustrator for this humorous underwater counting book.

The first couple of months of the new year will be spent revising a manuscript which I wrote a while back that has gained interest from a wonderful publisher.  This story is dear to my heart and my hope is an offer will be made so I can finally share it with children everywhere.

Of course, I am a big fan of all forms of creative expression so when I need a little break from writing, I pull out my watercolor paints and acrylics and go wild!  It frees my mind and soothes my soul so I can return to writing with passion.

On a personal note, my family is well.  My husband and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary in the spring and our children are happy and healthy- we feel so blessed for this.  Our son has a job he enjoys and he loves to snowboard any chance he gets and our daughter is in her first year of college and is as active as ever in sports. I continue to eat healthy foods, get plenty of exercise, and enjoy the outdoors as much as I can - I know everyday is a gift!

So here's to health, happiness, and oodles of books in the coming new year!











November 19, 2013

Balloon Men

On November 14th I read my books Two at the Zoo and Balloon Trees to children at the Rio Linda Library in Rio Linda California.  We had a great turn out as thirty kids came for the fun!  While reading Two at the Zoo, the kids had fun helping me count and shout out the numbers and they found great joy in finding the little bird on every page while I read Balloon Trees

After we read, we got down to the important business of making Balloon Men (and women). The highlight of the night was when a little boy came up to me after I read and he said "Thank you for reading your book to us, I think it is very special."  Thank you so much to librarian Sally McGrath who invited me to visit the library. It was a grand celebration!







Librarian Sally McGrath and me