Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Scoot on the Screen

The librarians at the Arapahoe Library District (Colorado)  made this delightful video review of Scoot!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy New Year!

A wonderful little nonprofit, Youth & Family Outreach (the folks who put on Mugglefest--the largest Harry Potter event in the country), is hosting a New Year's Eve Gala to ring in 2009. 

Fly Me to the Moon, held at the Clarion Hotel in Portland, Maine, will feature the live dance band, BIG CHIEF.  Champagne, decadent desserts, raffles and door prizes. Tickets are limited, so call 874-2370, or go to All profits will help provide quality early education and care for children from low-income families.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Scooting onto lists

I'm delighted to discover that Scoot! appears on several mock Caldecott lists. I know that this has no bearing on the actual Caldecott awards, but it's a real honor to have my book enjoyed by readers in libraries around the country. Here are some that we have heard about:

And HERE are some fun projects from Scoot! and Turtle Splash! for kids, placed online by Greenwillow Books.

        At a recent Scoot! book signing event at L.L.Bean in Freeport, Maine, I brought along art supplies so children could create bookmarks and cards. Here is a young artist who stopped by.

Scoot! is also a 2008 Wilde Award book:
"Active language and vibrant collages bring a pond 
and its inhabitants alive in this captivating book to get you over life's little bumps."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Time to Gather

Happy Thanksgiving!

A couple of ideas:
* In addition to the contributions that your family and guests bring to your feast, ask them to also bring a contribution for your local food bank. Bag up the non-perishables and can goods, and drop them off next week to help replenish supplies.

* Feast on reading! To settle down after the holiday festivities, gather the young and young-at-heart for story time. Drag out old favorites and new additions and take turns reading picture books aloud.
Enjoy the season of Hope and Peace.

Cover: Feast For 10, Clarion Books, 1993

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Many Voices

Stop by and say hello! I will be signing books at
Many Voices, a free Multicultural Book Fair for Families
Saturday, November 22,  10 - 1
856 Brighton Avenue,
 Portland, Maine

More information: 

Explore books that take  your child around the world. The fair features children's books depicting cultures of China, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, as well as African American, Native American, Latino American, Jewish American, Muslim American and immigration books. 

Make your own origami butterfly, just like Kiri in  Butterflies for Kiri. There will also be treats, clothing, face painting, balloon tying and more activities for children.

Presented by the Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine's Chinese School. Titles selected by Curious City and provided by Books Etc.  Discount of 20% for educators.

Oh! And here's a poster you can download: P O S T E R.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Bailey, my loyal friend and companion, died yesterday at 14. His unconditional love cheered me on stressful days, and his persuit of ripe tomatoes and fallen pears made him an eager gardening buddy. He was a gentle soul who I will greatly miss.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Voices for Children

There is a time for silence, and a time to speak out for what you believe. I have joined over 1000 authors and illustrators of books for children in endorsing Senator Barack Obama for President, because we care about the future of children.
Please visit the AIC site for additional information, and for the full list of author and illustrator names.

VOTE! Your voice can help change the world.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Walter at the Library

The new youth services librarian at Baxter Memorial Library in Gorham, Maine, Kathy Stevens, sent me this photo. Walter, a story-loving iquana, visited the library today. He took a particular interest in the Swallowtail butterfly on the mural I painted on the library's wall there several years ago. Here's the other mural, too:
And here are my sunflowers--saying farewell to the garden, now that the season is turning.

It was a good garden year: peas, lettuce, blackberries, basil, tomatoes, peppers, squash, carrots, pumpkins, and a MYSTERY VINE! Which, as it happens, is the name of my new picture book with Greenwillow Books. It will be released next summer. The dog is Bailey, our 14-year-old faithful friend, who has just come from the orchard where he helps himself to pears several times a day. 

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Books & Blooms

Authors, illustrators and readers all enjoyed a lovely day at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens on July 12th at Books & Blooms--an annual event sponsored by The Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.  Great work by Wayne Sheridan, Event Chair, and executive director Shonna Milliken, as well as Olympian organization by Barbara Kelly and her staff from the USM Bookstore made this a wonderful success. It was fun to see friends in the "biz" and meet other authors, teachers, parents and kids. Story Walk got lots of positive response as well. Among the more than 60 book folks at the festival was the remarkable Dahlov Ipcar, who was there to sign copies of the recently reissued The Little Fisherman by Margaret Wise Brown.
The folks at the Botanical Garden treated us quite royally, and Mother Nature produced perfect Maine Postcard weather.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summertime cutting and pasting

A creative bunch of kids had a grand time making turtle and insect puppets right here in Maine at the North Gorham Library today. The art activity followed an interactive story time with SCOOT! and TURTLE SPLASH! 

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lawrence Library loves turtles!

A lively crowd 
of 244 kids and parents helped produce performances of SCOOT! and TURTLE SPLASH! last week at the Lawrence Public Library in Kansas. Librarians Linda Clay and Joyce Steiner did a fabulous job with preparations, the kids enjoyed the crafts and snacks  after the program, and Raven Bookstore handled brisk book sales. A special thanks to Sandy Garrett for all the arrangements.
  (photos: Chuck Garrett, SEP)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Story Walk!

Once again, the amazing Kirsten Cappy has produced a grand  adventure for kids! She has teamed with Tory Rogers, MD, Program Director of the Kid's CO-OP (a division of the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center) and Physician Advisor for the LET'S GO!  program, and Diane Skog from Raising Readers to create a "Story Walk" --a wonderful project to get kids reading and moving for a healthy life. Kirsten cleverly designed weather resistant signs that feature the pages of SCOOT!, plus additional illustrations for acting out the animal actions from the book. Children and their families can follow along a path from page to page as they leap, scamper, lurch and wriggle their way through the story.  The SCOOT! Story Walk debuted on the playground at the Morse School in Freeport, Maine today with an  eager bunch of first graders on a beautiful picture-postcard day. For more of Kirsten's photos, click here. For a news article about Story Walk, click here.
The SCOOT! Story Walk Kit will soon be available to libraries, schools, nature centers and museums. Contact Kirsten at Curious City for more information: or 207.699.2755.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Flying Turtles!

The turtles are off to Kansas! I will be visiting children at the Lawrence Library in Kansas on June 13th at 10:30 am, and all the turtles will be there, too! 

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Turtle Time at the Library

Children and families had a fine time pondside at the Scarborough Public Library last week, thanks to the Library's collaboration  with the Maine Humanities Council to launch the Born to Read Family Outreach Program which supports early childhood literacy.
 Eager young participants took active parts for SCOOT! and TURTLE SPLASH!, and then enjoyed refreshments. Thanks to Books, Etc. for providing books.
More photos HERE thanks to Kirsten from Curious City.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Scoot preview

Just heard that Greenwillow/HarperCollins has posted a "browse inside" section. Several pages from SCOOT! can be seen here.
SCOOT! on over and see....

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Turtles in Beanland

What a great day with kids at L.L.Bean!
Kirsten Cappy and I had a grand time with lots and lots of little turtle puppet creators. Kirsten replenished supplies while I signed books, and over 70 spiffy turtles scooted out of the store.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Peepers peeping!

It's truly Spring! The first brave turtle appeared, basking on the log, and the wood frogs and peepers are in full chorus at Frog Song Pond. Perhaps they are cheering for Sarah L. Thomson who just received the Maine Lupine Award for her wonderful novel, Dragon's Egg. A must read! Congratulations to Sarah.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Splashing with kids

A wonderful afternoon at the Children's Museum in Portland last Sunday with lots of families around the pond! 
I will be at L.L.Bean's flagship store in Freeport, Maine, on Sunday, April 27th, from 12-3 pm. Stop by for puppet-making.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Six Silent Turtles Sit Still as Stones

Puttering with the pond...
Here's how it's shaping up.

Turtles turtles everywhere

I see turtles in my sleep. There are over 70 of them--all cut and pasted--in Turtle Splash. And the new book has them, too. I have spent the last couple of days making papier mache turtles that I can bring along when I present programs for children. The turtles will bask in the portable pond. Sound strange? Check back for a photo soon.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Work in Progress

My first blog....very exciting. New website is in the works, which I hope to have up in a few months. In the meantime, I will try to keep up with news and events here.
   My new book, Scoot!, was released a few weeks ago, and has just gone into it's second printing.  The reviews have been very good (hooray!) and, most importantly, kids seem to enjoy the book.
 My wonderful publicist, Kirsten Cappy of Curious City, has been booking events for me. She even challenged me to make a portable pond to take along.