News, Notes & Inside Info from a Children’s Book Author

Archive for May, 2010

Fan Mail Wednesday #89: Book Dedications

Thursday, May 27th, 2010 Posted in Fan Mail, the writing process | No Comments »


I recently got a note from a fifth-grade teacher who has not only given me guidance and support over the years, she's become a friend. She recently sent  a query about book dedications (below), and I thought it was an ...

Summer Reading List

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 Posted in Around the Web, Six Innings | No Comments »


Over at the Semicolon blog, Sherry offers up a diverse and deep list for Summer Reading. In her words, "52 Picks for the Hols." As Sherry explains: I used to love to read the British slang in books by C.S. Lewis, E. ...

Ghosts in the New York Public Library: Who Ya Gonna Call?

Monday, May 24th, 2010 Posted in Fun Clips | No Comments »


The creative, awesomely fun folks at Improv Everywhere strike again -- and this time, very close to our library-loving hearts. [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKB7zfopiUA] If you enjoyed that, here's The Grocery Store Musical . . . Where's Rob? . . . The Surprise Wedding Reception ...

“Bystander” Named to Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award Master List

Friday, May 21st, 2010 Posted in Bystander, bullying | 1 Comment »


"A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary." -- Dorothy Canfield Fisher. A few things about Dorothy Canfield Fisher. She was not named after the Vermont State Children's Literature Award; the Award was ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #88

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 Posted in Fan Mail, Six Innings | 2 Comments »


Here's a quick question I received from a reader of my 2008 baseball-themed novel, Six Innings (now in paperback -- cheap!) In this case, I've included his last name (only) since it explains his curiosity. hello mr. preller. i gotta ask ...

Kirkus Reviews “A Pirates Guide to First Grade”

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 Posted in A Pirates Guide (Series) | 1 Comment »


"Good fun, me hearties!" -- Kirkus Reviews. Ahoy, lubbers! Here's the first review for A Pirate's Guide for First Grade: "A little boy with pirates on the brain navigates the first day of school. Narrating in a vigorous piratespeak, he takes readers ...

Books for Boys: A Tribute to “William’s Doll”

Monday, May 17th, 2010 Posted in Greatest Hits, Interviews & Appreciations, The Gender Gap in Reading | 1 Comment »


"William wanted a doll." And so begins Charlotte Zolotow's classic picture book, William's Doll, illustrated by William Pene Du Bois. Published 38 years ago, and dedicated to Billy and Nancy, it is still relevant today -- and very possibly moreso. This title ...

“Versing” Replaces “Playing”

Friday, May 14th, 2010 Posted in Around the Web, the writing process | 2 Comments »


Maybe you've heard this: "Who are you versing today in the Little League game?" Justin asked. Or maybe this: "I was versing some kid in China on Madden '10!" Sammy said. What we're hearing, of course, is a new usage of the word "versing" ...

Two Years of Bloggy Goodness

Thursday, May 13th, 2010 Posted in Around the Web | No Comments »


Two years of blogging! I am now a statistical freak of nature. During that period, I've neglected my kids, my wife, job, hygiene, dog, pets, laundry and more. But I'm still blogging. And that's what matters! I've shared my responses to ...

Revising on the Run: A Work In Progress

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 Posted in Before You Go, the writing process | No Comments »


In our continued mission to pull back the curtain on the creative process -- without, hopefully, going overboard on the me, Me, ME business -- I submit the following: Every writer works differently, and often individual writers might use different approaches ...