Excited to attend the SCBWI Summer Spectacular.… (Read more)

Libraries to the Rescue

I’d like to highlight the wonderful work being done by our librarians and libraries as we endure this pandemic with this SLJ article. Miss you Athens Public Library! … (Read more)

Connecting Online

A huge shout out to the children’s writing and illustrating community. Things that have held me together during the pandemic: Marcie Colleen’s chapter book classes at; offerings, especially Sarah Aronson’s Wednesday gatherings; all the wonderful webinars being offered through SCBWI, Highlights, Writing Barn (and I’m sure many more), and my wonderful writing group which checks in every morning at 9 and then some, not to mention Sunday evening Bananagrams games. … (Read more)


Sad news. The kids in Imagination Nation worked and played hard during the first half of our workshop. The script is finished, and we were all really excited about returning from Spring Break to start play practice, but the Coronavirus has put an end to our fun.… (Read more)

Imagination Nation

Excited to lead a free writing and theater workshop, Imagination Nation, for fourth and fifth graders at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, Ohio. We’ll cooperatively write a play based on a fairy tale and then perform it. Participants will select the tale, create the characters, fracture the plot, write dialogue and design the costumes.… (Read more)

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everyone. Instead of New Year’s resolutions to make and break, I hope to live my life as best I can one day at a time. But if I were to find one word to guide me throught this year, it might be Truth.… (Read more)

Where Have I Been?

When my fearless web designer and I were setting up this site, I kept asking myself how will I ever post a blog on a regular basis when my life is already full with writing projects, rich with other commitments (writing-related and otherwise), and subject to the usual “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”?… (Read more)

Readers Share for March

Favorites from Readers

The Left-Handed Fate (Kate Milford, fantasy adventure) is so suspenseful. Constant suspense – you never know what’s going to happen. The character Lucy is completely different – really takes charge and breaks the rules. She doesn’t care about what anyone else thinks.”… (Read more)

Choosing a Great Read-Aloud, Part II: Laughter and Empathy

In Part I, we looked at how subject matter and illustrations help engage the child by setting up interaction. Humor achieves a similar effect, particularly for the young.


Quick List, Humorous:
Dr. Seuss
Rylant, Cynthia. Henry and Mudge.
Sciezka, Jon.… (Read more)

Choosing a Great Read-Aloud

What makes a great read-aloud book, one that engages a child, whether on your lap or in a group setting?

In this blog series, we’ll look at some of the elements that make a great read-aloud book for preschool through sixth grade, with the goal of engaging the child: illustration, laughter, empathy, and language, including specific genres such as picture books, tall tales and folk tales, first chapter books, and middle-grade novels.… (Read more)