Please leave a comment, or click a comment box, after reading a post. Thanks.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Online Author Visits (OAV) is a collective of "published children's and YA authors offering Skype visits to readers and writers of all ages." Skyping is an affordable alternative to an in-person author visit. Plus it allows me to talk to readers in, say, Saudi Arabia, without the the long flight.

I'm the Author of the Month in April, which means I published a guest post on the site. I hope you'll read it and comment. Online Author Visits blog

Skyping an international school in Riyadh

Saturday, December 26, 2015


I'm excited to be speaking during The Innovative Northwest Teacher author series on January 26. TINT offers graduate level continuing education classes in cooperation with Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. Other authors speaking in the series are Katharine Paterson, Dan Santat, Sharon Draper, and Laura Numeroff (whom SpellCheck wants to call Laura Numerous). Wish I could sit it on those talks!
Here's the info: TINT Author Series 2016

While I'm there I'll be dropping into the absolutely delightful Green Bean Books to talk about Guinea Dog with the Family Book Club. The event is free and open to the public. I'll be signing books, of course. January 27, 4:15-5:15.  Info: Green Bean Books

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015


Odd, Weird, & Little has been added to the 2017 Louisiana Young Reader's Choice Awards! Merci to the State Library of LA!

Louisiana Young Reader's Choice Awards

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


I'm pleased to announced that Guinea Dog was a third place winner of the 2015 Maud Lovelace Hart Award, Minnesota' annual book award for kid's books. Not Best-in-Show, but genuine cause for jumping up and down and yapping and wagging one's scut.

Maud Lovelace Hart winners

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Working my Sunday Times crossword and read the clue for 45 Down:

The answer was "kiddie lit." The "kiddie" is patronizing, of course, but the Times didn't invent the term. It's the "genre" that irks. Children's literature is no more a genre than is young adult literature or adult literature. (Will we one day have a literature for seniors? Old adult, maybe? OA?)

"Children's," "YA," and "adult" here  describe the (intended) age range of the audience, not the genre of the books. All three categories have genres within them, many of which overlap: fantasy, mystery, humor, historical fiction, et al. Seuss's genre is not kiddie lit; I'd say, if pressed, that it is a mixture of humor and fantasy.

Keep in mind that "picture book" is not a genre, either, nor is "graphic novel." They are forms, like poetry, the novel, and the essay, each of which have many genres of its own.

I'm picking a fight here with a cruciverbalist's phrasing of a clue, but it seems to me a sign of a broader confusion of what children's literature is. To suggest that all books for young readers, from birth to eighteen, exist within a genre is a reductive position and more than a little insulting to the great diversity of the form. Madeline and Divergence, same genre? I don't think so.

Besides, what wording is more vetted than that of a NYT Sunday crossword? Mr. Shortz, how'd this get past you?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Fido is backflipping at the news that the New York Libraries is recommending Guinea Dog for summer reading this year.

Summer Reading at NYPL: Kids K-5 Booklist