Wednesday, July 20, 2022



Celebrate with one of these fun picture books: 

Mom’s Choice Awards® honoring Excellence Gold Seal recipients 2019


The Gingerbread Cowboy -- can run from the rancher's wife, he can dash past the javalinas and he can giddyup right by the cattle grazing on the mesa.  

But what happens when he meets a coyote sleeping in the sun?


GRACIE JANE has a heart as big as the Western sky, and she's always ready to lend a helping hand. So, she doesn't think twice about rescuing Fifi La Rue and taking the lost pup home After all, how much trouble could one little dog be on a great big ranch?

It's nonstop fun and excitement when one good deed turns this cowgirl's life upside down.





Payson Book Festival July 23rd

Two of my books featured at the Seventh Annual Payson Book Festival

Book lovers of all ages are invited to attend the annual Payson Book Festival for a day filled with books, authors, prizes and surprises. The festival will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2022, at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino in Payson, Ariz.
Gracie Jane and Just Like Gulliver will be among the over 30 featured titles that attendees can request to review as part of a co-op book display at the Story Monsters Booth. There will be prizes and a special surprise for young readers, too.
For more information about the Payson Book Festival, visit:

GRACIE JANE has a heart as big as

the Western sky, and she's always ready to lend a helping hand.

So, she doesn't think twice about rescuing Fifi La Rue and taking the lost pup home. After all, how much trouble could one little dog be on a great big ranch.

It's nonstop fun and excitement when one good deed turns this cowgirl's life upside down.

The adventure of a young groundhog
who is frightened of his shadow until a fun-filled journey through the woods and farms surrounding his burrow allows him to discover his courage on Groundhog Day.
An author's note provides factual information about Groundhogs.
Cross curriculum connections for: Folklore, Shadows, Groundhog Day, and Groundhogs.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Picture Book Friday


Lettuce Get In Trouble by Linda Kao with illustrations by Mariana Rio is the first in a series of children’s picture books that explore the life of Sara Little through her impact on the concept of design.

In this instance, the story focuses on her influence on the eating habits of children in New York City when the Ministry of Food asks for help in encouraging youngsters to eat more vegetables. Her imaginative solution is to bring children together to experiment and discover the miraculous wonders of vegetables when she declares, “The children will cook, and we shall allow them to play with their food!”

Some important themes weave throughout – the importance of asking “why,” problem solving through smart design, and using those designs to create beauty and fun – all of which are great for childhood growth.

The narrative is an entertaining mix of narrative and dialogue highlighted by Rio’s imaginative illustrations that combine clean lines and strong colors.

An author’s note at the conclusion of the story offers a thoughtful biography of Sara Little Turnball (1917-2015) that includes several vintage photos of this talented woman.

For Ages 4-9

Recommended for home and school libraries.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Picture Book Friday

WHITNEY WINS EVERYTHING is the second Tiny Ninja Book by Sasha Graham. 

 Whitney is a talented, determined little girl who sees every experience as a competition – eating the most mac and cheese, brushing her teeth, getting picked first at school. After all, if you can’t be the BEST, then what’s the point?

Whitney soon discovers that winning isn’t everything. First, she doesn’t get invited to a special birthday party because everyone knows she’ll win all the party games.  Then, her new soccer coach suggests they not keep score and just play for fun during practice. Ridiculous!

As with Graham’s first book, there’s a tiny ninja present to act as a subtle voice of conscience in this story about teamwork. That subtlety is a quality that is particularly appealing in Graham’s writing. The tiny ninja doesn’t lecture, but provides an opportunity for conversation that allows Whitney to discover answers for herself as she talks out her disappointment and confusion.

The lively, humorous text is a delightful read and touches on important themes of teamwork, kindness, and friendship.

Valieva’s colorful artwork is action-packed and includes a seek-and-find component challenging young readers ages 4-8 to locate the tiny ninjas hidden in the illustrations.

The press release for WHITNEY WINS EVERYTHING indicates that a portion of each book sale will be donated to Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer Foundation to fund soccer scholarships. 

Recommended for home and school libraries. 

And be sure to check out MILO DOES NOT LIKE MORNINGS, the first in a series that is sure to be a hit with young readers and parents. 

Friday, March 25, 2022

Picture Book Friday


They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel

“The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears and paws…” and so begins the cat’s journey through a series of encounters with a diverse collection of creatures – from bee to bat, fox to flea.

 In each instance, Wenzel treats readers to an imaginative impression of what those creatures might observe from their varied points of view: a bird in flight, the blurry distortion of a fish bowl.  He also explores the emotional impact of the encounters in the frenzied red and black terror of a mouse who sees only danger and the contented cat’s smile at the touch of a child’s hand.

Wenzel uses multiple artistic styles and techniques to represent a host of responses as the cat is perceived as friend, prey, predator or a simple object of curiosity.

The language is simple with only a handful of words per page. That, combined with the repetition of the opening phrase at intervals throughout, allows even young listeners to connect with the narrative.

This 2017 Caldecott Medal Honor book would be a great introduction to a conversation about observation and perception.

Recommended for home and school libraries.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Picture Book Friday


Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld

This seemingly simple story challenges readers to answer the question posed by the well-known visual illusion of duck vs rabbit. Which is it? 

The narrative flows through two voices that offer opposing arguments –

Is it a duck hiding in the swamp or a rabbit hiding in the grass?

A duck flying or a rabbit hopping?

A duck getting a drink or a rabbit cooling its ears?

Each voice tries to make a case for a particular point of view.

In the end the speakers begin to see the other’s position and discover there is no absolute “right” or “wrong” conclusion.

The answer, of course, depends on your perspective!

Rosenthal’s clever dialogue is right on point and pairs perfectly with Lichtenheld’s strong lines and bold colors. 

Here is a fun board book with a subtle message and a surprise twist at the end. Entertaining to read on its own. It has the added bonus of being a perfect conversation starter for a discussion about recognizing and respecting differing points of view.

Kindergarten-Grade 2 Recommended for home libraries.


Friday, March 11, 2022

Picture Book Friday

 Me and Ms. Too written by Laura Ruby and illustrated by Dung Ho

Young Molly can’t recall a time when family wasn’t just her and her father.  They were always together – to splash in the pool, bake treats, play at the park.

Suddenly, that all changes when he marries Molly’s favorite librarian. Ms. Blue was great at reading stories and helping find just the right book. But she doesn’t like to get wet. She’s no good at making muffins. She can’t even cut the kiwis correctly. Everything has changed!

Laura Ruby has created a thoughtful, empathetic story that is reassuring and hopeful as it reminds us that families can come in many forms. Both Molly and young readers discover that difficult as change sometimes is, it can also create wonderful opportunities.

The colorful, richly detailed illustrations pair beautifully with the text. 

For Ages 4-8.

Recommended for home and school libraries.

The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer