Hot Off the Press

There’s an old, apt joke about an author at a party. He’s been talking another guest’s ear off (no, it wasn’t Van Gogh) about all things himself. Suddenly, he stops mid-sentence to say, “But enough about me. What did you think of my latest book?”

As I sometimes do on this blog, I will stop talking about all things moi, to introduce two wonderful brand new picture books:

The first is I Love You for Miles and Miles by Alison Goldberg, with pictures by Mike Yamada (ISBN13: 9780374304430). Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, it’s a very sweet, beautifully illustrated book that brilliantly combines love of vehicles with love for the reader. It made my heart feel warm, and I look forward to sharing my copy with my toddler grandson, a truck enthusiast.
Then we have Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones by Sara Levine, illustrated by T.S. Spookytooth (ISBN-13: 978-1-4677-9489-3). A non-fiction title from Millbrook Press, this communicates fascinating facts about dinosaurs in an appealing, often humorous way – not an easy feat. The writing is clear, and the illustrations, with diverse dinosaurs and children, are imaginative. I think school and public libraries will snap it up, as I did, to share with young dinosaur aficionados.


Here’s wishing a happy, healthy new year to all!
In Lexington, Massachusetts, as in much of the country, we’re in the midst of a ridiculously brutal cold spell. High of 11 degrees today! No relief in sight. But a recent event that warmed my heart was being able to surprise family and close friends at our annual Chanukah party with a reading of my new picture book, Paulie’s Passover Predicament.

My friend and fellow children’s book author Ellen Mayer, who had pre-ordered the book and received it before moi, the author, kindly loaned me hers for the occasion. After everyone had eaten my husband’s scrumptious latkes, I revealed the book, to gasps and smiles. My husband took these photos to help me remember the occasion and to be able to share this first reading with you…









Met and Greeted

Report on the aforementioned (I love that word – it’s so pretentious!) Meet and Greet:
I had fun chatting with shoppers, especially children whose eyes lit up at the idea of a book signed by a real live author!


To my surprise the store had copies of What’s Up with This Chicken? for me to sign, too. Thank you to Dominic at Barnes & Noble, Burlington, who always makes me feel so welcome.

Meet & Greet

If you’re shopping in Burlington on Thursday 12/14, (that’s Burlington, MA), come by and say hi to me at Barnes and Noble between 12 and 2. I’ll be near the entrance (inside, thankfully!) doing a Meet and Greet the Author, with my kids’ book, ESTHER’S HANUKKAH DISASTER.

Warm Inside and Out

Inside the brightly lit, beautifully restored Lexington Depot last Saturday, the atmosphere was warm, and outside for Small Business Saturday shopping, the end-of November air was unseasonably warm.

I shared 2 of my picture books with different groups. In one group an adorable 1 year old kept popping up to touch pages with Sidney, my pig poet character. One never knows what to expect from young audiences, but they’re always fun.

Reading Don’t Call Me Sidney wearing my lucky red sneakers

Something funny always happens with young audiences.


The Return of Ball-erina

Oops, it’s the end of November, and I still haven’t posted a photo of this year’s trick-or-treaters greeter. That’s about to change…
My Ball-erina creations have been topped with the same playground ball featuring a Sharpie-drawn face for many years. In the past they had pumpkin heads, but squirrels started gnawing on the heads, rendering the leaves-stuffed figures more ghoulish than welcoming.

This year’s squirrel-proof Ball-erina is preparing for bed in her flannel nightie and shower cap, holding a washcloth, toothbrush, and skin care products. As always she looks pretty happy about the whole thing.
One of these days I might write a children’s book about Ball-erinas coming to life. But for now here is Ball-erina 2017, in all her glory:

Let the Madness Begin!

Next week, right after or even during Thanksgiving Day marks the official start of Holiday Madness. I will try to maintain my own sanity, partly by participating in a festive event in my hometown – Lexington Local First’s “A Day of Fun for Kids and Their Parents.”
Part of Small Business Saturday, it will feature arts and crafts activities for kids and readings by 4 local children’s book authors (you can guess who one of them is).

Here’s the flyer:


Tara No LLF

A Day of Fun for Kids and Their Parents

Saturday, November 25

10:00 am – 3:00 pm

13 Depot Square, Lexington

 Lexington area book authors will be reading stories throughout the day

Arts & crafts throughout the day, courtesy of Munroe Center for the Arts & Artspan

Moderated children’s card games, sponsored by Signature Stationers

Music provided by the LHS Musical Collarboration Outreach Club

Plus: Exclusive holiday season offers from select Lexington businesses

Anna Staniszewski

11:00 – 12:00

Anna will be reading her newest book, Dogosaurus Rex, with a singalong and craft and coloring pages.

Lisa Anne Novelline

12:00 – 1:00

Lisa Anne will be reading Piccadilly and the Waltzing Wind, with coloring, paper crown decorating, and paper kite decorating (while supplies last).

Jane Sutton

1:00 – 2:00

Jane will be reading What’s Up With this Chicken? and Esther’s Hannukah Disaster, with interactive games based on the stories.

April Prince

2:00 – 3:00

April will be reading her new book, Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates.

As you can see, my reading slot is 1-2 PM.  I’ll also have books to sell and sign.
Should be lots of fun, and Depot Square is an interesting historic venue, right in Lexington Center.

Update on my Favorite New Reader

It’s been a while since I posted a photo of my lovely little grandson reading Pat the Bunny, so I’m patting my own back in recognition of my restraint.
Update: he is upright…and on the move…but as you can see in this 1 year old portrait with his parents, he still takes the time to slow down and enjoy a book.

My son, Charlie, Caleb, and my daughter-in-law, Amberly



I am excited and delighted to reveal the cover of my newest picture book, PAULIE’S PASSOVER PREDICAMENT, due out from Kar-Ben Publishing in early 2018. The illustrator, Barbara Vagnozzi, has created adorable pictures of my characters.

See for yourself!

Two More Wonderful Picture Books

Two more picture books I read recently and LOVED!

The first is Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons, by Sara Levine and illustrated by T.S. Spookytooth.
This non-fiction book is written so cleverly and illustrated so entertainingly that readers (including moi) will hardly realize they’re learning a whole lot about animal skeletons. No small feat! (I don’t mean no small feet – there are a few of those.)

Millbrook Press
ISBN: 9780761384649



One Cool Friend is deservedly a Caldecott Honor Book, as well as a NY Times bestseller.
It’s a hilarious and brilliant fiction picture book by the prolific Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by David Small. On a visit to the aquarium with his preoccupied dad, the “proper” Elliot brings home a penguin, with wild results, culminating in one of the most surprising and satisfying twist endings in the world of picture books.

Dial Books
ISBN: 978-0803734135