Slow, Steady and Amahzing…

Yesterday my husband looked out the window and called my attention to something moving slowly but steadily across our backyard. The sight, as my daughter would say, was amahzing..

A Giant Snapping Turtle!

A Giant Snapping Turtle!

To show this prehistoric-looking creature’s impressive size, we gingerly placed a large watering can next to it….

Turtle next to watering jug

Kinda big, right?

And then, perhaps providing inspiration for my next picture book (or young adult novel?), the turtle–already dubbed Snappy–appeared to develop romantic interest in its new green plastic friend…Turtle investigating jugStay tuned!

Happy 100th Birthday to My Dad!!!!

My Dad at 99 3/4 Years Old

Just sharing the amazing, happy news that my dad, Milton Sutton, turned 100 years old yesterday! He is as witty and charming as ever. In a later post, I’ll share some ways he’s inspired my writing. But for now, I’ll just shout Happy Birthday from every virtual roof top and include this link to an article about his life, career as one of the original Mad Men, e.g., creator of the iconic Crying Indian commercial, and his volunteerism:                                    

Sharing My Stories…

…is always a treat, especially since writing is a solitary pursuit. As a children’s book author, I get to read to adorable audiences. One cutie at the Lexington Farmers Market last week was tickled that he shared the name of one of my characters, Gabie, a duck celebrating his birthday in Don’t Call Me Sidney.jane@farmersmarket2014

Tomatoes & Stories: Delicious Combo!

lfm_logoIf you’re free Tuesday, 9/2 at 5 PM in Lexington, MA, stop by to listen to me read a couple of my books at the Lexington Farmers Market, corner of Woburn St & Mass Ave. It’s the annual Tomato Fest, featuring a special Children’s Story Time with local authors–from 4-6 PM. Should be delicious fun!

Triumphant Moment!

It happened this summer at a Lowell Spinners Minor League Baseball Game. My husband, Al, and I were already having a great time. We were with good friends, it was a beautiful warm summer evening, plus it was Dog Night, which meant between-innings performances by a Frisbee-catching dog, a Dog and Owner Closest Resemblance Contest, and more! Despite all the excitement, by the seventh inning our group decided we would tear ourselves away. But then the announcer said that rubber chickens would be tossed into the crowd.

Al’s eyes lit up. He said we couldn’t leave quite yet. The golf cart circled the field towards our section. The rubber chicken was launched, Al raised his arms, and…yes! He caught it! The look of delight in his eyes was charming to behold. He said, “I always wanted to come to a ball game and catch a fowl.”

The Triumph! The Delight!

The Triumph! The Delight!

Me and My Dad

Of all the author events I’ve done, one of my faves was the joint appearance I did with my dad, a retired ad man who’s now 99 years old and still coming up with quick, witty observations on life and writing rhymed toasts at family gatherings. Here’s the flyer we made for our hit talk:Jane & Milton @ Cadbury

I love Summer!

I love summer for many reasons, including our bunny visitors. This year we have a big bunny and a baby bunny who spend hours chomping grass and weeds in our back yard. They’re remarkably unafraid of us, allowing us to get very close. We find them totally endearing except when they nibble our flowers.

2 Frequent Visitors to Our Yard, 2 Reasons I love Summer

 2 Furry Reasons I love Summer

Creative Teachers

2014-02-11Teachers never fail to surprise me with new ways to support literacy. A couple of days ago, I gave an author talk to a group of adorable students at St. Peter School in Cambridge, MA (see above photo). When I realized that the audience consisted of children as young as pre-K, I wondered if they’d stay focused, especially with end-of-year restlessness a factor. But clearly prepared by their teachers, who’d taken the time to read aloud two of my picture books prior to my visit, the children were engaged and asked astute questions.

Afterwards, one 1st grader melted my heart when she approached me with her teacher, looked up at me with serious brown eyes and said, “I’m one of your fans.”

But back to the teachers…to complement my book Don’t Call Me Sidney, about an aspiring pig poet who changes his name to become more rhymeable, a first grade teacher asked her students to write about their own names. Their responses were varied, thoughtful and had accompanying artwork. One of my favorite pieces included this line: “I like my name because it makes me me!”

These young writers now have me as one of their fans!

Happy Day

Congratulations to my son, Charlie, for earning his Master’s in Public Administration from Suffolk University. And…for becoming a member of the Pi Alpha Alpha (no, not a typo–there are 2 Alphas) Honor Society due to his stellar academic record. A beautiful day on Boston Harbor!

Family celebration! From left, my husband (Al), moi, Charlie, Charlie's wife (Amberly), my daughter (Becky)

                   Family celebration! From left, my husband (Al), moi, Charlie, Charlie’s wife (Amberly), my daughter (Becky)