Kidlit County, Little Elliot's Neighborhood

A winning small treasure! (and a few of my own)

Many thanks to all who participated in the Little Elliot BIG HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY! People were asked to share what their favorite small treasure is. Our winner, chosen at random, is Marcilia Loubach Tartaglia of Littleton, Mass. She wrote:

“My favorite small treasure is my childhood stuffed blue bunny I used to carry around everywhere with me. It was a gift from my aunt and when we left Brazil to come to America it was my security blanket through all the chaos that was coming to a new country. Even after many beheadings to remove the stuffing from it so that my grandmother could wash her clean, and re-stitchings, she is still with me til this very day. Hopefully I can pass her on to my own children in the future.”

I was delighted that Marcilia won because this was definitely one of my favorite entries! Marcilia will receive a first edition signed copy of Little Elliot, Big City!


We had many sweet entries. Here are just a few:

“My favorite small treasure=a leaf my 9yo daughter gave me in preschool. On it is written ‘I am thankful for mommy'” - Jayme Johnson ‏

“A pine needle from the first Christmas tree my husband and I shared.” - Beth Parmer ‏

“My fave small treasure: an angel ornament my dad gave me. Mom always buys our presents. This is the only one he ever bought :)” - TheBumbleGirl/Margie ‏

“My favorite small treasure is a beach stone from the Maine coast that my son Alex found and gave me some years ago. It’s a regular little hunk of basalt (I think) with streaks of quartz (I believe) that form an A. Simple, small, and precious for a number of reasons”
- Wendy Blake


photo credit: Tim & Amie Van Liew

“My favorite small treasure is a 1/4 inch orange scallop seashell found in Newport Oregon on a family vacation when my daughter was only 1.” - Tim & Amie Van Liew

“My favorite small treasure is a paper holder in the shape of a dolphin that sat on my Mother’s desk when she was alive and now sits on my desk.” - Beth Parente

“My favorite small treasure is the tarnished owl ring my daughters gave me in memory of my owl-loving mom” - Janice Halupnick

“My favorite small treasure is a single earring–conservative by today’s standards–that my mother wore to meet her editor when her middle-grade novel sold to the first editor to whom she sent it, 25 years ago. She worried that the earrings might be too flamboyant but ultimately said, “I’m an artist” in an almost convincing way and wore them with almost confidence.” - Audrey Glassman Vernick

photo credit: Cheryl Hardy Phillips

photo credit: Cheryl Hardy Phillips

“My favorite small treasure is a teeny tiny shopping cart. Can’t even remember where I got it. I have had it sooooo long and each time I come across it, it makes me smile.” - Cheryl Hardy Phillips

“my fav small treasure is a recorded frosty the snowman book all 3 of my kids did for me” Heather Clark

And now, I’d like to share a few of my personal favorite small treasures with you:

This IS A box my friend Beth made me. It has a leaf and a slide of friends from college inside.

This is A box my friend Beth made me. It has a leaf and a slide of friends from college inside.


This is an amazing box a fellow camp counselor made for me. My camp name was Pop Star.


This little guy is a gift from a friend. He makes a cameo in Elliot’s box of treasures in Little Elliot, Big City.

This bar of soap is from the hotel room I stayed in during my one day in Japan.

This bar of soap is from the hotel room I stayed in during my one day in Japan.


This is a bottle cap from when my friend Cathy and I shared a bottle of wine on a hilltop overlooking Florence at the end of our study abroad.


I love this box of incense a friend brought back from Brazil.


Here is a collection of some of the hemp necklaces I used to make in high school and college.

This is my favorite small treasure: a small wooden bird my brother carved for me when he was a wee lad.

This is my favorite small treasure: a small wooden bird my brother carved for me when he was a wee lad.

Kidlit County, Little Elliot's Neighborhood


If you’re like me, you’ve waited till the last minute to do your Christmas shopping. I thought I could help out some lucky person  by giving away a FREE signed copy of Little Elliot, Big City! We all know that Elliot loves small treasures. He wants to know what your favorite small treasure is!


How to Get the Goods:

1. Like and share this post on my Facebook page and/or favorite and retweet this tweet on Twitter:

2. To enter, just comment on the Facebook post or reply to the tweet and answer the question “What is your favorite small treasure?” Be sure to use the hashtag #LittleElliot

3. Deadline to enter is 11:59PM Wednesday, December 17th, 2014.

It’s as simple as that! I will pick a winner on Thursday and ship it off that day!

Limitations: 1 entry per person. US residents only, sorry!


Kidlit County, Little Elliot's Neighborhood

Little Elliot, BIG WINDOW, Part 2: Christmastime at Books of Wonder!

Christmas is upon us! Books of Wonder asked me to dress their window again, this time for the holidays (here’s what the first window looked like in August). Elliot and Mouse have been busy little elves, helping Santa wrap up presents! They might have read a few pages along the way, just to make sure everything was good.

There are lots of books by friends in the window:

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
Hug Machine by Scott Campbell
Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light
Five, Six, Seven, Nate by Tim Federle
El Deafo by CeCe Bell
Outside by Deirdre Gill
The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie and a BIG copy of Polar Express  by Chris Van Allsburg
and more!

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 4.39.09 PM
Books of Wonder also has signed copies of Little Elliot, Big City available for order! Get a copy for someone special this  Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Festivus!

Also, I wouldn’t have been able to get all this done without the help of the lovely Samantha Berger, who makes GREAT kids books:

Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry
Martha Doesn’t Share


Kidlit County, Little Elliot's Neighborhood

Little Elliot, Big New York Times Book Review!

nyt_logoElliot is hot off the presses of The New York Times! Mark Rotella reviewed Little Elliot, Big City today, alongside Hug Me by Simona Ciraolo, A Good Home for Max by Junzo Terada, and The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie by Chris Van Allsburg. As if being written up in the Times isn’t enough of an honor, Rotella compares my work to one of my personal heroes:

“Mike Curato beautifully renders the images in rich earth tones that are soft and smooth, calling to mind ‘The Sweetest Fig’ by Chris Van Allsburg.”

Click here to read the full article!


Illustration Station, Little Elliot's Neighborhood, Mikesville

2014 Society of Illustrators Founder’s Award

photo credit: Society of Illustrators

photo credit: Society of Illustrators

Last night I was deeply honored to receive the 2014 Original Art Show Founder’s Award at the Society of Illustrators. It was a wonderful evening. It’s amazing to be counted among so many talented people working in children’s books today. Benjamin Chaud won the gold medal for Bear Song, while 2 silver medals went to Carson Ellis  for Wildwood Imperium and Gary Kelly for Harlem Hellfighters. Lane Smith won a Lifetime Achievement award, as well as Arnold Lobel (posthumously). My heart swelled when the award was given to Lobel’s daughter. He has been an illustrator and storyteller who I have looked up to for many years.


Frog and Toad has been one of my most cherished books, and it’s been loved by countless others.

I’m still feeling overwhelmed by all of the beautiful pieces that Elliot is (literally) hanging out with. I need to get back to the show to see everything up close and personal, without hundreds of people crammed into the gallery. I’m proud to call some of these artists my friends. You can click here to see a full list of all of the artists who were accepted into the show. Also, the Original Art Show will be traveling the country for the next year, making stops in Memphis College of Art, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, and more to be announced.

Kelly Light and me at a show that our books got into, holding a Publisher's Weekly article about our books. #Metaland

Kelly Light and me at a show that our books got into, holding a Publisher’s Weekly article about our books. #Metaland


Celebrations ended with cake bigger than Ruth Chan’s head…and maybe a few other treats.


Little Elliot's Neighborhood

Polka Dotting the US: The Little Elliot Book Tour Recap

Wow! It has been a very busy few weeks! Elliot and I criss-crossed the country on a book tour to promote Little Elliot, Big City. We met lots of new friends! Here are some highlights from each stop…

click to enlarge

9/19 Norfolk, VA

I started my journey at SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Association).


FIRST TIMER ribbon = all hugs & no hazing ;)


I did a book signing, and spoke on a panel featuring Little Elliot, Big City; Pout Pout Fish Goes to School illustrated by Dan Hanna; The Stick by Clay Rice; and Louise Loves Art by my friend Kelly Light.


It was nice to see a familiar face on my first day! Kelly Light was also on tour, and supplied me with some helpful pointers.

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