Kidlit County, Uncategorized

Stories of Old

Last weekend, while I was home visiting my family, I unearthed a gold mine in my old closet: folders full of my illustrated stories from elementary school!!! Genres covered: comics, ghost stories, who done its, royal intrigue, historical fiction, myths, and modern retellings of classic fairy tales. I also found some brilliant reporting covering plays and computer room news, as well as editorial illustrations, for the school paper.

I thought these were lost forever. It is a great joy that they have been found. Here is a selection I’d like to share with you.

“Will Somebody Play with Me?” This is a comic about a naive fox who goes looking for a friend to play with, only to fall in with a conniving snake. He’s rescued by my good friend, Ricky Raccoon, who you may know from What’s Your Favorite Color!

“Sarah’s Fight” Princess Sarah’s insane murderous uncle won’t kill the King and take over the kingdom on her watch! But, at what cost!?!?!?

“Riches and Royalty” Did you know that, in England, the aristocracy can literally be at war with each other? I forgot, until I read this! Twist: The American reporter who goes to cover the story discovers that she’s the long lost Princess of Lacen! Wherever that is!

“Columbus and the Stowaway” A charming story starring everyone’s favorite benevolent instigator of mass genocide, Columbus, and the pick pocket who would save his life and become his adopted son (and somehow, later on, an English lord).

“Rumplestiltskin: The Real Story” Inspired by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith’s The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, Rumplestiltskin is an innocent good Samaritan who comes to the aide of an ungrateful girl destined to become Queen. Spoiler alert: he ends up in space.

“Bat Woman” I tried my hand at rewriting a DC classic, and I gotta say, I nailed it. As in, Lee press-on nailed it. Favorite line: “THAT SHOULD TEACH YOU NEVER MAKE FUN OF A GIRL, ESPECIALLY ONE THAT’S A CRIMEFIGHTER!”

“Who Did It?” I used to watch a lot of “Murder, She Wrote,” which bears out in this murder mystery featuring my 6th grade classmates. The detectives don’t really do so much sleuthing as just knowing all the right people who tip them off.

“The Halloween Haunt House” in which a group of friends go into that spooky looking house on the block on Halloween, and an essay on the distinction between good and bad ghosts. “Before you go to bed tonight, think of all the ghosts watching you!” Umm, no thanks!!!

An essay about “My Room” and the cycle of life. Bonus points to my English teacher for the educational side note.

“Why the Moon Shines at Night” This is actually quite touching. It’s a myth about an ugly boy that everyone hates. When they try to kill him, Artemis takes pity on him, makes a stairway to the heavens, and lights the moon to guide him to safety.

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Uncategorized

A Toast to FAMILY!

I’ve been blessed with a very big family, and now I get to share it with the world. Today is the release of Little Elliot, Big Family, the second book in my Little Elliot series with Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (Macmillan).

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What is family? Sometimes it’s the people you’re born to, and sometimes it’s the people you choose to be with. Throughout my life, I’ve been reminded that family takes on many forms. I think it’s a beautiful word, and the more flexibility I allow in its definition, the more love fills my life.

I am very lucky to have a mom and a dad, a sister and a brother. We lived just outside New York City in the house that my Mom was raised in. While my Mom is an only child, my Dad has 7 siblings and nearly 30 nieces and nephews. However, almost all of my Dad’s family lives on the other side of the world! When my Grandma passed away, Continue reading

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Kidlit County, Little Elliot's Neighborhood, Uncategorized

Little Elliot, Big Window, Take THREE!

Little Elliot has moved back into his cushy window at Books of Wonder! His first stay was last year for the launch of Little Elliot, Big City, and then again for Christmas. Now, he’s back, and he brought a few friends, or I should say, his BIG FAMILY! Come celebrate the release of Little Elliot, Big Family with me this Sunday, October 4, at 18 W 18th St, between 5th and 6th Avenues, from 3-5 PM! There will be a book reading, presentation about how I work, drawing demo, and of course CUPCAKES, along with some cheesy treats! Meanwhile, I thought I’d share the “making of” our Mouse party…

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I am very blessed to have a big family of crafty folks here in NYC. In this pic you can see Katrina, Les, Sigal, Emilie, Isabel, and Dan making mice out of socks and pipe cleaners, while Ruth is patiently trimming mounted print outs of mouse portraits from the book’s endpapers.

I got the idea for these mice from Continue reading

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Uncategorized

Announcing the Little Elliot Blog Tour!

Happy Friendship Day! 

Even though every day is friendship day for Elliot, it’s good to have a special day to tell your friends how much you like them. My new friend Terry Shay invited me to make a Celebridot on his awesome blog, so here’s what I made in honor of Friendship Day!

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Meanwhile, Elliot and I have been lucky enough to make a bunch of new friends who are super excited about Little Elliot, Big City. Some of them happen to be some pretty awesome bloggers who are each going to have a special Elliot post the week of the book release, August 26th! Not only will you learn some cool stuff about Elliot’s journey to your bookshelf, you might even win a free give-away! Be sure to check out the blogs on the dates below to find out how you can get a free copy of Little Elliot, Big City, a limited edition tote bag, and stickers! I’ll also be announcing my official Little Elliot Book Tour soon, so stay tuned!

Little Elliot Giveaway

LITTLE ELLIOT BLOG TOUR

Tuesday, August 26           Librarian in Cute Shoes | @utalaniz

Wednesday, August 27     Teach Mentor Texts | @mentortexts

Thursday, August 28         Read. Write. Reflect. | @katsok

Friday, August 29               Kit Lit Frenzy | @alybee930

Saturday, August 30          Daddy Mojo | @daddymojo

Sunday, August 31             The Trifecta:

Sharp Reads | @colbysharp

Watch. Connect. Read. | @mrschureads

Nerdy Book Club | @nerdybookclub

Monday, September 1      Miss Print | @miss_print

Also, be sure to tune into the Let’s Get Busy podcast on August 26th for a full hour-long interview!!

Check out www.LittleElliotBigCity.com to see where you can preorder your copy of Little Elliot, Big City, available August 26th!

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Little Elliot's Neighborhood, Uncategorized

The Countdown!!!

We are now just a MONTH away from Little Elliot, Big City’s release, and it is consuming my every waking moment. “August 26, 2014” has been flashing in my head like a Las Vegas casino sign for months. This is just a brief little post to air out some of the excitement that has been percolating. It has been 2 YEARS since I signed with Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, and over a year since I finished the artwork for Big City. I’ve had moments where it has felt like the book will never actually be published, that it will always be in this limbo of being done but unseen. And now, finally, the big day is just weeks away. In an effort to keep my sanity, I have started a countdown via social media to get me through each slow-as-molasses day. Every image features a little sneak peek of art from the book! Here is today’s:

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Man, I could really use that red velvet cupcake about now too. The good news is that there will be cupcakes at both of my release parties! Come celebrate with me on August 28th at Elliott Bay Bookstore in Seattle, or on September 5th at Books of Wonder in New York City!

Also, if you’re not following me on social media yet, please like my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter so that you can countdown with me! I will be doing a blog tour in August that you won’t want to miss, and that will be a great way to keep up!

Most importantly, check out www.LittleElliotBigCity.com for info on how to pre-order the book.

29 DAYS!!!!

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