Happy Book Birthday to Daphne Kalmar's debut middle grade novel, A STITCH IN TIME!

Today I'm delighted to wish a happy pub day to a book that stole my heart from it's very first line, A STITCH IN TIME!

Donut is an eleven-year old geography buff who keeps her taxidermied mice hidden in her late mother’s hope chest. Her pops passed away, leaving her an orphan. Stuffy Aunt Agnes has moved in, bringing along her lumpy oatmeal, knitting, and a plan to drag Donut off to Boston forever.

Donut stands to lose everything: her friends, her village, her home, the woods, and walks where the memories of her pops are stored up like the bread and butter pickles in canning jars on the shelf.

While Donut dodges the ache of missing her pops, she and her best friend Tiny plan how to keep her where she belongs. When Aunt Agnes is not persuaded, Donut paddles away in her pops’ last invention, a folding tin boat.  Holed up in a cabin on Dog Pond, Donut hopes Aunt Agnes will throw in the towel and leave Vermont without her.  But Donut isn’t counting on a bear, a leaky boat, or an ache that won’t go away.

A STITCH IN TIME is shot through with gorgeous, evocative language, and gets right to Donut’s heart – her hurt, her strength, her struggle to make sense of loss. She’s buoyed by her sense of humor, and this is a book that made me both cry and cackle with laughter. But perhaps what I love about it most is that it’s not just about loss, it’s about renewal.

And look at the strong reviews and blurbs!

"Taxidermy? What better journey to uncover the true stuff of character! A classic, indelible debut." Rita Williams-Garcia, author of the Newbery Honor novel One Crazy Summer

"Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, Donut’s story is gritty, hopeful and ultimately all about the various ways that love shows up. I loved it.” Kathi Appelt, author of the Newbery Honor and National Book Award finalist novel The Underneath

"Kalmars debut has an authentic voice that brings her protagonist vividly to life and lends her struggles with grief an immediacy that belies the 1927 setting. Donut is brassy and flawed but easy to love, especially in light of how much she values friendships and her growing self-awareness." Booklist, starred review

"Kalmar introduces a delightfully intricate character in Donut, whose passions include bird taxidermy, memorizing tidbits from the atlas Pops gave her, and her friendships with affectingly portrayed Vermonters. The author leaves readers knowing that her insightful, articulate, and wry heroine will land―solidly―on her feet." Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Kalmar transports readers into the woods of Vermont with her vivid descriptions. Readers will empathize with Donut’s heartache over the loss of her father and her fierce desire to resist change at all costs. A superb read-aloud, educators and readers will find much to discuss. VERDICT A solid piece of historical fiction, this novel is a recommended purchase for most libraries." School Library Journal

You'll find A STITCH IN TIME at your local library or bookstore. Congrats and happiest of Pub Days to Daphne!

Happy Book Birthday to Sarah Tolcser's WHISPER OF THE TIDE & Ruth Spiro's BABY LOVES CODING!


Today I'm delighted to wish a happy pub day to two books that couldn't be more different, or more wonderful! 

WHISPER OF THE TIDE follows Sarah's debut novel, SONG OF THE CURRENT, out last June.

Caro and Markos have settled into a routine: Wake up, eat breakfast, and try to figure out who might attempt to assassinate Markos today . . . so the currents aren't exactly calm. Markos is in constant danger, and his claim to the throne is shaky without the support of an army. When a powerful Archon offers Markos the military might he needs in exchange for marrying his daughter, Caro and Markos must decide which is more important: their love for each other or the fate of Akhaia.

Rich with shipwrecks, lost treasure, old and new enemies, dark magic, and breathtaking romance, Sarah Tolcser weaves another epic story about chasing your fate and charting your own course.

"Caro's adventures and struggles to change her fate will leave readers on the edges of their seats. . . . A thrilling sequel." - Kirkus Reviews

"A tale of figuring out what it means to have a destiny and what it means to follow your heart." - School Library Journal

"Shipwrecks, sea chases, political intrigue, assassins, and treasure hunts are all part of the mix in this deftly paced sequel to Song of the Current. Focused on adventure, this has just enough romance to appeal to a wide range of tastes." - Booklist

"As in Song of the Current, Tolcser deftly weaves together romance, family, and politics, with a swashbuckling adventure full of twists and turns, narrated in Caro’s distinctive and forceful voice." - BCCB



Now we move to the other end of the spectrum, to a book for the very youngest readers, BABY LOVES CODING!

Baby has so many trains -- there's the blue, yellow and green choo-choos. But where is the red one? Can Baby think like a coder to fix her train? Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book showcases the use of logic, sequence, and patterns to solve problems. 

The goal of the Baby Loves Science books is to introduce STEM topics in a developmentally appropriate way. As a precursor to learning programming languages and syntax, Baby Loves Coding presents the concepts of sequencing, problem solving, cause and effect, and thinking step-by-step. Practicing these skills early creates a solid foundation for reading, writing, math and eventually, programming. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby's sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!

You'll find WHISPER OF THE TIDE and BABY LOVES CODING at your local library or bookstore. Congrats and happiest of Pub Days to Sarah and Ruth! 

Happy Book Birthday to CONFUSION IS NOTHING NEW by Paul Acampora!

I’m delighted to wish this marvelous, funny book and it's author, Paul Acampora, the very happiest of book birthdays! 

Ellie Magari just learned that her mother is dead. Perhaps that would be sad if Ellie had ever met the woman. Exactly who was Ellie's mom? Does it even matter that she's gone? Perhaps a dead mom can still help Ellie figure out what it means to be a girl in the world today. Either way, Ellie wouldn't mind a role model beyond her master chef Dad.

Fueled by the bighearted sounds of '80s rock and roll, plus large doses of Cyndi Lauper's girl-power joy, Confusion Is Nothing New is about friendship, family mysteries, and the perfect pizza. It's also about fathers and daughters and girls who understand that it's good to make things, but breaking things is okay too. 

In fact, sometimes breaking things is required.



Read on for our excellent reviews!

"Ellie’s quest to determine who her mother really was, helped along by those who knew her, reads like a light mystery and drives the story forward. Yet it’s the dry wit of Acampora’s characters—including Ellie’s principal, the wise and wisecracking Sister Stephanie—and the love of ’80s music permeating every scene that give this story its rhythm and soul." — Publishers Weekly

"Two things make the novel enjoyable...: the many idiosyncratic characters who bring the story to life and the irrepressible humor, which is unexpected, often droll, and sometimes laugh-aloud funny. A satisfying novel of loss, change, and renewal."—Booklist

"Filled with references to 80s pop music, Acampora's fast-paced and entertaining novel will satisfy lovers of family stories that have a touch of mystery." —School Library Journal

Please find CONFUSION IS NOTHING NEW at your library or local bookstore. Congrats and happiest of Pub Days to Paul — stop by his site, here and here, to say hello!

Happy Book Birthday to BONE'S GIFT by Angie Smibert!


I’m delighted to wish a superb book and it's author, Angie Smibert, the very happiest of book birthdays! 

BONE'S GIFT is a supernatural historical mystery about twelve-year-old Bone, who possesses a Gift that allows her to see the stories in everyday objects. When she receives a note that says her mother's Gift killed her, Bone seeks to unravel the mysteries of her mother's death, the schisms in her family, and the Gifts themselves.

In a southern Virginia coal-mining town in 1942, Bone Phillips has just reached the age when most members of her family discover their Gift. Bone has a Gift that disturbs her; she can sense stories when she touches an object that was important to someone. She sees both sad and happy--the death of a deer in an arrowhead, the pain of a beating in a baseball cap, and the sense of joy in a fiddle. There are also stories woven into her dead mama's butter-yellow sweater--stories Bone yearns for and fears. When Bone receives a note that says her mama's Gift is what killed her, Bone tries to uncover the truth. Could Bone's Gift do the same? This beautifully resonant coming-of-age tale is about learning to trust the power of your own story.


Read on for our excellent reviews!

This mystical mystery makes good use of its World War II backdrop, with sure-fire markers of the times ranging from Pearl Harbor to Negro League Baseball. It also effectively evokes the Appalachian culture with written dialect and a cultural emphasis on storytelling that’ll snag even history-resistant readers...No worries about what’s to come for Bone and her family, though; Bone’s Gift is just the opening installment of the Ghosts of Ordinary Objects trilogy.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“[Bone’s Gift] is a middle-grade book, but it has much wider appeal than that. I loved this book. When it comes out on March 20th, I highly recommend grabbing it. The setting is beautiful, the characters rich, and the plot just windy enough to keep you interested (but not confused).” — Blogger & Librarian, Rebecca Ciota

"An intriguing blend of history and magic." — Kirkus Reviews

"This well-researched novel has a strong sense of place...The narrative includes stories from both Appalachian and Cherokee traditions, and offers complex perspectives on child labor, duty, and the effects illness and war had on rural communities."— Booklist

Please find BONE'S GIFT at your library or local bookstore. Congrats and happiest of Pub Days to Angie — stop by her site, here and here, to say hello!

SUPER HAPPY Book Birthday to CRUISING FOR A SNOOZING, book #8 in the Super Happy Party Bears series!


Today is the day, folks! The day that the eighth book in the marvelous, colorful, silly and happy series, SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS, is available -- aka your lucky day!

A group of sloths arrives at the Grumpy River for a synchronized swimming competition, and the Super Happy Party Bears are thrilled. They throw a party to celebrate their team, but the sloths just...sleep.

The residents of the Grumpy Woods can't help but notice the giant pile of snoozing sloths, and Mayor Quill plots to get rid of them by shutting down the competition...until he unexpectedly gets the opportunity to show off his swimming moves.

Illustrated in full color!

Praise for Super Happy Party Bears: Knock Knock on Wood : "The pure delight of the story will easily draw youngsters in and probably turn a few grumpy frowns upside down." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB)

Read all the Super Happy Party Bears adventures:
Super Happy Party Bears: Gnawing Around
Super Happy Party Bears: Knock Knock on Wood 
Super Happy Party Bears: Staying a Hive 
Super Happy Party Bears: Going Nuts 
Super Happy Party Bears: Bat to the Bone
Super Happy Party Bears: The Jitterbug
Super Happy Party Bears: Tiny Prancer




Congratulations to Marcie Colleen for these wonderful books! Stop and say hi to her at her site or on twitter!

Happy Book Birthday to A TAXONOMY OF LOVE and HOPE IN THE HOLLER!

I’m delighted to wish two marvelous books the very happiest of book birthdays! 

A TAXONOMY OF LOVE is Rachael Allen's third YA novel. It begins with the moment Spencer meets Hope, the summer before seventh grade. It’s . . . something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too.

Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful.

Read on for our excellent reviews!

 “Readers will be on the edge of their seats wondering what the future holds...this book is groundbreaking in its demonstration of the complexity of human emotion.” -- School Library Connection, Starred Review

“Through sparkling prose (and Spencer’s clever doodles), Allen depicts how debasing unrequited love can feel, and just how consuming that connection can be when shared at long last.” -- Booklist

“A multilayered and charming novel that blends humor, romance, tragedy, and other universal coming-of-age themes.” -- School Library Journal

“Fans of John Corey Whaley’s Highly Illogical Behavior will appreciate the two characters’ attempts to reach each other despite everything that happens over the course of six years.” -- VOYA


Lisa Lewis Tyre's HOPE IN THE HOLLER is her second middle-grade novel: the poignant -- and funny -- story of a girl trying to be brave and find her place in the world after she's sent to live with scheming relatives.

Right before Wavie's mother died, she gave Wavie a list of instructions to help her find her way in life, including this one: Be brave, Wavie B! You got as much right to a good life as anybody, so find it! But little did Wavie's mom know that events would conspire to bring Wavie back to Conley Hollow, the Appalachian hometown her mother tried to leave behind. Now Wavie's back in the Holler -- and in the clutches of her Aunt Samantha Rose. Life with the devilish Samantha Rose and her revolting cousin Hoyt is no picnic, but there's real pleasure in sleeping in her own mother's old bed, and making friends with the funny, easygoing kids her aunt calls the "neighborhood-no-accounts." With their help, Wavie just might be able to prevent her aunt from becoming her legal guardian, and find her courage and place in the world.

We're getting great attention for HOPE already:

Top Pick, Winter 2017-2018 Kids’ Indie Next List 

Amazon’s Best Books of the Month for January

 “A moving and richly engaging tale of despair and redemption.” -- Kirkus, Starred Review

“Those who read this will find hope in the most desperate times, even if it means struggling through the deepest troubles.” -- Denver Post

Please find these books at your library or local bookstore – they are both utterly delightful! Not to mention these gorgeous covers, no?

Congrats and happiest of Pub Days to Rachael and Lisa -- stop by their sites to say hello. You'll find Rachael here and Lisa here.


Announcing a deal! A STITCH IN TIME by Daphne Kalmar

I'm so happy to share that Daphne Kalmar's debut MG novel, A STITCH IN TIME, has sold to Jean Feiwel and Anna Roberto at Feiwel & Friends!

Donut is an eleven-year old geography buff who keeps her taxidermied mice hidden in her late mother’s hope chest.  Her pops died eight weeks ago, leaving her an orphan.  Aunt Agnes has moved in, bringing along her lumpy oatmeal, her knitting and a plan to drag Donut off to Boston forever.

Donut stands to lose everything: her friends, her Vermont village, her home, the woods and walks where the memories of her pops are stored up like the bread and butter pickles in canning jars on the shelf.  While Donut dodges the hurt of missing her pops, she and her best friend Tiny plan how to keep her right where she belongs.  When Aunt Agnes is not persuaded, Donut paddles away in her pops’ last invention, a folding tin boat.  Holed up in a cabin on Dog Pond, Donut hopes Aunt Agnes will throw in the towel and leave Vermont without her.  But Donut isn’t counting on a bear, a leaky boat, or an ache that won’t go away.

A STITCH IN TIME is shot through with gorgeous, evocative language, and gets right to Donut’s heart – her hurt, her strength, her struggle to make sense of loss.  She’s buoyed by her sense of humor, and this is a book that made me both cry and cackle with laughter.  But perhaps what I love about it most is that it’s not just about loss, it’s about renewal.

You'll find it in bookstores next June -- congratulations to Daphne!