Praise for BABY LOVES!

This fall was the debut for two wonderful picture books from a new series, BABY LOVES SCIENCE.  BABY LOVES THERMODYNAMICS and BABY LOVES QUARKS are utterly charming (I'm biased of course, but really -- who could resist these books?!).  The text, by my client Ruth Spiro, is smart, funny, and rock solid science.  Now I finally understand what quarks are!  The illustrations that accompany the text are colorful and sweet, featuring two of the most irresistible kids you could hope to meet in the pages of a book.  These truly are perfect books for the toddler set.  And I'm not the only one who thinks so -- here's a list of the praise that we've received so far!

Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!

ILLINOIS READS 2017 selection for Birth – 4 Years  (Baby Loves Quarks!)
Under the auspices of the Illinois Reading Council, ILLINOIS READS is a yearly statewide project to promote reading for all Illinois citizens. Beginning with read aloud books for babies, 6 books will be selected for each additional age band through adult readers.
LA Times HolidayBooks Gift Guide: The hottest books for young adults, middle-graders and gorgeous new picture books (2016)
There’s plenty to engage young children in these simple books (part of the Baby Loves series) that introduce basic science ideas and science vocabulary. The book titles are probably more for the adults than the young children for whom these board books are intended!
SLJ/Fuse #8 by Betsy Bird
"Okay now.  Before you start with the eye rolling, hear me out.  Have you ever actually read these books?  I know they look like a science-y version of Cozy Classics or other adult concepts siphoned down to board book formats.  Go into them, though, and they’re clever.  Just big concepts made palatable.  The titles may have a shock effect, but the contents are worth considering.  Plus we don’t have much in the way of science-related board books AT ALL these days."
American Scientist
STEM Books for Young Children
"I applaud this series of board books for attempting to bring some complicated topics down to a very introductory level.  Using cute and colorful illustrations, these books rely on the familiar to explain the unfamiliar....if you're looking for baby books that at least bring up the subject of physics and engineering as normal aspects of everyday life, these are a great place to start!"

The Planetary Society
(Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!)
"It's a relief to have one baby space book to recommend that does not just list all the planets. This adorable baby board book talks about how Bird can fly, then asks if airplanes fly like birds? (No!) But at least Bird can commiserate with the airplane that neither can go to space. In the end, the bird gets to take a rocket into space. Have fun, bird!"

The Blade (Toledo)
"Part of the Baby Loves Science series, these are “little books about big ideas.” In Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering, Baby learns the dynamics of flight by watching a bird fly, and discovers how engines and fuel make flight possible for planes and rockets. In Baby Loves Quarks, Baby learns that quarks are the building blocks of nature, that atoms and molecules compose the world, including Baby! These colorful board books are an inviting introduction to all things science and math."
"I don't know that I've ever been as impressed with a board book as I am with this one. No, it doesn't quite appeal to my normal cheesy humor nor am I totally blown away by the illustrations (the usual positive reviews I include in my favorite board books), but MAN does it explain nuclear physics on the perfect level for young toddlers! ...Or, you know, man, does it explain physics for the regular layman such as myself (blush).

"Okay, but really, it's a perfectly short, concise explanation of the building blocks of nature, while working in the perfectly relatable story of a baby building with blocks. My own daughter LOVES building blocks and knocking them down so I really think this book connects with its target audience well and provides subtle (and super awesome) education at the same time. And don't get me wrong, the illustrations are still cute and help explain the science. Overall, awesome book, and I'm looking forward to reading Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering next!"
"No one is too young to experience S.T.E.M.  Babies and toddlers have a natural curiosity that leads them to taste, touch, explore and experiment with everything around them.  While this can make childcare a little hectic, parents can easily encourage children by asking and answering questions, describing things to increase vocabulary, and allowing children to play safely with a variety of household items.  A new board book series called “Baby Loves” by Ruth Spiro captures the enthusiasm for S.T.E.M. In Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering, simple sentences and colorful, bright illustrations present questions and answers about things that fly – birds, airplanes, and a rocket. Andrea Beatty’s picture books — Ada Twist, Scientist, Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect – are also good introductions for younger listeners."

The Library Voice – Shannon Miller
"I love how Ruth takes our young readers on an adventure in science through these adorable board books.They will relate to them with the sweet illustrations and be engaged while... learning about so many important STEM topics.  These will be a BIG hit in learning and reading at school and home."
"If you think about it, most things we do on a daily basis can be turned into science, especially when coupled with an explanation.  From pouring water from one cup to another (different sized cups are great for volume), laundry (physics of the spinning clothes), baking (chemistry), bubbles (surface tension), our bodies (biology), and the environment, we can always find something scientific to engage the kids in even when they are babies.

"It is never too early to become an engineer or chemist!  With these adorable board books, babies will love learning the basics of flight and particle physics and chemistry giving them the head start they need.  Featuring friendly, simple text, cheerful illustrations and facts, these books are the perfect fun introduction to chemistry, physics and engineering.

"My kids and I adore this Baby Loves Science series of books.  There are currently two books in the series and a new one is coming out in the coming months called Baby Loves Quantum Physics.

"As the author of the  Baby Loves Science series of board books, Ruth Spiro’s goal has been to learn as much as she can about science, and also about how parents and caregivers can turn everyday experiences into fun, informal learning opportunities for their little ones.  Check these out for your STEM loving, curious little readers!"

"The books are well-crafted for their young audience, with bright colors, adorable illustrations of babies and subject matter that is tailor-made to young children's interests. In "Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!" (Don't laugh too much at the title -- it's actually pretty fun!), a baby notices a bird, and, in short, simple sentences, concepts of aeronautics are taught: "The top of her wing is curved. The bottom of her wing is flat." These concepts are then expanded upon as the baby plays with a toy airplane and learns about rockets.

"Baby Loves Quarks" is even more fun, as the concept of atoms being the building blocks of matter is compared to, what else, but actual building blocks. Little children will love the adorable illustrations of protons and neutrons holding hands as they unify to create an atom, and they'll love the concept of scientists smashing a nucleus as the baby smashing his block tower is shown!

"These books are a fun way to introduce little ones to scientific concepts."
"How does a bird relate to an airplane or a rocket?  How does baby’s blocks relate to quarks and molecules? Using very simple words and illustrations, Spiro cuts to the heart of these similarities in a board book of all things.  I showed these books to my 8th grade science teachers and they went gaga over them!  This was exactly what they were looking for to demonstrate these concepts to their students.  Now they are eagerly waiting for me to buy copies for them and catalog them so that they can have them to use in their classrooms.  So they are worth a look almost any science classroom."

Equal Goods HolidayGift Guide
Children’s Gifts Free From Gender Stereotypes

Anastasia Suen

Announcing a deal! Alison Oliver's MOON

I'm delighted to announce the sale of Alison Oliver's picture book, MOON, as well as a sequel.  MOON is a gorgeous, heartfelt story that explores the joy of wildness.

Like most children, Moon’s life is busy.  School is followed by homework, followed by piano practice, followed by chores; and the next day it all begins again.  Moon is good at doing everything expected, but she wonders: what it would be like if she didn’t have so much to do.  

And then, one night, she meets a wolf.  Not the wolf you’re expecting – not the one that plagued the pigs, or grinned at Red Riding Hood.  This wolf takes her to the forest, away from home and the endless round of things-to-do.  Moon doesn’t command or tame the wolves, she learns from them – she learns to howl, to hide, and how to be wild. 

A big congratulations to Alison and Jennifer Greene at Clarion Books.  I can't wait for this book to be out in the world!

Announcing a Deal! New SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS by Marcie Colleen!

I'm so pleased to announce that Marcie Colleen will be writing the next four SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS books, for a total of eight.  The first SHPB books came out this fall -- GNAWING AROUND and KNOCK KNOCK ON WOOD -- and are jumping off shelves everywhere!

To the Super Happy Party Bears, everything is a good thing. Their entire attitude can be summed up in one word: YAY! They love doughnuts, dancing, and above all else—a good party. Not so for the rest of the animals living in the Grumpy Woods. They find the bears terribly annoying.

In GNAWING AROUND, when a few beavers come to town, the Grumpy Woods are even grumpier than usual. These beavers are drying up their river with their dam . . . the beavers are ruining everything! They must leave—it is decreed! But the Super Happy Party Bears just love the beavers! As the Grumpy Woods scheme to unwelcome them, the Super Happy Party Bears throw them a housewarming party that will prove dancing can always save the day.

In KNOCK, KNOCK, the Grumpy Woods dislike Wallace Woodpecker only slightly less than the Super Happy Party Bears. They find his pecking preposterously loud, but the bears think Wallace is beating a nice rhythm--it's great for early-morning dancercise! The bears convince Wallace he has great skills to offer the woods, and they give him ideas for unsolicited handy work. Instead of endearing him to the neighbors, it annoys them even more. Can the bears really help this noisy neighbor?

Congratulations to Marcie Colleen and Steve James for this new deal!


Happy publication day to these wonderful middle grade novels!

A PATRON SAINT FOR JUNIOR BRIDESMAIDS is Shelley Tougas's third novel, following THE GRAHAM CRACKER PLOT and last fall's FINDERS, KEEPERS, which is now available in paperback.

A bully, a wedding, and a larger-than-life family add up to a hilarious and heartfelt middle-grade novel.
Mary Margaret Miller is going to be a junior bridesmaid--that is, if she isn't grounded for the rest of her life. She's feuding with school bully Brent Helzinski, and her cousin Eden, aka The Bride, is clashing with her grandmother about wedding plans. Mary knows it's her job as a junior bridesmaid to make the day run smoothly, but she sure could use a little help from above.

“Tougas keeps the narrative just light enough for her target audience of middle graders even as Mary struggles with some pretty deep religious questions. She may have been the Minnesota Church Youth Group Member of the Year, but that doesn't mean she is without flaws—a hard thing to admit. Wedding-prep comedy balances serious questions of morality in this sweetly perceptive book.” – Kirkus Reviews

"With a boisterous, multigenerational family and touching themes of tolerance, there’s a lot to like here, and fans of feel-good stories will be delighted." – Booklist

"[Mary's] voice is funny without being hyperbolic; instead, she is ordinary, observant, and realistically plagued by an overburdened sense of responsibility to keep everyone happy, which makes her relatable to many tweens. Readers looking for a lighthearted summer read about faith, family, and figuring out who you are in the midst of a lot of noise will enjoy this." – Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Mary Margaret Miller is one of those narrators who leaps off the page.  She’s funny, smart and bold; tender, compassionate and courageous.  As a story teller, a truth seeker and a Junior Bridesmaid, Mary is absolutely radiant.  Well done, Shelley Tougas!” – Sheila Turnage, author of the Newbery Honor book, Three Times Lucky

"Is there a Patron Saint for reading?  I hope so because this book is sweet, funny, and chock full of goodness!" – Lisa Greenwald, author of My Life in Pink and Green

To buy a copy of this delightful book, please visit:

And to say hi to Shelley, visit her site, or say hi on twitter!

Next up is THE INFINITY YEAR OF AVALON JAMES by debut author, Dana Middleton.  

Avalon James and Atticus Brightwell have a secret--one that they aren't allowed to discuss with anyone. This secret is shared between two best friends. When you and your best friend turn ten years old magical things are said to happen. You both will receive some kind of magical power. It can be a power you can call on time and time again. Or it can be a power that comes once when you need it most. It's your Infinity Year and the possibilities are endless.

The past year hasn't been great with her family being torn apart and bullying at school, so Avalon is depending on her magical ability to appear soon and help. With the clock ticking and her eleventh birthday approaching, which would be the end of her powers, Avalon's hopes are running high. Will she and Atticus get the powers they so desperately want and need?

Dana Middleton's debut novel is a wonderfully enchanting story of the possibility of magic and the even more magical bond between two best friends.

We've received two starred reviews for this lovely novel!

“Life lessons are related in Avalon's genial, evocative voice, convincingly illuminating many of the issues of a year that can offer infinite possibilities, even if the magic is imagined. A fine, tenderly nuanced tale of the remarkable power of friendship.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 “This offers a number of realistically drawn characters, both kids and adults, portrayed as complex people who interact and cope with their troubles in individual ways. A well-knit first novel with an involving, affecting story." – Booklist 

“Blending realism with just a touch of magic, Middleton’s debut novel demonstrates a keen awareness of the infinite possibilities of childhood.”  – Publishers Weekly

“This will appeal to readers looking for an overall upbeat story with realistic drama. Featuring a positive depiction of boy-girl friendship and appealing characters, this is recommended.” – School Library Journal

For copies of AVALON, please visit:

and give author Dana Middleton a shout on twitter!

Announcing a Deal! MAXINE AND MILTON by Ruth Spiro

I'm so pleased to announce the sale of  Ruth Spiro's MAXINE AND MILTON picture book series!  Ruth is also the author of the BABY LOVES series, out this month.  In this new series, Ruth has created a marvelous new main character -- Maxine, who is a Maker.  She likes to create things, but not in a crafty sense.  She prefers gears to googly eyes and circuits to coloring books.  And for Maxine, there’s nothing better than a problem to solve.  With her beloved companion and muse, a goldfish named Milton, she deconstructs and reconstructs, tweaks and hacks – Maxine can make anything better with a little elbow grease and her know-how.

When Maxine invites Milton to march with her in the class Pet Parade, he’s bubbling with excitement. (Being a goldfish, he doesn’t get out much.)  There’s just one hitch: marching doesn’t come naturally for a fish, even one as cool as Milton.  Maxine is undeterred – she must use her powers of invention, and maker know-how, to create a way for Milton to take part.  But this hack may be the toughest one yet…

MAXINE & MILTON celebrates one girl’s smart, determined approach to solving problems.  I love that Maxine is a maker – never happier than when she’s tinkering with machines and technology – but she’s more than a modern day Rube Goldberg.  Maxine is a good friend too, dedicated to including Milton not just because it’s an opportunity to invent, but because she loves him.

We're so excited about working with Holly Hatam on this book, and can't wait to see how she brings Maxine to life!


These little books about big ideas -- BABY LOVES QUARKS and BABY LOVES AEROSPACE ENGINEERING -- make me very happy, and I'm so glad that they are out in the world today!

I work with Ruth Spiro, the writer whose concept these books are. Her ability to explain complex scientific ideas simply and completely, never ceases to amaze me!  When she sent me the texts for these two books, I was utterly delighted and I know that parents, babies and teachers will be too.

Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, QUARKS explores the basics of particle physics and chemistry – quarks, protons, neutrons, atoms and molecules – and ties it all to baby’s world. AEROSPACE ENGINEERING looks into the basics of flight, again relating everything to babies' world.

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!

MetroParent says, "The books are well-crafted for their young audience, with bright colors, adorable illustrations of babies and subject matter that is tailor-made to young children's interests. In AEROSPACE ENGINEERING a baby notices a bird, and, in short, simple sentences, concepts of aeronautics are taught... [In QUARKS]...the concept of atoms being the building blocks of matter is compared to actual building blocks. Little children will love the adorable illustrations of protons and neutrons holding hands as they unify to create an atom, and they'll love the concept of scientists smashing a nucleus as the baby smashing his block tower is shown!"  (For the complete review, click here).

Charlesbridge has already signed up two more BABY LOVES books -- BABY LOVES THERMODYNAMICS! and BABY LOVES QUANTUM PHYSICS! will be published next fall.

To get your copies of these adorable books, visit the GoodReads giveaway, click HERE!  Or, you can purchase at any of these outlets:

To learn more about author Ruth Spiro, visit her website or say hello on twitter.

Happy Publication Day: Paul Acampora's HOW TO AVOID EXTINCTION

I'm so happy to let you know about a marvelous new middle-grade novel from Paul Acampora, HOW TO AVOID EXTINCTION.

Since the death of his grandfather, Leo's number one chore has been to chase after his grandmother who seems to wander away from home every few days. Now, Gram's decided to roam farther than ever. And despite his misgivings, Leo's going along for the ride. With his seventeen-year-old cousin, Abbey, and an old, gassy dog named Kermit, Leo joins Gram in a big, old Buick to leave their Pennsylvania home for a cross-country road trip filled with fold-out maps, family secrets, new friends, and dinosaur bones.

This is a middle grade comedy about death and food and family and fossils. It's about running away from home and coming back again. For Leo, it's about asking hard questions and hopefully finding some sensible answers. As if good sense has anything to do with it. 

Against a backdrop of America's stunning size and beauty, How to Avoid Extinction talks about growing up, getting old, dreaming about immortality, and figuring out all the things we can — and can't — leave behind.

We've been receiving loads of praise for Paul's new novel!

“[A] fast-paced family story full of humor and heart…A cast of memorable characters, intelligent banter, and wry humor reminiscent of Richard Peck or Gary Paulsen make this an authentic and unforgettable journey.” – School Library Journal

“Serves up witty jokes in spades…Love plus laughter is pretty much an extinction-proof formula for a middle-grade book…a satisfyingly hopeful family drama will find plenty to dig up and enjoy here.” – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Late in the book, a character sums up the plot by saying, ‘That's the key to happiness….Join the right circus.’…This book is the right circus.” – Kirkus Reviews

"With a compelling plot, sparkling dialogue, and pitch-perfect narrative, readers will dig this masterfully crafted novel about life, families, and friendship." —David Lubar, author of Hidden Talents and Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie

"HOW TO AVOID EXTINCTION unearths a complex story of heart, humor, and hope. I laughed. I cried. I may have to get an allosaurus tattoo. And definitely eat a donut." —Erin Dionne, author of the 14 Day Mystery series

I can't say it better than these quotes -- humor, heart, hope.  This is the kind of book that makes you feel better about the world.  You can find it here:

For more about Paul, or to give him a shout hello, visit his website here or find him on twitter.

BOOK TRAILER for Sarah Lariviere's MG debut, THE BAD KID

Without any further ado, please enjoy this charming book trailer for Sarah Lariviere's MG debut -- a mystery-comedy -- THE BAD KID!

Claudeline Feng LeBernardin learns what it really means to be bad in this colorful and hilarious mystery reminiscent of Harriet the Spy.

Claudeline Feng LeBernardin is very good at being bad. Her Grandpa Si was a real-life gangster, and Claude always thought she’d take over the family business when he was gone. Instead, Claude’s dad is in charge—and she’s sure he’s running things into the ground. She wants to step in, but her parents are keeping secrets and her partner in crime, Fingerless Brett, is suddenly on the straight and narrow.

Then, when a very strange character by the name of Alma Lingonberry shows up in the neighborhood, Claude gets closer to the crime life than ever. Before long, she’s swept up in a maddening mystery that’s got her wondering: What does it really mean to be bad?


September 6th is a bounteous day -- being the publication day of FOUR titles from my clients!

First up are the SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS books -- the first in a new series from Marcie Colleen and illustrator Steve James.  GNAWING AROUND and KNOCK KNOCK ON WOOD get things rolling, and they are off to a great start -- these two titles have been selected as Amazon Editor's Picks of the Month for September!  I loved seeing these sketches from illustrator Steve James, and the evolution of the Bears, here on his Facebook page.

To the Super Happy Party Bears, everything is a good thing. Their entire attitude can be summed up in on word: YAY! They love doughnuts, dancing and above all else -- a good party.  Not so for the rest of the animals living in the Grumpy Woods.  They find the bears a bit hard to take.  But these bears have a way of prevailing...

Solid chapter books can be challenging to find, and the SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS fit the bill, perfectly.  Funny with a sweet and smart sense of humor, fast-paced, and chock-full of
charming full-color illustrations, these books are going to fill a hole for so many readers.

To buy copies of SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS, look here:
Barnes + Noble

To say congrats to Marcie Colleen, you can find her on twitter or on her blog.

Next is THE BAD KID from debut author Sarah Lariviere.  As a kid, I loved mysteries -- starting with Encyclopedia Brown, moving to From the Mixed Up Files, The Westing Game and so many more.  I still can devour a good mystery in a sitting.  Which explains in part, why I love this middle-grade mystery as much as I do -- THE BAD KID is a darn good mystery story.  But add to that a truly marvelous main character, Claudeline Feng LeBarnardin -- who is as complex, funny, and interesting as character I've ever read, and I'm hooked.  I think of this as a modern day Harriet the Spy!

Claudeline Feng LeBernardin learns what it really means to be bad in this colorful and hilarious mystery reminiscent of Harriet the Spy.

Claudeline Feng LeBernardin is very good at being bad. Her Grandpa Si was a real-life gangster, and Claude always thought she’d take over the family business when he was gone. Instead, Claude’s dad is in charge—and she’s sure he’s running things into the ground. She wants to step in, but her parents are keeping secrets and her partner in crime, Fingerless Brett, is suddenly on the straight and narrow.

Then, when a very strange character by the name of Alma Lingonberry shows up in the neighborhood, Claude gets closer to the crime life than ever. Before long, she’s swept up in a maddening mystery that’s got her wondering: What does it really mean to be bad?

THE BAD KID is getting marvelous review attention:
“A strong and steady unfurling of drama and action…brings the novel to a resounding finish. Sharp, fun, and optimistic, the novel will have readers rooting for Claude until the end.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Multiracial Claude heads up a diverse cast of well-formed characters, and the exploration of friendship and family relations is worthwhile. For readers looking for a tough-talking, independent heroine with detective aspirations, this debut is a treat.”— Booklist 

“This is a story about choices and what it means to be good…The humor, quirky characters, and contemporary New York setting, combined with the gangster lore, make this ideal for middle grade readers who enjoy slightly naughty characters with hearts of gold.”– School Library Journal

“In her pursuit of the truth, Claude reclaims faltering relationships with family and friends and solves a darn good little mystery into the bargain…leads readers not only to a satisfying conclusion but also to musings on the relationship between fact and truth.”  – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Book

You can buy THE BAD KID here:

Find Sarah here and here -- give her a shout hello! 

Next we have the paperback publication of Lisa Lewis Tyre's mg novel, LAST IN A LONG LINE OF REBELS!  This is also a middle-grade mystery -- not kidding when I say I love mystery! -- set in a small southern town, where the past echoes here in the present.  

Sheila Turnage meets Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn-Dixie in this debut about a small town and a young girl who discovers some old family secrets.

Lou might be only twelve, but she’s never been one to take things sitting down. So when her Civil War-era house is about to be condemned, she’s determined to save it—either by getting it deemed a historic landmark or by finding the stash of gold rumored to be hidden nearby during the war. As Lou digs into the past, her eyes are opened when she finds that her ancestors ran the gamut of slave owners, renegades, thieves and abolitionists. Meanwhile, some incidents in her town show her that many Civil War era prejudices still survive and that the past can keep repeating itself if we let it. Digging into her past shows Lou that it’s never too late to fight injustice, and she starts to see the real value of understanding and exploring her roots.

LAST IN A LONG LINE was selected as a Middle Grade Buzz Panel at the 2015 BEA meeting, and received wonderful review attention:

"As the four children try to solve a Civil War mystery and find a cache of purportedly missing gold, they also confront a contemporary case of racism. Strong secondary characters, including Lou’s thrice-divorced flirtatious grandmother, help build the strong sense of small-town community. Tyre masterfully weaves historical details into Lou’s discoveries in ways that never feel facile, while deftly and satisfyingly resolving past and present puzzles." -- Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Louise Duncan Mayhew’s perspective in the 1860s is an intriguing contrast to Lou’s modern narration at the turn of the 21st century. . . . The story addresses injustice in plain language that is accessible to young readers who enjoy whodunits.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Tyre’s debut features characters that are believable in their naïveté and sense of invincibility. . . . Louise’s account of their summer adventures, with chapters headed by entries from a Civil War diary, should please middle-grade readers looking for a solid story with an intriguing historical connection.”—Booklist

“The characters are true to life. . . . In the midst of solving a Civil War–era mystery, Lou and her friends confront racism in their own time. Lou feels deeply and is single-minded in her pursuit of justice. A solid debut novel for middle graders who enjoy a blend of history and mystery.”—School Library Journal


Give Lisa shout of congratulations here and here.

To all three of these lovely, amazing clients -- Marcie, Sarah and Lisa -- CONGRATULATIONS!


So happy to report that THE INFINITY YEAR OF AVALON JAMES has *starred review* attention from Kirkus Reviews!  They say:

"It’s Avalon’s 11th year—her Infinity Year—the brief period when she and her very best friend, Atticus, will discover and be able to use their shared magic power.

Or that’s what Atticus’ grandfather has told them, and the two credulous children believe him. It will be a year of excruciating challenges for Avalon (who, like Atticus, is depicted as a dark-haired white figure on the cover). Her father is in prison, and everyone in her small school is aware of her shame. She’s relentlessly bullied by classmate Elena and her pair of minions. Her beloved cat goes missing. A week later, Atticus dreams of where the cat may be trapped. When the dream turns out to be unfathomably correct, they’re both sure Atticus has acquired his magic. One of the few highlights of Avalon’s year is when she shares spelling-bee honors with a seventh grader and is bound for the regionals. Then she unwittingly reveals Atticus’ painful secret—that he wets the bed—and the story is shared schoolwide. Atticus abandons her; without his gentle, insightful support, Avalon retaliates against Elena with devastating consequences. All these painfully acquired life lessons are related in Avalon’s genial, evocative voice, convincingly illuminating many of the issues of a year that can offer infinite possibilities, even if the magic is imagined.

A fine, tenderly nuanced tale of the remarkable power of friendship."

I couldn't agree more!  Congratulations to debut author, Dana Middleton for this lovely review, and even lovelier book.  To see the full review, click here.

You can pre-order here:

To say congrats to Dana, visit her on twitter.

Announcing a Deal - SONG OF THE CURRENT by Sarah Tolcser

I'm so very pleased to announce the sale of Sarah Tolcser's SONG OF THE CURRENT.  This is an absolutely marvelous YA fantasy debut. If you like books set on the high sea, that include a daring, confident female main character, plenty of adventure and just enough romance -- then this is the book for you!  SONG OF THE CURRENT in the series is coming next year.

Please join me in congratulating author Sarah Tolcser and Catherine Onder at Bloomsbury Children's!

You can find Sarah here!


Hooray for BABY LOVES SCIENCE!  These genius books explain complicated science in the simplest of terms, perfect for baby and young readers (Moms and Dads may learn a thing or two as well).  The first two books in the series, pictured below, tackle Aerospace Engineering and Quarks.  I'm happy to announce the sale of the next two titles, BABY LOVES THERMODYNAMICS! and BABY LOVES QUANTUM PHYSICS!, also illustrated by Irene Chan, coming next Fall.

Please join me in congratulating author Ruth Spiro and Alyssa Pusey at Charlesbridge!

You'll find Ruth here, and Charlesbridge here.


Announcing a Deal - JUNIPER LEMON'S HAPPINESS INDEX by Julie Israel

I'm so happy to announce the sale of Julie Israel's YA novel, JUNIPER LEMON'S HAPPINESS INDEX, in a two book deal to Kathy Dawson at Penguin Books for Young Readers!  This is a novel that made me cry as often as it made me cackle with laughter, and I can't wait for it to be out in the world for everyone to read -- that should be next summer.

Please join me in congratulating Julie and Kathy!

You can find Julie here, and Kathy here.


Happy Publication Day to Amanda Ashby's DATING THE GUY UPSTAIRS!

New from Amanda Ashby, author of DATING THE GUY NEXT DOOR...


Young librarian Riley Harris has always maintained her independence, leaving the drama of love to anyone silly enough to fall for it. Her Jane Austen novels are as close as she cares to get to “true love.” Luckily, her handsome upstairs neighbor—and landlord—Will Henderson feels the same way. 

Since his ex-fiancé crushed his heart, Will devotes himself to charity in an effort to atone for the misdeeds of his wealthy, ruthless father. So when Will needs a date for his brothers high-society wedding, he asks Riley to be his faux girlfriend. 

After a spontaneous kiss throws both Riley and Will for a loop, they find themselves fighting their mutual pride and prejudice against love. And when Riley is rocked by something from Will's past, both will need to decide whether to follow their heads or their hearts...

And don't miss the Amanda's January 2016 novel, DATING THE GUY UPSTAIRS, also available now.

Congratulations to Amanda Ashby!
You can find Amanda on Facebook and her own site.

Happy Publication Day to Jen Swann Downey’s NINJA LIBRARIANS: SWORD IN THE STACKS!

Well, hello June 7th – otherwise known as Pub Day for book two in the NINJA LIBRARIANS series by Jen Swann Downey, SWORD IN THE STACKS!  And, as Kirkus Reviews says, there’s “never a dull moment in this lybrary school!

Fans of Dorrie, her brother Marcus and best-friend Ebba will be delighted to continue the adventures in this second book in the NINJA LIBRARIAN series.  After stumbling upon the secret society of time-traveling ninja librarians, Dorrie has finally joined Petrarch's Library as an apprentice!  One day, she'll actually go on missions to rescue people whose words have gotten them into trouble.  For now she's taking some interesting classes:

First and Last Aid: When Nobody Else is Coming
Spears, Axes, and Cats: Throwing Objects with Precision and Flair
Codes, Invisible Inks, and Smoke Signals: Keeping Secrets 101

But on a training mission to 1912 England, Dorrie finds herself dangerously close to a member of the Stronghold, the Library's biggest enemy.  This is her opportunity – Dorrie can spy on the enemy, find the missing key and become a real Lybrarian!  But if she makes a mistake, Dorrie could lead their enemy right to the very place she's trying to save, and everyone she cares about.

If you love fast-paced adventure, history or inventive imaginary worlds, SWORD IN THE STACKS, and the first NINJA LIBRARIANS novel, THE ACCIDENTAL KEYHAND, are for you!

To buy copies of SWORD IN THE STACKS, click here:

For the complete Kirkus review, click here.

To visit Jen, check here and here.

Happy Publication Month to Felicia Chernesky's THE BOY WHO SAID NONSENSE!

Congratulations to Felicia Chernesky, for the publication of her sixth picture book, THE BOY WHO SAID NONSENSE, out earlier this month!

Tate is different, and not just because he came from a pumpkin patch. He loves numbers, especially the number eleven, and he can count lots of things just by looking at them! But all this counting makes most people think Tate talks nonsense. Tate never seems to mind, but his brother does. No one seems to understand the way his mind works―until his older brother makes a connection and helps the whole family see things from Tate's perspective.

To buy copies of THE BOY WHO SAID NONSENSE, click here:

To check out more about Felicia, and her other books (pictured here), please visit her website:

Happy Publication Day to Christopher Baldwin's LITTLE DEE!

What a very good day Tuesday, April 5th is – after all, it is the publication day for Christopher Baldwin’s utterly charming Graphic Novel, LITTLE DEE! 

If you know a fan of Zita the Spacegirl, Phoebe and Her Unicorn, or Dan Santat’s Sidekicks, then you’re going to want to tell them about LITTLE DEE.  Here’s what School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews have to say, in two starred reviews, no less!

“Baldwin’s crisp, bright art and clever text create a noteworthy tale. The characters have distinct personalities, and…draw readers into an emotionally well-rounded story with a satisfying conclusion. This full-color, laugh-out-loud work has an abundance of adventure, charm, and notable characters. VERDICT: A feel-good offering about friends, family, and love, this book is a winner for middle grade graphic novel fans.” – School Library Journal, starred review

A fun-filled, zany story with a serious message about belonging…Those who love travel, adventure, learning about animals in remote parts of the world, and comics will enjoy this laugh-out-loud graphic novel.  Baldwin's full-color illustrations appeal to all of the senses and keep the story moving.  A must-read for all would-be adventurers.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

If you like laughing, a rollicking adventure story, and you don’t mind having your heart stolen, then you need to get a copy of LITTLE DEE immediately!

To buy copies of LITTLE DEE, click here:

To say hello to Christopher, visit him on twitter!

Announcing a Deal - A PATRON SAINT FOR JUNIOR BRIDESMAIDS by Shelley Tougas

I'm just delighted to announce that Shelley Tougas has a new two-book deal with Kate Jacobs at Roaring Brook Press! Her third novel, A PATRON SAINTS FOR BRIDESMAIDS, will publish this fall and folks, you're going to love it!  Shelley was one of my first clients, she's an absolute joy to work with and her hysterical, heart-felt middle grade novels are truly irresistible.  Please join me in congratulating Shelley and Kate!

You can find Shelley at her site or on twitter.  Give her a shout hello and congrats!

Happy Publication Day to Amanda Ashby's DATING THE GUY NEXT DOOR!

Maybe, baby…
Kate Mitchell is finished with love. After a recent relationship disaster, she's had it.  Sure, she's noticed her smoking hot new neighbor, Matt Hunter, moving into the converted warehouse next door. But she resolves to keep her fantasies just that.

But fantasy becomes reality when he shows up in her gallery.  Matt is a logical, meticulous type while Kate's more of a fly-by-night free spirit.  And she won't allow herself to be led into another relationship -- especially not with someone who wants to start a family.  She can't do that.

Still, even Kate can't deny Matt's charm, and soon realizes she's falling for him hard.  If she tells him she won't have a baby, she'll break his heart.  But if she doesn't she might break her own…

We've got a review from Lush Book Reviews, that says, "This is the first book I have read by Ashby and if all her books are cute and funny like this one I will definitely be reading much more."  (See the complete review here).  

Congratulations to Amanda Ashby!
You can find Amanda on Facebook and her own site.

Announcing a Deal - SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS by Marcie Colleen

I am lucky enough to work with the wonderful Marcie Colleen – she’s a genius picture book writer and absolutely sterling person.  We’ve got three projects in the pipelines, from Balzer + Bray and Scholastic.  This summer, she called and let me know that she’d been talking with a friend and publisher, Erin Stein at Imprint – Erin had a great idea for a chapter book series and wondered if Marcie might like to write it.  As it turns out, Marcie and I had always chatted about the possibility of doing chapter books, sometime.  Sometime arrived!  And the books are going to be superb – funny, full of energy, not to mention charming as heck illustrations by Steve James. 

Hooray and congratulations to everyone involved! 

Here's a peek at the covers:

For more on Marcie, visit her website here, or on twitter