Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!


MANATEE SCIENTISTS (by Peter Lourie) Named one of Oprah Winfrey’s 2012 KIDS’ READING LIST picks

August 21st, 2012

Congratulations to  Peter Lourie!

To see more about this award-winning title and Peter Lourie, please visit



WHAT A LINE UP! Andrea Davis Pinkney and Ted Scheu to Join Weisner, Schmidt, Vanderpool, Krosoczka, Alleys and Litchenfeld at the Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival

August 18th, 2012

17th Annual Plum Creek
Children’s Literacy Festival

Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary & Adult Offerings
Sept. 20-22, 2012

Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 – Children’s Day for Seward Schools Friday, Sept 21, 2012 – Children’s Day for commuting schools Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 – Adult Conference Day and David Wiesner luncheon

Featured authors and illustrators for the 2012 festival


Wiesner.jpgDavid Wiesner – author and illustrator

David Wiesner has illustrated more than twenty award-winning books for young readers. Two of the picture books he both wrote and illustrated became instant classics when they won the prestigious Caldecott Medal: Tuesday in 1992 and The Three Pigs in 2002. Two of his other titles, Sector 7 and Free Fall, are Caldecott Honor Books. An exhibit of Wiesner’s original artwork, “Seeing the Story,” toured the United States in 2000 and 2001. Among his many honors, Wiesner holds the Japan Picture Book Award for Tuesday, the Prix Sorcières (the French equivalent of the Caldecott Medal) for The Three Pigs, and a 2004 IBBY Honour Book nomination for illustration, also for The Three Pigs. Flotsam, was a New York Times bestseller and was recently named winner of the 2007 Caldecott Medal, making Wiesner only the second person in the award’s long history to have won three times.

Wiesner lives with his wife and their son and daughter in the Philadelphia area, where he continues to create dreamlike and inventive images for books.



Schmidt.jpgGary Schmidt – author

Gary Schmidt is a professor of English at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He is the author of twenty or so books for young readers, ranging from picture books to young adult novels.  His Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy won Newbery and Printz Honors, and his Okay for Now was a National Book Award finalist.  He lives on an 1830s farm in Alto, Michigan, where he types out in a shed on a 1953 Royal.  Those with typewriter ribbons to spare would be welcome visitors.



Vanderpool.jpgClare Vanderpool – author

Clare Vanderpool is the award-winning author of Moon Over Manifest, her debut novel which was awarded the prestigious 2011 John Newbery Award. Clare is remarkably the first debut author in thirty years to win the Newbery Medal.

Citing historical fiction as a favorite of hers, Clare set out in writing a historical novel set in the fictional town of Manifest, Kansas, and which is based on the real southeastern Kansas town of Frontenac, where her maternal grandparents lived. Drawing on stories she heard as a child, along with research in town newspapers, yearbooks, and graveyards, Clare found a rich and colorful history for her unforgettable novel.

Clare has just recently begun making appearances at schools, libraries, and conferences, and enjoys meeting children, educators, librarians, and parents who have embraced her and her novel. She resides in Wichita, Kansas with her husband and four children.



Pinkney.jpgAndrea Pinkney – author

Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of many books for children and young adults, including picture books, novels, works of historical fiction and non-fiction.

Andrea’s novels include With the Might of Angels, a book in the Dear America series, and Bird in a Box, hailed by the New York Times as “a powerful middle grade novel” told with “tenderness and verve.”

Andrea’s picture books include Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down, a Parenting Publication Gold Medal winner, winner of the Jane Addams Book Award, the Carter G. Woodson Award for historical works for young people, the Anne Izard Storyteller’s Award, and the Flora G. Stieglitz Strauss Award for Nonfiction; Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride, a Jane Addams Honor Book and School Library Journal “Best Book of the Year,”; and Duke Ellington, a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

In addition to her work as an author, Andrea is Vice President, Executive Editor at Scholastic, where she publishes and edits a robust list of titles.

Andrea was recently named one of the “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal, a publication for Black professionals.

Andrea lives in New York City with her husband, award-winning illustrator Brian Pinkney, and their two children.

View the teacher’s discussion guide (PDF) for With the Might of Angels.



AlleyR.jpgR.W. and Zoë Alley – authors and illustrators

Bob has always enjoyed making pictures that illustrate a story rather than hang on a wall. For the last fifteen years Bob has illustrated new and old stories of Paddington Bear by Michael Bond. A new picture book, Paddington Goes for Gold, and a new novel, Paddington Races Ahead, will publish spring 2012 to coincide with the Summer Olympics in London.

Bob received the 2010 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award for Pearl and Wager One Funny Day by Kate McMullan.  

AlleyZ.jpgHaving grown-up in a family of “literary grammarians”, Zoë has always been interested in words, recited and written. Zoë received her B.A. from the University of New Hampshire, and her Ed.M. from Boston University. She enjoys writing as a career that allows her to sit on the couch – her office! – in her pajamas and play with a pen and paper!

The Alleys live in Barrington, Rhode Island, and are the parents of Cassandra and Max. They have collaborated on two very large comic book style books: There’s a Wolf at the Door and There’s a Princess in the Palace.

Web:  /


Krosoczka.jpg Jarrett Krosoczka – author and illustrator

Jarrett J. Krosoczka has been passionate about storytelling through words and pictures since he was a kid.  He began his professional career by illustrating educational readers for a national publisher while still an undergraduate at Rhode Island School of Design. Then, just six months after graduation, Jarrett received his first contract for a trade book that he authored. Random House Children’s Books published Good Night, Monkey Boy on June 12, 2001 and Jarrett hasn’t stopped or slowed down since. He currently has authored and illustrated sixteen published books—ten picture books and six graphic novels. He is the two-time winner of the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year in the Children’s Choice Book Awards and has seen his work recommended by national publications like Newsweek, The New York Times and USA Today. His Punk Farm and Lunch Lady series are both in development to be feature films. Jarrett is happily living out his childhood dream in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he resides with his wife and daughter and their pug, Ralph Macchio.



Scheu2.jpgTed Scheu – author and poet

Ted Scheu (rhymes with “poetry guy”) is part poet, part teacher, part entertainer, part kid. Ted’s poems are published in over 20 anthologies in the US and England, and in his own four collections, I Froze My Mother, I Tickled My Teachers, I Threw My Brother Out, and his latest, Now I Know My ZBCs. His voice is authentic and unique. His poems share real issues that real kids face—at school, at home, and out in the world—often with a surprising twist. Ted is a former elementary teacher in Vermont, where he happily lives. He visits over 60 schools each year helping kids find their own poetic voices in writing workshops. His greatest honor to date is being invited to this year’s Plum Creek Festival.




Tom Lichtenheld – author and illustrator

Tom Lichtenheld is a children’s book author and illustrator. He doodled his way through school, then worked as a sign painter, set designer, printer and advertising art director. After a successful career in advertising he gradually made the switch to creating children’s books.  His first book, Everything I Know About Pirates, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2000 and was featured in Newsweek as one of the best books of the year. His 2011 book Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, written by Sherri Rinker, was a #1 New York Times Best Seller.

Tom’s books are consistently praised for their humor, expressive characters, and rich – sometimes hidden – detail. He’s known for creating books that appeal to children and adults alike, and his wide portfolio of books offers something for every age.




Friday, Sept. 21

Children’s Day for Surrounding Area Schools

Saturday, Sept. 22

Adult Professional Conference

  • Where: Concordia’s Seward campus
  • Time: Registration and author autographing begins at 7:30. Sessions begin at 9:00.
  • Registration: Register online or download the PDF form for the adult conference and luncheon with David Wiesner.

Summer Must-Have Books!

June 21st, 2012

In the Bag
By Kate Klise, $14.99, Harper Collins, ISBN 978-0062108050

A successful chef and single mother, Daisy Sprinkle is on vacation with her teenage daughter, Coco, who picks up the wrong duffle bag at the airport. That situation is not improved by the note Daisy finds tucked into her carry-on, apparently from the man in 13-C. Daisy is in no mood for secret admirer notes or dinner dates. Or even men, for that matter. Andrew doesn’t know what possessed him to do something like that. Hitting on strange women on airplanes is definitely not his typical style. But there was something about the woman in 6-B that could not be ignored. Of course, now he has no time to think about her, since his son Webb seems to have made off with a budding fashionista’s luggage.

Determined to make the best of a bad situation, Daisy cooks up a plan to calm her daughter’s panic over the lost bag with a week of fabulous food, shopping, and museum hopping. Andrew is busy working on his latest project and hoping Webb finds enough to entertain himself. Little do they know the teens are making their own plan. . . one that will ultimately reunite Ms. 6-B and Mr. 13-C.


Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake
By Kate Klise, $16.99, MacMillian, ISBN 9978-0805093131

How embarrassing! Grammy Lamby is coming to visit, but one little lamb is anything but pleased.

Larry is continually rattled by his grandma, what with her secret handshake (which means “I love you”), her flouncy church clothes and loud voice and her extravagant plans for future travel (what if he doesn’t want to go?). Warm and appealing acrylic paintings with just the right amount of detail show Larry’s quiet distress and Grammy’s abundant character as she visits the Lamby home. Grammy is patient and kind despite her eccentricities, and when a summer storm frightens Larry and damages the house, fearless Grammy steps in and helps with comfort and repair. Maybe Grammy isn’t so embarrassing after all! How can Larry show her what he feels? Between a new secret handshake and a surprise that Grammy can open on the train, he is certain to find a way. While providing a nice acknowledgement of Larry’s feelings, this decidedly un-pedantic selection is replete with affection and gentle humor, from the simple text to the beguiling illustrations, and shows how feelings and perspectives can develop and change. Sister team Kate and M. Sarah Klise collaborated here and share some of their own grandma memories on the sleeve in this paean to embarrassing but wonderful grandmothers everywhere.


43 Old Cementary Road: The Phantom of the Post Office
By Kate Klise, $15.99, Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 978-0547519746The letter-loving trio at Spence Mansion has something to grieve about-Ghastly’s post office is about to close, which will cut off their connection to their fans. A new invention called VEXT-mail is threatening to replace not only letters, but books, hair dryers, and even garage door openers! Could the mysterious occupant of P.O. Box 5 and his seemingly sinister plan save the doomed post office?  KidsReads





Ms. Beard is Weird #5
By Dan Gutman, $3.99, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0062042095

My Weirder School is weirder than ever! A hot  new reality show, The Real Teachers of Ella  Mentry, is filming at school. Everybody wants  to win the TV show’s grand prize! The weird  director, Ms. Beard, tells the teachers and  students to act normal. Yeah, like that’s gonna  happen! 


Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust
By Doreen Rappaport, $22.99, Random House, ISBN 978-0763629762

Under the noses of the military, Georges Loinger smuggles thousands of children out of occupied France into Switzerland. In Belgium, three resisters ambush a train, allowing scores of Jews to flee from the cattle cars. In Poland, four brothers lead more than 1,200 ghetto refugees into the forest to build a guerilla force and self-sufficient village. And twelve-year-old Motele Shlayan entertains German officers with his violin moments before setting off a bomb. Through twenty-one meticulously researched accounts — some chronicled in book form for the first time — Doreen Rappaport illuminates the defiance of tens of thousands of Jews across eleven Nazi-occupied countries during World War II. In answer to the genocidal madness that was Hitler’s Holocaust, the only response they could abide was resistance, and their greatest weapons were courage, ingenuity, the will to survive, and the resolve to save others or to die trying. 


Balloons over Broadway Garners the Sibert Award!

February 1st, 2012

Balloons Over Broadway, the story behind Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and its iconic helium-filled wonders garners the Sibert Award!

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. The award is named in honor of Robert F. Sibert, the long-time President of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. of Jacksonville, Illinois. ALSC administers the award.

The story of Tony Sarg, the artistic inventor who conceived the huge balloons that float through New York City each Thanksgiving. Beginning at a very young age, his never-ending zeal for play and discovery delighted millions, and likewise, Sweet’s festive words, mixed media illustrations and thorough research, bring their own contagious joy to this celebration of his life’s creative process.

“Sweet’s book rose above all others this year by brilliantly showing and telling the story of one person’s ideas with passion and panache, demonstrating the very best of what an informational book can be,” said Sibert Medal Committee Chair, Andrew Medlar.


Win a School Visit From Walter Dean Myers!

February 1st, 2012

Walter Dean Myers is named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

In 1968, Walter Dean Myers challenged himself to enter a children’s book writing contest geared toward Black writers. The two-time high school dropout didn’t know it at the time but that competition would change the course of his life…….. 

Mr. Myers, 74, was named named the national ambassador for young people’s literature.  Myers, five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award and two Newbery Honors, has written more than 100 books, making him an easy pick for Ambassador.  Myers will be the third person to fill this role, a 2-year commitment of promoting reading by speaking publicly in schools and libraries. Created in 2008, the ambassador position is voted on by a committee selected by the Center of the Book in the Library of Congress. Myers will succeed two other Young Adult authors. Myers differs from the previous ambassadors in that his work is more gritty and emotionally involved. Myers himself grew up in Harlem, and showed an interest in reading and poetry in spite of his parents’ illiteracy. Distracted by domestic issues, he dropped out of high school to join the army, but soon “found his way back to writing.” It is the hope of the selection committee that his upbringing and the qualities his novels possess will allow him to relate to young readers.
Win a school visit from Walter Dean Myers!

Describe, in 500 words or less, the event you would develop if he were to visit, how you would spread the word about it, and to whom.

E-mail your entry no later than midnight EST on March 12 to (no more than one application). The winner will be notified by March 30.



Sneak Peek…New Books for Spring 2012

February 1st, 2012

Polar Bear Scientists
By Peter Lourie, $17.99 (hardcover), Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 978-0547283050

Follow scientists as they scan the Alaskan wilderness for these magnificent creatures. It is springtime on the North Slope of Alaska, and the U.S. Geological Survey team—the polar bear biologists Kristin Simac and Mike Lockhart—is gearing up for polar bear capturing. During a capture, all information is collected on the sea ice. The scientists locate bears from a helicopter, tranquilize them, give them tattoo ID numbers and tags, and collect data such as height, weight, and body fat measurements and samples such as blood, hair, feces, and even teeth. All this information goes into a large database studied by scientists such as Drs. Steven Amstrup and George Durner, the former and current leaders of the Polar Bear Research Project. For more than forty years, scientists have been capturing bears in order to get information. What has this information been telling scientists about polar bears and global warming?

Never Say Never (book 2 of The Genius Files series)
By Dan Gutman, $16.99 (hardcover), HarperCollins, ISBN 0061827649

The precocious brother and sister uncover a secret government plot to use “YAGs,” or Young American Geniuses, to solve the complex problems of the nation, and find that they are on the list. Suddenly, their 3,000-mile road trip becomes a lot more exciting. The McDonalds’ trek across the U.S. includes stops at the Donner Party Memorial, a museum of PEZ memorabilia, and the world’s largest ball of twine, all while being pursued by dangerous “dudes with bowler hats.” Although the interjection of factual information from their college-professor father is a bit forced at times, Gutman’s novel offers a quirky look at Americana that will engage curious minds. Frequent sidebars direct readers to Google Maps to track the twins’ journey, and occasional photos of the attractions add appeal.


Now I Know My ZBC’s
By Ted Scheu, $12.95 (hardcover), Young Poets Press, ISBN 978-0982549940

The precocious brother and sister uncover a secret government plot to use “YAGs,” or Young American Geniuses, to solve the complex problems of the nation, and find that they are on the list. Suddenly, their 3,000-mile road trip becomes a lot more exciting. The McDonalds’ trek across the U.S. includes stops at the Donner Party Memorial, a museum of PEZ memorabilia, and the world’s largest ball of twine, all while being pursued by dangerous “dudes with bowler hats.” Although the interjection of factual information from their college-professor father is a bit forced at times, Gutman’s novel offers a quirky look at Americana that will engage curious minds. Frequent sidebars direct readers to Google Maps to track the twins’ journey, and occasional photos of the attractions add appeal.


Stars in the Shadows: The Negro All Star Game of 1934
By Charles R. Smith Jr., $14.95 (hardcover), Simon and Schuster, ISBN 978-0689866388

Meet Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and other baseball heroes in this unique radio broadcast reenactment of a legendary All-Star Game, marking a pivotal time in sports history.1934, Chicago. Come step back in time to witness the best of the best Negro League players take each other on in one of the most fascinating All-Star ballgames in American history.

Using a unique radio broadcast transcript, Coretta Scott King Award Winner Charles R. Smith, Jr. has recreated this momentous event with a lively play-by-play retelling of the second annual Negro League East-West Game. Meet legendary players like Satchel Paige, Turkey Stearness, and Cool Pappa Bell, hang in the stands with the fans, and experience this exhilarating untold, true story—with a lyrical twist.


If I Ran the Dog Show
By Tish Rabe, $8.99 (hardcover), Random House, ISBN 978-0375866821 

In this latest installment of the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library,the Cat and Co. attend the Short-Shaggy-Tail-Waggy Super Dog Show, a strictly Seussian-style event where readers learn—among other things—that dogs are mammals who vary wildly in size and shape; the difference between purebreds and mutts (who are both featured throughout); how tails help dogs to balance; that they can see better in dim light than we can; the amazing things they’ve been trained to do; and much, much more.

All About Gramdas
By Roni Schotter, $16.99 (hardcover), Penguin, ISBN978-0803737143

Today, there’s no such thing as a typical grandma. They do different jobs and have different hobbies. But one thing common to all grandmas is the love and wisdom they have to share, and nothing says that better than this rhyming celebration of the modern grandma. From the jellying, jamming, and pickling grannies to the surprising number of tickling grannies, this stylishly illustrated book covers them all.


Ted and Me

By Dan Gutman, $15.99 (hardcover), HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0061234873

Stosh should have figured that the FBI would find him eventually.
Now they’ve turned up on his doorstep—and they know all about his ability to travel through time using baseball cards. In fact, they want to send him back in time on a mission: to warn President Roosevelt about the attack on Pearl Harbor!

But when Stosh finds out that his “ticket” back to 1941 is a Ted Williams card, he starts planning a mission of his own. Williams is one of the greatest hitters of all time—even though he lost almost five years of his career to serve in the Marines. How many more home runs would the Splendid Splinter have hit if he had those years back? What if Stosh can prevent the attack on Pearl Harbor and convince Williams not to serve in the military?

Sometimes you can change history. Sometimes history can change you.


Katy Duck Makes a Friend
By Alyssa Capucilli, $3.99, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 9781442419766

Dancing diva Katy Duck and her new neighbor Ralph must find a way to play together in this all-new Level 1 Ready-to-Read!When Katy Duck and her family get new neighbors, Katy can hardly wait to show off her dance moves. She is ready to curtsy, twirl and leap! Tra-la-la. Quack, quack! But when Katy’s new neighbor turns out to be a rough-and-tumble boy named Ralph, this dancing duck diva starts to wonder if she and Ralph will ever be able to have fun TOGETHER when their interests are so far apart.


Ride, Fly Guy, Ride
By Tedd Arnold, $6.99, Scholastic, ISBN 9780545222761

The New York Times-bestselling Fly Guy series goes on an action-packed adventure by boat, train, plane, and beyond!

Dad takes Fly Guy and Buzz for a car ride, but in a funny and wacky turn of events, Fly Guy is blown out of the car window and into a passing truck, where he lands in the driver’s mouth! The driver spits him out, and Fly Guy tumbles onto a boat. Fly Guy then winds up on a circus train with an elephant and then an airplane … and he just misses taking off with a rocket ship!

This easy-to-read adventure concludes with Buzz, Dad, and Fly Guy returning home on a bike. Fly Guy loves RIDEZZZ!


By Gordon Kormon, $16.99, Scholastic, ISBN 978-0545320597

The fourth SWINDLE book, centering around a dog show that goes horribly awry!

The heroes of SWINDLE, ZOOBREAK, and FRAMED are back – and this time, things have gone to the dogs! When Luthor goes berserk at a mall dog show, he’s accused of ruining the career of the three-time best-in-show beagle. Griffin always knew that Luthor’s viciousness was simmering just below the surface – so why does he feel bad enough to spring him from the pound?

Griffin and his team have a new plan. This one involves New York City, a sinister saboteur, a reclusive dog-trainer who’s quit the business, an international dog show, and a whole lot of red dye. But if they pull it off, no one will even notice their sting operation…right?


UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings
By Douglas Florian, $16.99, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 978-1442426528

The buzz is big for Douglas Florian’s new poetry collection about the unBEElieveably unique lives of honeybees—and the vital role they play in our ecosystem.Come inside the honeycomb—a busy, buzzy, bee-filled home—and learn about the unexpected wonders of these tiny insects’ lifestyles, families, and communities. In fourteen funny, fact-filled honeybee poems and paintings, Douglas Florian explores the natural history of these often-unappreciated critters, revealing them to be a totally cool—and totally important—part of our ecosystem. Indeed, these buzzy bugs have been in the spotlight lately as wild bee populations are dwindling, honey prices are rising, and beekeeping has become a popular hobby.


Poem Runs: Baseball Poems
By Douglas Florian, $16.99, Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 978-0547688381

From the first pitch to the last out and all nine innings between, Douglas Florian’s collection of baseball poems brings wordplay, wit, and laughter to America’s springtime tradition. Featuring a mean-armed pitcher, a daisy-picking right fielder,
and a lightning-swift base stealer, Poem Runs combines irresistible language and Florian’s signature child-friendly, bold illustration style in this celebration of the magic of baseball.



Biscuit Plays Ball
By Alyssa Capucilli, $3.99, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0061935022

The game is about to begin. Biscuit is excited to be at the ball game, but no dogs are allowed in the game itself. He doesn’t want to just watch, though—Biscuit wants to play ball, too! Can the determined puppy find a way to join in the fun?

Perfect for the youngest of readers—and for anyone who has ever wanted to play along with the big kids—Biscuit’s newest adventure will prove supremely satisfying.


The Art of Miss Chew
By Patricia Polacco, $17.99, Penguin, ISBN 978-0399257032

After spending the summer with her artist grandmother, Trisha knows she wants to be an artist, too. She’s thrilled when her sketches get her into Miss Chew’s special art class at the high school. A substitute teacher tells her she’s wasting time on art when she should be studying – but fortunately, this is one battle that Miss Chew and Trisha are up for!

This true story shows just how important a teacher can be in a child’s life – and celebrates the power of art itself.

All for Me and None for All
By Helen Lester, $16.99, Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 978-0547688343

A book about sharing for one and all! Gruntly is a hog—a ball hog, a snack hog, a treasure hog! He doesn’t share his toys with his pals and, in fact, helps himself to theirs! And when Gruntly finds out about Saturday’s treasure hunt, he can’t wait for the first clue so that he may be the one to find the treasure and keep it . . . all for himself.



The 16th Annual Plum Creek Festival is Almost Here!

September 13th, 2011

Join Dyanne DiSalvo, Brian Pinkney and Jerry Pinkney for a celebration of books and the people who love them!


September 22nd-24th
Concordia University
800 North Columbia Ave.
Seward, NE 68434

The Plum Creek Festival gives children and adults the opportunity to connect with nationally acclaimed authors and illustrators in order to enhance literacy enjoyment and education.


Publishers go the extra mile to promote Author’s books!

September 13th, 2011


Kate Klise’s Book gets a little extra spooky right in time for Halloween!

Just in time for Halloween! Kate Klise’s Over My Dead Body (Book 2 in the 43 Old Cemetery Road series) is now out in paperback and Scholastic has put together a fun and free discussion guide to this silly and not-too-spooky ghost story.



Watch this trailer and go behind the scenes with Andrea Pinkney and her book Dear America: With the Might of Angels !

Scholastic has been busy putting together trailers for new books coming out. Andrea Pinkney had the opportunity to talk about her new book, Dear America: With the Might of Angels.

Dear America: With the Might of Angels is the fictional diary of Dawn Rae Johnson of Hadley, VA. Dawnie’s gripping story takes place in 1954, when Dawnie finds out that she will be the first of her classmates to integrate a previously all-white school.


Great opportunities to MEET the Authors!

September 13th, 2011

Meet Hans Wilhelm at the Greenwich Arts Council!

Come get an up-close look at the illustrations from Hugaboo, I Love You by Hans Wilhelm (along with other titles).The concept for this exhibition is to bring into focus as an art form the innumerable ways in which illustration in its varied formats shapes our view of ourselves and our world.

The Art of Contemporary Illustration

September 16 – November 6, 2011

Opening Reception: Friday, September 16, 6 to 8pm

Conversation With The Artists 6:45pm
Special Family Event: Saturday, September 24, 1-3pm

For more details on this event  and when Authors will be there to sign books and share their insight on art visit the Greenwich Arts Council website. 


Don’t miss the chance to meet Roni Schotter!

Take the opportunity to hear Roni read one of wonderful stories!  She is a phenomenal presenter and has a gentle way of keeping children captivated throughout her entire story. Take this opportunity to treat your kids to a delicious story read by Roni!
Hendrick Hudson Free Library
Montrose, NY
November 4th at 4:15
(This event requires prior registration and is geared for grades 2 and 3)



Save the ART date, September 17th with Dyanne DiSalvo!

Internationally Acclaimed
Best-selling Children’s Author & Illustrator
DyAnne DiSalvo
Will exhibit her original water colors
9/17 Reception and book signing

Born, raised and housebroken in Brooklyn, New York, DyAnne DiSalvo decided to become a children’s book illustrator when her kindergarten teacher at P.S 230  told her that, “books were not born in the library.”  Inspired to persue her art — which was the only thing in school that she was ever good at. — DiSalvo followed her lifelong dream, took a lot of subways, got a lot of rejection letters, and finally got her first book.  Published since 1980 her award winning illustrated books include renowned authors, Beverly Clearly, Mary Pope Osborne, Jean Fritz, Jane O’Connor, Patricia Reilly Giff, Jean Marzollo and Amy Hest.


Over 60 Authors will be at the Children’s Book Day!

This Sunday, the riverside grounds of Washington Irving’s Estate are transformed into a children’s literature paradise with authors and illustrators like Susan Jeffers, Alyssa Capucilli, Roni Schotter, Charise Mericle Harper, Pat Schories and James Howe will be lined up to sign your child’s favorite book! Make this an all day event as there is food on site and you are allowed to bring in a picnic lunch and eat on the lovely grounds.

Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s Estate, Sunday, September 29th, 12:00pm to 2:30

Get a signed book by Peter Lourie!

Schlathaus Park (under the tent)
Saturday, September 17th
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Peter Lourie is author of many adventure stories for children including Amazon, Lost Treasure of the INCA, Hidden World of the AZTEC, and his newest Arctic Thaw: The People of the Whale in a Changing Climate. His stories come directly from his travel journals. He has taught writing at Columbia College, the University of Vermont, and Middlebury College.

The Hudson River Ramblers presents PIRATES AND PATRIOTS ON THE HUDSON
Songs and Stories of Wappinger, the Hudson River and Captain Kidd. Showtimes: 12:30 PM on the main stage 4:00 PM on the main stage 5:30 PM at the Treasure Hunt Tent a


FALLing in Love With the Latest Children’s Books!

September 13th, 2011

Bun, Bun Button
By Patricia Polacco, $17.99 (hardcover), Penguin, ISBN 978-0399254727

Paige loves cuddling with Gramma and all of Gramma’s pets in the Old Blue Chair. And when Gramma makes her Bun Bun Button, an adorable homemade stuffed bunny with a button nose, this special time becomes even more cozy. Then a balloon carries the little bunny away. Bun Bun braves honking geese and a wide night sky, until luck – or love – magically brings her back home to the little girl who loves her. This heartwarming story celebrates the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren, and is perfect for children who imagine their toys have secret adventures when no one’s watching.

By Sarah
Weeks, $16.99 (hardcover), Scholastic, ISBN 978-0545270113

A story about family, friendship, and…pie!  When Alice’s Aunt Polly passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world -famous pie-crust recipe. Or does she? In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her extraordinarily surly cat Lardo . . . and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice.

Suddenly Alice is thrust into the center of a pie storm, with everyone in town trying to be the next pie-contest winner … including Alice’s mother and some of Alice’s friends. The whole community is going pie-crazy . . . and it’s up to Alice to discover the ingredients that really matter. Like family. And friendship. And enjoying what you do.


Fly Guy vs. the Flyswatter
By Tedd Arnold, $6.99 (hardcover), Scholastic, ISBN 978-0545312868

A hilarious new Fly Guy adventure — when Fly Guy joins Buzz’s class on a trip to a flyswatter factory, it’s the “best field trip ever!”

When Fly Guy goes to school with Buzz, they learn that his class is taking a field trip to a flyswatter factory! BAD NEWZZ! Fly Guy tries to hide in Buzz’s pocket, but when the tour guide starts insulting flies, Buzz cannot help but stick his head out. A robotic flyswatter named the Super Swatter detects Fly Guy, and Fly Guy causes a hilarious ruckus in his efforts to escape.

At the end of this zany adventure, the flyswatter factory announces an end to its factory tours and the students use their free flyswatters as art to celebrate the “best field trip ever!”


Lights on the Nile
By Donna Jo Napoli, $16.99 (hardcover), HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0061667930

Kepi is a young girl in ancient Egypt, content to stay home with her family, helping her father, who was wounded in the construction of a pyramid for the cruel pharaoh Khufu. But that was before she and her pet baboon, Babu, were kidnapped and held captive on a boat bound for the capital city, Ineb Hedj. And when Kepi and Babu are separated, she knows she has only one choice: to make her way to the capital on her own, rescue Babu, and find a way to appeal to the pharaoh. Khufu is rich and powerful, but Kepi has her own powers, deep inside her—ones she herself doesn’t even know about yet.

Donna Jo Napoli, acclaimed author of Zel and Beast, revisits the fabled origin of fairies in this strikingly orig-inal and affecting novel of friendship.


Starring Katy Duck
By Gordon Kormon, $12.99 (hardcover), Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-0545298391

Are you ready to save the world? The bestselling series returns with an adventure spanning 6 explosive books, 2 secret-filled card packs, and a website that places readers right in the action.

Thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, thought they belonged to the world’s most powerful family. They thought the hunt for 39 Clues leading to the source of that power was over. They even thought they’d won. But Amy and Dan were wrong.

One by one, distress calls start coming in from around the globe. Cahills are being kidnapped by a shadowy group known only as the Vespers. Now Amy and Dan have only days to fulfill a bizarre ransom request or their captured friends will start dying. Amy and Dan don’t know what the Vespers want or how to stop them. Only one thing is clear. The Vespers are playing to win, and if they get their hands on the Clues . . . the world will be their next hostage.


The Medusa

By Gordon Kormon, $12.99 (hardcover), Scholastic, ISBN 978-0545298391

Are you ready to save the world? The bestselling series returns with an adventure spanning 6 explosive books, 2 secret-filled card packs, and a website that places readers right in the action.

Thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, thought they belonged to the world’s most powerful family. They thought the hunt for 39 Clues leading to the source of that power was over. They even thought they’d won. But Amy and Dan were wrong.

One by one, distress calls start coming in from around the globe. Cahills are being kidnapped by a shadowy group known only as the Vespers. Now Amy and Dan have only days to fulfill a bizarre ransom request or their captured friends will start dying. Amy and Dan don’t know what the Vespers want or how to stop them. Only one thing is clear. The Vespers are playing to win, and if they get their hands on the Clues . . . the world will be their next hostage.


Bird in a Box
By Andrea Davis Pinkney, $16.99 (hardcover), Hachette, ISBN 978-0316074032

Otis, Willie, and Hibernia are three children with a lot in common: they’ve all lost a loved one, they each have secret dreams, and they won’t stop fighting for what they want. And they’re also a lot like their hero, famed boxer Joe Louis. Throughout this moving novel, their lives gradually converge to form friendship, family, and love. Their trials and triumphs echo those of Joe Louis, as he fights to become the heavyweight boxing champion.

Andrea Pinkney masterfully weaves in factual information about Joe Louis and actual radio commentary from his fights, enriching the narrative of this uniquely rendered and beautifully written novel.


Wodney Wat’s Wobot
By Helen Lester, $16.99 (hardcover), Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 978-0547367569

When Wodney must face off against that big bully Camilla Capybara for a second time, a talking robot becomes his secret weapon. The meek wodent . . . er, rodent . . . hero with a speech impediment and a heart of gold is back! So is Camilla Capybara—the BIG bully who makes poor Wodney and his  classmates tremble. But this time, Wodney has a secret weapon: a robot that helps him pronounce his r’s and seems to be just the thing to scare Camilla away for good. With the second empowering tale about Wodney, Lester and Munsinger use their signature dose of humor to remind us that the little guy can finish first, and it’s often brains—not brawn—that save the day.


Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
By Jerry P
inkney, $16.99 (hardcover), Hachette, ISBN 978-0316056960

One of the m ost acclaimed children’s book illustrators of our time now takes his legendary skill with watercolor to new heights in this lavish visual adventure. As a curious little chipmunk leaves his nest to greet the twilight, he gazes at the glittering sky above him. He can’t help but also notice the sparkling dewdrops on a spider’s web, the lights of the fireflies, and the shimmers of moonlight on the water. “How I wonder what you are!” marvels the tiny creature, launching a d ream like quest to reach for the stars.


Crouching Tiger
By Ying Chang Compestine, $16.99 (hardcover), Candlewick, ISBN 978-0763646424

Vinson is very excited when his grandfather comes from China for a visit. When Grandpa practices tai chi in the garden, Vinson asks to learn, hoping it will be like kung fu, full of kicks and punches. But tai chi’s meditative postures are slow and still, and Vinson quickly gets bored. He can’t understand why Grandpa insists on calling him by his Chinese name, Ming Da, or why he has to wear a traditional Chinese jacket to the Chinese New Year parade. As the parade assembles, however, he notices the great respect given to his grandfather and the lion dancers under his training. And when Vinson is offered a role in the parade, he realizes that being part Chinese can be pretty cool—and is ready to start learning from his grandpa’s martial-arts mastery in earnest.


Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade

By Melissa Sweet, $16.99 (hardcover), Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 978-0547199450

Who invented the first balloons for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when young and old rise early to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Who first invented these “upside-down puppets”? In brilliant collage illustrations, the award-winning artist Melissa Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg, capturing his genius, his dedication, his zest for play, and his long-lasting gift to America—the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy’s Parade.

My Weird School Daze, 21 Series Box Set
By Dan Gutman, $80.00, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0062022714

This is a silly series for beginning readers. At Ella Mentry School, all the grownups are quite weird in their own weird way. The main Characters are A.J. (a boy who doesn’t like school) and his arch-enemy Andrea Young (who loves school and everything else A.J. hates).



Titanic (Trilogy)
By Gordon Korman, Scholastic, $5.99 (#1 – 978-0545123310, #2 – 978-0545123327, #3 – 978-0545123334)

The ultimate action/adventure trilogy begins, with #1 bestselling author Gordon Korman plunging readers into the heart of the Titanic.

The Titanic is meant to be unsinkable, but as it begins its maiden voyage, there’s plenty of danger waiting for four of its young passengers. Paddy is a stowaway, escaping a deadly past. Sophie’s mother is delivered to the ship by police – after she and Sophie have been arrested. Juliana’s father is an eccentric whose riches can barely hide his madness. And Alfie is hiding a secret that could get him kicked off the ship immediately.

The lives of these four passengers will be forever linked with the fate of Titanic. And the farther they get from shore, the more the danger looms. . . .

In Book #2 The Titanic has hit the high seas–and moves steadily toward its doom. Within the luxury of the cabins and the dark underbelly of the ship, mysteries unfold–a secret killer who may be on board, a legacy that may be jeopardized, and a vital truth that will soon be revealed. For Paddy, Sophie, Juliana, and Alfie, life on the Titanic brings both hiding and seeking, as their lives become irrevocably intertwined.

And then, of course, an iceberg appears, and the stage is set for the final scene.

Book #3 – The Titanic was supposed to be unsinkable – the largest passenger steamship in the world, one of the biggest and most luxurious ships ever to operate.

For Paddy, Sophie, Juliana, and Alfie, the Titanic is full of mysteries – whether they’re to be found in the opulent first-class cabins and promenade decks or the shadows in the underbelly of the ship. Secrets and plans are about to be revealed – only now disaster looms, and time is running out. The four of them need to find the truth, unmask the killer…and try not to go down with the ship.


My Weirder School Series
By Dan Gutman, $3.99 (paperback), Harper Collins

Miss Child Has Gone Wild! (978-0061969164)

The third grade has won a weird contest, so they get to go on a field trip to the zoo. That’s how they meet Miss Child, the weirdest zookeeper in the history of the world. She thinks animals are smarter than people! She thinks elephants can paint pictures! She keeps snakes in her pockets for fun! Guess who’s going to wind up in a cage with a lion?

Mr. Harrison is Embarrassin’ (978-0061969188)

Mr. Harrison, the tech guy at Ella Mentry School, can fix anything: computers, phones, pencil sharpeners. He can also build anything, like a solar-powered umbrella. What a nerd! But when the power goes out in the school, everyone is yelling and screaming and freaking out in the dark. Can Mr. Harrison save the day?

Mrs. Lilly is Silly! (

It’s Career Day at Ella Mentry School! Mrs. Lilly is a reporter for the local paper. She’s going to come help the kids make their own newspaper, all about the school. What will happen when A.J. and the gang become investigative reporters? Who’s going to get fired? Who’s going to end up in jail?



Jewish Holiday Series
By Roni Schotter

HANUKKAH! (978-0316034777, LB Kids)
This glowing picture book focuses on one family’s celebration of Hanukkah. It’s the eighth and final night of the holiday and Mama, Papa and Grandma Rose are lighting the menorah, while the children–Nora, Dan, Ruthie, Sam and baby Moe–begin their own preparations for the family celebration. Nora and Dan make latkes, Ruthie makes decorations, Sam makes clay dreidels and tries to teach baby Moe how to say “Hanukkah.” The festive family meal is followed by songs, dances and gifts. Finally, as the evening ends and the candles burn low, Moe giggles “Hanuk-kah!”

PURIM PLAY (978-0761458005, Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books)
In Schotter’s clever introduction to Purim, the show must go on, even if two performers have the flu. Every year, Frannie, her brother Ezra, and their two cousins put on a Purim play, reenacting the Bible story of how Queen Esther saved the Jews from the evil prime minister Haman. When her cousins fall ill and can’t perform, Frannie is disappointed that her neighbor Mrs. Teplitzky offers to play one of the roles. But her worries are soon put to rest when Mrs. Teplitzky, who used to be a real actress, arrives in a splendid costume.

PASSOVER MAGIC (978-0761458425, Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books)
The creators of Hanukkah! here offer an affectionate portrait of a family Passover seder, with text and pictures chockablock with intricate, often amusing details. The star of this beguiling brood is Uncle Harry, a part-time prestidigitator whose profession may be “pulling teeth out of people’s mouths” but whose true love is “pulling rabbits out of people’s hats.” From his arrival with gifts galore and a new bride (“This is my lucky charm-this is my Eda”), Harry’s high jinks confirm the tale’s originality.