Monday, March 23, 2015

A few Awards

Someone on Facebook asked why I said I was an Award-Winning Author.
There were no awards listed on my website.

my answer:
Oh dear.
My poor website is sooooooooo out of date.  I have a webmaster who will work on it this spring and bring it up to date.

But meanwhile, If anyone is interested, here is a partial list of the awards my books have gotten:

To Fly, the Story of the Wright Brothers

- Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor, 2003.
- Orbis Pictus Honor book, 2003
- NSTA-CBC -- Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students 
K-12 Invention Award Winner
- - NCSS/CBC Notable Trade Book in Social Studies
- Bank Street College of Education--Best Children's Books of the Year, 2003 

1998 and 2005 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award, Gold Seal (Busy Toes for the first and Busy Fingers for the second) The first one was when the Gold Seal was the top award. in 2005 it was a secondary award. Now they have a Platinum Award.

All my 8 biographies received the 
- NCSS/CBC Notable Trade Book in Social Studies

Friday, March 20, 2015


The first day of spring was bright and sunny for us, but I hear tell that the east coast is muttering about more of the white stuff.

But even there the snowdrops are peeking out and the tips of daffodil and tulip leaves have thrust their way up. Some might even be blooming in the next weeks.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday is PI Day

March 14th is always Pi Day.
What is Pi Day?
This is the date that matches the numerical notation of the math symbol - PI.
Commonly know as 3.14 + a lot of other numbers without end.
You can find more information about it by clicking on the website dedicated to Pi Day.

This Saturday the date is even more special because it equals more of the number:
3.1415 =  3/14/15

How will you celebrate PI day?
You could buy a pie. Blueberry for me, please:

Or you could make a pie:

Whatever you do - enjoy your Pi (or pie).

p.s. I just found this on Facebook and had to add it to this post:
For the Dr. Who fans out there - you know who you are.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Read Across America Day and Nonfiction Monday

It's Dr. Seuss's birthday AND Read Across America Day.

Here's all about the Read Across America Celebration  and neat things you can do with children on this day.

Here's an essay by Dr. Seuss himself (Theodore Geisel) about the importance of children's books. "books for children have a greater potential for good or evil, than any other form of literature on earth"

And here is why children need to read BOOKS for information and why they fail when they try to find information on the internet.

It's Nonfiction Monday and although Dr. Seuss wrote silly stories, he would approve of all the new nonfiction books for children available today

Monday, February 23, 2015

My Indoor and Outdoor Offices

When I lived in Maryland, this was my office. (picture to the left.) There was barely enough room to turn around in, but just enough room for bookcases all around me, a filing cabinet behind me, plus desks in front and behind me. Most of my books were written (and revised. and revised again) here.

Now that I live on the west coast, THIS is my office. (see picture to the right.)
 Well, actually the floor plan of this condo said it was supposed to be the dining room - but I needed an office space more.

Yes, you can see that I've expanded from one filing cabinet to three. And the bookcases? They are all over the house.

 When I want a break nowadays , I can go to the beach. It's good for exercise. Good for blowing cobwebs out of your mind, and sometimes you find groups building sandcastles!

What's your office like?
Where do you go to think?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Newbery/ Caldecott and other ALA winners

Yesterday (yes, on Groundhog Day), the American Library Association announced their choices for most distinguished books and other media.  They even stream the announcements LIVE for book addicts like me, and many others.

I was amazed at how many of the winners and honor book winners I had some real or some faint connection to.

For example - I'm working on getting an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) from the wonderful college, Vermont College of Fine Arts.  We students of Writing for Children and Young Adults have always joked about the fact that we were working toward World Domination.
That our books would take over the world.

Yesterday we proved that this is so.
1. Kekla Magoon - Coretta Scott King Honor book - How It Went Down
2. Jandy Nelson - Printz Medal winner - I'll Give You the Sun.
3. Jandy Nelson - Stonewall Book Award - I'll Give You the Sun.

4. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson won three awards:
-- Coretta Scott King Award winner!  (for text)
-- Newbery Honor Book (silver medal)
-- Robert Sibert Honor (this one is for nonfiction)

5. And Julie Berry was awarded an Odyssey Audio Book Honor for her book, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place.   

Celebrate their victories with us at The LaunchPad! 

Do I know the Newbery Winner?
He's a member of the Children's Book Guild in Washington, D.C. - one of the groups I also belong to.
Kwame Alexander, who wrote The Crossover.

Deborah Taylor, (also a member of the Children's Book Guild as the representative of Enoch Pratt Free Library to that group) was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mo Willems gathered up another Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for his new book, Waiting is not Easy. If you haven't met Elephant and Piggy, you've gotta go get several right now. This is their latest adventure.   (Funny thing - Elephant's name is Gerald, but we still don't know if Piggy has any other name than - Piggy.)

I don't exactly 'know' Mo, but he did come to speak to the Guild and is a perfectly charming, funny guy.

The only way I 'know' Dan Santat, the Caldecott winner for The Adventures of Beekle, is because Lisa Yee constantly features him on her blog and on her Facebook account - having lunch or dinner with the illustrator of her books.

A full list of all the award winners can be found here on the American Library Association web page press release.

A GREAT overview of the amazing aspects of this year's selections for these Awards can be found here at the Unadulterated blog.

Okay, I'll stop now.
Congratulations to ALL the winners.           !!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Groundhog Day

What did your local Groundhog predict today?
Will Spring be early?  or late?

All over Facebook, people were insisting that THEIR groundhog agreed or did not agree with Punxsutawney Phil. (who predicted that spring would be late.)  Since he's correct less than half the time, you'd better believe your own local groundhog.
If you want to find out if your area has a groundhog predicting spring, they're all listed in my book.