Little Known Facts About Your Favorite Children’s Books

 

I saw this on the Mental Floss channel on YouTube and just had to share. Some amazing stuff in here. Which fact blew you away the most?

Book Signing Artwork

This past weekend I had a book signing at my local Barnes & Noble (thank you Kelly for all you do for me!). I decided to do a little something different. Come on, I’ll show you.

I pulled up to the store with my family. As always, I was thrilled to see posters about my books in the window. Talk about dreams come true. You spend so much time reading and writing and wishing, seeing your name in a book store window and on the cover of a book never grows old.

Dandelion BN Sign

To gear up for story time, I did a little practice run. This time last year, I didn’t need glasses to read. Those days are over! Funny how the angle of the picture makes the book look HUGE.

Kevin Reading

I asked everyone who came by my table to help build a dandelion. Kids had fun sticking the dandelion’s seedpods everywhere they could. I have to admit, they did a pretty good job.

Dandelion all made

After story time, we all sat down and started drawing and coloring. I have some pretty nice artwork to share. Thank you to the kids who took the time to show us what incredible artists they are!

Great job little Dhruu!

Great job little Dhruu!

I might have to ask Kriya to do the artwork for my next book!

I might have to ask Kriya to do the artwork for my next book!

 

Veronica got it just right!

Veronica got it just right!

 

Star gave us not 1, but 2 dandelions.

Star gave us not 1, but 2 dandelions.

 

Samantha used pen instead of crayons. Very nice.

Samantha use pen instead of crayons. Very nice.

 

New York Times Review for The Dandelion’s Tale

Every writer dreams not only of getting their book published, but someday having that book reviewed in the NY Times (right next to being spotlighted by Oprah!). I almost fell off my chair when my publisher forwarded me the review for The Dandelion’s Tale in a recent issue of the Times.

It was short and sweet, but most important of all, a great review! Here’s what they said :

The pale blue skies and grassy meadows of “The Dandelion’s Tale” beautifully convey springtime’s promise of renewal. One little dandelion, however, has lost all but 10 of her fuzzy white seed pods, and fears she will soon be forgotten. A kind sparrow listens to her happy memories and makes sure they are passed along to the next generation. Obvious analogies to the human life cycle make this lovely-to-look-at, old fashioned tale a little sad and a little sweet, like the best goodbyes.”

Don’t think my feet have touched the floor since I read this. Thank you to everyone who has read the book and passed along your kind words!

Here’s a link to the Sunday Book Review.

The Dandelion’s Are Coming To Town

Dandelion WatercolorThat’s right, it’s story time once again, this time at my hometown Barnes & Noble in Yonkers, NY on May 31st at 1pm. I’ll ‘perform’ my book, THE DANDELION’S TALE, along with my dandelions (aka, my daughters). We have some real fun interactive activities for everyone who attends, prizes and maybe even some fresh baked cookies. At the very least, there will be store bought cookies. 🙂

Even the dandelions are excited!

What These Dandelions Have To Say

Over the weekend, I went to my mother’s house to make sure the grill was ready for our Mother’s Day BBQ. It hadn’t been used since last Father’s Day, so we went there with fingers crossed.

Dandelions

Upon walking into the yard, lo and behold, there were dandelions everywhere. Naturally, since the publication of my book, The Dandelion’s Tale, the sight of these yellow-topped weeds have been cause for celebration. The two pictured above sprouted up at the base of the last tree in the yard. I started to think of the things that happened around that tree when I was growing up. When my cat, Priscilla was a kitten, she somehow climbed up the tree and got stuck on a branch, meowing her head off. My heart lodged in my throat when she decided to take flight, somehow landing on her feet, unharmed.

People sitting under that tree have been pooped on by birds and had things dropped on them by squirrels. I even buried a few hamsters there. I’ve sat under the shade of that tree for countless family parties and outdoor dinners. I played with my Star Wars figures, pretending the foliage around the tree was a foreign planet.

There are tales to tell right where those dandelion’s are growing. I wonder if they can tap into those memories that have become one with the earth.

Book Signing Collage

Thank you to the staff of Womrath’s Bookstore in Bronxville, NY for being the perfect hosts for this past weekend’s book signing. This was the big local signing that a lot of my peeps (aka friends and family) were looking forward to attending.

There was only one drawback. It was an absolutely beautiful, warm day – the first since fall began! The normally bustling town was much quieter than usual. We writers love rain! Rain drives people to bookstores.

My peeps came, bought lots o books, and made it a very special day. As the guys from Ghost Hunters say at the end of every episode, “On to the next!”

I wanted to share some pics from the event. Hope you can be in the future ones!

Ah, the before picture of my author table. Every time the book pile went down. more were added!

Ah, the before picture of my author table. Every time the book pile went down. more were added!

Best pic of the day. Me surrounded by my niece Jessica and her friend Marina.

Best pic of the day. Me surrounded by my niece Jessica and her friend Marina.

My head was down a lot as I signed books!

My head was down a lot as I signed books!

Dandelion Me Cat

My niece Kathryn eyeing those cookies and donuts!

Nice little set up to greet folks as they walked by the store.

Nice little set up to greet folks as they walked by the store.

 

 

Interviewed by Mr. Schu!

I was recently honored to be interviewed on Mr. Schu’s legendary blog (www.mrschureads.blogspot.com)! This is my first interview about The Dandelion’s Tale. Read on to find out my personal opinion on the importance of school libraries, the relationship between Sparrow and Dandelion and my favorite picture book when I was young, many, many moons ago.

Mr. Schu started a sentence, and it was my job to complete it. I have to try this method when I do interviews.

The Dandelion’s Tale tells the story of a puffy, white dandelion who is worried that once her remaining seed pods blow away, no one will be left to remember her. A passing sparrow hears her cries and befriends the tiny flower. As she tells the sparrow her life’s story, her new friend writes it all in a dry patch of dirt so it can be read over and over. It’s tale of friendship and the cycle of life, as the dandelion’s tale is passed on to the next generation of bright, young dandelions that grow in the meadow.
dandelion mr schu
 
Rob Dunlavey’s illustrations are simply perfect. His beautiful artwork really captures the heart and soul of the story and are far more than I could have ever expected. When Schwartz & Wade made their offer, I had a mental image of what I felt the illustrations should look like. When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of the little Golden Books. I didnt’ know Rob and we had no interaction, so I was both curious and nervous while I waited for his final product. I almost fell off my chair when I saw the first set of proofs. It was exactly, and I make no exaggeration here, the way I pictured and hoped it to be. A lot of parents will get nostalgic when they see it for themselves.
School libraries are an essential part of every child’s education and development. I learned so much from the books I checked out over the years and I’m especially grateful to all of the librarians who helped a little voracious reader expand his interests. Going down to the library was always the highlight of my week in school (next to lunch and punchball games at recess!). That’s where my love of books really blossomed. I wouldn’t be a writer today if I hadn’t gotten that initial exposure to books in my school library.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what my favorite picture book of all time is. The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde Swift is the first picture book I remember treasuring when I was in first grade. It also came with a floppy record that read the story to me and had all kinds of sound effects and music. I would read that book and play the record multiple times a day. The best part was learning that it was based on an actual little red lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. It’s only 10 minutes from my house. Whenever I see it, I feel like a kid again.

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