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Smout and the Lighthouse

with John Patrick PazdzioraIllustrated by Lyndsay Roberts RayneAlbert Whitman & Company (September 7, 2023)ISBN: 0807574848ISBN-13: 978-0807574843 Smout and the Lighthouse is a story about the wonderful writer Robert Louis Stevenson as a boy. His entire family created lighthouses up and down the Scottish Coast and elsewhere. They were known as The Lighthouse Stevensons. But even …

Giants’ Farm, The (2023)

Illustrated by Tomie dePaola Aladdin (February 7, 2023) ISBN 10: 153448857X ISBN 13: 978-1534488571 The Giants’ Farm began when my husband and I  bought an old farm and fourteen acres in Hatfield, MA some 50 years ago. I wanted to call it Fe-Fi-Fo Farm. My husband and our three children were mortified. He suggested Phoenix …

Kiki Kicks

KIKKI KICKS is my  first book with grandchild Ari Stemple who also writes poetry, stories, comic books, song lyrics (and music). 

The poem is mine, celebrating the martial arts, but the story itself was written by Ari and me, re-calling Ari’s trials when they were badly bullied in school…

The Horseback Librarians

I first read about the horseback librarians in a newspaper article, and carried the idea for a long while in my heart. Then a picture book came out about them for children and I set the idea aside. It took me another ten or more years before I tried my own version, following a single (made up)  librarian and giving a paragraph footnote at the books’ end about the real Appalachian horseback librarians

What to do with a Stick

What to Do with A Stick is the third book in a series of picture books, after What To Do With A Book, and What to Do with a String. Each book has a different illustrator and is in rhyme. Great for reading aloud to a child, stretches the imagination, and I had a wonderful time writing them.

How Do Dinosaurs Learn To Be Kind?

This is the latest (but not the last) of my Dinosty (get it? Dino dynasty!) books, which are all about different behaviors of naughty but nice dinos that began over twenty years ago with How Does A Dinosaur Say Goodnight?

Yuck You Suck! Poems about Animals That Sip, Slurp, Suck

Poems about animals that suck. No really. The ones that sip and slurp, and otherwise suck their food or use sucking for locomotion and other things. My daughter Heidi and I did a lot of research on such animals around the world, then each chose which creatures we individually wanted to write about.

Mrs. Noah’s Doves

This midrash was a delight for a wife and mother of bird watchers to write. It is a kind of poem, which you will notice if you read it out loud. The pictures are just stunning. Midrash is what the rabbis do by taking a story from the Hebrew Bible and finding new ways to interpret them.

Love Birds

I call this my sequel to OWL MOON, only forty years later! Probably I am the only one who sees the connection. I think the pictures are stunning in their own way. I hope John Schoneherr, who won the Caldecott for OWL MOON, is looking down from heaven with approval.


This book has only 22 words in the text, and more than half of them are made up! (There is a backmatter which accounts for many more words.) My husband is the one who counted the words and told me!! And I adore the paintings that look like old circus posters. It took the editor and art director more than a year to find exactly the right illustrator.