Monday, November 30, 2015

The Giving Season

Southeast Michigan children's-book fans have a large line-up of authors and illustrators to meet this Saturday, December 5, from 1-4 p.m. at the Orion Township Public Library, Lake Orion, MI 48362. This book fair features the picture-book debut of the library's own Kris Remenar, Groundhog's Dilemma. It's illustrated by Kris's husband, Matt Faulkner. Here's the line-up: Baaab and I hope to see you there.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Hanging out at the bookstore

Baaab is tickled to find some of his favorites at Literati Bookstore. Today is the day to give a boost to the businesses in your community--and take advantage of the customer service that independent bookstores can give.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Small Business Saturday

Baaab doesn't think much of Black Friday, or shopping on Thanksgiving, but he likes the idea of visiting a friendly bookstore on Small Business Saturday, November 28. He's going to help out at Literati in Ann Arbor. I'm reading a couple of stories at 11 a.m. Please come if you're in the neighborhood, and if you're not, here's a handy way to find your closest independent bookstore:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Autumn Travels with Baaab the Sheep

The Bacon Free Library in Natick, MA
Baaab visits the Bacon Free Library for story time and meets Children's Librarian Fran Daneault and Director Meena Jain.
The Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook, NY, geared up for the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival. We stopped by in the middle of preparations.
Merritt Bookstore staff at the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival stayed busy!
Susanna Hill & Iza Trapani read their sheep books at the festival.
Baaab had heard so much about the festival! At last, he got to greet sheep enthusiasts from all over.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Road trip

Baaab the sheep and I are heading to  New England and New York State. If you're in the area, please stop by at the Bacon Free Library in Natick, MA, on Tuesday, October 13 for story hour at 10 a.m. If you're a fan of sheep in general, you will love the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY on Saturday and Sunday, October 17-18. Knitting, weaving, demonstrations, sheep in a whole lot of breeds--and sheep authors Susanna Hill and Iza Trapani. We'll be reading and signing our books.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Horn Book review of Sheep Go to Sleep

The Horn Book Magazine 's review of Sheep Go to Sleep in the July/August issue says, "Apple's soft colored-pencil illustrations set a peaceful pastoral scene, while the soothing assonant sounds of the text ask young listeners to, well, begin counting their own sheep." The sheep will have sweet dreams after being called "iconic," and they like knowing they're helping with math concepts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Shelf Awareness

I'm happy to see that book-industry newsletter Shelf Awareness has put Sheep Go to Sleep in its June 19 issue: "The team behind Sheep in a Jeep delivers an original twist with this charming take on bedtime...Shaw's meter never falters, and Apple's drawings keep the woolly quintet (and their canine guardian) front and center," says reviewer Jennifer M. Brown. Click here for the full review.

Baaab the sheep likes the review.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Celebrating two new picture books

Shutta Crum & Nicola Rooney
On June 3rd at Nicola's Books, we heard Shutta Crum explain how she went about writing a nearly-wordless book, and how much thought went into conveying how the toddler-size problems built to a climax--a hat over the eyes, a crab crawling into a bucket, a seagull, a sippy cup, and a big wave. It added up to Uh-Oh!, her new book with art by Patrice Barton.

I explained how Nicola was a part in the genesis of my new book--I had fun writing Sheep Phone It In as part of a tribute to her store in the Black Dog & Leventhal anthology My Bookstore. (Sheep and a smartphone--what could go wrong?) That story led to my editor at HMH suggesting Sheep Go to Sleep. The story is just out, with dreamy art by Margot Apple. And Nicola herself introduced us. Thanks to all the folks who made this quite a party.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Book Party at Nicola's

You're invited to a book party for Shutta Crum's picture book Uh-Oh!, about two toddlers at the beach, and my Sheep Go to Sleep. We will be reading and signing, and we'll have starfish cookies to go with the beach book, and apples-oats-&-sugar-lump cookies (something the sheep made after they went trick-or-treating). Sheep's-milk cheese, too. Nicola's Books, 2513 Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 3.

Monday, May 25, 2015

An Open Book

Founding Director Dara LaPorte of An Open Book Foundation introduces Baaab and me to kindergartners at Roscoe R. Nix Elementary in Silver Spring.

Baaab looks forward to handing out copies of Sheep in a Jeep to the kindergartners.

Reading Specialist Mrs. West with me and Mrs. Greene's kindergarten

Last week I had the privilege of visiting classes at Roscoe R. Nix Elementary in Silver Spring, Maryland, with Janet Zwick and Dara LaPorte of An Open Book Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to bringing books to kids in the greater Washington, D.C. area. They and the schools do the all-important work of getting the kids ready to meet an author, so the audience is focused on the program. They also give each child an autographed book to keep, as well as sets of books for the classrooms. Baaab and I loved meeting the Nix students!

Gaithersburg Book Festival

Erin Hagar and Laura Bowers staff the SCBWI tent.

Sheep and goats together--I got to meet Erica Perl, shown here with her new book Goatilocks and the Three Bears.
Newbery medalist Kwame Alexander gets ready to speak about The Crossover.

Mary Norris autographs Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen.
Mary Quattlebaum and Erin Hagar at the SCBWI tent.

With Mayor Jud Ashman, founder of the festival, at the author party

Mikki Knudsen toasts the festival and celebrates her latest book, Marilyn's Monster.
 A few photos from the Gaithersburg Book Festival...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sheep are baaaack!

Sheep Go to Sleep is now in stores. Their newest adventure has the flock trying to settle down, but they get spooked by nighttime noises. When a trusty collie comes by, he figures out what each sheep needs to feel sleepy:
The tired sheep begins to snore.
One asleep! How many more?
It's a countdown until they all nod off--even the collie.

Booklist says, "The endearing colored-pencil illustrations portray the animals’ emotions with clarity and wit. Besides offering a low-key introduction to counting and subtraction, this amiable picture book is just right for bedtime reading."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Upcoming Events

All the stuffed sheep in my house are waiting for the release of Sheep Go to Sleep May 5.  
A busy March Is Reading Month has given way to April's National Poetry Month, and May will have the sheep on the go. If you're in southeast Michigan, come to the Monroe County Library's Children's Author Meet & Greet at the Frenchtown-Dixie Branch,  2881 Nadeau, Monroe, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, with book signings and more. Among the authors will be Jim Benton of Dear Dumb Diary, Debbie Diesen of The Pout-Pout Fish, Cynthia Furlong Reynolds of S Is for Star, and me.

On May 5, Sheep Go to Sleep will be out, and the sheep will celebrate--until they start to snooze, of course.

In Maryland on May 16, they will be wide awake to greet mid-Atlantic readers at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, which features a strong line-up of authors for young people, including Kevin O'Malley, Robert Sabuda, Marissa Moss, and Newbery winners Phyllis Reynolds Naylor and Kwame Alexander. Political titles are also a  special strength, with David Axelrod and Clarence Page among the speakers. The sheep hope to see you there.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


The sheep woke up to a turn in the spotlight today--Debbie Gonzales's ReaderKidZ site is recommending their upcoming adventure, Sheep Go to Sleep. They are all excited, and so is their friend the collie. Thanks, Debbie, for all you do on ReaderKidZ.
A bunch of sheep snuggle up with a bedtime story.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Year of the Sheep

February 19 brings the Lunar New Year, and this time it's the Year of the Sheep (or Ram, or Goat). Which makes a good time to introduce what a certain flock of sheep are up to, though May is the publication date.
They will meet their new friend the collie, and will be counting down to slumber time. And how does the collie do? Let's just say he gets pretty tired.

Meanwhile, here's what critics are already saying: "Rhyming text softly rocks readers alongside a patient border collie who puts five sheep to sleep by fulfilling their bedtime wishes...This book will be a favorite for any reluctant sleepyheads."--School Library Journal

 "Sweet, lilting rhymes and charming colored-pencil illustrations hit all of the right notes and blend together flawlessly as a friendly border collie tries his best to shepherd his wooly charges off to sleep... A beguiling bedtime book and a nice choice for just before nap time."--Kirkus Reviews