An Interview with Cool Kids Cook Chef Eliana de las Casas

A few weeks back, I had the chance to chat with the super smart, witty, poised, and most gracious host of Cool Kids Cook, Kid Chef Eliana de las Casas. Eliana is an award-winning chef, cookbook author, and radio show host. She is the ACFNO 2014 Best Up and Coming Chef in Louisiana, 2014 Taste Award Winner for Cool Kids Cook Radio Show on VoiceAmerica Kids, Kids Ambassador for SoFAB Institute, IFCO Youth Produce Ambassador, Crescent City Market Marketeer Ambassador, and she is only fourteen years old. (Yes, you read that correctly!)

As you listen to the interview, you will notice that I have mastered the use of “um” and “so.” “So,” without further ado, enjoy the show! Warning: This show may make you hungry.

You can tune into Cool Kids Cook on Mondays at the VoiceAmerica Kids Channel, 4:00 pm (Pacific Time). And you can catch Eliana at:


Radio Show:

Twitter: @KidChefEliana

FB page: elianacooksfanpage

YouTube: Kid Chef Eliana

Pinterest: Kid Chef Eliana

Instagram: Kid Chef Eliana

Wait! Don’t go just yet! I’m not done. Her books, Cool Kids Cook: Louisiana and Cool Kids Cook: Fresh and Fit, are available on Amazon.

Now, I need a snack. Hmm. . . maybe a slice of carrot cake . . . . :)

Illustrator Saturday – Patricia Keeler – Give-away


Don’t miss this wonderful interview with author and illustrator extraordinaire, Patricia Keeler!

Originally posted on Writing and Illustrating:


Patricia Keeler lives across the Hudson River from New York City in Hoboken, NJ, with her husband, photographer Francis X. McCall. Ms. Keeler received an undergraduate degree from Virginia Polytechnical and State University and a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Before coming to Hoboken, Ms. Keeler worked in advertising for the Richmond Times Dispatch and was art director for PBS Television (WCVE, Channel 25) in Richmond, VA. She has illustrated and/or written many books, including Thank You, Angels (Hay House, 2007), Drumbeat in Our Feet (Lee & Low, 2006), Car Wash (Lee & Low, 2004), A Huge Hog Is a Big Pig (Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 2002), and Unraveling Fibers (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon and Schuster, 1995). She is the illustrator for Brain Food: 100+ Games That Make Kids Think, published by Prufrock Press. Ms. Keeler has also created a variety of illustrations for magazines, posters, and educational projects with…

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By rnewman504

It’s No Mystery: Writing Mysteries for Kids Is the Best Job in the World


Killer Nashville is a literary forum, magazine, and resource for thriller, mystery, and suspense writers. Below is a link to a piece that I wrote for them about writing mysteries for kids.

For more information about Killer Nashville, please go to

Cover Reveal for Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep

It’s definitely a weekend to celebrate. Oh sure, there’s that small national holiday with fireworks and hot dogs. But there’s also something magical that’s been brewing in the air since 2013. And that’s the cover for Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep. Chris Ewald, illustrator extraordinaire, worked his magic on the cover for Hilide Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep, and it is spellbindingly awesome.

hildie cover template revised

Thank you, Chris. It is far more adorable than anything I ever imagined.

Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep flies onto bookshelves spring 2016.

By rnewman504

Writing for Kids Is the Best Job in the World


In June, I had a chance to meet with the super funny, smart, creative, and out-of-this-world AWESOME third graders from Mrs. Gursoy and Ms. Connolly’s class in Room 301 at P.S. 230 in Brooklyn. It was a such a treat for me to read The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, listen to their terrific questions, and talk about writing, revisions, and books. And of course, after you’ve talked about carrot cake, you have to eat some carrot cake!


Well, look what arrived in the mail! Letters from the kids! Does it get better than this? I was going to post one or two of them, but they are all so awesome that I decided to post all of them. Enjoy!

letter27letter1 letter2 Letter3 Letter6 letter7 letter 29letter9 letter11 letter12 letter13 letter14 letter15 letter16 letter17 letter30 letter19 letter20 letter21 letter23 letter24 letter25 letter26



Thank you Mrs. Gursoy, Ms. Connolly, and third graders from Room 301 (oops! fourth graders now). You made my day!!!!! :)

By rnewman504

ALA San Francisco Annual Conference & Exhibition #alaac15


What an incredible week to be in San Francisco! ALA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition was a jubilant celebration of authors, illustrators, publishers, librarians, and of course, books! Where else in the world are there this many people excited about books? Nowhere. And in a nutshell, it was AWESOME!  ala4

At this year’s conference, I had the opportunity to do a cooking demo, making Mollie Katzen’s super yummy carrot cake recipe from The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake. I have to say when I first heard of this I wasn’t sure if it was a joke because (just between you and me) I don’t bake. In fact, over the years, I’ve had a very good relationship with my friends Betty Crocker, Nestlé® Toll House®, and the Pillsbury® Doughboy® and I go way back. The thought of baking,[1] even pretend baking, in front of an audience was terrifying. Fortunately for me, Mollie Katzen’s recipe is so easy that even a bumbling baking novice like myself could do it. And I had a blast! With the headpiece microphone, I felt like a cross between Julia Child and Madonna. So Food Network, if you’re looking for an author who writes about food, but who can’t actually make the food, I’m your gal. Call me. We’ll talk! :) (I also happen to know two charismatic Missing Food Investigators who would love to host a kids cooking show.)




ala3Detective Wilcox and Captain Griswold enjoying the spotlight on the What’s Cooking @ALA Stage 

Here are more photographic highlights:


Mug Shot: Me, and librarian extraordinaire, Beth Decker



Members of the Creston crew: Muon Van, Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Julie Downing, April Chu, me


Darlene Beck-Jacobson and Georgia Lyon


Simon Stahl and me


Dan Santat


me and Lane Smith


Marcia Goldman, Lola, and Marissa Moss 


me and Debbie Ridpath Ohi


Jon Scieszka and me


Muon Van and April Chu


me and Cece Bell 


Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Jacqueline Woodson, and me 

It was a wonderful conference. And to all the superhero librarians who inspire fledgling readers and turn reluctant readers into avid readers from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!!! 

Wilcox, Griswold and I have already packed our bags for the next ALA conference. We can’t wait!

p.s. Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Marcia Goldman, Lola, and I also enjoyed a great visit to a wonderful bookstore, Book Passage.




**Please remember to support your independent bookstores. Thank you!

[1] While practicing the recipe, I learned one thing: grating carrots on a hand grater is a serious workout. You can avoid expensive gym fees by simply buying a bag of carrots and a hand grater.

Win A Doodle! Hooray!


Don’t miss out on Mike Allegra’s awesome Win-a-Doodle contest!

Originally posted on heylookawriterfellow:


Here’s your chance to win an official Mike Allegra custom made doodle!

But first, a word from Giddy Happy Mike:

This is the cover of the July 2015 issue of Highlights for Children.

Highlights coverIsn’t it great? I especially like this part:

Highlights cover detailThat’s my story!

“Harold’s Hat,” is in the latest issue of Highlights (which is awesome)! And the editors decided to promote it on the magazine’s cover (which is awesomer)!

The issue arrived in my mailbox on Saturday. My son took one look at it, turned to me and said, “You are so cool.”

Best Fathers’ Day Present Ever.

The entire magazine is fantastic, by the way (Highlights is always fantastic). So be sure to pick up a copy for the little ones in your life. OK?

Thank you for indulging me. Now where was I? Oh, yes…


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By rnewman504

The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake


Please hop on over to Children’s Books Heal for a great review of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake!

Originally posted on Children's Books Heal:

The Case of Missing Carrot9781939547170_p0_v2_s260x420The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake

Robin Newman, Author

Deborah Zemke, Illustrator

Creston Books, Fiction, May 12, 2015

Pages: 40

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Theme: Mystery, Detectives, Thieves, Stolen Cake, Farm Animals

Synopsis: The carrot cake Miss Rabbit bakes for her party goes missing on Ed’s Farm. With over 100 animals, all are suspect including the owl, dog and pig. Enter Detectives Wilcox, a policemouse and his boss, Captain Griswold. They are Missing Food Investigators (MFLs) and their job is to investigate food crimes. Has the cake been eaten or stolen? Who is the thief? What is the motive?

What I like about this book:

  • Debut author Robin Newman introduces young readers to the world of police work and solving mysteries and crimes in her deliciously entertaining chapter book. Each of the six chapters highlight detective work: investigation of the crime scene, interviewing of…

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By rnewman504


Every year NJ SCBWI’s annual conference gets better and better, and this year was no exception. Here are some photographic highlights:


Opening Keynote Speaker Denise Fleming


Annie Silvestro, Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Kim Pfennigwerth


Lori Degman and Liza Fleissig


Me, Laurie Wallmark, Jody Staton, Darlene Beck-Jacobson


Artwork by Patricia Keeler 


Susanna Leonard Hil and Lori Degman


Ame Dyckman and Adam Lehrhaupt


Me and Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen


Meet the Newest Missing Food Investigators on the hunt for Miss Rabbit’s missing carrot cake.


Detective Newman


Detective Allegra


Detective Cockcroft


Detective Zampetti


Detective Degman


Detective Silvestro


Detective Hernandez and Detective Bardhan-Quallen


Mafalda Cardim, me, Ellen Grogan


Closing Keynote Speaker John Cusick

Many thanks to everyone at NJ SCBWI who made this weekend so very special. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference.

A Visit to P.S. 230

Today I had the privilege of visiting with some super smart, creative, inquisitive, and out-of-this-world AWESOME third graders at P.S. 230 in Brooklyn, New York.

Here are a few photographic highlights:

IMG_8988 IMG_8991 IMG_8994I caught up to the third graders as they were finishing the last few chapters of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake. I then listened and responded to all of their terrific questions. And of course, after you’ve read a book about carrot cake, you have eat some too! :)

Many thanks to the third graders and their wonderful teachers, Mrs. Gursoy and Ms. Connolly, for inviting me to visit their classroom. I look forward to many more visits to P.S. 230.

By rnewman504