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!

Hey, Look! A Writer Fellow!


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!

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

Using The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake in the Classroom

51RsPRm6CRLBelow is a link to a terrific blog post by Laura Simeon, Learning Commons Director & Diversity Coordinator at the Open Window School in Bellevue, WA, about how she used The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake as a teaching tool for her students.

I had a wonderful time visiting with the first graders today and I’m looking forward to speaking with the kindergartners on Thursday.

By rnewman504

It’s No Mystery: School Visits Are the Best!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to share my book with some incredibly smart, inquisitive, creative, and super funny kids. I’ve Skyped with third graders at the Wickham Elementary School in Iowa, and visited with first, second, and fifth graders at P.S. 166 in Manhattan.

And just last Friday, I had the chance to visit with first, second, and third graders at The Alexander Robertson School. This tiny gem of a school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, celebrating its two hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary, gave me the biggest heartfelt welcome.

Below are a few photographic** highlights from my visit:


Irwin Shlachter, Head of the Alexander Robertson School, and me 






The beautiful roses that I received from The Alexander Robertson School

Many thanks to the students, teachers, school administrators, librarians, and parents who have made my visits so very special. There’s no doubt about it: writing for kids is the absolute best job in the world!

**Contributing photography by Joanne Kaplan.