Happy Thanksgiving!

These are dangerous times to be a bird. And Phil, Jim and Harry, the peacocks on the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, aren’t taking any chances. Sporting their “Proud as a Peacock” t-shirts, they’ve decided to fly the coop for the holiday before they become the early bird special.


Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like beef, tofu and mac ‘n cheese. Speaking of mac ‘n cheese, No Peacocks! illustrated by Chris Ewald (Sky Pony Press), flies onto bookshelves Fall 2017. In their first caper, find out how Phil, Jim and Harry manage to steal The Cathedral School’s famous mac ‘n cheese. WARNING: This picture book is a feathered tale of cheesy antics appropriate for children ages 0-999.


Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep

A wonderful review of Hildie Bitterpickles.

Sweet Tea & Paperbacks


Having trouble finding the perfect book for the young child on your holiday list? Look no further! Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep, is a sweet story that will leave little ones begging to have it read over and over again. Written by Robin Newman and Illustrated by Chris Ewald, the story will take your imagination to far away lands and leave images dancing in your mind.

Hildie Bitterpickles is a young witch who likes things done her way. In this fun story, young readers will learn how to handle situations when things don’t go their way, and how to implement problem solving skills in their lives.

Newman has written a beautiful character in Hildie Bitterpickles, and pulls in characters from fairytale favorites. Newman’s ability to bring new imagination and life to older characters is a great feat that she accomplished in a way that seems like it’s her second nature.

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By rnewman504

A Declaration in Support of Children

faceofhope Illustration by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Children’s literature may be the most influential literary genre of all. Picture books, chapter books, middle-grade and young-adult novels all serve the most noble of purposes: to satisfy the need for information, to entertain curious imaginations, to encourage critical thinking skills, to move and inspire. Within their pages, seeds of wisdom and possibility are sown.

Therefore we, the undersigned children’s book authors and illustrators, do publicly affirm our commitment to using our talents and varied forms of artistic expression to help eliminate the fear that takes root in the human heart amid lack of familiarity and understanding of others; the type of fear that feeds stereotypes, bitterness, racism and hatred; the type of fear that so often leads to tragic violence and senseless death.

Our country is deeply divided. The recent election is a clear indication of the bigotry that is entrenched in this nation, of…

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By rnewman504

#nErDcampLI Rocks!


Nerdy Book Club + Ed Camp = nErD Camp

Have you ever had the experience of walking into a room and automatically knowing you were among your peeps? On Saturday, November 5th, I found my wonderfully nerdy peeps at the Second Annual nErD Camp Long Island held at Jericho Middle School.

nErD Camp is described as the “unconference” edcamp. It provides a fluid forum for educators, authors, and illustrators to discuss “all things” literary; get inspired and give inspiration; and teach and learn from one another.

So, how does nErD Camp work? Upon arrival attendees fill a session board with topics of interest. You can attend any session, participate in any session, create a session, and/or leave a session if there’s another one that is more tailored to your interests.


I attended a terrific session by Jackie Azúa Kramer and Selene Castrovilla about Reader’s Theatre, an immersive interactive story-telling experience that encourages students to act out written works. I also gave a talk about using fairy tales as a means of getting kids excited about writing—a tale of how to create fractured fairy tales. The discussion started with fairy tales and somehow morphed into a discussion about using mysteries in the classroom.

Here are a few photographic highlights:


Selene Castrovilla and Jackie Azúa Kramer

Jackie Azúa Kramer, Annina Luck Wildermuth, me, the AWESOME Mrs. C and her SUPER AWESOME daughter




Selina Alko


Corey Rosen Schwartz


Carol Weston


Selene Castrovilla 


Tracey Baptiste


Josh Funk 


Tara Lazar


Carol Gordon Ekster


Nancy Armo


Sean Qualls and Selena Alko


Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrey Vernick


The line to buy books! 

I would like to shout out a HUGE THANK YOU to JoEllen McCarthy, Alison McDermott, and Kristen Picone for a fantastic day. nErdCampLI rocks!