I am THRILLED to be a participating author in the inaugural year of #KidsNeedMentors.

#KidsNeedMentors was created by authors Ann Braden and Jarrett Lerner in cooperation with fifth grade teachers, Kristen Picone and Kristin Crouch. The program matches authors with schools for an entire year with the goal of getting kids excited about reading and writing. Authors will touch base once a month with their schools via old fashioned snail mail or Skype. They’ll give students a “behind the scenes look” at the work involved in writing a book, including sharing outlines, character studies, works in progress, dummies,** F&Gs, etc. Title 1 schools are given first priority in the pairings. Authors are also encouraged to do an in-person visit by year’s end.

I have been paired with third graders at Longridge Elementary School and students at Locust Valley Intermediate School. I cannot wait to get these books and all of this swag in the mail for them.


For more information about #KidsNeedMentors, visit Ann Braden’s website. See also Kara Yorio’s article for School Library Journal about the program.

I’d like to shout out a huge THANK YOU to Ann Braden, Jarret Lerner, Kristen Picone and Kristin Crouch for organizing this incredible program.

It’s going to be great academic year. Go #KidsNeedMentors!

**Note for authors and illustrators: Never ever use the term “dummies” or “dummy” during school visits. For school visits, I refer to dummies as mock-ups. At my very first school visit, I made the mistake of calling a mock-up a dummy. Every single hand in that classroom was raised as soon as I said the word. “Excuse me. Ms. Newman, did you say, dummy?” Lesson learned.

Book Giveaway: NO PEACOCKS by Robin Newman

Fly on over to Kathy Temean’s awesome blog to read her interview with Phil, the peacock, and for a chance to win a copy of No Peacocks!

Writing and Illustrating

Author Robin Newman has a new picture book titled NO PEACOCKS! coming out on September 4th. She has agreed to share a book with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Robin!


Every day Phil, Jim, and Harry are fed sunflower seeds by the staff who care
 for them at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. But one day, they decide they’re sick…

View original post 1,075 more words

By rnewman504

Shameless Self-Promotion for my Next Book: No Peacocks! A Feathered Tale of Three Mischievous Foodies

I’m not the kind of author who would post non-stop about my upcoming book, No Peacocks! A Feathered Tale of Three Mischievous Foodies.


Subliminal message: PLEASE buy the book. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your favorite local indie. It flies onto bookshelves September 4th.

What kind of tacky author does that kind of thing? It’s in exceptionally bad taste.

Subliminal message: PLEASE tell your friends, friends of friends, friends of friends of friends, neighbors, favorite librarian, favorite teacher, actually doesn’t even have to be your favorite anyone, and heck, why not share it with your enemies too. Emotional support peacocks will love the book, and I’ve even heard emotional support scorpions are super eager to get their pincers on a copy or two.

But let’s suppose blog readers are a little curious about the book. No Peacocks! was inspired by the three real-life peacocks residing on the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.


This is Phil.


This is Jim or Harry. 


Or Harry or Jim. 

Subliminal message: Yes, it’s true! Peacocks DO live in Manhattan. And these particular peacocks, Phil, Jim, and Harry, have been roaming the cathedral’s grounds freely (sometimes roaming off of the grounds too!) and getting into loads of fun trouble since about 2002.

And on the cathedral’s grounds, there is also The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine, where my son had been a student. 


My son on his first day of school. 

Subliminal message: Of course, there’s a real school! And the students love the peacocks, as do the tourist-filled buses that line up along Amsterdam Avenue to get a chance to meet these three famous feathered neighborhood celebrities.

And if you’re wondering what the book is about, it’s about the peacocks’ quest to try the school’s very famous mac ‘n cheese.


Subliminal message: The Cathedral School’s mac ‘n cheese is the absolute best mac ‘n cheese in the universe but as blog readers may have figured out peacocks are: A) not allowed to eat mac ‘n cheese; and B) not allowed in the school. So how are they going to get their wings of the school’s mac ‘n cheese? That is the big conundrum.

Now, if I happened to be one of those shameless self-promoters (which I didn’t say I was), I’d probably try to make my readers hungry for more books about food.


Subliminal message: PLEASE check out my Wilcox & Griswold Mystery Series, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake and The Case of the Poached Egg. Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your favorite local indie.

Blog reader: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE with sugar on top, stop now.

I’m done.