Winter Family Festival at A.C.T.

Are you looking for something super fun to do with the kids this weekend? Look no further.


A.C.T. at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue is having its Winter Family Festival this coming Saturday, January 7th, 12 pm – 4 pm. There will be face painting, gaga, crafts and more!

Come by with your junior detectives, witches and warlocks-in-training to make detective badges, masks and paper dolls with Wilcox, Griswold and Hildie Bitterpickles. Signed copies of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake and Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep will be available for purchase. All proceeds from book sales will be donated to A.C.T.

The A.C.T. program, Adults and Children in Trust, provides year-round educational and recreational programs for children and families on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

“Get in on the ACT” this coming Saturday.

Happy New Year!


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!




BEWARE! Two Witchtastic Spooktacular Events Are Flying to Morningside Heights

If you’re looking for WITCHTASTIC, SPOOKTACULAR fun, have I got the events for you!

On Saturday, October 29th, Hildie Bitterpickles and Grimelda, The Very Messy Witch, will be at Bank Street Book Store on 107th Street and Broadway at the 1:00 pm bewitching hour. Creepy crawley story time, crafts, slimy snacks, and BOO-RI-FIC giveaways await witches, warlocks, ninjas, and princesses of all ages. Be sure to dress up in your favorite costume and be very prepared to be tricked or treated!



A dream come true to see my book in the front window of Bank Street Book Store.

Thank you, Bank Street! 

On Monday, October 31, come celebrate a SPOOKTACULAR, SCARETASTIC Halloween with A.C.T. at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on 112th St. and Amsterdam Ave. at 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, followed by an outdoor Halloween Parade from 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm. Hildie Bitterpickles will be on hand for a BOO-RI-FIC story time.


Happy Halloween! 





Luna Park’s SPOOKTACULAR Halloween Harvest


Witches, aliens, super heroes, and ghouls were out in force yesterday at Luna Park’s SPOOKTACULAR Halloween Harvest in Coney Island.

Hildie Bitterpickles and I had a WITCH-A-RI-FIC story time and blast making paper dolls during creepy crawly craft time.

Here are a few photographic highlights:













Luna Park’s Halloween Harvest continues through October 30th. Be sure to bring your princesses, ninjas, ghosts, and warlocks-in-training. They will have a BAT-TAS-TIC time painting pumpkins, monster mashing, and jamming to the latest kooky spooky karaoke hits.






If you happened to be in Warwick, New York yesterday, you would have noticed there was magic in the air. It was a day to celebrate children’s literature and oh, what a magical day it was!

Here are a few photographic highlights:


Me and Beth Ferry


Hazel Mitchell 


Sujean Rim and her adorable son


Diana Murray and Mylisa Larsen


Me and Iza Trapani


Me, Jessica Olien, Lauren Magaziner, Laurie Wallmark and Diana Murray

Three incredible volunteers 




THANK YOU WARWICK CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL! A very big THANK YOU to Lisa Laico, Judy Pedersen, Christina Ryan-Linder, the incredible volunteers, Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe, and the Albert Wisner Public Library.

Hildie Bitterpickles, Wilcox & Griswold, the peacocks,** and I cannot wait for next year’s festival.


**No Peacocks! illustrated by Chris Ewald (Sky Pony Press) flies onto bookshelves fall 2017.

Interview with Karlin Gray

Please click here to catch my recent interview with Karlin Gray.

Karlin is the extremely talented debut picture book author of Nadia, The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still, illustrated by Christine Davenier (HMH Books for Young Readers 2016), about Nadia Comaneci’s journey to Olympic gold.


School Library Connection described Nadia, The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still as “[A] perfect 10 for any library!” Karlin’s second book, An Ordinary Moth (Sleeping Bear Press), flies onto bookshelves March 2018.

By rnewman504