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! 





Upcoming Events and a Witchtastic Limited-Time Offer!

Hildie Bitterpickles, Wilcox & Griswold and I have a super-fun fall lined up. Please stop by and catch us at one of these incredible events!

October 1 – Collingswood Book Festival, Collingswood, NJ, 10 am – 4 pm


October 8 – The Warwick Children’s Book Festival, Railroad Avenue, Warwick, NY, 11 am – 4 pm


October 15th and October 16 – Luna Park in Coney Island, NY, 3 pm


Don’t miss a spooktacular story time with Hildie Bitterpickles at the 3 pm bewitching hour.

October 29 – Bank Street Book Store @ 107th Street and Broadway, NY, NY, 1 pm – 2 pm


Author extraordinaire, Diana Murray, and I have planned a witchtastic story hour with Hildie Bitterpickles and Grimelda, the Very Messy Witch. There will be spellbindingly fun crafts, snacks, giveaways and more! Feel free to wear your witchiest and warlockiest outfits! Be prepared to be tricked or treated.



November 12 – 13 NJ SCBWI Fall Craft Weekend, Princeton Theological Seminary, 64 Mercer St., Princeton, NJ


Craft-related workshops with published author/illustrator presenters.

I will be doing my first workshop on writing character-driven picture books. I will also be doing some picture book critiques. It’s always a terrific weekend! I highly recommend it!!!


Now for the Witchtastic Limited-Time Offer!

Buy five or more copies of Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep books, email me your proof of purchase and address, and I will mail your witches and warlocks-in-training a spooktacular, witchtastic goody bag! Note this offer applies ONLY to residents in the United States and the offer expires midnight on Halloween 2016.


Independent Bookstore Day at Bank Street Book Store



When I think about what makes my Upper West Side neighborhood so special at the tippy top of my list is Bank Street Book Store. Where else can you enjoy free story time, meet your favorite authors and illustrators, and help your children explore cultures and worlds far beyond the Upper West Side?


Nothing makes me happier than to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day at Bank Street.


Here are a few photographic highlights of this very special store on this special day.


Peter Ackerman, Chris Grabenstein, Bill Wurzel & Claire Wurtzel


Carol Weston 


Elizabeth Zunon



Me & Chris Ewald 


Chris Ewald



Chris Ewald sketching 



Bank Street Book Store is a treasured gem of the Upper West Side. It is one of two children’s bookstores in all of Manhattan. That’s right. Two.



The next generation of authors and illustrators

So, please be sure to make Independent Bookstore Day more than an annual event. At your next visit to Bank Street Book Store, don’t forget to buy lots of books and shout out a very big THANK YOU to this incredible bookstore for enriching both our children and community.



Bank Street Book Store

Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep Celebrates Her Book Birthday



Witches, warlocks, goblins and ghouls! It’s time to break out your dancing shoes because Hildie Bitterpickles is celebrating her book birthday on April 12th. (Technically, Hildie Bitterpickles was a preemie baby book since she warehoused early, but April 12th is a fine date to celebrate Hildie’s birthday. Every witch I know wants an October 31 book birthday. But, let’s be honest. It’s overdone and unoriginal.)

So cast your spells for fun, crafts, treats, giveaways, and more at these three witchtasticallly awesome upcoming events:

Southold Free Library, 53705 Main Road, Southold, NY, April 16th, at 2:00 pm 

The Corner Bookstore, 1313 Madison Avenue at 93rd Street, April 28, at 6:00 pm

Bank Street Book Store, 2780 Broadway at West 107th Street, April 30, at 11:30 am

Feel free to wear your witchiest and warlockiest pjs or Halloween costumes.

Wait! It gets even better. Chris Ewald, illustrator extraordinaire, will be at The Corner Bookstore and Bank Street Book Store to share his artistic talents. Can it get more witchtastic than that? I think not!

Happy Birthday, Hildie Bitterpickles!

A Writer’s Phone Call to Santa


ROBIN: Hey Santa, it’s Robin Newman. How are you?

SANTA: Robin who?

ROBIN: Robin Newman. Remember me from last year? I’m the author of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake and Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep.

SANTA: What time is it?

ROBIN: It’s 5:00 a.m. New York City time. What time is it on the North Pole?

SANTA: Much earlier.

ROBIN: Geez Santa, I’m sorry I woke you. I was just so excited to talk to you. I noticed that Starbucks started its Christmas season early and then every radio station is decking the halls, so I thought I might try to catch you a little earlier this year.

SANTA: Robin, have you been good?

ROBIN: Don’t you think “good” is one of those words that’s subjective and open to interpretation? You know it’s like an editor reading your story and hating it because she has a thing against talking animals. I mean like what kind of person doesn’t like talking animals, right? Or another editor hyperventilating when she sees your word counts are hovering around 160,000 and she’s having a hard time believing this is a picture book.

So, I would like to say that I’ve been sorta good . . . , in the neighborhood of good . . . , and at the very least, extremely well intended.

SANTA: And how’s the writing been going? Are you writing every day like you promised?

ROBIN: It’s funny you should ask. Did I mention you look marvelous? A lot of guys can’t get away with the beard and red suit, but on you they look great.

SANTA: Robin, are you trying to avoid my question? I’ve been dealing with a lot of politicians lately and they ALL keep telling me how great the beard and red suit look before they go into their presidential wish list.

ROBIN: No, worries! I would never run for office, although I wouldn’t mind living in the White House. I’d love to have an indoor swimming pool.

SANTA: So, back to the writing.

ROBIN: Right! I have tried to write something even if it’s the word “something” every day. I have been a very well-intentioned writer.

SANTA: And what do you want for Christmas?

ROBIN: As always, I would like all of my writing and illustrator friends to find agents and get publishing contracts. And if it’s not too much, could I get 10 publishing contracts of my own? Ten is such a nice round number, don’t you think?

SANTA: Ten seems like a lot.

ROBIN: Nine?

SANTA: Robin, I’m not doing nine for my authors who write every day. A well-intended writer is not getting nine contracts.

ROBIN: Well, what kind of numbers are we talking about? One’s as low as I’m going.

SANTA: Robin, you know this is a busy time of year for me. I get a lot of requests from authors and illustrators, but I’ll see what I can do.

Now, I’m going back to bed. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, and a very Happy New Year. Goodbye!

ROBIN: Wait! I’m not done with my list. I’d like world peace, an end to hunger, poverty, disease, and a national holiday celebrating the cheese donut.


By the way, if you’re looking for stocking stuffers, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, is a great gift for kids on both the good and naughty lists. It’s available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your favorite neighborhood indie on the North Pole. And I just signed a number of copies at Bank Street Book Store. You can even pre-order Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local indie. If you happen to order it from Bank Street Book Store, I’d be thrilled to stop by and sign a copy when it arrives. 🙂

Did you get all of that, Santa? Santa? Are you still there? Did you just hang up on me? We must have been disconnected. Let me redial.

RECORDED MESSAGE: You have reached the North Pole. Please leave your name and number and an elf will return your call in the order that it was received. Thank you for calling the North Pole. Happy holidays!




Celebrating INDIES FIRST at Bank Street Book Store


It was a day of celebration at Bank Street Book Store, an INDIES FIRST select store. INDIES FIRST is a special day of reading in recognition of neighborhood bookstores. The date coordinates with Small Business Saturday by encouraging holiday shoppers to support independent booksellers, a most precious and valuable resource for all.

An all-star lineup of authors and illustrators came out in droves to support Bank Street on this very special day.

Here are some photographic highlights:


Robie Harris


Amy Hest 


Chris Grabenstein 


Vin Vogel 


Gail Lauren Karp


Todd Tarpley


Patricia Lakin 


Mike Curato and Steve Light


Steve Light 


A sneak peek of Steve Light’s new book, Swap! 

(Ahoy, Mateys! Swap! sails onto bookshelves February 2016)


Yippee Skippee Puppet Theatre, starring Andrew Laties


Julie Gribble from KidLit TV


The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake on a shelf at Bank Street Book Store.  🙂


Karin Lefranc and Dan Gutman 


Monica Wellington 


Daphne Benedis-Grab and Laura Pedersen

Thank you Bank Street Book Store for a terrific day.


During this holiday season, please remember to support your neighborhood independent bookstore.


Indies First, A Celebration of Independent Bookstores



In this season of giving thanks, I am truly grateful for my neighborhood children’s bookstore, Bank Street.

On Saturday, November 28, Indies First celebrates a special day of reading and literacy activities in recognition of independent bookstores. The date coordinates with Small Business Saturday and is meant to encourage holiday shoppers to support independent booksellers across the country.

Bank Street Book Store has invited authors and illustrators to help celebrate this very special day. And check out this amazing schedule!

11:00 a.m.

Mike Curato

Chris Grabenstein

Robie Harris

Amy Hest


12:00 p.m.

Gail Karp

Patty Lakin

Steve Light

Vin Vogel


1:00 p.m.

Daphne Benedis-Grab

Todd Tarpley

Cindy Weill

Monica Wellington


2:00 p.m.

Yvonne Wakim Dennis

Robin Newman 

Jill Santopolo


3:00 p.m.

Meg Akabas

Dan Gutman

Peter Lerangis

There will also be a 10:30 a.m. story hour and 1:00 p.m. puppet show.


If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, be sure to stop by (and support!!!) your neighborhood independent bookstores. They deserve a very big thank you.



Bank Street Book Store’s Grand Opening



It was a day of celebration for the Upper West Side, as Bank Street Book Store cut the red ribbon and opened its doors at its new location on 107th Street and Broadway. Children, parents, authors, illustrators, politicians, and friends of Bank Street from near and far came out in droves to show their love and support for the bookstore.

I am thrilled beyond words to have been a part of this great day.

Here are some highlights (contributing photography and videography by Zoe Newman Sachs, Donna Marie and Eric Pearl).


 (Left to right) Council Member Mark Levine, Borough President Gale Brewer, Bank Street President Shael Polakow-Suransky


 A dream come true to see my book at Bank Street Book Store



Jerry Pinkney 


Rebecca Stead and me 


Deborah Heiligman and Andrew Laties


Betsy Bird 


Robie Harris and Amy Hest


 Shael Polakow-Suransky and Cynthia Weill


Todd Tarpley


Vin Vogel and me 


Sandra Jordan 


Donna Marie 


Peter Lerangis 


Me and Chris Grabenstein 

My niece, Zoe, is a HUGE fan of Chris Grabenstein. She couldn’t make it in time for his reading so he was kind enough to make this video for her.


Jill Davis and James Grimaldi 


Jill Davis and her adoring, super adorable fans


Me and Jill Davis 


Nina and Leslie Zampetti


Mawrters in the House!

Annina Luck Wildermuth (Bryn Mawr ’84) and me (Bryn Mawr ’89) 


Francoise Newman, Vanessa Rule (Bryn Mawr ’91), Hilary Newman (Bryn Mawr ’89) and Zoe Newman Sachs (Bryn Mawr Year T/B/D) 



Rory Deutsch, Judith Meehan, and me

If you love Bank Street as much as I do, please show your support for the bookstore. Become a frequent customer, encourage friends, neighbors and family to become frequent customers, and become a friend of Bank Street Book Store. To learn more about how you can become a friend of Bank Street, please contact the store.


Three cheers for Bank Street Book Store! Congratulations and thanks so much for a wonderful day!!!