Cover Reveal: No Peacocks!

I am thrilled beyond words to share the cover for No Peacocks! (Sky Pony Press) illustrated by the amazing Chris Ewald. Drum roll, please!


No Peacocks! is a fictional feathered tale about the three real-life mischievous peacocks who reside on the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Let me introduce you:

This is Phil.


This is Jim or Harry.


Or Harry or Jim.


(I can’t tell the difference between Jim or Harry but if you ask any of the children, they all know which bird is which.)

For five years, my son attended The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine. And from the moment I saw the birds, I knew I wanted to write about them. There was just one problem. I needed a story. On one extremely fortunate day while I was attending a meeting for the school’s book fair, one of the school administrators came into the room asking if anyone had left a sandwich in a stroller because one of the peacocks ate it. And as soon as I heard that, I knew I had my story.

No Peacocks! is about Phil, Jim and Harry’s quest to taste the school’s very famous mac ‘n cheese. It’s a cheesy story of friendship and teamwork, with a mild sprinkling of criminal activity that’s perfect for influencing the impressionable minds of children ages 0 to 1000. It flies onto bookshelves September 2018.

I’d like to take a quick moment to thank my editor, Alison Weiss; my agents, Liza Fleissig and Ginger Harris-Dontzin; my writing teacher, Jill Davis; my writing group, Jacki Morris and Joanne French; my husband, Michael, who has probably read this story more times than he would have liked; my son, Noah, for the tremendous joy he brings my husband and me every day—even during homework; and anyone else who so much as sneezed on my manuscript.

No Peacocks! is currently available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and at your favorite independent bookstore.





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!!!

Mark Your Calendars for Bank Street Book Store’s Grand Opening


On March 7, 2015, Bank Street Book Store is having their Grand Opening at their new location at 2780 Broadway (corner of 107th Street and Broadway).

The ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:00 am will be followed by an all day Story Time Festival featuring over twenty children’s book authors. Please come by to check out the new space, schmooze and enjoy refreshments.

Guest Authors:

Peter Ackerman

Meg Akabas

Betsy Bird

Jill Davis

Alix Delinois

Monica Edinger

Tim Federle

Isabel Gillies

Chris Grabenstein

Robie Harris

Deborah Heiligman

Amy Hest

Nina Jaffe

Sandra Jordan

Susan Kuklin

Patricia Lakin

Peter Lerangis

Carolyn Mackler

Robin Newman – Reading at 4:00 pm!!!

Jerry Pinkney

Doreen Rappaport

Chris Raschka

Jill Santopolo

Eliot Schrefer

Rebecca Stead

Rachel Vail

Cynthia Weill

Carol Weston

I will be reading The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, A Wilcox & Griswold Mystery, illustrated by Deborah Zemke (Creston Books, Spring 2015), at 4:00 pm. Hope to see you there!






ALA Chicago Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits


Not even a blizzard and cancelled flights, could dampen the mood at ALA’s Midwinter Conference. And for me, aside from feeling like a kid in a candy store, I had the extra-special treat of finally meeting and spending time with Marissa Moss, my amazing editor and publisher at Creston Books; Deborah Zemke, illustrator extraordinaire, who’s made Wilcox and Griswold more adorable than anything I could have ever imagined; Lori Degman, Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Marsha Goldman, my fellow authors at Creston Books; Lola, the world-renowned, paw-ri-fic, super star of Marsha’s books; and last, but certainly not least, meeting the fantastic, Mr. John Schu.

Here are some photographic highlights from ALA:


Marissa Moss and me


Ready to sign my first book!


Darlene Beck-Jacobson, Marissa Moss, me, Lori Degman


Mr. Schu and me


Lori Degman


Marsha Goldman and Lola


Mary Skiver and me (Bryn Mawr ’89 in the house!!!)



Alessandra Balzer


Jill Davis and me



Jory John, me, Mac Barnett


Cece Bell and me

Creston was also out in force having a wonderful time visiting Anderson’s Bookshop and The Book Stall at Chestnut Court.

Here’s a clip of Marsha Goldman and Lola at Anderson’s Bookshop. (Lola clearly enjoying meeting her loyal fans!)

Please click link:


Marsha Goldman, Lola, Darlene Beck-Jacobson, me, Deborah Zemke, Robert McDonald and Lori Degman at The Book Stall at Chestnut Hill


Me and Deborah Zemke

Despite the storm, cancelled and rebooked flights, missing luggage, and endless hours of waiting at O’Hare and Charlotte-Douglas Airports, it was a memorable trip. And congratulations to all the award winners.


Darlene Beck-Jacobson and me at Chicago’s O’Hare

Looking forward to ALA’s Annual Conference in sunny and warm San Francisco.


Happy Birthday Blog!


Today marks my blog’s one-year anniversary.  And what an amazing year it’s been!

Originally, I didn’t want the blog.  What to put on it was a big concern.  If you have one, you have to put something on it—even if it’s the word “something.”  And I seriously wondered how many times I could do that.

But the great Kathy Temean, who designed my amazing website and blog, convinced me it was important.  I’m so glad she did.

The blog’s taken me out of my comfort zone.  And as a writer, it’s good to get out once in a while.

Some highlights from the past year include:

  • Interviews with The Rockdoves, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Jill Davis, Tara Lazar, Corey Rosen Schwartz, Doreen Cronin, Summer J. Hart, Rosanne Kurstedt, Becca Zerkin, Tori Corn, Monica Wellington, Ame Dyckman, and Adam Lehrhaupt;
  • Meeting Mara Rockliff and William Low at their book signing for Me and Momma and Big John at the Bank Street Bookstore;
  • Tori Corn and Danielle Ceccolini’s book launch for What Will It Be, Penelope?;
  • The 2013 NJ SCBWI annual conference; and best of all,
  • Learning that my two hard-nosed mouse detectives, Wilcox & Griswold, were heading to Creston Book for their first adventure, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake (release date, TBD).  Woo-hoo!

After all of this, I just want to shout out a very big THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me through this adventure.


Please stay tuned . . . there’s more to come!


Francophiles, Big Bad Wolf Fans, and Paris Lovers: This Post Is for You!


If anyone knows me, they know that I love French picture books, and even more than that, I love French picture books about my favorite villain, the Big Bad Wolf.

The other week, the great Jill Davis (please see my interview with Jill,, gave me the cutest (I mean the absolute, most adorable French picture book), entitled, Ze Vais Te Manzer by Jean-Marc Derouen and Laure du Faÿ (Editions Frimousse 2012).  The story is about a hungry, not-too-smart wolf with a lisp, who goes hunting in the woods for his dinner.  And when he first encounters a white rabbit, the rabbit can’t understand him.

“ATTENDS . . . Grand méchant loup, attends!  Tu peux répéter ce que tu viens de dire?”

“Bah oui, z’ai dit:  Ze vais te manzer, petit lapin blanc, ze vais te manzer tout de zuite!”


Wait!  Big Bad Wolf wait! Can you please repeat what you just said.

Yes, I said:  I’m going to eat you, little white rabbit, I’m going to eat you right now.]

Naturally, the rabbit goes out of his way to help him out, as does another rabbit, and of course, our villainous hero gets into lots of fun trouble along the way.  The story is superbly clever, beautifully written, and the illustrations are just too cute for words.

I get all verklempt when I read French picture books because they remind me of my childhood when I lived in Paris and Normandy.

Anyway, next year I’m finally going back to Paris.  I was last there in 2008 when my son was almost two, and sadly he didn’t really appreciate the whole venture.  But next year, I think he’s going to love it.  I can’t wait to take him to the carousel in the Tuileries, the puppet show with Guignol at the Luxembourg Gardens, the Bois de Boulogne, and the Musée Grevin, the wax museum.   I also can’t wait to show him to my old school on Rue de Grenelle.

And aside from eating my way from one part of the city to the next (How can you not? Right?), I also plan on stocking up on books.

Just by some coincidence, the New York Times recently ran their Travel Guide: Paris for Kids. Here’s the link:

And they also posted some travel tips:

So now, I just need to wait a few more months. . . . Un peu de patience . . . . Bah non!


An Evening of Celebration and Success for Tori Corn and Danielle Ceccolini’s, What Will It Be, Penelope?

The Corner Bookstore was brimming with excitement, as the crowds came out to celebrate the launch of Tori Corn and Danielle Ceccolini’s picture book, What Will It Be, Penelope?


toriTori Corn

danielleDanielle Ceccolini

lizaLiza Fleissig and Ginger Harris


Jacki Morris, me, Jill Davis


Congratulations Tori and Danielle! What an amazing night!