Welcome, and thanks for visiting my website!
I wear many hats in the field of Children’s Literature as an author, reader, reviewer, former Lecturer at Simmons University, storytime reader, and mother of seven children. And since you’ve found me here, I bet you’ll recognize the children’s book reference in my headings below as I welcome you to learn more about me and my work.
Do you like my author hat?
I was thrilled to receive a 2016 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor for my first picture book, A Crow of His Own, illustrated by David Hyde Costello.
A companion title, A Kid of Their Own, illustrated by Jessica Lanan, published on February 11, 2020, and it received a starred review from Kirkus. It was also included on the long list for the 2021 Mass Book Awards as a Must Read title in the picture book/early reader category.
My other picture book, Real Sisters Pretend, illustrated by Nicole Tadgell, was inspired by a loving conversation about adoption between two of my daughters after a stranger questioned whether they were “real sisters.” It was named a 2017 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, and a Must Read Picture Book/Early Reader by the 17th Annual Massachusetts Book Awards.
The first four books in my new 7-book early reader series, Every Day with April & Mae, debuted in 2022 with illustrations by Briana Dengoue. April & Mae and the Tea Party was named a NYPL Best Books for Kids 2022 title. Three more April & Mae books with art by Briana Dengoue and Gisela Bohórquez will come out in March 2023, and an essay collection, Book Bonding: Building Connections Through Family Reading, will also publish in 2023 with illustrations by Mia Saine.
Or, do you like my storytime hat?
Or maybe you’ve heard about the Whole Book Approach, a storytime model I created in association with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and which I write about in my book Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking about What They See. My central goal in this work is to bring children’s ideas and questions to the center of shared reading while celebrating the picture book as a visual art form.
I’m in the process of compiling 70 Whole Book Approach Storytime Plans for a wide range of picture books into a single collection. Stay tuned for more details!