I am the author of over thirty children’s books, as well as Pride and Prejudice and Kitties: A Cat-Lover’s Romp Through Jane Austen’s Classic, and a memoir, An Incredible Talent for Existing: A Writer’s Story.
My essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, the New York Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Metro Parent the Baltimore Sun, and The Antigonish Review, among other places.
Below are some of my most entertaining posts for writers:
My new memoir, An Incredible Talent for Existing, describes my existential childhood, the radical sixties, going crazy, and how all that led me to becoming a writer. Like many things in life, it was a giant mess when it happened, but it made a great story afterwards!
I was fortunate growing up in that my parents filled my brother and my lives with children’s books that I lived in and through. That’s why I love writing for children, playing with words and ideas, rhyme and rhythm, as well as writing for adults. Most importantly, I try not to take myself too seriously!
New in 2019!
My new picture book, C Jumped Over Three Pots and a Pan – and landed SMACK in the Garbage Can! illustrated by Hina Imitaz, will be out this year.
As a little girl, I saw letters as living beings – mischievous, ingenious, and inventive. Letters possess the transformative ability to create words, that in turn tell a story. So it was natural for me to write an alphabet book in which the letters are alive and brimming with personality, a story that is simultaneously an adventure tale, a puzzle, and a word game. I hope it will open a window for young readers through which they can glimpse language and reading as engaging, inviting, and most of all fun!
Summary: When C falls into the garbage can, it’s up to the rest of the alphabet to save him from ending up in the dump. But four letters are missing! Could they be the answer to saving C? Young readers will enjjoy guessing the secret word the missing letters form—a word that may save the day for C.
I had so much fun working with the illustrator, Hina Imitaz. Her colorful, imaginative illustrations reflect our laughter and joy in this project.
You can view the book in the catalog here
Also new this year!
TRUCKS ZOOMNG BY! illustrated by Barry Gott (Kane)
It’s time to get up now.
We’re ready to load.
Goodbye to the city.
Hello to the road!
I love choosing a subject and writing rhymes that bounce so high they almost jump off the page. Writing and researching different kinds of trucks and what they do was so much fun.
After I got the trucks rolling, I added a little girl driving across country with her trucking mom and dad. Their day is filled with adventure and the excitement of all the other trucks they see:
Drill trucks with ladders
And long rubber hoses.
Trailers with horses
That stick out their noses!
Together the family navigates crowded city streets, bumpy country roads, and busy highways.
Barry Gott’s kid-friendly, exuberant illustrations make the ride even more of an adventure.
See it at B&N here
I am also working on my book about living in Florence, Italy, with my family, “No One Feels Sorry For You When You’re Living in Tuscany.”
Read a chapter from the Italy book below:
When my family moved to Florence for a year, I had my new Italian life all planned – long afternoons gazing at masterpieces of Italian art at the famous Uffizi, leisurely evenings at a trattoria, sipping wine. In the mornings, I would work on the memoir I was writing (no distractions like back home!) while my husband taught at NYU’s Florence Campus, and our four-year old, Annelise, attended an Italian preschool. This was going to be so great! Walking with Annelise to school that first morning, the gold Italian light shone softly on the ancient, shuttered buildings. We passed a man in a leather apron standing outside a shoe repair shop, a fragrant panneteria, and a pint-sized piazza that gave the neighborhood a charming small-town feeling. My spirits soared. What a great experience for all of us! At home, I settled down in the breezy, light-filled living room to write. But suddenly noises exploded in the apartment overhead – pounding, … Read on
1. I didn’t like school because my second-grade teacher was so scary. She had long red witch-like fingernails. She used to clunk us on the head with them when we weren’t paying attention. Once she had a conference with my mom and I thought they would talk about why I wasn’t getting better grades, but instead my teacher wanted to know how my mom got my socks so white. 2. I always loved reading, especially the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. I planned to get to Oz, just like Dorothy and I even packed a little picnic basket to take down the Yellow Brick Road. I started down our street one sunny Saturday morning, all ready to go, but somehow I never made it there. 3. My father was a well-known scientist and my brother is a entomologist (bug doctor.) That sounds like bugs go to him when they’re sick, but actually it just means he knows a whole … Read on
Do you like being a writer? Most days I love being a writer. I have a short commute, right across the hall, and I get to wear comfy clothes, and be my own boss (I’m a very strict boss to myself.) I like dreaming up ideas and shaping them into stories, and I love being able to buy real, concrete things (like a new washing machine) with money I earned from sitting in a room by myself, writing. I even love–uh, oh, here comes my boss. I’ll talk to you later! Is being a writer hard? Some days, when things aren’t going well, being a writer is really hard. I used to rent a house on a farm and while I was writing I would look out the window and see the farmer mowing his field. What a life! I’d think to myself. He mows the field once, and he’s done. He doesn’t have to mow it over and over, … Read on