I won an award!

My husband and I went to chilly Wisconsin this past weekend. On the lovely Northland College campus in Ashland, on Lake Superior, Journey received an award and I gave a keynote address and presented a breakout session. Northland generously bestowed this wonderful award on Journey, and I was so very honored to be able to receive it in person and be part of this fabulous conference.

As part of the experience, Alex and I were fortunate enough to be able to join a small group on a “wolf howl.” At 8 pm, we ventured out into the woods with a professional wolf biologist (or, as we chose to call him, wolf tracker!) and howled at the moon in hopes of hearing a wolf pack howl back at us. We didn’t hear any, and we almost froze our toes off, as it was 12 degrees out, but it was a never-to-be-forgotten experience nonetheless. (And I know they were out there!)

Thank you, Northland College and SONWA awards! 

Washington State Book Awards

I had a great time at this event in Seattle last weekend. My book was a finalist and I got a second shiny gold sticker to put on it! How thrilling! There were many wonderful local authors to chat with, including Liz Wong, author of Quackers, whom I met at the Bank Street awards last fall, and Mark Holtzen, author of A Ticket to the Pennant. Christy Cox, my Sasquatch editor, also attended, and we got to talk in person about our upcoming project, What Is It Like to Live on an Island?


I was so excited to see the PW blurb today about my new series.

Contract with Boyds Mill Press

I’m still pinching myself! I just signed a contract with Calkins Creek, an American history imprint of Boyds Mill Press, for my nonfiction picture book The Pig War: Or How a Porcine Tragedy Taught Two Great Nations to Share (tentative title). My editor will be the wonderful Carolyn Yoder. This book will tell the story of how the United States and Britain almost went to war over a minor scuffle about a pig, and instead managed to solve the dispute peacefully. I think that the message of non-violence, negotiation, and tolerance will resonate in today’s political and social climate. I’m looking forward to heading up to the San Juan Islands next week to do some research. It doesn’t hurt that the islands look like this:

My friends know that I love me some quaintness! Let the island adventure begin!

New York for Bank Street Awards

It’s been so much fun to be back in New York! I’m here for the Bank Street College Cook Prize and Irma Black Award ceremony. The event took place this morning at their campus on 112th Street, and it was a blast! All the speeches were heartwarming, the keynote by Steven Savage was hilarious, and it was wonderful to see  my old friends from the city who came out to support me. Here are a few photos and links.

Some of my critique partners came out to see me! Katey Howes, Ariel Bernstein, and Kristin Mahoney. Thanks, ladies!


The Brochure


Inside the Brochure



Kevin Henkes!


Sophie Blackall!


And to get meta: Alex, Everett. and Cate watched the ceremony live from home, on Facebook. Alex sent me this picture of myself speaking.

New book contract

I have a new picture book coming! What Is It Like to Live on an Island? is coming in April 2019 from Little Bigfoot Books, the publisher of Journey. This one stems from my fascination with islands. I’ll be heading to the San Juan Islands this summer, in fact, to enjoy the views from the ferries, go whale watching, and eat seafood conduct research. As you can infer from the image of Orcas Island below, it’s going to be quite a tedious chore.

(Image courtesy Trip Advisor)

Cook Prize, SONWA award, and Crystal Kite

I am thrilled to share the news that Journey is the winner of the Cook Prize! I will be in New York next week, at Bank Street College, at the award ceremony. More info here.

I am also extremely grateful to Northland College, in Wisconsin, for honoring Journey with the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, in the picture book category. Read about it here.

And lastly, Journey is a finalist for the SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award, in the California-Hawaii region. Winners to be announced May 18.

Thank you all so much for this recognition and support!


Dates in SF, East Bay and New York:

  • Saturday, 3/25, 1-3 pm : Cliche Noe, as part of Wordweek, Noe Valley’s book festival //
  • Wednesday, 4/26, 6:30-8 pm : Chabot Elementary, Oakland, book fair (hosted by bookstore Mrs. Dalloway) //
  • Thursday, 4/27, 9 am, 11 am & 1 pm : Berkeley school visits //
  • Thursday, 5/4, 9:30 am : Sunset Elementary, San Francisco //
  • Saturday, 5/6, 2-4 pm : Walnut Creek, SCWBI panel on nonfiction picture books //
  • Thursday, 5/18, 9:30-11:30 am : Bank Street College (Cook Prize luncheon) //


I’m excited to say that Journey has been named a finalist for Bank Street College’s 2017 Cook Prize! This prize is awarded to STEM picture books for kids age eight to ten. The winner of the prize will be announced in April, but regardless, I will be at the award ceremony in New York on May 18! I can’t wait.


Come hear Journey and make a fun wolf craft on Saturday, 1/14/16, at the Sunset branch of the San Francisco Public Library! Reading begins at 1:30 pm. All ages welcome.

Hope to see you there!