Six weeks after launch, The Lost Package has gone to a third printing!
I'm so humbled and touched by the support of friends, family and strangers, and so grateful to the readers who have embraced this book. Sending heartfelt thanks to everyone who has bought, read, reviewed, shared, and loved it so far. It means the world to us!
Three cheers for the third starred review for The Lost Package! Shelf Awareness calls it "both informative and inspiring," and "a wondrous story about separation and near-magical reunion." We're blushing!
Read the whole review here, and buy the book wherever books are sold!
I had a wonderful time talking about my father, the United States Postal Service, and The Lost Package with fellow author and Picture Book Builders blogger Michelle Meadows! Read the interview here, and leave a comment by April 9 to enter a giveaway for a copy of the book. Here's hoping it delivers an enjoyable reading experience!
As part of the launch day festivities for The Lost Package, Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, CO hosted a virtual storytime with illustrator Jessica Lanan and me! I had so much fun reading the book to the audience, and Jessica painted another gorgeous postcard during her drawing demonstration . . . this time starring a giraffe!
Watch a recording of the event here!
Delivery status: arrived!
Today is publication day for The Lost Package, and I couldn't be happier. With the book now out in the world, I'm feeling thankful for the team that helped bring it to life: illustrator Jessica Lanan, editor Emily Feinberg, the entire Roaring Brook Press team, and my agent Emily Mitchell. It's been a wonderful ride, and I hope this story finds its way to readers everywhere!
What a way to kick off launch week!
With The Lost Package scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, illustrator Jessica Lanan and I got an early start on the celebration with a virtual launch event hosted by Books of Wonder in New York City. We were thrilled to be joined by friends and family from far and wide as I read the book and Jessica painted a lovely hummingbird postcard during her drawing demonstration.
Missed the live event? For a limited time, you can watch a recording on Crowdcast. In the meantime, we're looking forward to publication day!
Like all books that have launched during the pandemic, The Lost Package will not get that quintessential new book event: the in-person signing. However, it will get two virtual events, with the silver lining being that far more people will have the opportunity to attend!
On Sunday, February 28, Books of Wonder in NYC will host a virtual launch at 3 pm EST. On launch day, Tuesday, March 2, Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, CO will host a virtual storytime at 12:30 pm EST. Both events will feature me and illustrator Jessica Lanan!
Needless to say, we're really excited about these events, and about our book finally being sent out into the world. We hope you celebrate with us!
I recently had the chance to discuss The Lost Package with kidlit blogger and fellow author Anitra Rowe Schulte. Her Author Spotlight interviews include three questions . . . and the ones she asked me were delightful! Read the interview here, and thank you again Anitra for the opportunity!
At 3:56 pm EST, Perseverance successfully touched down on the surface of Mars. At 10:00 pm EST, Katherine Roy and I successfully wrapped up our virtual event celebrating all things rover. . . including our book, Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars! Many thanks to Grass Roots Books & Music for hosting our conversation. We had a blast!
If you're curious to hear what we discussed, and also love beautiful artwork rendered in real-time, watch the recording of the event here!
Curiosity is about to get some company!
On Thursday, February 18, NASA's Perseverance rover is scheduled to land on Mars. To celebrate this historic achievement, Grass Roots Books & Music in Oregon will host a virtual book event with RED ROVER: CURIOSITY ON MARS illustrator Katherine Roy and me. The fun starts at 6:00 pm PST (9:00 pm EST) with a read-aloud, audience Q&A, and a drawing demo from Katherine! As a special bonus, books purchased through Grass Roots will be signed by Katherine and include a free 5x7" print. Even more exciting: all buyers will be entered for a chance to win a 16x24" limited edition giclee print!
You can register for the event here, and purchase a book here. Hope you can join us!
Like rocks, books are born in many different ways. This one began as the seed of an idea from Emily Feinberg, my editor on Red Rover. While trekking through some mountainous terrain on vacation, Emily started to think about rocks—how we take them for granted and fail to realize that they’ve been around for millions of years, and how one rock in one location might have witnessed dinosaurs and ice ages and the rise of human civilization, and will witness whatever the world has in store for the future. She asked if I would be interested in turning this seed of an idea into a book. Intrigued—and honored!—I leapt at the chance. And that’s how A Rock is Born was . . . well, born!
I’m thrilled to work with the team at Roaring Brook again, grateful to Emily for entrusting me with her idea, and so excited to work with superstar Lily Williams (author/illustrator of the awesome If Animals Disappeared picture book series) on this ode to the rock cycle. The journey across millennia is just beginning!
It's a second starred review for The Lost Package, this one from Publishers Weekly! They call it a "moving story" and gush about Jessica Lanan's illustrations:
"The richness of the tale lies in subtly textured watercolor illustrations by Lanan, which poignantly portray a broad range of settings, from gritty urban streets shimmering with rain to snow-swept terrains to a desolate gas station."
I'm so honored that the book continues to receive so much love as we get closer and closer to March 2. Details about exciting launch events to come!
Who says there are no deliveries on December 25? The Lost Package received a special delivery indeed: a starred review from Kirkus! The thoughtful review praises Jessica Lanan's beautiful illustrations and describes the story thusly:
"This sweetly simple, understated story is emotionally rich, a warm paean to the power of connections . . . Quietly, beautifully told and deeply satisfying."
Extremely grateful, and very much looking forward to seeing this book delivered onto bookshelves in March!
The cat's out of the bag! I'm overjoyed to finally be able to shout this announcement from the mountaintops. Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, will publish Year of the Cat in fall 2022 (with a second picture book also in development). Illustrated by the talented Jocelyn Li Langrand, the story is a subversive take on the origin of the Chinese zodiac, as Rat convinces the other animals to join him on a quest to apologize to Cat. Many thanks to super-editor Martha Mihalick for believing in this story, and as always to my agent Emily Mitchell for making the match!
The Lost Package received a prestigious honor: Junior Library Guild named it a Gold Standard Selection! Every year, JLG reads upcoming books ahead of publication and chooses a select few to promote to libraries as the cream of the crop. It's a highly-coveted distinction, and I'm so proud the book I worked on with illustrator Jessica Lanan and editor Emily Feinberg has been recognized. Thank you JLG, and I can't wait for more readers to check out our book!
March 2, 2021 is still months away. But today, we get to take another step on the journey to the publication of The Lost Package by revealing the cover! Illustrator Jessica Lanan has brought this story to life in such beautiful ways, and I can't wait for you to see the rest of the book. In the meantime, bask in the warmth of this charming cover . . . and pre-order if you're so inclined!
Thankfully, the kidlit community has stepped up in this time of self-isolation and remote learning for children. There is no shortage of amazing book-related activities and teaching materials from authors and illustrators. To this ever-growing collection, I'm proud to add this STEM-friendly teacher's guide for Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars, which the fine folks at Macmillan's School and Library team were kind enough to design. Please feel free to download, use, and enjoy!
Tis the season for gifts. I know this, because I received quite the gift from Books of Wonder: the gift of being included in their 2019 Holiday Catalog! I'm so excited to share shelf space (both in-store and virtual) with so many incredible titles. If you're looking for gifts for book-loving kids (and kids-at-heart) in your life, please consider doing your holiday shopping here. Happy Gifting Season to all!
Doing a reading and signing for my debut book at my local Barnes and Noble? That's an author achievement I was privileged to unlock this afternoon, as family and friends came out to celebrate the release of Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars. A fitting finale to launch week, indeed. Pictures below!
That's the only way to describe last night, as we celebrated the publication of Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars with a launch event at the venerable Books of Wonder in Manhattan. Family and friends from every corner of my life braved a steady drizzle to join us, and their presence sent me soaring beyond Earth orbit. Infinite thanks to them, and to the amazing staff for hosting us.
Here are some pics from the event!
Today's the day! Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars has officially launched and is out in the world. Publication day is a whirlwind, and I'm sure i'll have more thoughts to share later. But for now, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me on this two-and-a-half-year odyssey. The best part? The journey is really just beginning!
One thing most people don't realize about picture books is that the author and illustrator rarely ever meet before a book is published. In fact, most publishers maintain a strict "no direct contact whatsoever" policy for the duration of the book's creation. So when Katherine Roy and I video-called each other to record our official "unboxing" video (wherein we open up our boxes of author or illustrator copies), it was actually our first time speaking to each other! See what we said by clicking below!
"Kids, don't try this at home" is a pretty accurate summary of my writing process, if you read it not as a warning (i.e. "this writing process is dangerous!") but as the reason why I do most of my writing outside the house (i.e. "because kids are a delightful distraction!"). Allow me to explain further in my Notable 19s post!
New Jersey, this one's for you! A few days after Red Rover blasts off from Books of Wonder in Manhattan, the party continues with a second launch event on Sunday, November 3 at Barnes and Noble in Clifton, NJ. Friends and family from the Garden State, come out and help me celebrate!
Kidlit411 is an amazing resource for all children's book creators. So it was a thrill and an honor to be featured in the site's Author Spotlight! Read the interview here, and be sure to check out the huge collection of resources they have to offer!