I grew up watching Bob Ross on PBS. I marveled at the ease with which he painted happy little clouds and happy little trees. I watched him carve mountains out of blank canvases. And I listened to his words of gentle encouragement . . . words that inspired so many to believe that they could truly accomplish anything they wanted.
Which makes this book announcement extra special.
You Can Move Mountains is coming from Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan in fall 2024, and I couldn't be more thrilled! Acclaimed illustrator Daniel Miyares will bring this story to life with his masterful brush. As Bob Ross himself guides the reader through the painting process, elements of his own life illuminate the enduring life lessons he so generously imparted on his viewers. I can't wait to share this book with all of you! In the meantime, special thanks to editor extraordinaire Emily Feinberg and tireless agent Emily Mitchell, who both move mountains for me.
With apologies to Tiger, 2022 is the Year of the Cat! Many thanks to librarian, author, and all-around kidlit rock star John Schu for hosting the reveal of illustrator Jocelyn Li Langrand's gorgeous cover. On Lunar New Year Eve, no less! Year of the Cat will arrive on November 1, courtesy of Greenwillow Books. In the meantime, you can read John's interview with me and Jocelyn, as well as get a sneak peek at some stunning interior art, here. Enjoy!
On the heels of the ALA Youth Media Awards - one of the most exciting times of the year for children's publishing - the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announces which books from the previous year have scored a coveted spot on the ALA Notable Children's Books list. I'm so proud to report that The Lost Package is one of those books! The full list can be viewed here, and includes so many wonderful titles that I adore and creators whom I admire. Thank you to the committee, and to the team that made The Lost Package with me: Jessica Lanan, Emily Feinberg and the rest of the amazing Roaring Brook crew!
What a fantastic way to wrap up the year!
On the final day of librarian, blogger and author Betsy Bird's highly-anticipated 31 Days, 31 Lists series - in which she rolls out her favorite children's books of the year - I was honored to find The Lost Package among the best picture books of 2021! The full list includes so many wonderful books, and it's truly a joy to see ours among such venerable company.
Here's to more exciting book news in 2022!
Every year, the Society of Illustrators puts together the Original Art exhibit to showcase illustrations from the year's best children's books. Each chosen illustrator is asked to send in one original piece from their book, and the collected pieces are displayed from October to December in the Society's museum in New York City.
Jessica Lanan was one of this year's deserving illustrators, for her incredible work on The Lost Package! The original piece she chose for the exhibit happens to be my favorite spread from the book: the package flying out of the mail truck. Given that I live in nearby New Jersey, my intention was always to make it into the city to admire the exhibit in person. But life (and a global pandemic) kept pushing off my plans, until the final day of the exhibit arrived.
Thankfully, I was able to make it in, just before closing . . . with only half an hour to spare! The trip was more rushed than I would have liked, but seeing the art from our book on the wall was totally worth it. Bravo, Jessica!
We all judge books by their covers. But for some picture books, the image on the case cover - the actual hard cover of the book - is different than the image on the book jacket. Discovering what lies beneath the jacket can be a delightful surprise.
The annual Undies Case Cover Awards shines a spotlight on these hidden covers, and is one of the most popular end-of-year roundups in kidlit. And I'm thrilled to announce that The Lost Package made the cut! Jessica Lanan's amazing "tattered box" design, inspired by the ingenious brainstorm of editor Emily Feinberg, was named "Best Impression of Something Other Than a Book." Check out all the eye-popping winners here!
The Lost Package has been named a Best Picture Book of 2021 by Kirkus Reviews. Making this prestigious list alongside so many wonderful books is an incredible honor, and I'm grateful for the dream team that made it a reality. Thank you Jessica Lanan, Emily Feinberg, Emily Mitchell, and so many others.
It's been quite a first year for our intrepid cardboard box, and I'm excited to see where it goes next!
Tis the season for end-of-year "best books" lists, and I'm so thankful to Chicago Public Library for making The Lost Package one of its 2021 Best of the Best selections! You can peruse all the wonderful picture books that made the list here. It's truly an honor to be among such fine company!
This one means a lot to me.
The National Education Association has selected The Lost Package to be part of its 2021-2022 Read Across America campaign. While the celebration reaches a crescendo on Read Across America Day in March, the campaign actually stretches across 12 months, with each month shining a spotlight on three books: one each for young, middle grade, and young adult readers. The Lost Package will be the young reader selection for December 2021, with the theme "Lending a Hand."
To say that this is a thrill and an honor would be an understatement. For years, the NEA's signature campaign was synonymous with Dr. Seuss. Even the date itself was chosen to correspond with the famous author's birthday. But as the scrutiny on the problematic racial undertones of some of Dr. Seuss's work has intensified in recent years, the focus of Read Across America has shifted away from a singular figure, choosing instead to center diverse stories for diverse readers.
I am so proud that The Lost Package was chosen to be part of this vital effort. I hope to share more as December approaches, but in the meantime, please explore the teaching resources that the NEA has provided for our book, and check out the calendar for the full slate of incredible books that will be featured throughout the year!
Of all my books so far, this one truly started with my kids.
I wanted to write a story about their dual identity. A celebration of their mixed Chinese and Jewish heritage that highlights the things that make each side unique . . . as well as the shared values that bring both sides together. A book that truly bridges two cultures and two calendars.
Two New Years is that book, and I'm overjoyed to finally announce it! Coming in fall 2023 from Chronicle Books, it will feature art by the amazingly talented Lynn Scurfield, an illustrator with personal connections to Chinese and Jewish culture herself! Special thanks to editor Feather Flores, whose passion and boundless enthusiasm for the manuscript from day one was overwhelming. And as always, none of this would be possible without my tireless agent, Emily Mitchell.
So much more to share soon. In the meantime, let the two-year countdown to Two New Years begin!
Today is National Postal Worker Day! To celebrate, Macmillan put together this beautiful graphic for The Lost Package. Sending love and thanks to postal workers everywhere, and wishing everyone a day of reading, mail, and personal connections!
Booklist called The Lost Package "a delightful tale" and bestowed upon it a starred review . . . the fourth we've received! Many thanks to Booklist for the lovely review, and to readers who continue to discover and love our book.
Tonight, Jessica Lanan and I celebrated Children's Book Week with a virtual storytime hosted by Second Star to the Right Books in Denver, CO! We read The Lost Package, answered audience questions, and had a wonderful time. Thank you Second Star for having us, and we hope to join you for more events in the future!
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!