Kid Lit Author and Advocate

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Susanna Leonard Hill

Good 6-Days-Until-Halloween-Morning-But-Only-2-Days-Until-Halloweensie-Morning, Darlings! (not that we’re counting down or anything! 🙂 )

I’m sure you were wondering, so let me just say that 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are grown in the United States each year, and the Top 5 Pumpkin Producing States are (get ready!…and hold your breath to see if you live in one of them!) Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California!

The Largest Pumpkin Ever weighed in at 1,502 pounds!!! on October 7, 2006, grown by Ron Wallace of Greene, Rhode Island, even though Rhode Island is not a Top 5 Pumpkin Growing State.

The Largest Pumpkin PIEEver was baked in New Bremen, Ohio in 2010 and was 20 feet in diameter and weighed 3,699 pounds!  Here’s the recipe in case you need to whip up a little pie for your family 🙂  1,212 lbs of canned pumpkin, 2,796…

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Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

Five years ago I was reading Joanne Levy’s SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE—such a clever title and a fun read. I thought to myself…what elementary school joke’s punchline could I turn into a picture book title?

And then…


I got whacked upside the head…

Why is 6 afraid of 7?

Because…7 ATE 9!

I felt a powerful surge of muse awaken all my senses, sorta like this…

When I get smacked so soundly, I immediate go research my idea. Surely someone already had to have published a 7 ATE 9 book, right?

Well, I should have searched on, but instead I went somewhere else. You can probably guess where.

And somehow I did not find a picture book with that name. I found other items, like a card game, but no picture book. But it turns out, there were picture books with that title—I was…

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Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

Today I invited author Laurie Wallmark to pontificate on a female computer science pioneer…and to introduce her new picture book biography, GRACE HOPPER: QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE, illustrated by Katy Wu.

Laurie and I first met ten years ago (!!!) when I joined her critique group. Who could imagine that a decade later, we would be celebrating each other’s books?

Laurie, this is your second PB biography about an important female computer scientist (the first being award-winning ADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE). What drew you to your subjects?

People say, “write what you know,” but I disagree. If you’re not familiar with a topic or an idea, you can always research it. I’d rather say, “write what you’re passionate about.” After all, you and your story will be together for a very long time. From your initial idea to that first draft, from innumerable revisions to a published…

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Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

by Courtney Pippin-Mathur

Today is the day that my second written and illustrated picture book DRAGONS RULE, PRINCESSES DROOL! will be released into the world!

It’s the story of a dragon whose land had been invaded by two adorably horrible princesses who change everything. As you have read on other posts on Tara’s awesome blog and during Storystorm, you know that characters are very important in picture books. A strong character can inspire strong emotions and getting his/her/their look is extremely important to the book.

DRAGONS RULE, PRINCESSES DROOL is comprised of three main characters; a grumpy dragon and the two princesses who have invaded his land.

Below, I’m going to share a quick, edited run through the many, many, many different versions of the Dragon and the Princesses. Just like revisions in the text, there are revisions in the art.

The story originally started out with the dragons invading…

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The Picture Book Review

[Prize pack and review copy provided by Disney Hyperion]:

Feminist Baby with her cute pink, and sometimes blue, bow and large, adorable eyes is not to be trifled with.  She is her own baby and fully intends to express herself in all her baby-ness and beyond.

Told in a sassy and lighthearted tone, Feminist Baby offers giggles and laughs and ends on an uplifting and determined note that this baby will be whatever she wants to be.

© 2017 by Loryn Brantz. Image Used with Permission.

Feminist Baby is not a gentle, sweet book about how she can be a good helper.  Instead it chronicles a baby as she pukes on you, refuses pants, makes noise, throws her toys, and really doesn’t care what you think of her clothes. She has her own agency, her own personhood, and fully inhabits her own dualities — because not only does she dance…

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April showers bring…free books! My newest picture book, Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie is free on Kindle until April 12.

It’s the story of a dusty little fairy struggling to fit in. She doesn’t have the “perfect” hair, she’s too loud, and her clothes are a mess. Just when she thinks all is lost, Aggie discovers a way to truly shine. Oh, did I mention she plays the bagpipes?!

This adorable book makes a unique, sugar-free, Easter gift. Hop over to Amazon, and get a copy for each of your devices.
If you enjoy the story, please take a moment to leave a short review or rating on Amazon. Thank you!

Here’s a short preview trailer:


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