Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Having dinner at one of my favorite restaurants is great, but with a good friend is even better!

I met up with former Brooklynite/current Milwaukeean (is that a word?), brilliant author/illustrator, and dear friend, Andy Rash. We had a great time, chowing down and talking books.

And speaking of books, if you don't know Andy's books, you should!

So adios, old chum. It's back to Wisconsin for you and back up town for me.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


What an honor to be invited to the Pequot Children's Book Festival!

And what a star-studded list of authors! It was such an honor to be included in this auspicious group.

I'm not sure if the kids and parents attending knew that it was just as much fun for us as it was for them to hang out with children's books authors and illustrators. I ran into some old friends, as well as new ones.

And so was the brilliant Tony Abbott.

I got a chance to catch up with Bryan Collier.

As well as with Ann Haywood Leal.

I rode the train back to NYC with Mr. R.L. Stine! We discussed all things books, TV, film, but oddly not a single mention of monsters.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Why are all of these people gathered in the Lower East Side of Manhattan? The president? Free iPods?

No! It's for Picklefest! I never even knew there was such a thing. 

I'm sure I speak for most of us when I say pickles are fantastic! But they're even more fantastic when they're right out of the barrel (and free).

I couldn't help myself! I HAD to buy a jar to take home (or at least munch on as I headed home).

Something tells me I ate too many pickles. I feel kinda green.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


I was graciously invited to be part of a very distinguished panel of children's book author/illustrators by the Metro chapter of the SCBWI. The big event will take place on December 10 at 7:30, so mark your calendars! To order tickets, click here.

The other panelists will be:

And the lovely Ms. Kelly Light.

So please come! I'm sure it will be illuminating, enlightening, and a lot of fun.

See you there.

Monday, November 25, 2013


But it did (sort of). 3 of the 4 members of the Book Street Boys appeared at the NAEYC in Washington, DC last week.
Tad Hills, Chris Raschka, Bob Staake, and Dan Yaccarino were together again, this time for a panel on- what else? Picture books!
Unfortunately, Bob was only able to attend via video as he was unable to leave his fortress of solitude 50 miles below the Earth's crust in the Arctic Circle.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I spoke at the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and had a fabulous time! I can tell you it's absolutely true what they say about "Minnesota Nice." Everyone was so incredibly kind and polite and once I got over my natural New York suspicion of these friendly folk, I really had lovely time!

So I guess they must've read all the food-related posts on my blog because this wonderful multi-tiered display of baked goods was on the breakfast table at the conference.

I consider it a success if I'm not heckled when I speak. Success! No hecklers.

I signed lots of copies of my books, but for some reason was discouraged to sign anyone else's.

All that speaking and signing sure made me hungry, so...

Off to local favorite and roast beef sandwich shrine, Mayslacks!

Here's a piece of advice, kids: never eat anything bigger than your head.

And if you do, never ever order a side of onion rings.

Thanks for a great time, Minneapolis!

Monday, November 4, 2013


This is what 20 years of writing and illustrating books for children looks like.

I cannot express how fortunate I am to be able to have a career that I not only write stories and create images, but to do it for children. It is the best job in the world. I am truly blessed.

Okay. Now onto the next 20 years!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I had a great visit to Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC!

I started my day with a BIG breakfast.

They have a beautiful library! I assume they wash the books once a week in that bathtub.

Even though he visited 30 years ago, Syd Hoff is still a tough act to follow! I LOVE his work.

Just to let you know, not a single book about Pez dispensers. I checked.

We had a great time! Here I am drawing a picture of my friend Doug from my book Doug Unplugged.

All that drawing made me hungry. This is the cafeteria. Wow!

There was a bunch of books waiting to be signed when I returned from lunch.

I wonder how many times I've signed my name? I never get tired of it.

I couldn't leave the state without sampling flash fried mac 'n cheese! It was swell.

Thank you Charlotte, North Carolina!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I was graciously invited to speak about my career in children's books at Syracuse University, so I headed straight for the airport. Then they called back and told me it wouldn't be for a couple of weeks, so I went home.

A few weeks later, I was back at the airport.

My trip was off to a flying stop. My flight was delayed due to a bird flying straight into the windshield of the plane I was supposed to board. I offered to clean it up if they had a spare squeegee, but they refused and waited for the professionals. This took an hour.

Finally in my seat and in the air.

Although I didn't realize it before I opened the Sky Mall catalogue, I needed absolutely everything in it.

It wasn't long before Syracuse was in view.

My escort from SU had to wait until I mastered the Big Buck Hunter video game at the airport.

What a lovely campus! I felt so collegiate. I wish I had one of those little triangular banners on a stick and a sweater with a big letter on it. Rah! Rah!

I spoke to the illustration department.

I hope the students had as much fun as I did.

I was eager to share my 20 years of experience with the younger generation, but this guy just wanted to get directions to the men's room.

Afterwards we had a great lunch with the faculty and a few students. Sorry! No photo of my food.

Very old chum James Ransome joined us. We swapped salty tales of our years in children's books.

Thank you for inviting me, James!