The Dirt Book rhymes with poetry books of excellence

Hi everyone,

Yesterday NCTE’s 2022 list of titles chosen as excellence in books of children’s poetry and I was happy to see THE DIRT BOOK on it. Here’s the link if you haven’t already seen this.…/2022-Notable-Poetry-Books-and-Verse… Thank you for all the nice comments already posted on Facebook. I’m posting the news here to preserve it for my blog record.

Previous titles of mine selected for the NCTE Notable Poetry Books list have been BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS (2008); PIRATES (2008); NOW YOU SEEM THEM, NOW YOU DON’T (2017); and CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUG (2019).

My editor likes apples

Hi everyone,

My editor at Holiday House is Grace Maccarone. Together we’ve worked on A PERFECT HOME FOR A FAMILY, AND THE BULLFROGS SING, RUM PUM PUM, THE DIRT BOOK, and I WANT AN APPLE. Here she is at an office Halloween party, proving that she likes apples. Thank you, Grace, for helping me get this all just right. Thanks again to David Catrow for the fanciful art that brings the text of I WANT AN APPLE to such glorious life.

The book is shipping now. I had a delightful book talk on Saturday with Rona Brinlee at The BookMark book store in Neptune, Florida and look forward to giving others over the coming weeks.

A good trip

Hi everyone,

Sandy and I got in from Salt Lake City yesterday afternoon after a good conference with American Association of School Librarians. It was well attended by librarians and other educators from around the country and I was happy to be invited. My thanks to Holiday House for sponsoring me and to Senior Publicist Sara DiSAlvo in particular for being there, manning the booth when I signed, and hosting a terrific party for Josh Allen and me on Friday night.

A big added bonus was spending time with Jerry Pallotta and old pals Roland Smith and Michael Spradlin. The beat goes on and writers are still doing their best to find opportunities to present their work, traveling wherever necessary to do it.

Kate Coombs and I presented on Saturday afternoon with librarian Amanda Jones as our moderator. Our talk, “Take a Walk on the Wild Side, Connecting Young Readers to Nature,” was well attended and lasted 50 minutes. My thanks to Amanda and Kate for a very enjoyable experience.

Out of books

Hi everyone,

I’m enjoying the American Association of School Librarians conference in Salt Lake City. Signed books today — The Dirt Book and I Want an Apple — and ran out of both. Tomorrow I co-present with Kate Coombs and look forward to that. It feels SO good to be in front of people again after all these weary months.

I got some poems for the Fairfax project roughed in on the flights out here and plan to sketch in two more on the way back.

2nd post

Hi everyone,

Yesterday we were on the road when Kathy Temean’s feature of my new book, I WANT AN APPLE, was posted on her incredible blog. You can see it at

As always, Kathy’s features include the back story on how/when/why the book was published, plus information about the artist and how readers can get a chance for a free, signed copy of the book.

I hope you’ll click on over and leave a note. I appreciate Kathy for supporting my work as well as for the splendid job she did in creating and maintaining my blog.