Monthly Archives: April 2012


Posted by | April 27, 2012 | No Comments

Even though it feels like we JUST got back from TLA (and more on that terrific show later), we’re heading to Molly’s hometown Chicago tomorrow to exhibit at the International Reading Association next week. Will you be there, too? If so, come by booth #2240 for our wonderful author signings (listed below) galleys, teaching guides, posters, bookmarks, booktalking, and friend-making.

1:00–2:00PM, Henry Cole

*9:30–12:00PM, I CAN READ GOES DIGITAL– swing by our booth Tuesday morning to take a photo with your favorite I Can Read costumed characters, see demos of I Can Read books on the iPad and Nook, and enter a sweepstakes to win your own ereader or tablet loaded with an I Can Read library!*

12:30–1:00PM, Jan Spivey Gilchrist

1:00–2:00PM, Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Peter Reynolds

2:00–2:30PM, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campos

2:30–3:30PM, Patricia McCormick

3:30–4:00PM, Stuart Murphy


9:30–10:30AM, Laura Numeroff (do you like donuts? If so, make a point to come to this one!)

11:00–11:30AM, Jody Feldman

11:30AM–12:30PM, Rita Williams-Garcia

See you there!


Posted by | April 11, 2012 | 1 Comment

Inquiring minds want to know… are you going to the Texas Library Association annual conference next week? We’re packing our bags (with warm-weather clothes! hello 80 degrees!) for Houston and we honestly couldn’t be more excited. We LOVE Texas and we love this conference– and this year we’re bringing some super cool folks with us.  Visit us in Booth #1612 for galleys, galleys, and more galleys! Hold onto your hats for our jam packed signing schedule …


12:00–1:00pm, Tim Green

12:00–1:30pm, Lincoln Peirce

3:00–4:00pm, Tera Lynn Childs

3:00–4:00pm, Sophie Jordan

4:00–5:00pm, Paul Zelinsky

4:00–5:00pm, Adam Rex


9:30–10:30am, Veronica Roth

10:30–11:30am, Robison Wells

2:00–3:30pm, Sara Pennypacker

3:00–4:00pm, Maryrose Wood

3:00–3:30pm, Jason Henderson

3:30–4:00pm, Patrick Carman (in booth #1612!)


9:30-10:30am, Patricia McCormick

*Signings (except for Patrick Carman’s, noted) all take place in the wonderfully efficient Author Signing Area in the exhibit hall.  Thanks to the local volunteers who make this happen!


Posted by | April 11, 2012 | 4 Comments

We’re very excited about Sara Pennypacker’s fantastic new middle-grade novel coming this month, SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS.

The journals are loving it, too:

“Deliciously intense and entertaining. . . . A suspenseful, surprising novel of friendship and family.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Pennypacker skillfully meshes the poignant and the comedic [in this] richly layered tale of loss, resiliency, and belonging.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

If you’re coming to TLA next week, you can hear Sara Pennypacker discuss her fabulous female characters on the “Girls with Grit” panel (Thursday, 4/19, at 10AM) and then come get a book signed in the signing aisles (Thursday, 4/19, at 2PM).

In case you’d like a conversation starter to use while Ms. Pennypacker signs your book (or when talking about the story with your students, of course), be sure to download this SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS discussion guide!


Posted by | April 9, 2012 | 1 Comment

A is for Apple. B is for Ball. C is for Cat. D is for Moose. Hey, wait a second… that’s not right!  Poor Moose has to wait for M, but he’s too excited. When will it be his turn? Is it his turn yet? How about now? Will it EVER be his turn? And what, oh what will he do if M isn’t for Moose?

Moose, our well-meaning but impatient friend from Z IS FOR MOOSE has thoroughly captured our collective hearts.  But don’t just take our word for it– this delightful and funny picture book by Kelly Bingham and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky has garnered six, count ’em, SIX, starred reviews.

“Very funny and inventive.”—The Horn Book (starred review)

“Just label it F for funny.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Move over, Interrupting Chicken.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] laugh-out-loud romp.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Zany. . . . will make children smile.”—School Library Journal (starred review)

“Kids will revel in the . . . chaos.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

Maybe you remember Moose from his interrupting cameo in our ALA Midwinter booth?  If you’re attending TLA next week, find Moose in the HarperCollins Children’s Books booth (#1612) and illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky at the Draw Me A Story panel (with Lincoln Peirce, Adam Rex, Mark Burkhart, and Peter Brown) in room Room 370 A-F, then signing in the Author Signing area from 4:00–5:00PM on Wednesday.


Posted by | April 3, 2012 | No Comments

We are all utterly captivated by TIGER LILY, an incredibly imaginative and textured story– a retelling of Peter Pan, but centered around that very captivating and really quite mysterious creature, Tiger Lily.  Jodi Lynn Anderson, national bestselling author of Peaches, agreed to tell us a little more about how and why she was able to bring Tiger Lily to life so vibrantly.

“For a children’s book, I read Peter Pan and Wendy late in life — maybe five years ago. It took my breath away, not because of its magic, as I’d expected, but because of its truth. This wasn’t the happy book about never growing up I’d always believed it to be; it was about loss, and aging, and people who couldn’t get their acts together despite their best intentions (namely, Peter). Peter felt so real to me: so aloof, so generous, so thoughtless and lovable. All in all, he seemed like he could be a real teenage boy.  Or, ahem, a real adult boy or two I have met along the way.

And always, lurking in the background, was Tiger Lily. J.M. Barrie’s portrayal of the native tribe in Neverland is, in my mind, the one and only great flaw of the book: it is cartoonish, stereotyped. But Tiger Lily’s fierce appeal, even in the few scenes Barrie gave her and in the context of such a tribe, shines through.

“Our Flutter-some Ordeal” by Tran Nguyen (this image reminds Jodi Lynn of Tiger Lily, and rests on her laptop)

I started thinking of her as an actual novel after a late-night conversation with my best friend. We were talking about characters whom we still thought had stories to tell. Tiger Lily was the first person I thought of.  It had nagged at me: with a girl like this lurking in the depths of the island, how could Peter choose someone like Wendy? How how how?

But before I’d even touched pen to paper, I knew my answer: he was scared of her, she was scared of him, sometimes you love someone too much. It happens; we all know it does.  It seemed to me like it had the potential for a true kind of love story – and I don’t think truth and love stories go together as often as they could. I thought…it is easy to love a Wendy. It takes true courage to love a Tiger Lily. And if you are a Tiger Lily, it takes true courage to let yourself be loved.

Tiger Lily’s father, the shaman Tik Tok, arose as an extension of all of these thoughts. He wasn’t planned — he popped up and insisted on being included. He was part of a question: can you love someone if you aren’t willing to love all of them? At one point in the story, Tiger Lily joins other people in the tribe in asking Tik Tok to change who he is. “If you just do x, y, and z,” they indicate, “we will be more than happy to love you.” But love just can’t work that way.

For me, the greatest challenge of writing Peter and Tiger Lily’s story has been that neither of them is easy to understand. They are both so full of contradictions (not that I would want them any other way).  I wanted to make sure that they could be petty, and courageous, and cowardly, and generous, because that seemed true. And it also seems true that, usually, lovers aren’t kept apart by circumstances beyond their control, but by their own failure to connect like they wish they could. And a great love that doesn’t work can still be a great love.

Toward the end of the story, Tinkerbell explains that there are only a handful of people who love Tiger Lily exactly as she is, and Tink counts herself among them (though technically she’s an insect!). Tinkerbell is the real and figurative light of the story. And while I hope I’ve stayed true to its author’s vision in showing these lives, and Neverland itself, as having their fair share of darkness, I hope that I’ve also stayed true to the humor and light and lush beauty and joyfulness that I so admired in the original story.”

Thanks Jodi Lynn!  TIGER LILY goes on sale 7.3.12.

  • Blogroll