Sunday, April 29, 2012

Book Signings--May 4th and Oct. 5th, 2012

This Friday, May 4th, from 4-8pm, I'll be signing books at a Barnes & Noble Book Fair (82nd St. in Indy, Clearwater Crossing) to benefit the Ruth Lilly Health and Education Center.  On sale will be my books, Peter, the Knight with Asthma and The Goodbye Cancer Garden.  I'll also provide story time songs and stories, so please stop by!

Back on December 7th, 2011, I signed books at a breast cancer survivors' celebration hosted by Indiana University Hospital-North's Coordinated Breast Care Services.  And I look forward to participating on October 5th, 2012, in "Reach Out and Read Indiana," an annual event which partners with doctors to provide books to their patients and encourage families to read together.  Stay tuned for more details.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Goodbye Cancer Garden Goes to School

In the past several months it's been my delight to pop in and visit students from three different schools.  First, in October, I spent the day at Wright Memorial Public Library in Dayton, Ohio.  The line-up included a preschool story time in late morning; a presentation on my books and the author's life with 3rd-graders from neighboring Smith Elementary School; and an evening workshop with adults aspiring to write for kids.  As much as I enjoy encouraging and guiding other grown-ups in the pursuit of their writing dreams, I have to admit that singing and reading with the kiddos took the cake for me.  The preschoolers were awesome dancers.  The 3rd graders were full of excellent questions that kept me on my toes.  They also sent me a package of lovely thank you notes and a full-blown collaborative play written after my visit.  You go, girls!

In December I made my third annual trip to the 3rd graders of The Oaks Academy in Indianapolis to complement their curriculum on fables.  We sang, dreamed of what we'd like to be when we grow up, and read and discussed my fable, "No Ducks for Dinner," from the March 2010 issue of Spider magazine.

And just this week I spent the morning with kindergartners from the Indiana Math and Science Academy, also here in Indy.  They selected Peter, the Knight with Asthma for story time--seems several have personal experience with that nasty asthma dragon.  And not only did they sing with me about how books help us become what we want to be, but they also sent me off with two songs they'd prepared just for me!  Nice job, friends.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Goodbye Cancer Garden earns awards

What an honor it is to hear how The Goodbye Cancer Garden touches the lives of readers.  I receive emails each month from around the country, sharing stories of how the book has brought hope to a family experiencing cancer, or given a grandma context for explaining her illness to her grandkids, or (I love this one) how it's brought smiles to the faces of little ones who have then wanted to plant their own goodbye cancer garden.

So when the book receives awards or honors, I am pleased to know that such recognition will get it into the hands of more readers.  Imagine my surprise to learn The Goodbye Cancer Garden was selected as Best English Language Children's Book at the Sharjah (U.A.E) International Book Fair in late November of 2011.  With this honor comes the possibility that the book will be published in Arabic and touch the lives of readers in the Middle East.

And just this week Cancer Garden was placed on the CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Council) Choices list for 2012.  The CCBC is a research and support organization for children's literature out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Its "choices" help libraries and other organizations know what's new and special for young readers out there.  Wish I could thank the judging panels for both of these awards.  Thank you!