Winter/Spring 2019 Author/Illustrator Nights

I’m participating in several upcoming author/illustrator nights sponsored by LICWI (Long Island Children’s Writers & Illustrators):

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 @ 6pm
Hampton Bays Elementary School, 72 Ponquogue Avenue, Hampton Bays, NY

Thursday, February 7, 2019 @ 6:45pm
R.J.O. Intermediate School, 99 Old Dock Rd, Kings Park, NY 11754

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Tangier Smith Elementary School, 336 Blanco Drive, Mastic Beach, NY 11951

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 @ 6:30pm
Stewart School, 501 Stewart Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 @ 6:30pm
Sunrise Drive Elementary School, 320 Sunrise Drive, Sayville, NY

Thursday, March 14, 2019 @ 6:00pm
Moriches Elementary School, 16 Louis Avenue, Moriches NY, 11955.

Monday, April 15, 2019 @ 6:30pm
Middle Country Literacy Expo, Centereach High School, 14-43rd Street, Centereach, NY

If you work in a school or are involved with your kid’s PTA, and you would like more information about how to host a free author/illustrator night, take a look here:

http://www.licwi.com/author-and-illustrator-nights.html

http://www.maiaandicarus.com

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Winter/Spring 2018 Author/Illustrator Nights

I’ll be participating in several upcoming author/illustrator nights sponsored by LICWI (Long Island Children’s Writers & Illustrators):

Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:30pm
N. Woodhull Elementary School, 6 Francis Landau Place, Shirley, NY

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 @ 6pm
Hampton Bays Elementary School, 72 Ponquogue Avenue, Hampton Bays, NY

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 @ 6pm
JFK Intermediate School, 101 Lake Avenue, Deer Park, NY

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 @ 6:30pm
Sunrise Drive Elementary School, 320 Sunrise Drive, Sayville, NY

Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 6:30pm
Middle Country Literacy Expo, Centereach High School, 14-43rd Street, Centereach, NY

If you work in a school or are involved with your kid’s PTA, and would like more information about how to host a free author/illustrator night, take a look here: http://www.licwi.com/author-and-illustrator-nights.html

http://www.maiaandicarus.com

El Bastón de Abuelito

Ellie está nerviosa de conocer a su Abuelito por la primera vez. Papá y Papi le dicen que la va a querer su Abuelito, pero Ellie no está segura, especialmente cuando hablan de subir a la cima del Monte Atlas. Pero Ellie se lleva una gran sorpresa, en la forma del bastón del Abuelito.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0989176274/

El_Baston_de_Abuelit_Cover_for_Kindle

Some great things kids have said about Grandpa’s Walking Stick

“This book is special because Ellie had her first adventure with her Grandpa. Although Grandpa didn’t believe in her Ellie still knew that she could climb Mount Atlas.”

“This book was very special because I could relate a lot to it. I have a grandpa who lives in Canada and I only saw him once when I was 5 or 6 years old. Also he lives far away so I needed to go on an airplane ride. The only reason I got to see him was because that he is my grandpa and I love him.”

“I can connect to the story because one year for my dads birthday I painted a cool thick, heavy stick and gave it to him. It was the perfect size too!”

“This book is special because Ellie has two dads that care about her. My connection is when I just started soccer people thought I couldn’t save a goal but I did!”

“This book is special because Ellie never met her Grandpa because he lived far away. I also thought it was special because she had two dads and most people don’t have two dads.”

“I love this book so much! I think it is very cool!”

*** Special thanks to Ms. Rodgers’s 4th grade class ***

The Compliment Project

I had the privilege of visiting Mrs. Robilotta (world famous teacher and “friend of Olympia”) and her fifth grade students at RJO Intermediate School last week. In addition to some amazingly thought provoking questions and comments, I was given a truly beautiful gift — I was the subject of “The Compliment Project.” With my back to the Smart Board, Mrs. Robilotta’s students took turns writing something complimentary about me and my books while I spoke and answered questions. At the end of my time with the class, I turned around and was presented with the following:

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Amazing kids… an incredible teacher… and an author, overwhelmed by their kindness, encouragement, and enthusiasm.

Upcoming Book Signings

I’ll be signing copies of Grandpa’s Walking Stick, Maia & Icarus, and Maia & Hippolyta at several upcoming author/illustrator night events sponsored by Long Island Children Writers and Illustrators.

Wednesday, January 18th @ 5:30pm
N. Woodhull Elementary School, 6 Francis Landau Place, Shirley, NY

Monday, January 23rd @ 6pm
Riley Avenue Elementary School, 374 Riley Avenue, Calverton, NY

Friday, February 3rd @ 7pm
FJ Carasiti Elementary School, 90 Rocky Point-Yaphank Road, Rocky Point, NY

Wednesday, February 8th @ 6pm
Clayton Huey Elementary School, 511 Main Street, Center Moriches, NY

Thursday, February 9th @ 6:30pm
Stewart School, 501 Stewart Avenue, Garden City, NY

Wednesday, March 15th @ 6pm
Hampton Bays Elementary School, 72 Ponquogue Avenue, Hampton Bays, NY

Monday, April 3rd @ 6:30pm
Centereach High School, 14 43rd Street, Centereach, NY

Maia & Icarus, Maia & Hippolyta, and Grandpa’s Walking Stick now on sale!

Click on “Buy Personalized Books Now!” above or visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

Just happens to be…

jh2b-imprint

JUST HAPPENS TO BE BOOKS, an imprint of Barrow Court Books, promotes the idea that all children should be able to see themselves and their families in the pages of a book. We just don’t make a big deal about it – because it really shouldn’t be.

Grandpa’s Walking Stick is the first of what I hope will be many books under the Just Happens To Be Books imprint. It’s the story of a young girl getting to know her grandfather. Her parents just happen to be her Daddy and Papa.

Several years ago, I heard the term just happens to be used by a number of LGBT performers discussing how they hoped that one day it would matter less when LGBT characters were featured in television shows or movies – a character would just happen to be gay or lesbian or transgendered. It wouldn’t be a big deal. Truthfully, I initially thought it was a dumb concept. Of course it would matter, I reasoned. You can’t just gloss over a detail like that.

And then I went to an exhibit of Ezra Jack Keats’ work, including the classic award-winning picture book The Snowy Day. Peter, the young boy exploring his neighborhood after a snowstorm, just happened to be Black. The color of his skin didn’t matter. Yes, it was important at the time to feature minority children, but the book is remarkable not because it features a minority child — it’s remarkable (in my opinion) because of the story.

Yes, all children should be able to see themselves and their families in the pages of a book. No, it shouldn’t be a big deal. And maybe one day it won’t.

 

 

 

Anatomy of a book fair table

table

Finally the truth can be told…

 

1 – Maia & Icarus trailer on a loop

2 – Price + gentle push to take items 6, 7 & 8

3 – PVC signboard + “The first chapter of a thrilling new fantasy adventure series!”

4 – Email sign-up sheet

5 – Books

6 – Coloring page of cover

7 – Bookmarks

8 – Postcards

9 – Hershey’s kisses

 

Item 9 was, of course, the biggest hit… 

Some awesome things kids have said about Maia and Icarus

1. “I personally thought it was very good because some chapters were funny and some were adventures.”

2. “Why did the princess get so crazy and messed up?”

3. “Do you plan to make this into a huge series?”

4. “There were so many action packed moments going on.”

5. “I think Maia learned something from her journey.”

6. “Your book was actually the best book I ever read.”

7. “Is Icarus alive? Or is he dead?”

8. “I loved how you included the whining princess.”

9. “First of all I loved your book so much but I want to get a few things straight. Number one: Why did you make Icarus always smile?”

10. “Do you even know who Maia’s father is yet?”

11. “The Greek gods really interest me, maybe more because I’m Greek, I don’t know.”

12. “You really wrote a nice book.”

13. “This book overall grabbed my attention because of its emotions and interesting story.”

14. “I see gods.”

15. “I can’t keep calm because I want to read your second book.”

16. “My favorite part was when Maia was with the princess talking about boys because it was funny.”

17. “I am writing a fantasy story at school and Maia & Icarus changed the way I look at fantasy stories in a good way.”

Sometimes “blogging” is the last thing I have on my mind…

Otherwise, I would have posted pictures from my book signing at Book Revue in Huntington back on January 24, 2014…

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I’m still overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I received…

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My friend Erik called it my “George Bailey moment”…

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In that moment, it did indeed feel like a wonderful life…

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And, though shy at first, my niece Maia (my protagonist’s namesake) got into it too…

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All in all, an amazing night…

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With over $900 raised for Room to Read’s Local Language Book Publishing program — over 900 books will be produced in local languages throughout the world!

 

With tremendous gratitude to an incredibly supportive team of people, including Eric, Andie, Michael, Christine, Lisa, Briana & Stephanie, and to Lauren from Book Revue, Shawn from the NYC chapter of Room to Read, and Jason at XO Restaurant…

 

http://www.roomtoread.org

http://www.bookrevue.com