Welcome

I am the author and illustrator of 18 books for children including 7 Easy Readers and 11 Picture Books. My latest book, "A Night at the Zoo," an "I Like to Read" picture book will be published by Holiday House in September 2014. I will be posting the cover as soon as the image becomes available.

About Me

I grew up in Longview, Washington where I developed an early love of stories and books. In college I studied short story writing and literature, as well as painting, drawing, and graphic design in order to prepare for a career in children's books. I graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Art. I moved to New York City where my first book was published by Windmill Books. During that period I learned the ups and downs of children's book publishing. I also worked as a graphic artist and in other assorted jobs. Later, I moved to Cambridge, MA. and five years after publication of my first book, my second book, The Biggest Nose, was published by Houghton Mifflin.

My enthusiasm for children's literature eventually led to my pursuit of a duel career as a Children's Librarian. I earned my Masters Degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Rhode Island and have divided my time between working as a Children's Librarian and writing and illustrating children's books ever since. On my days off, I can often be found browsing in bookstores.

I live with my husband Walter, in Cambridge, MA.

Duck & Company Christmas, published by Holiday House, reflects my fondness for bookstores and libraries and the spirit of community that occurs when readers are brought together to celebrate stories. The story takes place during the Christmas holiday season when Duck and Rat wish for snow, but end up with a lot more than they bargained for.

As a child, I frequently heard stories of my mother's childhood celebrations of Christmas on a Wisconsin farm where there was always plenty of snow and a fresh cut Christmas tree from the woods, along with a horse-drawn sleigh and sleigh bells. This was quite a contrast with the rainy climate of Western Washington state where I grew up. We never had snow on December 24 or 25th, and usually shopped for Christmas trees at a tree lot in the rain. Later we discovered a tree farm nestled in the surrounding hills, which was a little more in the spirit of my Mother's family tradition. Anytime we did have snow it was an extremely special event. Now that I live in the Northeast I've had plenty of experience with snow but still feel a thrill when snowflakes begin to fall.

Creating final art for this book spanned a 13 month period, including part of two winters, one spring, one summer and one fall. I painted all of the backgrounds first, then the characters, saving the details of the snowflakes and decorations for last. By December 2010 I had plenty of real snow around me for inspiration. In fact, completing and sending in the final artwork for this book was complicated by record snow falls and ice storms. On a critical night while attempting to go out to a local copy shop to make needed scans to send to my publisher, I was forced to turn back as the sidewalks were too treacherous for walking even while wearing ice grips over my boots.

I was truly snowed in with Duck & Company Christmas.

My other titles include:
TERMITE TALES. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award. Candlewick, 2009.
DUCK & COMPANY. Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices and ALSC "Great Elementary Reads." Holiday House, 2007.
TERMITE TROUBLE. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award. Candlewick, 2005.
WORM GETS A JOB. Junior Library Guild Selection, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, CBC Children's Choices. Candlewick, 2004.
WOW, IT'S WORM! Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award. Candlewick, 2001.
WELL DONE, WORM! Candlewick, 2000.
THE FRIENDSHIP TREE. American Booksellers Association Pick of the List. Holiday House, 2000.
HILLARY TO THE RESCUE. American Booksellers Association Pick of the list, Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year. Carolrhoda, 2000.
STARRING HILLARY. Carolrhoda, 1999. and TumbleBooks.
THE WIMP. CBC Children's Choices. Houghton Mifflin, 1994.
FOX AND BEAR. Houghton Mifflin, 1992.
THE COOLEST PLACE IN TOWN. Houghton Mifflin, 1990.
HARRY'S SMILE. Houghton Mifflin, 1987.
THE PURSE. Houghton Mifflin, 1986.
THE BIGGEST NOSE. Houghton Mifflin, 1985.
INSPECTOR AARDVARK AND THE PERFECT CAKE. Windmill, 1980.

Several of my stories from "WELL DONE, WORM!" and "WOW IT'S WORM" and "TERMITE TROUBLE," which were published as part of the Candlewick Press Brand New Readers series have appeared on PBS Kids Between the Lions.

This was my first book about Duck & Company.

Picturebook/Easy Reader
During a visit to the zoo, Pop and Sam grow tired but while they are napping not only does the zoo close for the day but the animals come out to play -- with Pop's cell phone.
Duck and Rat's bookstore is busy as Christmas approaches and everyone buys gifts and celebrates.
Easy Reader
Duck and Rat work hard helping their customers at Duck & Company Bookstore.
Blanche and Otis are sheep who enjoy each other's friendship from autumn through spring.
Picture Book
Having the biggest nose school is no joke, especially when everyone wants to measure it.
Worm tries to earn money in order to buy a paint set that will help him enter an art contest.
On the wintry day when her drama club has a mishap on the way to see a play in the city, Hillary is glad she has bundled up her warmest snow gear.
After spending her money on a purse, Katie is now faced with the problem of getting some money to put into it.
Arnold and his sister Rose give two bullying classmates a taste of their own medicine when Arnold decides he doesn't have to be a wimp anymore.
When Hank and Zoey's sister Dory kick them out of their wading pool on a hot summer day, two boys find a way to get even.
Brand New Readers
Whether writing, measuring, tap-dancing, or canoeing, favorite character Termite finds new ways to get into trouble!
Four little stories about Termite and his pal Ostrich.
There's a lot more to this Worm than meets the eye, in these four tiny episodes.
This is no ordinary Worm! His limitations never stop him.