Kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell –part 9

It’s kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell again, featuring Lori Mortensen, #kidlit author of over 70 books, including:

CHICKEN LILY (Henry Holt/ illus. Nina Victor Crittenden)

“Nice addition to story times . . . and good for anyone who’s a little chicken.”–Kirkus 

COWPOKE CLYDE RIDES THE RANGE (Clarion/ illus. Michael Allen Austin)

“Mortensen’s melodic and twangy couplets beg to be read aloud…”

“Another doggone funny cowboy caper chock full o’ chuckles.”
Kirkus, STARRED review

MOUSQUERADE BALL (Bloomsbury/ illus. Betsy Lewin )

        “A surefire storytime selection.”—School Library Journal

and the upcoming IF WENDELL HAD A WALRUS, (Henry Holt/ illus. Matt Phelan), to be released April 2018.

Lori’s kindergarten memory is about starting school:

Starting school was a big deal. So many questions. Who was my teacher? What would we do? Would I have fun? When I met my teacher, Mrs. Meagher, I was very surprised. She was just as tall—or as short—as her five-year-old students! It was the first of many surprises I would find at school.

Parents: What questions does your child have about starting school this year? Why not use Mortensen’s memory to help start a conversation with your kinder?

Or–hey–(shameless plug!) K IS FOR KINDERGARTEN (Sleeping Bear Press/ illus. Joseph Cowman) might be fun too!

Click here for my BOOK GIVEAWAY on Goodreads (deadline to enter July 22nd)

and a chance to receive a SIGNED COPY of


due out August 15th.

(29 days and counting!!!! Yayyy!)

Thank you, Lori, for sharing your Kindergarten Show and Tell.

For more information about Lori Mortensen, go to  

And check back next time to meet the Kinder who grew up to be #kidlit author Jim Averbeck, whose titles include ONE WORD FROM SOPHIA, THE MARKET BOWL, A HITCH AT THE FAIRMONT, and the upcoming TREVOR!

Kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell –part 8

Guess who this Birthday girl is?

It’s Show & Tell time again, where your fan favorites and #kidlit authors & illustrators share their kindergarten pictures and a memory each #tbt.  

This week’s Kinder grew up to be author Sue Fliess, whose latest picture book,


(Little Bee Books, illus Edwardian Taylor) released on July 4th:

Race cars!
Line up!
Who will take the Winner’s Cup?

One car, so small,
squeezes in between them all.

“Wacky racers zoom through an unconventional course. Who will win?…Clues along the way should help children figure out the surprise twist, and readers will love flipping back and forth to see the play between Maxwell’s imagination and real life. Fliess’ crunchy, rhyming text will have readers barreling along.”  —KIRKUS

(By the way, Fliess is pronounced “fleece.”)

Among Fliess’ other books are:


(Sky Pony Press/ illus. Emma Randall)

SLJ Review: “Vibrant illustrations match the catchy verse, which begs to be part of a St. Patrick’s Day… The book concludes with instructions for parents and educators on building a leprechaun trap at home or at school, and a quick primer of leprechaun folklore. VERDICT A fun offering for March that will work well read aloud or independently.”



(Albert Whitman/ illus. Christiane Engel)

“Quirky and original… With vivid and varied illustrations, this pun-filled story encourages letter knowledge and print and phonological awareness.” SLJ

Sue’s kinder memory is about her love of art and her “competitive, perfectionist nature”:

My favorite thing to do when I was young was draw. I thought I would grow up to be an artist (even majored in art in college for a time!). I have many fond memories of drawing and painting in kindergarten (which is what we all should be doing in kindergarten, right?). That said, I think my competitive, perfectionist nature began to reveal itself at this early age.

We had to color a sun and a rainbow with a poofy cloud, and this art was going to be displayed on the wall for the parents to see during parent night. I was so proud of mine! I remember thinking it was one of the best ones in the class. But when my parents came to the classroom, I was horrified to see that the teacher had paired random suns with random rainbow/clouds. I found my sun attached to a rainbow and cloud I clearly felt was mediocre artwork. I asked the teacher to move them, and pair my sun with my rainbow and my cloud. I hope I was polite. I’m sure my parents were thrilled.

Parents: Does this memory resonate with you or your child as much as it does with me?

I love that Sue’s Kindergarten career goal was to be an artist–and she grew up to WRITE picture books, not illustrate them. (I’m sure this helps in her creative process.) I LOVE that Sue reminds us of the importance of drawing and painting in Kindergarten–for every child. And I love knowing that even wonderful grown-ups like Sue (and she is, by the way) had a slightly competitive, perfectionist nature at age 6.

Fun facts: Sue’s Kinder picture was taken with her Snow White birthday cake just before friends arrived for her 6th birthday. And yes, Sue says, “Some friends still call me Susie.”

Thank you, Sue, for sharing your Kindergarten Show and Tell.

To learn more about Sue Fliess, go to .


And speaking of kindergarten…

Click here to enter the BOOK GIVEAWAY on Goodreads (Ends July 22nd.***)

for a chance to receive a SIGNED COPY of


Official Release Date: August 15th.

(32 days and counting!!!!)


And check back next time to meet the Kinder who grew up to be Lori Mortensen, the #kidlit author of over 70  books, including CHICKEN LILY, two COWPOKE CLYDE titles, and the upcoming IF WENDELL HAD A WALRUS.

K is for Kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell –part 7

Author Jeanne Walker-Harvey


Welcome to Show and Tell, where your fan favorites and #kidlit authors & illustrators share their kindergarten pictures and a kinder memory each #tbt.

Illustrator Dow Phumiruk

These adorable Kinder kids grew up to be…..


the amazing author/illustrator team behind this gorgeous May 2017 release:


~a Christy Ottaviano Book / Henry Holt ~ 

“Phumiruk’s use of perspective is often striking. . . Harvey’s text makes thoughtful, relatable connections between Lin’s work and the themes of her life.”

The Horn Book, starred review

“Quietly inspiring . . . The simple yet lyrical narrative flows effortlessly . . . an ideal choice to pair with STEAM-related activities. The soft color palette of the digital illustrations provides a complementary backdrop to the words, and Phumiruk ably conveys Lin’s determination.”School Library Journal

Jeanne Walker-Harvey writes non-fiction picture books, including MY HANDS SING THE BLUES: Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey and the recent HONEY GIRL (Arbordale Publishing).

Up next for Walker-Harvey is BOATS ON THE BAY (Cameron + Company/ Grady McFerrin /Fall 2018). She attended kindergarten in Crystal Lake, Illinois, where she fondly remembers nap time:

“What I most remember about kindergarten was nap time. We would get our blankets out of our cubbies, and spread them out on the wooden floor. And then a warm cozy quietness would envelop us. And sometimes I would see soft snowflakes falling outside the windows. I moved in 1st grade to Southern California so these memories of snow are precious. I think we should still have nap time!”

MAYA LIN is illustrator Dow Phumiruk’s picture book debut!

Her next illustration project is COUNTING ON KATHERINE: The story of How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13, a Christy Ottaviano Book, written by Helaine Becker, to be released in 2018.

Dow admits:

I don’t remember much from way back then. I remember playing with my cat, Cutie. I remember loving arts and crafts: getting a new giant box of crayons with the built in sharpener, cutting construction paper into a headband with rabbit ears. I played with my older brother a lot. Once we found an old hubcap and made “soup” – water from the hose, dandelions, worms, grass, and leaves.

PARENTS: Sometimes it’s the quiet times we treasure the most: snow falling at nap time, cat cuddles, and arts & crafts. Moments when a child’s imagination is filled with wonder and “what ifs.” Does your child love times like these? Isn’t it fun to think you might have a budding author or illustrator in the house?  


Thank you, Jeanne and Dow for sharing your Kindergarten Show and Tell.

To learn more about these talented women, go to and 

Oh and speaking of kindergarten…

Have you heard about my BOOK GIVEAWAY on Goodreads?

Click here to enter!

***I’m giving away a SIGNED COPY of K IS FOR KINDERGARTEN***

(To be released August 15th–39 days and counting!!!)

(Sleeping Bear Press/ illus. Joseph Cowman)

Check back next week to meet the kindergartner who would grow up to be

#kidlit author Sue Fliess, whose new book RACE! was just released July 4th!


K is for Kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell –part 6

Recognize this inquisitive #kidlit author?

Welcome back to K IS FOR KINDERGARTEN Show and Tell--where #kidlit authors & illustrators and fan favorites share their kindergarten pictures and a kinder memory each #tbt.

Today’s kinder grew up to be award-winning author

Patricia Newman.

Newman writes in many genres, including

these fascinating non-fiction titles published by Millbrook Press/ Lerner:




(To be released Oct. 1st ~ a Junior Library Guild selection)

Zoos take care of animals and welcome visitors of all ages, but that’s not all zoos do. Author Patricia Newman and photographer Annie Crawley bring readers behind the scenes at three zoos to meet scientists working to save endangered animals.
Meredith Bastian’s experiences studying wild orangutans helps educate both zoo visitors and the zoo workers who care for captive orangutans. Jeff Baughman breeds black-footed ferrets and reintroduces them into the wild. And Rachel Santymire examines poop from black rhinoceroses at the zoo and in their natural habitat to benefit all black rhinos. Zoo scientists are helping us learn more about these remarkable, at-risk species before it’s too late.

An up-close look about zoo scientists who are making a difference!

It’s no surprise that Patti’s Kindergarten memory is about one of her first scientific discoveries: 

My kindergarten classroom was big, or at least it seemed big to me at the time. I remember round tables where we had snack and cubbies for our belongings. One day, the whole class stood around Mrs. Veladota as she yanked stuff out of our cubbies, hunting for the horrible smell that filled the classroom. She seemed sure it emanated from someone’s cubby. Mittens, blankets, hats, and lunch boxes littered the floor. And then…a rotting apple. I remember her whisking away the offending fruit before we could even look at it. I felt gypped. I guess science was important to me even back then.

PARENTS: Does your little one have an interest in science?

Maybe that child who needs to examine everything–including rotten apples–will be a successful non-fiction author some day!

Thank you, Patti, for sharing your Kindergarten Show and Tell.

To learn more about Patricia Newman go to


Have you heard about the BOOK GIVEAWAY on Goodreads!

Click here to enter. 

***I’m giving away a SIGNED COPY of K IS FOR KINDERGARTEN***

(Sleeping Bear Press/ illus. Joseph Cowman)

I can’t wait for you to see it–Release date: August 15th–46 days and counting!!!


Check back next week to meet TWO kindergartners who would grow up to be the author AND the debut illustrator of this fabulous new picture book biography: 


published by Christy Ottaviano Books/ May 2017. 

Kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell –part 5

It’s Show and Tell time again–where your fan favorites and #kidlit authors & illustrators share their kindergarten pictures and a memory each #tbt.

This week’s Kinder grew up to be #kidlit EDITOR

Sarah Rockett



Sarah says, “I was a real 80s kid and my mom always let me dress myself for picture day. That year I wore ALL of my great Aunt’s costume jewelry for the occasion (multiple necklaces, giant clip on earrings, a couple stick/hat pins, and a lovely dachshund pin).”

I first met Sarah at ALA 2015 in San Francisco, when I got to hang out in the Sleeping Bear booth and sign my holiday book,


(illus. Nick Ward.)

Note:I think she’s tamed the urge for multiple accessories by the way.

Fast-forward 2 years and I’m THRILLED to say Sarah Rockett is the FABULOUS EDITOR of my upcoming book, K IS FOR KINDERGARTEN–to be released by Sleeping Bear on August 15th–

53 days and counting!!!

A picture book is a TEAM effort, most definitely, and I am so grateful to TEAM K (as in KINDERGARTEN. Sarah’s creative vision of the book, along with the amazing illustrations by Joseph Cowman, added such magic to each page!

Here’s Sarah’s memory from kindergarten:

In kindergarten I hadn’t fallen in love with books/reading yet. I mostly remember having a crush on a boy in my class named Zach, loving art time, and idolizing my teacher, Ms. Speidel.

Which brings me to THIS, dear parents:

Do not worry if your Kinder kid isn’t hooked on reading and books just yet. Some of us–me included–are late bloomers! Who knows? Your creatively accessorized, art-loving child may grow up to be an incredible editor of children’s books. 


Speaking of cool–and Show and Tell (!), among Sarah’s current editorial projects is ROOF OCTOPUS by Lucy Branam and illustrated by Rogério Coelho, also due out in August. What a clever story and gorgeous cover!


BONUS NEWS for those who are still reading this post (Thanks!) :

BOOK GIVEAWAY starts TODAY June 22 on Goodreads!

***Click the link above and enter for a chance to receive a SIGNED COPY of




To learn more about Sleeping Bear Press go to or follow away on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

And check back next time to meet the Kinder who grew up to be Patricia Newman, author of  fascinating non-fiction titles like SEA OTTER HEROES, PLASTIC AHOY, EBOLA Fears and Facts–and the upcoming ZOO SCIENTISTS TO THE RESCUE!