And The Winner Is: Free Copy of WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD.

May I have a drum roll please…The winner of the FREE signed copy of Laurie Calkhoven’s new book, WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD is…Kim Pfennigwerth!  Just in time for Women’s History Month!

Please e-mail me when you get this message and I will connect you with Laurie.  Thanks to all who commented and participated.  It was a great discussion and I, for one, am looking forward to reading Laurie’s amazing book.

One Witch, Some Noisy Neighbors, and a Real Estate Agent = Picture Book!

Today’s post is brought to you by my author friend and fellow blogger, ROBIN NEWMAN.

How did Hildie Bitterpickles Need Her Sleep come about?

The idea for Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep started with my neighbor’s wonderful witch weathervane.  HildieWeathervaneI kept staring at it from my bedroom window, and I kept thinking what if a witch had some real estate problems. (Of course, I’m sure this is what normal people think about when they see a witch weathervane. They think about real estate.) And so began the story of Hildie Bitterpickles. At first, it wasn’t just Hildie. There were three witches: Hildie, Marge, and Blanche. The three were house hunting and their real estate agent found them a cozy cottage at the tippy top of a mountain. And sure enough, during the stormy season the house along with all its furniture, books, potions, brooms, spiders, cats, dogs, and of course witches, would teeter and totter, and in spite of the chaos somehow the house would turn out to be home sweet home. But the story was dialogue heavy with three witches and I had to say goodbye to Marge and Blanche. Little by little, I turned my attention to the kind of neighbors a witch would have. Naturally, they would be noisy, inconsiderate, and of course, fairy tale characters. And what if these neighbors were so awful, that even a witch had to hire a real estate agent to find her a new home? After about a year of rewrites with the most incredible critique group in the universe and beyond, the rest is pretty much Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep picture book history.


Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep  (Creston Books) flies onto bookshelves April 12, 2016, and is currently available for preorder on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local independent bookstore.      HIGH RES. 20140513_robin_newman_0051


Robin was a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she now prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs, and peacocks. She is the author of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, A Wilcox & Griswold Mystery, illustrated by Deborah Zemke (Creston Books 2015), about two hardboiled mouse detectives on the hunt for Miss Rabbit’s missing carrot cake. (Note the names of the animals have been changed to protect the good guys.) carrotcake_cover03

She lives in New York, among many noisy neighbors, and spends many weekends strangely obsessing about witch weathervanes.

Find Robin at:

Website:    Twitter: @robinnewmanbook


And be sure to check out the Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep book trailer!

Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep (Illustrated by Chris Ewald) is currently available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local indie.

 Here are some fun pages that you and your child can print out to go with the story.






Monster Needs to Go to School: New book by Paul Czajak

Paul Czajak and Wendy Grieb have teamed up once again to create another exuberant addition to the award-winning Monster & Me™ series. The sixth book in the series, this title addresses back-to-school jitters and the difficulty of dealing with bullies—especially when they’re friends.

Monster is dreading his first day of school. But his classroom is full of new friends and so many fun things to learn that Monster forgets his fears in no time… until he catches his friends bullying. What will Monster do?     Monster School Cover_1_1

The Monster & Me™ series has sold 100,000 copies to date, and is a 2015 Silver Moonbeam Children’s Book Award winner for Best Picture Book Series. Author Paul Czajak is a Huffington Post contributor and New York Journal of Books reviewer. Illustrator Wendy Grieb is an Annie Award-winning storyboard artist, whose use of bright colors and inclusive representation in each spread has brought Monster and his world to life in a cinematic way!

This book addresses universally relatable topics for children including the first day of school, learning new skills, making friends, confronting bullies, and building self-esteem.

Monster has explored many things and taught kids much about social consciousness and confidence. To learn more about Monster’s adventures, visit or

Book webpage:

Monster’s website:                         

A ALA San Fransisco 2015: Where I had the pleasure of meeting fellow NJ author, Paul Czajac.

A ALA San Fransisco 2015: Where I had the pleasure of meeting fellow NJ author, Paul Czajac.

Author webpage:

Darlene Here: I found this latest “Monster” book the perfect introduction for easing “First Time at School” jitters.  It will be a favorite long after school has begun. Join the blog tour for MONSTER NEEDS TO GO TO SCHOOL by visiting the sites below:

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