Kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell –part 14 #windowsandmirrors

It’s kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell again,

and we’re celebrating


with important books that are windows and mirrors

in our world.

Meet this week’s kinder, who grew up to be

#kidlit author and educator

Gayle E. Pitman.

By day, Gayle teaches Psychology and Women/Gender Studies at

Sacramento City College.

By night, she writes awesome–and much needed–children’s books like


(Magination Press/ illus. by Kristyna Litten )

Winner of the


2015 Notable Books for a Global Society Award

“This beautifully illustrated book is a great addition to a school or personal library to add diversity in a responsible manner without contributing to stereotypes about LGBT people.” –School Library Journal

Click HERE to view the awesome book trailer. 

Check out the Study Guide. 

Pitman’s most recent picture book is


How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community

(Magination Press/ illus. by Christopher Lyles)

Extensive information about Lyon and Martin’s activism, marriage equality, and San Francisco itself (contained in a readers’ note) offers a useful overview of LGBTQ history and women’s rights. —Publishers Weekly

A great conversation starter and a rare non-fiction book about LGBTQ equality for the younger age group. —Bay Windows

**Did you know activists Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin are now a required part of CA 4th grade curriculum? Pitman has a Teacher’s Guide. 

Pitman’s forthcoming non-fiction title: FEMINISM FOR A TO Z

(Magination Press)

is scheduled for release in October.

Pre-orders have started –Right Here! 

Feminism from A-Z takes readers on an alphabetical journey through the basics of feminism. Each chapter features writing and action exercises geared specifically for the tween and teen reader, along with suggestions and resources for how readers can take feminism to a higher level.

Here’s Gayle on her first day of Kindergarten, at Riverview School in Denville, NJ.

Gayle’s Kinder memory:

I can remember walking from my house to the bus stop every morning. The bus stop was a few blocks away from our house, and I always walked by myself. What a different time it was back then!
I remember learning how to tie my shoes in kindergarten, Mrs. Hoffman, my kindergarten teacher, rewarded us with M&M’s every time we tied them correctly. That’s something else that would never happen today!
A river ran behind my elementary school. Our first field trip was a walk to the river to feed the ducks. It was probably a five-minute walk, but it felt like a big deal at the time.
(The duck field trip made me think of
 And yes–it was a “different time.”
Did you know that Pitman’s wonderful book, THIS DAY IN JUNE, was the target of book banning and censorship recently? THANK YOU to all who spoke up about this, and to the Chicago Library Who Voted To Keep the Book on their shelves. This book shows acceptance. Inclusion. It does NOT have any sexual content.


Yes–Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, my friends. If you do not want your child to learn about others who are “different,” that’s your choice. When you go to the library or book store, actively help your child to pick out books you approve of. But –like children–let’s make room for ALL books, different or not, on the shelves.

It’s that simple.
In my opinion, we need to do all we can to make sure today’s children (and adults) grow up to be kind, empathetic, inclusive citizens of the world.
 To learn more about Gayle Pitman and her books, go to You can also find her on Twitter @GaylePitman and Facebook.
Check back next time to meet the kindergartner who grew up to be #kidlit author (ESCARGOT; DANGEROUSLY EVER AFTER; THE 57 BUS–and more!), journalist, and poet Dashka Slater.

Kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell –part 13

It’s kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell again,

so get ready, friends because this week’s #kidlit author is

a duck?

Wait–no, no, no– We’ll get to the ducks later.

First let’s meet Josh Funk,

who writes FUN rhymed picture books like DEAR DRAGON,

Viking Books for Young Readers, with illustrations by Rodolfo Montalvo:

“Montalvo’s visual irony skillfully paces alongside Funk’s gamboling rhymes, rendering readers’ investigation of each spread just as rewarding as the page turns. A playful celebration of difference (and poetry).”

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST  now has  its recently released sequel:


(Sterling/ Illustrations by Brendan Kearney)



AND…(drumroll, please)





(Two Lions, illus. by Edwardian Taylor)

will be released.

Psst– you can pre-order HERE now…

As many of us remember, there are lots of firsts in Kindergarten.  Josh’s memory is about his very first field trip:

“When I was in kindergarten, on my very first field trip ever, my class visited the Public Gardens in downtown Boston. You know the place – it’s where Mrs. Mallard ends up bringing Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack in Robert McCloskey’s 1941 classic MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS.”

I told you we’d get to the ducks…

“Well, as we prepared to board the swan boats, I strayed a little too far from the group. I don’t know what came over me (maybe it was my inner Ouack), and I honestly don’t remember how it happened, but I managed to fall into the lagoon. I have a vivid memory of looking up at the grey sky through the frigid water for a crumb of an instant. Maybe it was a brave teacher. Perhaps it was a parent chaperone. It could have been a police officer named Michael. All I know is someone pulled me out by my arms and extended my five-year-old life. And then I had to sit in the grass in my underwear with a towel while my clothes dried out. And that’s why I am afraid of ducks.”

I’m so thankful they pulled you out of the lagoon, Josh!

Find out more about Josh–plus check out his coloring pages, songs, and activity kits–  at and follow Josh Funk on Twitter @joshfunkbooks.

I’m also VERY thankful for all of you who have helped me

celebrate the launch of

K IS FOR KINDERGARTEN, illustrated by Joseph Cowman.

Click here to scroll through the whole Show & Tell blog series and meet many more creative kindergartners who grew up to do COOL things.

And check back next week to meet #kidlit author Gayle Pitman!

Kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell –part 12

Today’s #tbt Show and Tell is from Joseph Cowman, 

the kindergartner who grew up to illustrate


(Sleeping Bear Press– on shelves now–YAYYY!)  

This little guy didn’t think he would be an illustrator some day.

Joseph says he loved building things as a kid, “all kinds of different contraptions out of old stuff I found,” and he was sure he’d become a scientist or an inventor.

I am beyond thankful his joy of creating lead to ART. 

I hope all of you will have a chance to discover

the magical world he invented for

K is for Kindergarten. 

Here’s Joseph’s kindergarten memory :

I won’t lie, Kindergarten terrified me when I first started. But I had a teacher’s assistant in my class that made all the difference in the world.

She spent personal time with me every week while I learned my alphabet.

Her kindness and patience made me feel comfortable, confident and proud to be me.

Thank you to all of the school teachers and staff out there who work so hard to make a difference.

I agree 100% with Joseph.

Thank you so much dear teachers and staff, and happy BACK-TO-SCHOOL. You make a difference EVERY day. One of the perks of writing for kids is getting to meet you and your students. Thank you for making their world safe, inclusive, and full of wonder.

To learn more about Joseph Cowman, visit

Follow josephcowman on Instagram, and @JosephCowman on Twitter.


If you can, please come join me at one of these K IS FOR KINDERGARTEN events:

August 19th Barnes & Noble Birdcage/Citrus Heights  CA 11-1

August 19th  Avid Reader Davis CA 3-5pm

August 26th Barnes & Noble Folsom CA 11am Story time

September 9th Barnes & Noble Roseville CA

Sept 16th 2pm & Sept. 17th 11:30am ScholareShare Children’s Book Festival. FairyTale Town, Sacramento CA.


And be sure to check back next time for

#kidlit author Josh Funk’s

Kindergarten Show & Tell. 


A is for AT LAST! It’s happening,

Kindergarten’s almost here!

You’ve been waiting for this moment.

Every day feels like a year. 

I’ve felt just like a kindergartner-to-be, myself, lately…

waiting, and waiting, and waiting

for this Book Birthday!

And then I realized–in our family, we celebrate birthdays all month long,

so why not for a book too?

Endless thanks to the incredibly talented illustrator Joseph Cowman, our super-editor Sarah Rockett at Sleeping Bear Press, and Audrey Mitnick PR WonderWoman.

It takes a team to create a picture book!

I’m also thankful to all the friends who have stopped by my blog to share their Kindergarten Show&Tell stories. (More to come next week!)

Do you recognize these cuties?

(Answers in previous posts.)














As promised–here’s my own Kindergarten photo.  

Yep. I’m pretty sure my mom put a bowl on my head when she cut my hair!

Anyway–my kindergarten memory is actually of 6th grade me.

I was the kid who got to go down the hall and read to the kindergartners at story time. I can still picture the Kinders sitting on the rug at my feet, leaning in to each page as I read. That experience may very well be when I started on this #kidlit path.

Who knows?

What I DO know is that the K IS FOR KINDERGARTEN book party we had at Face in a Book the other night was SO MUCH FUN! We sang songs and created an alphabet with pretzels, and what a perfect celebration!

Here’s my schedule of upcoming events, in case you missed it:

August 11th Barnes & Noble Bend, OR  11am

August 15th  Bonkers Toy Store, Placerville CA 11am

August 19th Barnes & Noble Birdcage/Citrus Heights  CA 11-1

August 19th  Avid Reader Davis CA 3-5pm

August 26th Barnes & Noble Folsom CA 11am Story time

September 9th Barnes & Noble Roseville CA

Sept 16th 2pm & Sept. 17th 11:30am ScholareShare Children’s Book Festival. FairyTale Town, Sacramento CA.

I hope you’ll join me!

Reviews for K is for Kindergarten:

“As a teacher,…I like the idea of easing students into the path towards starting school. Spend a little time each day and maybe share one letter at bedtime or during the day. The activities will certainly be a benefit. K is for Kindergarten is a great way to kick off a landmark year in a child’s life.” Full review: NCTeacherStuff 

“In this book, readers get two books.  One is an alphabet book, counting down the days before the first day of Kindergarten, and the second is an activities book, providing the anxious/excited child activities to both entertain and teach…This book is a delight to the ear and eye and includes pages of interactive things to do.” Full review: Books for the Curious Child 

K is for Kindergarten is a clever and versatile little book that can be quite useful across core classrooms. It teaches children to count, anticipate, look forward to future events, and even to predict how much they will have learned on those dates. It encourages them to draw maps, interview their kindergarten teacher, make a clock from construction paper, and practice reading a bedtime story to their parents instead of being read to. Ms. Dealey’s prose is sweet, age-appropriate and stimulating for eager young minds. Artist Joseph Cowman’s illustrations are bright, colorful and super-kid friendly. All in all, this book’s content, concepts, illustrations and packaging makes it a win-win for everyone. PictureBookDepot 

Bonus: I made a

K IS FOR KINDERGARTEN coloring page:

Happy Back-to-School!

Be sure to check back next time for

illustrator Joseph Cowman’s

Kindergarten Show & Tell. 

Kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell –part 11


Today’s #tbt is extra special because… my first K is for Kindergarten book party is tonight AND

I get to introduce you to a dear friend, actor/writer/beautiful human being, Shelby Wulfert.

I love this pic of her reading to her brothers!

Shelby’s always been SMART and fashionable.

Who did this kindergartner grow up to be?

If you stopped by to read last week’s post you know the answer–or maybe you recognize her from the popular Disney show, LIV AND MADDIE.

Yes, she’s the one who’s had Maddie’s back for the past four years. (Twin magic isn’t easy you know…)

Shelby has a more recent pre-kindergarten memory.

No surprise it’s about reading to kids:

In India, I volunteered at a preschool that the kids attend every day. They had some books available in English and some in Hindi and Tibetan. While volunteering, I brought more books to the preschool as well.
One of my favorite things about the kids was the fact that the language barrier didn’t discourage their interest in the books. I will never forget how much I loved sitting and reading to them every day.
Parents: I’m sure you already know that reading picture books to kids –no matter what their first language is–is key to raising readers.
But Shelby’s India experience is a fabulous reminder that the joy of reading is universal. After your own “littles” outgrow their picture books, consider donating the books to a school or library or half-way around the world, where they’ll once again be cherished.
Also –as parents, we have no idea where our own creatively smart (and fashionable) kindergartners will be in the future,
but isn’t it exciting to know
the possibilities are endless?

What’s new on the horizon for Shelby Wulfert? Shelby says:

Currently I’ve been writing a lot; I’m working on a short film script with a couple other women, Emmy Buckner and Jessica Marie Garcia. Our hope is to film it this fall. Also, Betch: A Sketch Show, which I’ve acted in and written a sketch for, has their 2nd season up on Hulu, so go check it out!

Thank you, Shelby Wulfert, for stopping by to celebrate K IS FOR KINDERGARTEN with your own Show and Tell.

To learn more about this talented woman, go to her page at

or follow her on social media: Twitter @ShelbyWulfert.

Instagram shelbywulfert

And check back in two weeks to meet the kindergartner who would grow up to be the illustrator of K IS FOR KINDERGARTEN, the amazing Joseph Cowman.

It’s here! It’s here!

I’m hoping to have time to tell you all about it next week.

Stay tuned!