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 imdb.com

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!


Kindergarten #tbt Show and Tell –part 10

Who’s getting excited for Kindergarten?

Me, me, me!

And I can’t wait for you to meet my author pal, Jim Averbeck, on this week’s #tbt Show and Tell.

Look at this cute kid who grew up to be

the handsome and talented author of amazing #kidlit books like


(Atheneum/ Simon & Schuster –illus. by Yasmeen Ismail)

“From the first page to the last, Sophia’s energy, creativity, and innovative critical thinking willentertain both adults and children.. A must-read.” Kirkus starred review 

and the MG mystery,


wherein eleven-year-old Jack Fair teams up with THE Alfred Hitchcock to solve the mystery of his wicked Aunt Edith, who disappears from San Francisco’s swanky Fairmont Hotel…

A Hitch at the Fairmont is terrific…a fun plot, wonderful characters, belly-laugh humor, and lots of truly lovely writing.”

(Linda Sue Park, author of the Newbery Medal-winning A Single Shard)

Hard to believe this guy was “frightened to go to kindergarten.”

Here’s Jim’s kindergarten memory:

“I clung to my mother’s skirts as she dropped me off that first day. But when we entered the classroom, heavenly choirs sang and sunbeams streamed through the window, illuminating my very first love– the teacher, Miss Lewandowski. We were to call her Miss Rita. She wore a blue double-knit dress with a wide, white belt and white go-go boots. In the following days I used up the midnight blue Crayolas™ from several boxes as I drew many portraits of her. (Alas, none survive.)

Near the end of the school year she got married and changed her name to Mrs. Smith.
My heart was broken forever.”
His next book–out Spring 2018–is TREVOR
(Roaring Brook Press/ illus. Amy Hevron).
“Trevor is a canary who begins an equally doomed relationship,” Jim says; “But he comes out the stronger for it. As do we all.”
Can’t wait to read this one—and I’m looking forward to the companion book to
as well.
The other thing I can’t wait for?

The official release of


(Sleeping Bear Press/ illus. Joseph Cowman)

19 days to go, people!!!!

And my first K is for KINDERGARTEN book party

at Face in a Book 

is one week from today: August 3rd 5-7pm! 


For more information about Jim Averbeck go to JimAverbeckBooks.com 

Also, be sure to check back next time to meet the Kinder who grew up to be

actor/writer Shelby Wulfert,

whom you may recognize from the popular Disney show, LIV AND MADDIE.

This gorgeous and talented actor has a story about a kindergarten in India where she did some volunteer work last year…

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 lorimortensen.com.  

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 suefliess.com .


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.