Diapers Are Not Forever

June Is Potty-Training Awareness Month . . . Who Knew?

June is a perfect month to share toilet-training tips, because it is officially Potty-Training Awareness Month. As it happens, I’ve been thinking a lot about diapers—and not just because my geriatric dog now wears them. My nearly three-year-old nephew Andrew has recently taken the potty-training plunge. His parents, first-timers, were pleased to report that the

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How to Help Young Children Build Resilience

My favorite photos of my little sister’s preschool years are the ones where she has food on her head. Spaghetti, chocolate ice cream, breakfast cereal—anything in a bowl became her hat. She loved to roll in the mud and run in the rain. Coloring, she’d get marker all over her smiling face. Playing outside, she’d

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Octopus by Brian Biggs

Meet Biker and Book Illustrator Brian Biggs

Here’s the scoop on Brian Biggs, an artist, a children’s book illustrator, and an avid biker. He illustrated my picture book Bike & Trike. He’s a colorful character, like the ones he draws. I loved interviewing him and learning more about his rides and creative side. How many miles did you bike last year? I

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grandmother Glenda Greve, 1944

Why I Write

My friend and colleague asked me a simple question: Why do you write? I paused—for a lonnnnng time. The easy answer was, “It’s my job. Also, writing makes me happy.” But that only touched the surface. Sometimes, writing makes me very unhappy because I can’t seem to put into words—the right words—what I’m really trying

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The Small Walt Trucks

A Trio of Trucks

  One of the best moments as a children’s book author is seeing the illustrations created by an artist who has taken your words and made them into something much bigger. When that happened for my story Small Walt, I was surprised and delighted to see Walt and his world come to life on the

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Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves

You Write Books with … Messages?

Yes. Yes I do. Sure, I know there’s a whole school of thought that says “sharing a message” in a children’s book is something to avoid. That children will learn more, feel more, by reading books—stories—that evoke an emotional response and increase empathy through strong characterization and vivid language. Yes. Yes that’s true. But.… Sometimes children,

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Too Much Whining While Waiting

Too Much Whining While Waiting? Tips to Foster Patience in Children

Do you know Veruca Salt? She’s the spoiled, impatient young girl from Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was made into the classic Willy Wonka movie. Veruca is terribly demanding: “Hey, Mummy! . . . I’ve decided I want a squirrel. Get me one of those squirrels!” In the movie, she

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Washing hands

This Is the Way We Wash Our Hands …

Jimmy Fallon’s new song is helping Americans tune in to the importance of fighting viruses: “Wash your hands, wash your hands, do not touch your face.” He strums his guitar, crooning that if we follow these guidelines, “Then the world would be a better place.” He wrote the song for his young daughters and shared

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