The Benefits of Messy Time

The Benefits of Messy Time

When my daughter Olivia was a toddler, her best friend was Will, the two-year-old down the street. Will didn’t say much, so Olivia talked for both of them. He adored trains—his “choo-choos.” All summer before preschool started, we’d spend as many days as we could in Will’s “train yard.” His train yard was a three-by-three-foot

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Screen Time Limits for Children

How to Set Positive Summer Screen-Time Limits for Children

Confession: I’m writing this with three screens in front of me. The laptop I’m typing on, the phone I’m using for an interview, and the iPad playing an episode of The Office like white noise. (The fans blowing in the room aren’t blocking out household sounds, so the folks at Dunder Mifflin are helping do

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Screen time with children

Summer Screen Time Advice for Kids with ASD (and Their Families)

by Dr. Elizabeth Reeve and Elizabeth Verdick, authors of  The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (And Their Parents) Welcome to the summer of 2021! As it has been for everyone, the past year and a half has been challenging and life-changing for those of us caring for someone on the autism spectrum.

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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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