It’s been said that any picture book author seeking the happily-ever-after ending of publication and decent sales had better avoid the ogre of serious or detailed educational content. Kids and critics flee from learning via kiddie lit like villagers escaping, well… a rampaging ogre. Yet like any fairytale hero worth her salt, I choose to defy the odds and continue on my perilous journey of writing books designed to both entertain and educate.
My working titles include:
- Dogged Determination – silly & serious fun with the scientific method
- Maggie and the Mailman – a salty old lady bakes up trouble & treats
- The Tooth Fairy Conference – brainy & brawny fairies defeat Plaque Man
Dogged Determination shows that successful research often requires a balance of joyful inquiry and dogged diligence. Any science researcher, editor, or educator interested in getting kids jazzed about science will tell you that asking questions and chasing leads is the secret to motivating and valid science. The cornerstone of such inquiry-based explorations has been the scientific method. Yet students tend to plod thoughtlessly through its steps in hopes of getting the one right right answer as quickly and painlessly as possible. But real science doesn’t work that way! Dogged Determination shows how Thorson the springer spaniel doggedly uses inquiry, persistence, and passion in pursuit of a satisfying game of fetch. The processes of scientific inquiry form the warp and ‘woof’ of this fun-loving pup’s endeavors. Thorson experiments with various techniques and variables, updating his approach after each trial. With each new attempt he learns something helpful and when circumstances play to his advantage, Thorson is quick to adjust his procedures to achieve positive results. Maggie and the Mailman is a three-part book series that mixes the value of multi-generational interactions and public service with the joys of baking. The series offers lessons about friendship, accountability, and honest self-evaluation that are satisfying. Maggie’s spicy point of view keeps her interactions with her community from being anything but sacchrine-y sweet.
The Tooth Fairy Conference tells the minty-fresh tale of Gyweth, a stout-winged tooth fairy who discovers that Plaque Man is plotting to rot children’s teeth everywhere so he can destroy the entire fairy world economy. Gwyneth finds help – both brainy and brawny – at the Flouride Foundation’s Annual Tooth Fairy Conference. The feather-weight heroine and her other-wordly friends buff up their dental hygiene routine with a little economic know-how and drill right through Plaque Man’s skunky, gunky plot. Readers will cheer on Gwyneth and her cohorts as the fairies wield pearls of wisdome to bring Plaque Man to his knees and save their supply of pearly white teeth.