Monday, June 13th, 2016
in Shakopee, MN tomorrow!
There's a Ten Pigs Trunk Show tomorrow in Shakopee! The Ten Pigs Trunk Show is not just a book signing. And it's not just a drawing demonstration. This is a fun show with acting, crazy props and interactive, playful fun. Oh, and of course there's reading and drawing.
This event is the perfect price- it's free! And, of course, it's open to the public. Grab your kids and come to Shakopee Library tomorrow morning for some summertime fun with books. Here are the details...
Tuesday, June 14th
235 Lewis Street South
Shakopee, MN 55379
Here are a couple more pics from our Ten Pigs Trunk Show in Stillwater in March...
Many thanks to Angie Petrie, James, and the whole gang at Stillwater Public Library for a terrific day!
Wednesday, June 8th, 2016
on International Literacy Association’s
Children’s Choices 2016 Reading List!
Each year 12,500 school children ages 5-12 from around the United States read newly published children’s and young adult books and vote for the ones they like best. Selected from more than 900 titles, this list can be counted on as books children really enjoy reading. This list is a joint project between the International Literacy Association and the Children’s Book Council.
I'm so honored that Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure is included on the list for Beginning Readers! Many thanks to the International Literacy Association, the Children’s Book Council and to kids all around the United States.
The pigs and I salute you!
To read the complete Children's Choices 2016 Reading List, click HERE.
To get yourself a copy of Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure, click HERE.
Wednesday, June 1st, 2016
Hot Rod Hamster on Parade in South Dakota!
One of the exciting things about creating characters and stories for children's books is seeing how they impact young readers out in the world. I don't get to see everything, but it's extra special when something comes across my desk about one of my characters.
This second grader made the newspaper in Yankton, South Dakota recently for his Hot Rod Hamster float and costume! Each year the first and second graders at Lincoln Elementary School in Yankton build floats and costumes to celebrate their favorite books and characters. Nice job, Alex Swihart!
To see the newspaper piece in the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan, please click HERE.
Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
Ten Hungry Pigs is HERE!
Full of Peanut Butter, Jelly and Fun,
the NEW Book is out in the world!
We can all probably agree that certain foods just don't go together. My wife, Cheryl, doesn't like ketchup on anything. I, on the other hand, eat ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce or a delicious condiment of some sort on nearly everything! I love all kinds of different foods- from peanut butter and jelly to pickles, peas and macaroni and cheese. But I would never, ever eat them all together!
Ten Hungry Pigs is about one nice pig and his trusty duck friend who just want to enjoy a peanut butter and jelly snack between them. When ten more pigs come along adding their own favorite foods, this snack takes one terribly awful turn. But wait, that makes eleven! There are only ten pigs, aren't there? Pick up a copy of Ten Hungry Pigs and a snack to pig out on. This book is serious, foody fun!
A few words from the reviews...
"... Little ones will chuckle and snort reading about the gross flavor combinations and watching the once-simple sandwich rapidly grow into a "tower of muck." - Booklist
"... A snack-time (and storytime) treat." - Kirkus Reviews
Scroll down for details about signing events in Minnesota and Iowa!
Can't make it to an event? To purchase Ten Hungry Pigs from an independent bookstore near you, click HERE.
To order a copy of Ten Hungry Pigs online, click HERE.
Thursday, May 5th, 2016
The Ten Hungry Pigs Events!
Come and Help Launch the HUNGRY Pigs
on their Delicious Publishing Journey...
I'm sorry but pickles do NOT go with peanut butter and jelly! Why would anyone spoil a perfectly good peanut butter and jelly snack with pickles? Just wait, it gets so much worse! This is just one of the many problems in my new book Ten Hungry Pigs.
I LOVE sharing my books with young readers, their parents, grandparents and all children's book enthusiasts! We have some fun events planned for Ten Hungry Pigs in May. The book officially pubs on Tuesday, May 10th. And I'll be at Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul on Saturday, May 14th to celebrate the release of this crazy, fun new book. And in Ames, Iowa the following Saturday. Here are all the juicy details...
Saturday, May 14th
Red Balloon Bookshop
891 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN
Saturday, May 21st
Iowa State University Book Store
I will be presenting this delicious new book at each event, reading, drawing and signing.
If you're in town, please stop by and say hello!
Thursday, April 7th, 2016
Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure
is now available in Spanish!
I love to get packages from my publisher! Diez Cerdos arrived today! Now you can enjoy Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure in Spanish! Many thanks to my friends at Scholastic for the fun package!
Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
There's a NEW Book Coming in May!
Ten Hungry Pigs is a fun, feisty followup
to Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure
I had so much fun making Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure, I wasn't ready to leave their curly tailed world when I finished that book. I was talking with my editor one day and he asked if I had any other ideas. I did! Food is a part of every life, every single day and it's so personal. We all have foods we like, don't like and will downright refuse no matter how hungry we are! I was a picky eater when I was little, so it was fun to come up with something that played with that very idea. And it fit perfectly with the personalities and characters I'd already created for the first book.
Like anybody would be, our Pig Hero is a little jumpy after what happened to him in Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure. So when he and his Ducky friend decide to fix a peanut butter and jelly snack, he doesn't really want any other pigs horning in on his feast. But what fun would that be? The other pigs have their own ideas for what makes a good snack. You probably won't be surprised to find out that not only trouble, but food ensues. It was so much fun to come up with all the foods that don't go with peanut butter and jelly! Get ready- the foody fun in Ten Hungry Pigs will be published on May 10th by Scholastic/Orchard Books.
I will post more about the launch events for it soon. But mark your calendars... Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minnesota will be on Saturday, May 14th and Iowa State University Bookstore in Ames, Iowa will be on Saturday, May 21st.
Stay tuned for more...
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
More FUN from the Trunk Shows!
There's another show this Friday in Stillwater, MN!
The Trunk Shows have been an absolute blast! It has been SO nice to meet young readers, their parents and all the fabulous librarians in Wyoming, Pine City, Princeton, Woodbury, Cottage Grove and Forest Lake. But we're just getting started! The next show is this week...
Friday, March 25th
Stillwater Public Library
224 3rd Street North
Stillwater, MN 55082
Do I do any acting in the Trunk Shows? Why YES, I DO do some acting. Thank you for asking...
And I give very lively readings of Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure!
Getting some Trunk Show assistance from the terrific Sahar and some young friends attending the Trunk Show in Woodbury, Minnesota...
The kids all want to hold the props for photos after the show. The rubber ducky is very popular! This little lady in Cottage Grove would have liked to have taken the ducky home with her.
This is a very energetic show. I've been known to bounce around during the show. Please don't tell me to act my age. Anybody that knows me well knows that's just not going to happen.
It's always a fun surprise when the wolf arrives at the Trunk Show. The kids are never quite sure and sometimes the librarians aren't either. My lovely assistant in Forest Lake, Andrea Hermanson, was even caught off guard when the wolf paw showed up!
These young ladies are sisters. Gabriela (right) and Elena each knew exactly what they wanted to hold in their picture...
This young lady couldn't wait to try on the pirate earring after the show. It fit her perfectly!
My wife, Cheryl, even joined in the fun in Woodbury!
Special thanks to my library assistants- Sahar at Stafford Library in Woodbury,
Sue at Park Grove Library in Cottage Grove and Andrea at Hardwood Creek Library in Forest Lake.
You all helped make the shows extra special!
There are many more shows coming up all around the state of Minnesota.
Find one near you on the Once Upon a Reader website HERE.
I hope to see you soon!
Friday, March 11th, 2016
The Trunk Shows have begun...
and there are three more this weekend!
I've already been out in the Minnesota libraries performing the first Once Upon a Reader Trunk Shows for my book Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure. I was in Wyoming, Minnesota on Tuesday where the lovely Miss Sara (below left) was my apprentice and helped me demonstrate a story for our audience. And then I was off to Pine City where the fabulous Miss Heidi (below bottom) lent her talents to this crazy circus of a show.
On Wednesday I danced in Princeton with a wolf paw on my hand (if you've read Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure, you'll have a pretty good idea why). Mr. Steve lent a hand holding the pigs' rubber duck, beach ball, surfboard, fishing pole and more! Besides reading my book Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure, there's creativity, fun with characters and drawing in every show.
There are more shows coming up this weekend!
Saturday, March 12th
8595 Central Park Place
Woodbury, MN 55125
Park Grove Library
7900 Hemingway Avenue South
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Sunday, March 13th
Hardwood Creek Library
19955 Forest Rd. N.
Forest Lake, MN 55025
If you're in the area, stop by, check out the show and say hello!
To see the entire calendar of shows through October, please click HERE.
Friday, March 4th, 2016
The Once Upon a Reader Trunk Shows
begin next week!
As you can see from the props gathering in my studio, this Trunk Show is serious business! Seriously FUN! Get ready, the Once Upon a Reader Trunk Shows begin next week. I'll be reading my book Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure, talk all about creating and even do a little acting in libraries all over the state of Minnesota between now and October. You can see the full schedule of shows to find one near you on the Once Upon a Reader website HERE.
Here are the shows coming up next week...
Tuesday, March 8th
Wyoming Area Library
26855 Forest Blvd.
Wyoming, MN 55092
Pine City Public Library
300 5th Street SE
Pine City, MN 55063
Wednesday, March 9th
Princeton Area Library
100 S. 4th Avenue
Princeton, MN 55371
Saturday, March 12th
R.H. Stafford Library
Central Park Amphitheater
8595 Central Park Pl
Woodbury, MN 55125
Park Grove Library
7900 Hemingway Ave S
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Sunday, March 13th
Hardwood Creek Library
19955 Forest Rd N
Forest Lake, MN 55025
All shows are free and open to the public. Whether you want to hear a story, get your book signed or just watch me jumping around in a Derby hat, please stop by and say hello!
Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
It's National Pig Day,
Which is a perfect day to announce...
There's a new PIGGY BOOK on the way!
I hope you have a BIG appetite. There's a BRAND NEW piggy book on the way!
When Pig and his duck set out to make a perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich, ten more pigs soon come along adding pancakes, peas, macaroni and cheese and more. Sometimes a pig just wants his snack the way he wants it. You're going to want to PIG out on this book, it's delicious!
This book was so much fun to make! Ten Hungry Pigs will be published by Scholastic/Orchard Books and is coming to bookstores everywhere in May.
Happy National PIG Day!
Monday, February 22nd, 2016
TEN PIGS: An Epic Bath Adventure
The pigs and I are busy getting ready for the Once Upon a Reader Trunk Shows! We're rehearsing our parts, gathering props, stocking up on bubble bath and loading the bathtub for the Trunk Shows that will be taking place all across the state of Minnesota!
The first shows are on Tuesday, March 8th at Wyoming Area Library and Pine City Public Library and Wednesday, March 9th at Princeton Area Library. To learn more about Once Upon a Reader and to find a Trunk Show near you, please click HERE.
Monday, February 15th, 2016
Get ready for
ONCE UPON A READER!
and other news...
Sound the horns! Or at least give your tuba a toot! I'm thrilled to announce that Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure was chosen by Once Upon a Reader as their title for 2016. Once Upon a Reader is a Minnesota one-book program that focuses on children's literature and, through programs, trunk shows and activities, encourages literacy in young children.
This is the second year they've held this program (last year featured the terrific book Moo by David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka).
Between March and October this year I will be traveling all over the state of Minnesota performing Trunk Shows around my book Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure. The show will be a fun mix of reading, drawing, and creating characters and stories through imaginative play. There will be music by the amazing Tom Lieberman created especially for this book and show.
How will I ever fit a rubber duck, a beachball, a boat and a surfboard in my car? Come and see! We're planning some serious fun. The Trunk Shows begin on March 8th! You can read much more about Once Upon a Reader and find a Trunk Show near you on their website HERE.
Special thanks to the Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators, the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library. There's an amazing team behind this program!
And in other news...
Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure was named a finalist for the 2016 Minnesota Book Awards in the children's literature category. I'm not sure where I'm going to find ten piggy-sized neckties so the pigs can attend the awards ceremony in April, but I'll get shopping...
Hooray for the pigs!
Tuesday, January 26th, 2016
There's a Brand New
HOT ROD HAMSTER Reader
out in the world today!
Hot Rod Hamster Meets His Match! is officially out in the world today! Published by Scholastic Press, this is the seventh book in our speedy Hamster's series (and the fourth beginning reader). In this book, Hot Rod Hamster and his friends venture to a water park where our hero meets a girl hamster that likes to do everything as fast as he does. And he'll need a partner if he's going to take on two big dogs in a race down the water slide. Hot Rod Hamster never backs down from a chance to race and he doesn't disappoint in this book, once again written by the fabulous Cynthia Lord.
Hot Rod Hamster, his best friend, Dog, and those three misbehaving mice have grown into quite a series of rip-roaring adventures. You can find them at your local bookstore or online by clicking HERE.
For those of you that are regular visitors, you may have noticed a bit of a format change to this page. I'm always exploring the possibilities to find what works best. I needed a little more elbow room for illustrations and sketches, so I did a little redesign for 2016. We'll see how this works. You can always find old posts by clicking on the link below.
Thanks, as always, for reading!