The Best Present Ever!

My editor sent me this present: 

Photo of new books

I’ve got mail!

And I opened it:

The Two Mutch Sisters, Spring 2018 | The Pickwicks’ Picnic, September 2017 | Clarion (both)

Did I mention I love my editor?

Even little Talia was excited, until I came over to take her picture:

Get down off the table, Lil T.

The takeaway is this: No matter what happens in this world, it’s a comfort to think of the innocence and wonder of children and childhood. And cats. 

Cover Love

I used to write for a children’s book cover blog with Julie Larios, Patti Brown and Deirdre Mander called “Jacket Knack.” It’s still up, for the most part–have a look. Anyway, I love book cover art and design, so naturally, I ♥heart♥ the art on my own books. Here’s more about them:



Judy Garland, circa 1938. I think this may be a publicity still; the Wizard of Oz was being filmed around the time of Radio Girl.



Deanna Durbin, sheet music for “I Love to Whistle” from the film Mad About Music.



Radio Girl, Holiday House, 2013. Cover art by Mike Koelsch

Cool, yeah? My editor at Holiday House asked me for some input on what Cece should look like (not every author gets to do that!) so naturally, I suggested that she might look like Deanna Durbin or Judy Garland. Both singer/actresses were about fifteen years old in the fall of 1938, and Cece is fourteen. The illustrator, Mike Koelsch, did an amazing job capturing not only her authentic look but also the earnest expression on her face (with just a little trepidation, maybe?). It’s brilliant!

Now here’s where things get a little weird for me. The cover of my first book, Winnie Finn, Worm Farmer, also has–well, you tell me:


Winnie Finn, illustrated by Ard Hoyt, FSG, 2009

Am I imagining it, or is Winnie‘s cover somewhat similar to Radio Girl’s? In the pose? The hair? No?

BUT WAIT! It gets a little weirder • • • Mike Koelsch was also one of the illustrators of the amazing Earthworm Jim character. I kid you not.