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You’re in the giving mood and so am I!

littleredglidinghood Bear Book final cover monstorefrontcover

If you are giving one of my books for the holidays, email me at tarakidlit at gmail dot com. I’ll send you an address to send me a SASE. I’ll send you back a personalized, signed bookplate (or two or three…however many you need).

Alternatively, you can call The Bookworm at 908-766-4599 to place an order and I’ll sign the books directly, wrap them and ship ’em off from the store.

Bonus–if you’re giving LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD, you get a bookplate signed by both illustrator Troy Cummings and me!


Also, if you’re an independent bookseller, I can send a buncha LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD bookplates for your books in stock. So send me an email!

But act fast! We’ve got 9 days until Christmas!

(Side note: when do we start the “12 Days of Christmas”? Is it the 12 days leading up to Christmas, the 12 days including and after, or what? I never fully understood this…)

How to Write (2)

I’ve written a buncha fractured fairy tales and two are available this year: I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK and LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD. (That was totally unplanned! The picture book gods arranged it.)

Bear Book final cover littleredglidinghood

In the video below, I offer my favorite tips for creating your own fractured fairy tales, whether you’re a kidlit writer, a teacher/educator or a 2nd grader. Below that is a PDF version with more tips and a link to a Pinterest board of more than 100 suggested fractured fairy tale picture books.

It’s a fractured fairy tale flurry of fabulousness! (Interestingly, none of my tips have to do with alliteration.)


How to Write a Fractured Fairy Tale PDF:


Fractured Fairy Tale Picture Books Pinterest:


Teachers, leave a comment about your favorite fractured fairy tale and I’ll randomly select FIVE commenters for a FREE CLASSROOM SKYPE VISIT! I’m in a land far, far away but you’ll remember our Skype visit happily ever after! (Bwaaa haaa haaa!)

Contest ends September 21st and visits will be scheduled for October.

Good luck!

I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK, released last week (!!!!!), tells a fractured fairytale only in dialogue…which I wouldn’t normally recommend, because the speech bubbles can obscure illustrations. But if you’re working with the genius that is Benji Davies, you don’t have to worry. Because somehow, he fits it all in! And it’s all gorgeous, dahlinks!

This book took four years to come to print—like a fine bouillabaisse, it simmered long. (Sorry, I just heard that on TV and guffawed, so I had to use it.)

Here’s one of my favorite spreads of the book turned into a coloring page. It’s a quick PDF download. Click it, print it out, share it, make up dialogue for Prince Zilch and Papa Bear! What are they saying? (Is it something about the tourists posting to Instagram? I dunno, they don’t look like millenials to me.)



And now…onto some winnahs…

First, let me say this to everyone who has bought the book, shared it and otherwise helped spread the word:

Merci Buckets (1)

See, my buckets overfloweth! (Overfloweth = what I think Gwyneth should have named Apple.)

It takes a village to sell a book, and I’m grateful!

Bear Book final cover

Here are the winners of a signed, personalized I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK from my Facebook author page and PiBoIdMo group contest:


Congratulations! I’ll be contacting you shortly to arrange delivery!

Well, now I must bid you a fair adieu because I’m taking a little blogging break. (Honestly, if I can stay away for three days, I’ll be flabbergasted. Like you were reading the “fine bouillabaisse” line above.)


GONE FISHING! (To make this, of course!)

Another sunny summer morning! I hope you’ve got a cuppa java or your favorite AM liquid mojo and you’re settling into a day of writing.

As promised, here are the two winners for debut author Maria Gianferrari’s PENNY & JELLY book and critique giveaway!

Penny and Jelly

Book Winner:


Critique Winner:


Congratulations! I’ll be emailing you shortly!

Now, onto some shenanigans…

This week I did a bookstore appearance.


Now, I debated if I should post this publicly. It doesn’t look so good for me, does it? It’s downright embarrassing!

But I wanted to let aspiring authors know that THESE THINGS HAPPEN. Sometimes, on a sunny Monday afternoon in the summer (or a crisp autumn Saturday, or a frigid winter morning, or an ordinary Wednesday evening) people just don’t show up.

Every author has had this happen to them at one time or another. You laugh it off. And you go on.

But you also remember that once you have a book published, it doesn’t mean people will come rushing to see you. Most people don’t know who you are. And they probably don’t care. You MUST have another reason, besides having a published book, for appearing at a bookstore. A book is not enough to bring people in to see you. Offer something you know your readers will want. Add value. Add other authors. Add games, activities, a writing workshop, SOMETHING.

I posted this picture on my Facebook timeline this week and received over a hundred responses, mostly from other authors and illustrators saying, “Been there, done that.” You see, IT HAPPENS. (It’s like a break-up cliché: “It’s not you; it’s them.”)

Also on Facebook this week, PiBoIdMo participants suggested adding writing prompt videos to this year’s challenge, so I’m seriously thinking about it!


If you have suggestions for this year’s PiBoIdMo, I hope you’ll share them in the comments.

In the meantime, here’s a Kidlit.TV video that I filmed on Monday, the HOTTEST day of the year. OUTSIDE. (What was I thinking?) It contains behind-the-scenes secrets about I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK, which releases in 12 days, not that I’m counting or anything. LOL.

Bear Book final cover

Enjoy your summer weekend, everyone. And stay tuned because more giveaways are happening very soon!

Happy Mother’s Day to my mama-writer friends. What you do every day is amazing! You created kids…and now you create stories!

And what I just did is amazing, too. I gave birth to a new book cover!

(Well, really, Benji Davies did.)

I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK releases in August 2015 from Aladdin/Simon & Schuster. But you can catch a glimpse of the alien-bear mayhem right here, right now:

Bear Book final cover

Many thanks to my very cool editor, Alyson Heller, and art director, Karin Paprocki, at Aladdin. And of course, none of this would be possible without über-agent Ammi-Joan Paquette.

More sneak peeks to come soon. I promise you a cute bear tushy.

Have a great day, Mama Bears!

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