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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!

Sudipta_Nov_2012-008 small (640x429)by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Next year—2014—is going to be a hectic year for me. In January, I’ve got a new book called DUCK DUCK MOOSE releasing, illustrated by the fabulous Noah Z. Jones and published by Hyperion. But that isn’t it for the year! No, I’ve actually got THREE more picture books and a couple novels in the pipeline. It’s going to be quite a year!

I can’t share all the upcoming books with you, but I am thrilled to be able to do this:


That’s right, folks, not just one gorgeous cover, but TWO!

orangutangled cover

Two orangutans reach for some mangoes, fall, and land in a gooey, gummy mess. Other animals join the fray until there’s a big ball of mango-juice-covered animals rolling down a long hill to the ocean—will they be okay? Or will they make a gooey-gummy tiger treat?
Illustrated by Aaron Zenz

snor beauty cover

Tucked in his little bed inside the castle walls, Mouse is eager to get a good night’s sleep before his wedding tomorrow. But just as he begins to drift off, he’s awoken by a tremendous roar. SNOOOOGA-SNOOOOOM! KER-SCHUPPP! Sleeping Beauty is snoring . . . again! When the handsome Prince Max arrives, Mouse thinks he’s found the perfect scheme: He’ll convince the prince to kiss Beauty and wake her up! But when Prince Max learns that Beauty is the one making such monstrous noises, will he still want to kiss her . . . or will he run away from the noisy princess, leaving her snoring for another hundred years?
Illustrated by Jane Manning

Now, these covers are in no way alike at all. BUT…what strikes me about both of them is that they are screaming to be captioned!

What are those tangled Orangutans saying?

What is the Princess thinking as the prince gets closer? Like this:

captioncontest captioncontest2


IN HONOR OF THE DOUBLE REVEAL, I’m happy to announce a new giveaway. Here’s what you have to do—just write a caption for one of these covers and put it into a comment below. We’ll keep it open for 7 days and then I will pick my favorite one. The winner will receive a signed book of his or her choice as soon as the books become available!

Good luck, and I’m looking forward to reading your captions!

Allow me to reveal the cover of THE MONSTORE, my June 2013 picture book illustrated by James Burks!

It’s so fabulous I spend hours staring at it as if I’m a 7th grade dork in love with a 1981 poster of Rick Springfield.

Forget about wishing to be Jessie’s girl, I’d rather be James’s girl, ’cause the dude seriously knows how to whiz-bang-kaPOW a picture book cover. ( Oh, Rick, please don’t take it personally.)

That’s main character Zack front-and-center with his pesky little sister Gracie popping into the frame. The hulking orange guy is Manfred, the flying monster is Mookie, and that’s Mojo with the striped, wiggling arms and crooked horns. Peeper is the little eyeball perched on the Monstore sign, although he isn’t named in the book. He’s James’s invention!

That leaves the red broom guy. And guess what? He doesn’t have a name. Well, he does because James names all the character he draws, but this monster never gets mentioned in the story.

So here’s a monster of a contest for ya: try to guess the name James gave him! If you do, you’ll win an original, autographed monster sketch by the talented Mr. Burks. If no one guesses his correct name, or if there’s more than one correct answer, the ultimate winner will be decided by UPDATE: We’re now giving away TWO sketches because y’all have come up with such great names. One to the person who guesses the name and one random winner chosen from the rest of the entries.

You get one entry for commenting and then one additional entry for each place you share THE MONSTORE cover—blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Just leave a comment letting us know! The contest closes one week from today, so get those monsterly names in!

Hope you love the cover.

And if Rick Springfield is out there, how about playing my book launch party?

Have your people call my monsters.

Winner of the 2018 Irma S. Black Award and the SCBWI Crystal Kite!
black kite

As a children's book author and mother of two, I'm pushing a stroller along the path to publication. I collect shiny doodads on the journey and share them here. You've found a kidlit treasure box.

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My Picture Books


illus by Melissa Crowton
Tundra/PRH Canada
June 4, 2019

illus by Ross MacDonald
Fall 2019

illus by Vivienne To
Spring 2020

illustrator TBA
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Spring 2020

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