BITTY BOT's Kirkus Review

BITTY BOT received its first review this week, and it came from Kirkus! I'm happy (and so relieved) that it was resoundingly positive:

"What happens when robots wind down? Do they actually sleep? Yep, they do, according to this charmer with a mechanical twist. Told in jaunty, rollicking rhymes that are enlivened by colorful, humorous digital illustrations, this robot version of a bedtime story demonstrates that, no matter how energetic a little “bot” may be, there inevitably comes a time when batteries are running low!"

"Young techies may or may not want to zoom into bed right after listening, but they’ll be more than a little “bitty” ready for repeat readings."

You can read the entire review, which includes a neat little nod to Star Wars (Woo!) at https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/tim-mccanna/bitty-bot/.

WATERSONG cover reveal!

What a treat to share the gorgeous cover for Watersong, with illustrations by Richard Smythe. And being the typography junky that I am, I especially like the little wave that is formed by the connection between the R and S. This beautiful book comes out January 31, 2017 and is available for pre-order now.


Read About Robots

My childhood was filled with robots from TV and film: R2-D2 and C-3PO from Star Wars, Twiggy from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Maximilian from The Black Hole, Bubo from Clash of the Titans, Rosey from The Jetsons, B-9 from Lost in Space, and Mechagodzilla from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla rounded out the all-stars.

So naturally, when I first started writing books for kids, one of my earliest manuscripts was a rhyming robot picture book. Five years later, Bitty Bot (gloriously illustrated by Tad Carpenter) will be published by Simon & Schuster / Paula Wiseman Books in October 2016. Two other robot books for kids are coming out this year as well. Peter Brown's middle grade novel, The Wild Robot, releases in April, and Miranda Paul's Trainbots, with illustrations by Shane McG releases in June.

That got me thinking about all the bots from books that preceded ours--the Tik-Toks, Robot Zots, and Iron Giants of the world. And boy, are there a lot. Until now, all those robot books have been scattered willy-nilly across the internet. Well, I'm pleased to announce the launch of READ ABOUT ROBOTS, a new website celebrating 150 years of robot books. That's right, people were writing books about steam-powered metal men back in the 1800s! Along with a growing chronological gallery of over 100 robot book covers, we'll have monthly articles, interviews, a robot drawing contest for kids, and more. Plus, on October 11th, we're celebrating Read About Robots Day. Stay tuned!

You can dive into this amazing world of literary robots at http://readaboutrobots.tumblr.com/. And be sure to Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/readaboutrobots/.


BITTY BOT Cover Reveal!

I am so happy to finally share Tad Carpenter's beautiful and delightful cover art for BITTY BOT, my first picture book with Simon & Schuster / Paula Wiseman Books!

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but forget that. I can only promise that it's merely the tip of the robot iceberg. Every page inside BITTY BOT is filled to the brim with Tad's incredible, colorful artwork, including tons of super fun details for young readers to discover. I just can't wait to read this book aloud with kids! Aaaah! WARNING. WARNING. EXCITEMENT OVERLOAD.

BITTY BOT touches down October 4, 2016 at a bookstore near you.


12/5 is National Ninja Day Story Time

Ninjas. They're awesome. Kids and adults love them. There's even a whole sub-genre of ninja picture books that include titles like The Three Ninja Pigs, Ninja Baby, My Grandma's a Ninja, and Ninja, Ninja, Never Stop!

Well, it just so happens that December 5th is National Ninja Day, and a group of crafty ninja picture book authors and illustrators have joined forces, creating a super team to cross-promote each other's books and celebrate ninjas. The result is National Ninja Day Story Time. On December 5th, kids, parents, librarians, and booksellers across the country will be cracking open ninja picture books and reading them together. How cool is that?

Alas, my own ninja picture book, Jack B. Ninja (Scholastic) with illustrations by Stephen Savage, won't be available until Fall 2017. I gotta wait TWO YEARS to jump in on this action?! Patience, Grasshopper. Your ninja day will come.

In the meantime, I'll be reading the ninja books we've got at home with the kids and practicing my karate kicks.

  • Click here to learn more about NNDST. They've got great ideas and free downloadable resources for your own celebrations--big or small.
  • Check out the very cool ninja book list the folks at All the Wonders created here.
  • Read the Publisher's Weekly article on NNDST here.