JACK B. NINJA Has Arrived!

JACK B. NINJA is now available in bookstores everywhere! I'm thrilled to have published my first book with Scholastic/Orchard Books with illustrations by Stephen Savage. I've had a chance to read Jack B. Ninja to kids at a handful of events this summer, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Publisher's Weekly says: "Bold, dramatic compositions give this story's illustrations the visual impact of traffic signals... This fast-moving read aloud adventure is just right for a quiet break between ninja practice sessions." 

If you'd like a signed copy, be sure to order through Hicklebees.com.


BITTY BOT'S BIG BEACH GETAWAY is in stores now! Here's the exciting trailer. Enjoy!


From Page to Stage

A few months ago, I overheard Mike Boston, the director of my son's theatre group, say that each year he adapts a classic picture book for kindergarteners to perform at Trace Elementary in San Jose where he teaches. I sheepishly mentioned I was a local writer and he could use one of my books. Mike's eyes lit up. "Let's do it this year!" he said.

Cut to February 28. Sitting with my wife and kids at the Hoover Theatre, our jaws dropped as we watched 90 adorable kinders fill the stage and perform musical adaptations of Bitty Bot, Watersong, and Barnyard Boogie. Each book was hilariously played out in costume and capped off with an original song written and adapted by the school's music director, Jo Anne Warburton. If that weren't enough, the finale was a bouncy number titled "Hey There, Mr. McCanna." I was floored.

Music and theatre are near and dear to my heart, and it was such a wonderful experience to see my children's books used to inspire such fun and creativity on the stage. Many thanks to Mike, Jo Anne, and the talented kids at Trace Elementary.

Click here to watch a highlight video.


BITTY BOT 2: Coming April 24

Hey Bitty Bot fans! Get in the summertime spirit and pre-order BITTY BOT'S BIG BEACH GETAWAY today! Arriving via robot-constructed submarine straight to your front door April 24, 2018. 

(Pre-orders help authors sell more books. Thanks for your support!)


Watersong a NCTE Notable Poetry Book

I was a poet, and didn't know it! What a nice surprise to learn that NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English, named WATERSONG a 2018 Notable Poetry Book. This is a lovely endorsement coming from such a wonderful organization.

WATERSONG's journey has been like a winding river. It started as a trickle (which was my original title: Trickle) when the idea came to me during the 2013 Storystorm picture book idea challenge. Then I wrote out the 56 rhyming words during the 12x12 writing challenge. After the manuscript sold to Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, Richard Smythe threaded in his beautiful illustrations of a fox weathering the storm. The non-fiction back matter, which adds an even deeper level, was included shortly before the book went to print. Little did I know I'd be doing research on ecosystems, rainbows, and watersheds, but it was really rewarding work. Since then, I've had so much fun reading WATERSONG with kids around the Bay Area. And I'm especially proud to hear when teachers say they've used my book as part of their curriculum in the classroom.