THERE IS NO CHARGE TO BE LISTED on this blog, however I do ask for a reciprocal link. (To my OWN website, www.kimnormanbooks.com, not this author-by-state site. Why invite competition on your own site, right?) Unless you're lucky enough to own more than one home, I can only list you in your home state, (I make exceptions for a few close friends) but I feel confident that visitors also check lists in neighboring states.
MY DEFINITION OF "TRADITIONALLY PUBLISHED"...If you're with a publisher you know I'll recognize, (established pros will know) then... not to worry. Write to me and I'll add you. If you have any doubts, CLICK THIS LINK and scroll down to a list approved on SCBWI's Publishers Market Survey. If you see your publisher on this list, write to me. If not, then you're with a publisher that's too obscure to be added to this site. I'm sorry to make this distinction, but I don't want the lists to become so lengthy that the site loses its original intent: to save educators time when "shopping" for an author.

Teacher creativity

I'm constantly astounded by the creativity shown by educators in schools that I visit. When I visited Hudson Maxim Elementary School in Hopatcong, NJ, I was greeted by rows upon rows of delightfully decorated doors using my various books as a theme. Here's just one of them. (Hope to show more later!) This class not only decorated a beautiful door, they also used the text of my IF IT'S SNOWY AND YOU KNOW IT, CLAP YOUR PAWS as inspiration to write their own, spring-themed song, since my visit was in April. In case you can't read it, here are the stanzas:

If it's sunny and you know it, fly your kite.
You can fly it at the park, but not at night.
If it's sunny and you know it,
Get some bubbles, you can blow it.
If it's snowy and you know it, fly your kite.

If it's hot and very sunny, you can swim.
You can find seashells and put them in a bin.
If you're really hot and thirsty,
you can get yourself a smoothie,
If it's hot and very sunny, you can swim.

Not only did they write this cute, warm-weather related song, they made a VIDEO, so I got to seem them in action, singing the song.

I was blown away by the creativity at this school. It was so much fun!

Kim Norman

Learn how to host an awesome author visit. Check out this step-by-step list of great tips by clicking here.

Meeting the kids...

I'm late posting this, since the visit happened last spring, but I just wanted to share a photo of myself posing with a dear little girl named Rochelle. She made the sweetest card for me. We nearly missed meeting each other at an evening event for Arlington Public Schools (Virginia), but luckily I'm a slow poke, so I was still there when she arrived at teensy bit late. I'm so glad we met. (And I'm so jealous of her purple boots!)

Crazy busy school visit season!

It's been a busy season of school visits. Since spring started, besides Virginia schools, I've also visited New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio and BOTH Carolinas. Whew! But I'm glad to do it. I'm building a collection of refrigerator magnets from each state I visit. It's getting to be a nice collection! (If a trifle tacky. Ha!)

Here's an article that just appeared on the Cincinnati.com newspaper website about my visit, earlier this week, to Kentucky. (Click here.) Had a lot of fun with students at White's Tower Elementary there in Independence.

Had a great time, the next day, with 100-plus bubbly 2nd graders at Endeavor Elementary School in West Chester, Ohio. Besides a large assembly, we also did writing workshops -- 2 classes at a time -- of my "Explode the Mo" workshop, about adding "slow motion" details to revisions. I enjoyed reading the kids' stories. (Well, really, hearing students read them aloud.) Everyone seemed to enjoy the workshop, especially popping balloons, (EXLODING the moment... get it? har har!) and watching a funny, slow-motion video of a goofy little dog chasing a Frisbee.

I know a lot of folks (some who are great friends) who are fine writers for children. This year, yet again, I have met a lot of writers who ARE children! As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing."

A very good thing.

Kim Norman


Thank you, Texas Library Association!

Awesome news! I KNOW A WEE PIGGY has made the 2013 Texas "2x2" Reading List. "The Texas 2X2 Reading List is a project of the Children’s Round Table, a unit of the Texas Library Association, and it is comprised of enriching titles recommended for children age 2 to grade 2. The Texas Library Association sponsors the Texas 2X2 Reading List solely to encourage free voluntary reading."

This is how I feel about it!


KIM NORMAN

Here's my latest book, THE GREAT CHRISTMAS CRISIS, published by Sterling Children's Books and illustrated by the talented Jannie Ho. It's a sequel (of sorts) to THE GREAT REINDEER rebellion, written by the late Lisa Trumbauer, published by Sterling in 2009.

Both books are fun and funny (if I do say so myself!) but they're also lush and fun to hold, with embossed illustrations on every page, spot varnished to give each layout a 3-D effect that kids will love to touch. Kind of like fancy old Christmas cards.

Here's a round-up of the latest reviews from mom bloggers around the country. Thanks, moms!

December 9      5 Minutes for Books—Reviewed in Xmas roundup

December 4      Jumpin Beans—Review

December 4      Reviewed by Mom—Review:
“This book is adorable.  It is cute and fun and it was a slam dunk hit with my three children.”

November 30     Bergers Book Reviews

November 24     Picture Book Reviews—Review




To quote Santa on the last page of my book: "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good laugh!"

Kim Norman

David DeVries "Monster Engine" featured on my favorite show!


Recently, I have corresponded with David DeVries, author of the insanely clever MONSTER ENGINE book, which is described thusly on David's site: The Monster Engine is an eleven year art project which has grown into an internet phenomenon. Released in June of 2005, The Monster Engine attracted 17 million hits in the first month and continues to get 1/2 million hits per month and is linked to over a 12,000 blogs worldwide--all on word of mouth with no advertising.

Wow, he has my admiration for all those hits. (And even a little envy.) He DEFINITELY has my envy about an amazing segment about him and his book that appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, which is my favorite show. (Really. I'm not kidding. It's my favorite!)

Click HERE to view the show segment. Truly uplifting and entertaining.

Learn more HERE, on David's Monster Engine site.

Kim Norman

Terri Murphy has art, will travel!

I'm proud of my friend and colleague, Terri Murphy, who has been experiencing a lot of well-deserved success of late. You can read my June 2012 interview of Terri Murphy HERE, but please allow me to brag about her one more time. Terri snagged the plum assignment of illustrating some of the Illinois Library Association's Have Book-Will Travel!, iREAD®'s 2013 theme posters. You're looking at one of them now. I love Terri's distinctive style of illustration. It's so strong that I always recognize it, wherever I see it. And now, Terri featured in the ILA's newsletter. Way to go, Terri! (Read the article.)

She says, "If your school or library ever wants to book an illustrator, you know who to call: Have art, will travel!"

Learn more about Terri Murphy and her illustrator presentations HERE, on her Web site.

Meet Children's Book Author Becky Hall!

I just discovered that my friend, children's book author Becky Hall, has a lovely new Web site. (Click Becky's name in the opening sentence to visit the site.) Becky is a long-time colleague and critique group pal, and also is an elementary school librarian, so she has always been my go-to gal for all questions related to libraries and librarians.
A is for Arches Becky Hall is the author of A is for Arches, an alphabet book published by Sleeping Bear Press, about her home state of Utah. The governor's wife chose to hold Becky's book in her hands for her official portrait. (How cool is that?!) Becky has authored another book for Sleeping Bear, this time a counting book about Utah, entitled 1, 2, I'll Show You... Utah. The book is currently in production.

Becky is also the author of Morris and Buddy, a biography of Morris Frank, the brave man who brought the first Seeing Eye Dog to America in the early 20th century. As you can see from these photos, Becky is a dog lover, so it was a perfect topic for her to tackle. And tackle it, she did! Morris and Buddy is a delightful read that I'm proud to display on the shelf of books written by members of my critique group.





A pleasant ramble with illustrator Terri Murphy


Kim: Congratulations, Terri, on illustrating another spectacular picture book.  Tell us a bit about ONE DAY I WENT RAMBLING. 
Terri: Thank you Kim.  It’s a story written by author Kelly Bennett about a highly imaginative boy, Zane, who “rambles” by finding the extraordinary in everyday objects.  His creative declarations and repurposed treasures cause him to be the subject of ridicule among his neighborhood friends, but undaunted, he perseveres. One by one, the kids come over to his way of seeing the world, and together, they build something fantastic.
Kim: What did you find interesting or challenging about illustrating this story?
Terri:  The author, Kelly Bennett, knows how to write a story that suggests, then leaves a lot of room for an illustrator’s interpretation.  She purposefully never states where all the rambling in ONE DAY I WENT RAMBLING takes place. It stretches across several days, so I was able to set it in an inner-city neighborhood, and let the gang venture out from backyards to front stoops, to the zoo, the beach and to an empty lot in all their adventures.
Kim:  I love that you chose to set this in the inner city.  What contributed to this decision?
Terri:  Part of it was that I grew up in the inner city, in a very diverse low-income neighborhood in Chicago. We didn’t have gaming systems to keep us occupied (our games came in cardboard boxes), so we spent a lot of time outdoors playing and pretending.  I also felt it was important to give a nod to all those kids who don’t live in the idyllic countryside featured in so many picture books and to the creative impulses that beckon them.
Kim:  At first Zane’s friends don’t get him.  They make fun of him and his treasures.  Can you tell us a bit about how you decided to show this visually? 
Terri:  Sure.  I immediately saw the conflict here as thinking outside the box vs. thinking inside the box.  To show this, all of Zane’s wild imaginings are full-color, double spreads, full bleed.  When he brings his treasures back to the group and is shunned, those are small boxed illustrations, all the color has been removed, except for Zane and his pet chameleon, who manage to hold on to a tint.
Kim:  Oh yes, the chameleon!  What a great choice for a pet, and once again, it doesn’t appear in text, only in pictures.  Why a chameleon?
Terri:  A lot my time in creating a picture book is spent thinking, and what-if’ing.  I asked, “What if Zane had a pet?”  In researching other popular kids' gangs, Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts,” Scooby Doo, the black-and-white “Our Gang” movies...there was always a pet to help express emotion, usually a dog.  But Zane wouldn’t have a dog...he’d have a chameleon! In the illustrations, the chameleon changes color to the child who expresses the most imaginative thought...usually Zane, but later, the other kids start playing along. 
Kim:  Any last thoughts on Rambling... and are you available for school visits?
Terri:  Yes, Kim, I’m available. I already kicked off the school tour with a fun visit to an inner-city Chicago magnet school dedicated to arts appreciation. Could there have been a better fit? And my last thought on Rambling.... the author and I ask the reader to play along on the last page of the book, to use their imagination and guess at what is shown.  That’s how we ramble!


ONE DAY I WENT RAMBLING can be purchased at www.brightskypress.com.
To see more illustrations from Terri, visit www.terrimurphyart.com
To enter in a drawing for an original illustration from the book during its blog tour, visit here for instructions:  http://terrimurphy.typepad.com/mermaid_waves/

Read Kim Norman's own review of One Day I Went Rambling HERE, on her blog.