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  • Champion's New Shoes

ASPCA Pet Rescue Club

My official bio describes me as “a lifelong lover of beasts and books” and says that whenever possible my work combines the two. My newest project is a perfect example! Champion’s New Shoes is the sixth title in a series of chapter books for ages 7 and up. The ASPCA Pet Rescue Club series follows a group of fourth graders–Janey, Zach, Lolli, and Adam — who make it their mission to help their town’s animals in need. In Champion’s New Shoes, the kids help a disabled yellow Labrador (inspired by a real-life dog from Brooklyn) get prosthetic limbs and learn to walk…

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Winning the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition

When my phone registers an unknown number, I never answer. But when the same number rang twice without leaving a message recently, I became intrigued. I Googled the area code: Cincinnati. I don’t know anyone in Cincinnati. Ignore. Ten minutes later, another call. This time I answered, revved up to tell the caller–whom I assumed to be a telemarketer–to stop pestering me and to take my number off their call list!

The woman on the other end informed me she was calling from Writer’s Digest magazine…

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New books!

I love getting books in the mail, and even better when they’re books that I worked on — like these advance copies of the new Smithsonian Institution young readers series that showed up recently. I wrote one chapter or mini-book in each of these gorgeous, hardcover volumes (my topics: reptiles, nocturnal animals, predators, and sharks). While I’ve been writing about animals for years as editor of Zoo View, the magazine is geared toward adult readers. I had a blast tackling some of the same topics but for a younger audience.

What a privilege to have been asked to contribute to these books! Not only do they bear the impressive “Smithsonian” stamp of approval, each is beautifully designed, and packed full of information and fun facts. (Kudos to the other writers and the graphic designers who worked on these books.) Look for them in stores next month.

“Seriously Amazing!”

That’s the title of one of the books in the Smithsonian Institutions forthcoming series for young readers that I was privileged to contribute to. My mini-books about sharks, nocturnal animals, reptiles, and predators will appear in four separate volumes, all due out in October. They were a blast to research, and I got to write about the wobbegong, an oddball shark I fell in love with a few years ago at a visit to the Georgia Aquarium!

Click here to learn more.

Got a Kindle? Get Monkey Love!

My first novel, Monkey Love and the sequel, Monkey Star, are available on Kindle for just $4.99 each–more than 50% off the paperback price!). Same books, new format, and fabulous new covers designed by my friends at StoryWonk. If you’ve already read both books, consider adding them to your digital library as well — or better yet, spread the monkey love and recommend them to your e-reading friends.

Will Holly Heckerling and her two- and four-legged friends find a new leash on life in Kindle-land? If there’s enough demand, perhaps the third book in the series will finally become a reality.

Chuggington!

My first episode of Chuggington, “Koko on Call,” has been adapted as a children’s book for Scholastic Books! I used to love reading Scholastic Books as a kid, so it is very exciting to have my name in one. In the story, Twiga the giraffe is expecting a baby, and Koko is assigned to keep watch at the Safari Park overnight.

A few of my episodes of Chuggington are now available on DVD! Let’s Ride the Rails features six episodes, including “Koko on Call.” My episode “Mtambo’s Amazing Adventure” is one of six featured on the DVD Chuggers to the Rescue.

You can catch the show weekday mornings on the Disney Channel. Here’s a link to a clip from an episode I wrote called “Wilson’s Wacky Tour.”