floral doodle
My life is books. Always, always books.



  • 40 years full-time children’s book writer
  • 165 children’s and young adult books published

Honors and Recognition:

  • 46 books translated into 12 languages
  • Booklist Starred Review, School Library Journal Starred Review, ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers, New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Book, Best Science Book, CBC Notable Children’s Social Studies Book, Pick of the List, New York Public Library Best 100 Book, Book-of-the-Month Club Selection, Smithsonian Notable Book, IRA Children’s Choice, IRA Teacher’s Choice, Independent Publisher Silver Medal, Independent Publisher Honorable Mention, Virginia Young Readers, Show Me State Readers, Prairie State Readers, Sunshine State Readers, Northern California Librarians Distinguished  Book, Chicago Public Library Best of the Best, William Allen White Nominee, Texas Bluebonnet Nominee, Cybils Nominee, and Junior Library Guild Selection.

Sample Titles:

  • Bones in the White House: Thomas Jefferson’s Mammoth (nonfiction picture book)
  • Amanda Panda and the Bigger, Better Birthday (picture book)
  • Terrier Trouble! (nonfiction chapter book)
  • Tooth Fairy’s Night (easy reader)
  • Rebel McKenzie (middle-grade novel)
  • Iva Honeysuckle Discovers the World (chapter book)
  • Hello, Virginia! (board book)


  • MFA Writing for Children, Vermont College of Fine Arts
  • MA Children’s Literature, Hollins University
  • Professor, Spalding University, MFA in Creative Writing
  • Professor, Hollins University, MA/MFA Children’s Literature, 2008 – current