MARK YOUR CALENDARS. I have several events at book stores and a library planned for fall 2022 with more on the way. I hope you’ll be able to join me at one or more of them. And if you are a school, church, mom’s group, library, or daycare, I’m booking now for fall and winter. Learn more in the “Author Visits and Speaking Engagements” tab. And now… the fall line up, plus your first peek at my first peek of my newest book HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD with an unboxing video presented by Sophie, my literary cockapoo, and cute assistant.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRISTMAS CHILD: A COUNTING NATIVITY BOOK (Paraclete Press) releases October 4, 2022.
Here’s the description: Count to TEN with Mary and Joseph as they await the birth of Baby Jesus in this sweet rhyming board book for littlest ones. Illustrated by Gabi Murphy with plenty to notice and count on each spread, it’s a charming introduction for littlest ones to the real gift of Christmas – Jesus!
And here’s the book trailer:
Now, in celebration of the book’s release, I have a special offer.
From now through December 24th, 2022, I am offering free 20-minute HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD author visits to the first TEN groups who reach out to me via my contact tab and book a visit. This special visit is ideal for preschools, church ministries, homeschool coops etc. and can be in–person (within 20 minute radius by car) or VIRTUAL.
For each FREE 20-minute HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD visit I will:
Introduce myself and the story with the help of my mouse puppet.
Engage the children in an interactive reading which includes having them count along and notice fun details on each spread.
Review the message of the story asking “Whose birthday do we celebrate at Christmas?” and close by singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
The visit is free, but I respectfully request that you purchase a copy the book for your class/church library and that you offer families the opportunity to purchase copies as well. I do not sell my own books, but they are available through the major online vendors as well as your favorite local indie book stores. The publisher also has a great deal on bulk purchases with significant discounts starting orders of 10 or more. To help spread word to families, I can provide an order form for schools/groups to collect and order as a group from the vendor of your choosing. Be sure keep a list of first names for book inscriptions and, as a thank you, I will provide a signed and personalized book plate for each book purchased!
I look forward to spreading Christmas joy in this special way.
P.S. If you decide to pre-order a copy today, you can head over here to redeem the free activity kit the publisher created to go with the book. It’s chock full of printables and even includes Happy Birthday, Christmas Child party plan!
Hip-HOP-Hooray! BUNNY FINDS EASTER (Zonderkidz) releases February 1, 2022. Told in bouncy rhyme, BUNNY FINDS EASTER is about a little rabbit on a quest to find out what Easter is all about. Is it about chocolate eggs and jelly beans or might it just be about a little bit more? Light and fun, I think it’s the perfect introduction for littlest ones that Easter is about Jesus – he is the gift of Easter.
In celebration of the book’s release, I have a special offer!
From now through April 30th, 2022, I am offering free 20-minute BUNNY FINDS EASTER author visits to the TEN first groups who reach out to me via the contact tab. This special visit is ideal for preschools, church ministries, homeschool coops etc. and can be in–person or VIRTUAL.
For each FREE 20-minute BUNNY FINDS EASTER visit I will:
Introduce the story with the help of Bunny and an Easter basket full of the items we will encounter in the story including colorful eggs, lilies, Easter candies and more.
Engage the children in an interactive reading.
Review the message of the story by re-examining the items in our basket to see how each reminds us of Easter and God’s love.
The visit is free, but I respectfully request that you purchase a copy the book for your class/church library and that you offer families the opportunity to purchase copies as well. I do not sell my own books, but they are available through the major online vendors as well as your favorite local indie book stores. To help spread word to families, I can provide an order form for schools/groups to collect and order as a group from the vendor of your choosing. Be sure keep a list of first names for book inscriptions and, as a thank you, I will provide a signed and personalized book plate for each book purchased!
I look forward to spreading Easter joy in this special way.
Back-to-School Time! In celebration of the POWER OF KINDNESS, I’m offering FIVE free 20-minute virtual* visits to classrooms, libraries, church groups, day-cares or homeschool co-ops. (*Note: Can be in-person if you are local.)
If you are interested, reach out to me via the contact tab in the About section.
For each FREE 20-minute virtual visit I will:
Briefly introduce myself and describe what it means to be an author. I will also share the inspiration behind the book I will be sharing.
Read LOVE IS KIND, LITTLE EWE or DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE with a kindness take-away challenge for each.
Use puppets to aid in the storytelling.
Have a brief Q&A.
OPTIONAL: If you are interested in a longer virtual visit that includes a presentation of the journey a picture book takes from spark to publication, using early sketches, drafts and more, I also offer longer virtual visits that are fee-based. If a fuller visit interests you, please let me know that. My fees are reasonable and we will make the visit work to fit your budget.
Either way, I respectfully request that you or your school purchase a copy the book you select for your class library. I also request that book orders be made available to families so they can order books from the vendor of their/your choice. I do not sell my books, but they are readily available through your favorite bookseller. I will provide a signed personally inscribed book plate for each book purchased.
I look forward to spreading kindness in this special way this fall!
Visits must be booked by December 1, 2021. Spots will fill quickly, so reach out to me soon via my contact tab in the About section.
SAVE THE DATES. I haven’t been able to share an upcoming book events post like this since 2019! But I’ve got lots of events planned for Fall 2021 and I hope you’ll be able to join me at one or more of them. More are in the works, as well, so stay tuned for those. (And if you are a school, church, mom’s group, library, or daycare, I’m booking for those now as well. Learn more in the “Author Visits and Speaking Engagements” tab. And now… the line up!
During the lockdown, when schools were remote and the library was only open for grab -’n – go, a family on Burchfield Avenue here in my hometown came up with a special plan to bring joy to their neighbors through books. They built and established a Little Free Library known as Suzanne’s Little Free Library.
I first noticed this library on my walks last fall. What a lovely one it is, sturdily constructed by all members of the family and colorfully painted with some of their favorite children’s book characters. Aren’t Babar and Celeste joyfully rendered! And just look at that cedar shingled roof. Wow!
Behind those inviting glass doors, throughout the pandemic, passers-by have been able to explore a thoughtfully curated selection of books for kids and grown ups alike. What a blessing it was during those long months — not just for me, but for the whole community — to be able to open those Little Free Library doors and actually peruse and touch books!
Suzanne’s Little Free Library was actually one of the stops on Little Owl’s Kindness campaign, in which I left a copy of LOVE IS KIND in five area Little Free Libraries, if you remember that from last fall.
Imagine my delight, then, to discover through Instagram, that Suzanne and her family were planning a One Year Birthday Celebration for their library. What a darling idea! Taking a leap, I messaged Suzanne to see if she’d be interested in having a local author (me) be part of the fun with a special story time. She said yes, and I’m so glad she did.
The party was amazing with coloring pages and crafts for the kids and creative book-themed snacks like these delicious book worms. And there were books, of course. Oodles of books.
The attendees were friendly and book-loving. I loved every part of the party – from chatting to snacking to story time.
Of all my picture book characters, Diva Delores is the one who most relishes a party, so I decided to read DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE for the story time. As you can see, Delores and I are very expressive when we read!
I enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of this special afternoon. And what did Diva Delores most enjoy? She loved playing a starring role in helping an adorable three-year old attendee overcome his fear of stuffed animals.
Delores also enjoyed snapping this very glam picture of us donating a copy of the book to Suzanne’s Little Free Library. Thank you, Suzanne and team for having us! And thank you for being a shining example of community kindness and positivity.
Last week Miss A and I (and Little Ewe and Little Owl too!) made a special trip to Lexington, Virginia, a quaint historic town nestled in the lovely Shenandoah Valley. The week was refreshing and wonderful and extra special because it was our first in-person visit with my dad since before Covid.
How wonderful it was to be together again and we made the most of it. Our visit included daily early morning walks (for me) downtown to the Lexington Coffee Shop, a special do-together sewing project for my daughter and my dad’s wonderful Dianne, delicious meals, ice cream, and even a trip to Animal Safari Park in nearby Natural Bridge. And, of course, chatting and catching up throughout it all. And hugs. There were lots of hugs.
But the highlight for Little Ewe (and Little Owl too!) was a special LITTLE EWE (Beaming Books, 2021) and LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, 2018) book signing at the Sugar Maple Trading Company on Main Street. Owner Cindy Hughes and her husband Jeff and their daughters were delightful hosts.
During the signing, we had a steady stream of customers who were eager to purchase signed books, including several who were in town from Indiana for a wedding. One of those was a young teacher, who just completed her first year teaching second grade at a rural Indiana school. (And I might do a virtual author visit with her class next year. I hope so!)
Others were parents and grandparents interested in books for their little ones. One was a fellow author who I had met back in November 2019 when I gave a talk at Kendal in Lexington. It was lovely to see her again as well.
Best of all, my dad, was there beside me, chatting and being his charming self. He also very kindly acted as chauffeur so that several residents in his retirement community who no longer drive, could come down for the signing. I felt so blessed!
Then on Sunday, I was invited to read LITTLE EWE for the children’s portion of the service at Lexington Presbyterian Church. What a special way to spend our last day in Lexington.
After church, I connected with this lovely woman who at the signing had told me that she was going to give LITTLE EWE as a gift along with a sweater with little lambs on it that she was knitting for one of her grandchildren. I said I would love to see it, so we arranged a time to do just that! It was a joyful moment for both of us, I think, and a wonderful reminder of one of my favorite things about being a picture book author— connecting with others!
I look forward to returning in the fall. Thank you, Lexington, for making Miss A and me feel so welcome! And, thank you, Dad, for being not only a great dad, but also the best “southern book rep” an author could hope for!
To close, here’s a fun Instagram Reel we made to promote the event beforehand. Such fun!
I’m so excited for this event which was originally scheduled for May 2020 but had be canceled because of a certain pesky virus. A special bilingual craft will follow. I’m still working on it, so I can’t show it to you, but it will be muy fácil y muy divertido (that’s very easy and very fun)!
Here’s the official blurb and, please note, registration is required. Thank you for having me as your guest, Kenilworth Public Library Can’t wait!
Join author Laura Sassi for a special bilingual story time at the Kenilworth Public Library as she shares EL AMOR ES BONDADASO, the Spanish version of her picture book LOVE IS KIND about Pequeño Búho (Little Owl) who wants to get his Abuelita (Grammy) chocolates but his efforts get thwarted every step of the way. Published by Zonderkidz and Vida Editorial and illustrated by Lison Chaperon, this charming and heartfelt journey celebrates the many forms that love and happiness can take. Craft to follow. Registration required by phone or in person at children’s desk:(908) 276-2451. Books will be available for purchase and signing. (Registration opens July 1st for Kenilworth residents/ July 6th for non-residents.)
A couple of weeks ago I spent two delightful class periods visiting the first grade Spanish classes at Hillside Avenue School in Cranford, NJ. I popped in virtually, but the classes met in person and what fun it was to be together in this special way.
First, with the help of Pequeño Búho (that’s Little Owl in Spanish), I introduced the Spanish edition of LOVE IS KIND: EL AMOR ES BONDADOSO and we compared the cover to the English.
Next, I read LOVE IS KIND in English but with lots of Spanish phrases infused including Pequeño Búho (Little Owl), Abuelita (Grammy), Conejo (Rabbit) and, of course, una caja de chocolates en forma de corazón (a heart-shaped box of chocolates)!
After reading in English with oodles of Spanish phrases highlighted, I shared my screen so we could play a game show with Pequeño Búho as host. For the game show the children answered questions about the Spanish/English words we learned. The fun included sharing spreads from both editions (and the French edition too) and I challenged them to see if they could spot the differences between spreads of the English and Spanish. I also introduced the concept of translator and that that’s a job they could have one day.
We ended our special time together with an enthusiastic Q&A. What a wonderful end-of-year treat for students and teacher… and author alike! And afterwards, to my utter delight, I received a special delivery from the first graders – delightfully illustrated thank you notes of Little Owl and his friends .
Each and every one is a treasure and I now present to you a sampling. Enjoy!
NOTE: If you’d like me to come and visit YOUR school or homeschool co-op with this or another program, please reach out to me using the contact tab above and I can give you all the details.
In the totally FUN department, about a month ago my lovely publicist at Zonderkidz alerted me that Love Is Kind, Little Ewe and Goodnight Manger had all made the Oklahoma Bestsellers list. Here’s proof:
Seizing the moment, I asked my publicist if one of the indie bookstores that tally this list might be interested in having me for a virtual story time. She kindly reached out to Best of Books in Edmond, OK to ask and the answer was…. YES!
The story time took place yesterday at 1pm central. Since I’m all about natural lighting and Little Owl is all about staying cool, we picked this lovely spot by our front corner window and close to an air conditioning vent as our storytelling spot.
What was extra special about this reading, besides the fabulous lighting =), was that after the reading I got to share some neat behind-the-scenes artifacts PLUS I read excerpts from two different translations. So if you want to hear me read a snippet in Spanish and French and learn how to say “Love is kind” and “Little Owl” in those languages, here’s your chance.
I’m sharing the story time below in the hopes that you and your littles might use it for your own story time this summer. See if you can get of the book ahead of time from your favorite store or your local library. And if your local library doesn’t have it, please recommend it for purchase.
After the storytime, extend the experience with one of these extension activities or pick your own. Have fun! And if you really want to bring joy to a certain Little Owl, post a picture of your project on your favorite social outlet and tag us! We LOVE seeing kid-created book-themed art. =) NOTE: If you prefer not to click this embedded link, you can also go directly to the Best Of Books Facebook page and search their videos for this story time.