FUN NEWS: TWO-BOOK Deal!

This painted rock that I spotted in Surf City, NJ last summer is the perfect visual for today’s fun news. I’ve hinted a bit on social media recently about something special that I’ve been busy working on — namely something that rhymes and touches on themes very close to my heart. Now, finally, the announcement has run in Publishers Marketplace and PW Religion BookLine, so I can share my news! 

Here’s the official announcement from Publishers’ Marketplace:

And here’s the announcement in Publishers Weekly Religion BookLine’s Book Deals for June 22, 2022.

Thank you, Charlotte Wenger, for representing me so skillfully and kindly in the process of making these two new books a reality.

Thank you, Paraclete Press for saying “yes!” to not just one, but to TWO new board books that point little ones to God. 

And I’m over the moon with their choice of illustrator.  Take a peek at Sandra Eide’s work for a preview of the delightful artistic talent that will accompany the text.  I can’t wait for these two new books to hit shelves everywhere. Thankfully, I won’t have to wait long. The tentative publication dates are February 2023 and September 2023!

What’s my writerly take away? Keep writing from the heart and follow your heart. Keep honing your craft.  Stand firm in your faith and the things that are important to you and marvel at how things unfold. Happy writing all!

10 Things to LOVE about BOARD BOOKS!

In celebration of fostering a love of reading in even the LITTLEST ones, here are 10 things to LOVE about BOARD BOOKS!

  1. Board books can be read in one sitting, but also enjoyed again and again.
  2. With stiff cardboard pages, board books are extra durable, perfect for the toddler age set. 
  3. They can also be wiped down if they get spit up on, or licked, or chewed, or held with sticky fingers (all of which happened in our house when the kiddos were little).
  4. Board books can be read with your little ones on your lap, all cozy and snug. 
  5. Board books foster good pre-reading and speaking skills because there’s so much to point to, name, predict etc. 
  6. Like picture books, board books are a magical intertwining of text and image (though sometimes they have no text at all!)
  7. Board books are an engaging introduction to littlest ones to the joy of reading.
  8. Board books can be enjoyed and treasured by all ages. 
  9. Board books make great baby shower gifts – especially paired with a cute stuffy or onesie.  
  10. Smaller than a picture book, board books are the perfect size to stuff in your stroller, purse, or diaper bag so you can have story time on-the-go at the park, in the car, at the restaurant etc.

Did you know that I have four board books out with the fifth releasing in October? Request them at your library or order for yourself today. They include Goodnight Ark, Goodnight Manger, Love is Kind, Bunny Finds Easter and my newest Happy Birthday Christmas Child which releases in October and is available for pre-order now.

COVER REVEAL:  Introducing HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD: A Counting Nativity Book

MONDAY JOY! I have a Christmas board book coming out this October with Paraclete Press and the cover is just starting to pop up on the web, so I thought I’d share it here too.

The book is called Happy Birthday, Christmas Child: A Counting Nativity Book. Hasn’t illustrator, Gabi Murphy, done a sweet job of capturing your attention with her charming cover design?

Here’s the scoop from Paraclete Press:

Join Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds, sheep, and various stable critters as they celebrate the birthday of a very special baby in this rhyming counting book for little readers and their families. 

Written by bestselling author Laura Sassi and illustrated by Gabi Murphy, Happy Birthday, Christmas Child! celebrates the warmth, wonder and excitement of the night Jesus was born. Written in gentle rhyme with bright illustrations and lots of things for little ones to notice and count, it’s sure to be a Christmas favorite. 

Happy Birthday, Christmas Child is:

  • sturdy board book perfect for little hands
  • a charming introduction to the wonder and joy of Christmas
  • a spark for conversation about how Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus’ birth 
  • a fun way for toddlers and preschoolers to practice counting and naming things
  • a great gift option for Christmas, birthdays, baby showers, children’s ministry, preschool programs and more

Thank you, Paraclete Press, for bringing this one into the world. I can’t wait for it to release. 

If you are thinking of adding this to your own collection or giving it as a gift this Christmas, will you take a moment to pre-order a copy of Happy Birthday, Christmas Child today and/or mark it as “to-read” on Goodreads? Those are two wonderful and easy ways to help a new book make a lovely little splash when it releases.

Thank you, and, happy reading!

Time for the Bunny Finds Easter BOOK SCAVENGER HUNT (and a GIVEAWAY)!

Special Note: This post was created by my ADORABLE niece. She’s just 13 but she sure knows how to create an incredible book scavenger hunt. Enjoy her post. Take it away, Miss E!

Hello, parents! If your kids (and maybe even you!) are really enjoying Laura Sassi’s new book Bunny Finds Easter, you may want to try this BOOK SCAVENGER HUNT. To start, you can read the book to refresh your child’s memory. Then, on each spread, (after reading the words) this list will give you prompts to ask your kids so that they can enjoy the wonderful illustrations even more! 

(Remember, if your kid is getting antsy, you don’t have to use all the prompts. You can also make your own–they are open to interpretation. Each illustration can spark many conversations!)

Spread #1 (Bunny waking up and choosing clothes)

  • Do you see the butterfly? (For older kids: There are six butterflies in this book. Can you find them all?) What color is Bunny’s shirt? How many outfits do you see in Bunny’s wardrobe?

Spread #2 (Scene in the kitchen)

  • Count the hot cross buns. Can you find 3 plates? Can you find 2 spoons? What do you think is cooking in the pot on the stove?

Spread #3 (Bunny painting eggs)

  • Can you name and count the colors on Bunny’s palate? Can you count the eggs Bunny painted? (You can point out to your child that the egg Bunny is painting on the left page matches the curtains! These illustrations have many thoughtful details!)

Spread #4 (Bunny picking flowers)

  • Count the bees. (For older kids: Count the flowers Bunny has picked.) Can you spot the bird’s nest?

Spread #5 (Bunny in the town)

  • How many lily pads can you find? How many chicks? Can you spot three tadpoles? Can you find the church in the distance?

Spread #6 (Easter egg hunt)

  • (For older kids: Try to find all 30 eggs.) How many animals do you see? Can you find the church? For an extra challenge, see which animals have baskets.

Spread #7 (In the church)

  • Count the animals in the room. Which ones are wearing hats? Do you see Bunny? Can you see the cross? What do you think the cross means? 

Spread #8 (Bunny and her family)

  • Have your child point to Bunny’s mommy and then her daddy. 

Spread #9 (Happy Easter)

  • Count Bunny and her friends on the Happy Easter page. Can you find the ladybug? Can you find an animal friend with a heart on his shirt? Which animals have hats? (The list goes on and on.) Then, tell your child more about what Easter is all about!

Wow, Miss E, that was AMAZING! Readers, don’t you agree? And now in celebration of this post (and the fact that Easter is just around the corner), I’m offering a FREE copy of BUNNY FINDS EASTER to one lucky reader. Details below.

BUNNY FINDS EASTER GIVEAWAY!!! If you’d like a chance to win a copy of my newest book BUNNY FINDS EASTER (Zonderkidz, 2022) follow this blog and comment below with your favorite tip from Miss E’s book scavenger hunt. (NOTE: Must be a U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to enter.) Thank you, Zonderkidz, for providing the winning book. This giveaway ends Tuesday, April 5th at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be announced the next day. 

BUNNY FINDS EASTER Friday Roundup

Happy Friday, friends! Bunny and I have four fun things to share with you this week. First, if you live in the metropolitan NY/NJ area, I invite you to stop in at Perwinkles Gift Shop in Cranford, NJ, tomorrow March 26th from 1 – 3. Owner, Elaine, will have a broad selection of my books on hand, including BUNNY FINDS EASTER! Let’s help her sell them all. Details in image.

Second, be sure to check out Sally Matheny’s review of BUNNY FINDS EASTER. Her reviews are always so thoughtful. Here’s the link . While you are there, I hope you will enjoy exploring her many other reviews as well.

Third, I was honored to be featured in writer (and former English teacher) Joyce McCullough’s Spring 2022 Newsletter with an in-depth interview. Thank you, Joyce. Here’s the link.

Finally, earlier this week I had the pleasure of getting to chat with Christian children’s author, Christie Thomas about books and other fun things including, BUNNY FINDS EASTER. Here’s the link for that:

BUNNY FINDS EASTER Bunny Hop: Zonderkidz Blog Edition (Five Fun Ways to Point Toddlers and Preschoolers to JESUS at Easter)

In my new board book, Bunny Finds Easter, Bunny is on a quest to find out if Easter is all about chocolate eggs and jelly beans or if it might just be about a little bit more. Indeed, amidst all the fun of jelly beans and easter bunnies, it can be hard for little ones to understand that Easter is about Jesus. With that in mind, I’m delighted to share the post which Zonderkidz invited me to write for their blog. The topic? Five fun ways to point toddlers and preschoolers to Jesus at Easter.

First, enjoy the book trailer which will give you a good sense of the book. Then, I hope you will grab a jelly bean and hop on over to my post on the Zonderkidz blog. Here’s the link: https://www.zonderkidz.com/5-fun-ways-to-point-toddlers-and-preschoolers-to-jesus-at-easter/ And, if you have little ones, be sure to pick up a copy of the book at your favorite retailer.

The BUNNY FINDS EASTER Bunny Hop Continues with… a Review, a Podcast and a BIG Giveaway!

So many fun things to share this week as Bunny hops her way towards Easter. First, be sure to check out this fresh-off-the-press review for BUNNY FINDS EASTER from author Rebecca Gomez. She’s a real stickler for rhyme… and she loved it! (Phew.) And this cute little fella weighed in as well. Isn’t he darling? Here’s the link: https://www.rebeccajgomez.com/2022/03/review-bunny-finds-easter-by-laura.html

Also, last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Mel Rosenberg for his “You’ve Got Mel” podcast. Enjoy it and all his other interviews with children’s authors on the New Book Network. Here’s the link: https://newbooksnetwork.com/bunny-finds-easter

Finally, Zonderkidz is sponsoring a 25 book giveaway of BUNNY FINDS EASTER on Goodreads. Be sure to enter. While you are there, please add the book to your “to-read” list. That will help others to discover it. And after you read it, or any of my books, if you could also leave a review, that would be wonderful. Good or bad, every review helps. Thank you! Here’s the link to the giveaway: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/340275-bunny-finds-easter

GOOD NEWS: New Christmas Board Book Deal!

I’ve been keeping this to myself for a little while, but the announcement ran in Publishers Marketplace last week so I think I can finally share.

I have a new book in the works… a Christmas counting board book for littlest ones!

Thank you, Paraclete Press , for acquiring Happy Birthday, Christmas Child. I can’t wait for little ones and their families to join Mary and Joseph as they count their way to one very special birthday.  You won’t have to wait long. The book releases Fall 2022!

Time for the BUNNY FINDS EASTER Bunny Hop: Stop FIVE (How Bunny Hopped into a Book)

HAPPY MONDAY! In celebration of BUNNY FINDS EASTER’s release, Zonderkidz has created several colorful memes which capture the essence of the story. Over the course of the next few weeks, you’ll see them pop up here and there. Here’s the first. Isn’t it darling?

I also wanted to let you know that today, I’m over at children’s author Nancy I. Sanders blog sharing FIVE FUN FACTS about the book. I love writing these kinds of posts because they remind me of all the back story that goes into creating a book – even one as seemingly simple as a board book. Which fact intrigues you the most? I hope you will pop over for a quick read and let me know. Here’s the link: https://nancyisanders.wordpress.com/2022/02/21/how-bunny-hopped-into-a-board-book-five-fun-facts-about-bunny-finds-easter-by-laura-sassi

Time for the BUNNY FINDS EASTER Bunny Hop: Stop Four (Plus the BOOK TRAILER reveal!)

Happy Friday, friends! Bunny and I have two fun things to share with you today.

First, check out the amazing 30-second book trailer Zonderkidz created to introduce the book. It really captures the essence of the story and showcases artist Ela Jarzabek’s delightful illustrations. Thank you, Zonderkidz!

Second, I’m delighted to be the guest interviewee over at The Chirping Moms, a website devoted to parenting and enjoying motherhood. In addition to asking me great questions, host Courtney Byrne has also created an adorable craft – a colorful tape resist cross that can be painted on canvas or a little tote bag and be used by your little one to gather goodies Easter morning! Here’s the link: https://thechirpingmoms.com/bunny-finds-easter/