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.

Time for the BUNNY FINDS EASTER Bunny Hop Round up!

Happy Friday, friends! Bunny and I have five fun things to share with you this week. First, if you live in the Bedminster, NJ area, I invite you to join me at Pluckemin Presbyterian’s annual Eggstravaganza taking place this Sunday, April 10th from 11:15 – 1 pm. Here are the details. No registration required. There will be copies of BUNNY FINDS EASTER on hand for purchase. Cash or check only.

Next, here are two interviews you might enjoy. The first is over at Read,Discuss, DO! where I chat with Mindy Baker about the inspiration behind the book, the board book format, book-themed activities and more. The second is a feature article that appeared this week in my town’s TapInto news outlet. This the one to read to get the inside scoop on what the journey to publication in the picture book world has been like (at least for me).

Fourth, I am the guest author today over at StoryJumpers, a bi-weekly Christian podcast that features a children’s book read by the author and an interview with the author. The podcast airs today, April 8th, 2022 over at The Bridge Podcast Network, part of The Bridge, a community supported, non-commercial Christian radio station serving Delaware, South Jersey, parts of Maryland and beyond. Here’s the link to the BUNNY FINDS EASTER episode.

Finally, just in case you missed it, I thought you’d like to see the Easter bonnet I created, with the help of my daughter, to wear to all my visits. It’s getting a lot of smiles because I look so silly, er I mean, beautiful wearing it! It’s just like Bunny’s from the book. What do you think? (This is from one of my zoom visits this Easter season.)

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!

It’s Time for… the BUNNY FINDS EASTER Friday Roundup!

Happy Friday, friends! Bunny and I have four fun things to share with you this week. First, be sure to check out my blog interview with children’s author and host, Mindy Baker, as we chat about the magical role illustrations play in board books – with a focus on a favorite spread from BUNNY FINDS EASTER. Here’s the link: https://mindybakerbooks.com/a-chat-with-laura-sassi-about-her-new-book/

Next, did you know that March 9th was “Get Ready for Easter Day?” I didn’t either, but I learned about it over at one of my favorite blogs, Celebrate Picture Books, which pairs a picture book with a holiday. Each post includes a review of a book and an activity. And for this holiday the book was… BUNNY FINDS EASTER! Here’s the link: https://celebratepicturebooks.com/2022/03/09/march-7-get-ready-for-easter/

Third, in case you missed it yesterday at 12:12 eastern, here is the replay of my Instagram LIVE interview with host Valerie Ellis, creator of Our Everyday Parables, a blog dedicated to encouraging and empowering parents to use everyday moments and kids’ books to teach, connect, listen, and inspire. We had some technical difficulties at the beginning, but they resolved and she explains in the link how you can skip over those bits.

Finally, if you haven’t already done so, be sure to enter the 25 book giveaway for BUNNY FINDS EASTER which Zonderkidz is hosting over on Goodreads. (And while you are there, please add the book to your to-read list and/or review it, if you you willing.) Thank you! Here’s the giveaway link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/340275-bunny-finds-easter

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 Two (and a FUN share!)

Happy Friday, friends. I have two fun items to share today in this little BUNNY FINDS EASTER Bunny Hop round up.

First, yesterday I picked up the framed piece (pictured above) from The Artist Framer, a gem of a local frame shop in my neck of the woods. Stefanie has framed spreads from each of my six children’s books and those framed illustrations now hang in my foyer. This one is a little different however. It was Stefanie’s idea to include both the cover and an interior spread from my new board book! So sweet. What do you think? 

Second, the BUNNY FINDS EASTER “Bunny Hop”, as I am calling it, continues this week with a stop at author Darlene Beck Jacobson’s blog where I am answering her question: “How did you come to tell the story in such a simple and wonderful way?” (Thank you, Darlene!) She’s also running a giveaway for one free copy of the book so hop on over.  I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s the link:

And be sure to download out the free printable activity kit that goes with book- perfect for extending the book fun with coloring pages, a maze and more!

Time for the BUNNY FINDS EASTER Bunny Hop: Stop One

One of the joys of having a new book out is getting to visit and celebrate with a virtual book tour!  And because this tour includes more than just blogs, I’ve decided to call it the BUNNY HOP!  Each week, we’ll be visiting somewhere fun but it will be a surprise! Don’t worry, I’ll let you know where to go as we hop along together. 

And where is Bunny, the sweet protagonist from BUNNY FINDS EASTER (Zonderkidz, February 1, 2022) hopping to today?  I’m so glad you asked. She’s over at picture book author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog for Perfect Picture Book Friday! Thank you for having us, Susanna. The post includes a review, a craft (pictured) and a GIVEAWAY so hurry on over. Here’s the link: https://susannahill.com/2022/02/04/perfect-picture-book-friday-bunny-finds-easter-plus-a-giveaway/https://susannahill.com/2022/02/04/perfect-picture-book-friday-bunny-finds-easter-plus-a-giveaway/

PARENTS! TEACHERS! KIDMIN! Download your FREE Activity Kit for BUNNY FINDS EASTER

Reading BUNNY FINDS EASTER is just the beginning.

Below you will find the link to the FREE downloadable BUNNY FINDS EASTER activity kit designed especially for littlest ones.

The six-page kit includes:

  • Decorate the Easter Egg
  • Help Bunny Find Her Way to Church on Easter Morning
  • How Many Eggs Can You Find?
  • Draw More Easter Lilies for Bunny
  • Send an Easter Card to Someone You Love ( foldable printable card)

Be sure also to check out the FREE printable resource for organizing your own BUNNY FINDS EASTER Book Walk!

Stay tuned for more activities here and on the Bunny Blog Hop in the coming weeks.