Picture Books

THIS MONSTER IS A GIRL

Why are monsters always male?  This was the question that The Guardian addressed in a recent article about casual gender bias in children’s literature.  Inspired by that, THIS MONSTER IS A GIRL is a 105 word, 20-line rhyming poem busting gender stereotypes associated with animals.  This ladybug’s a mister and this rhino’s someone’s sister!

(Fun fact, I learned from Google autofill that many people have asked if butterflies can even be male.  Yes, yes they can.  Also I learned that banana slugs are hermaphrodites.)


COWABUNGA BUNNIES

Farmer Ferg is always trying to chase those rascal bunnies from his vegetable patch, but when the field floods and the bunnies hitch a ride to higher ground on top of his obliging flock of sheep, Ferg’s heart is warmed.  As soon as the field dries out, those bunnies are back at their old tricks, as is Farmer Ferg.  COWABUNGA BUNNIES is a 250 word picture book, ripped (as it were) from the (very cute) headlines.

Click here to read the story that inspired the book!


Women’s History Biographies

Female Firebrands Series:

Elizabeth I: Ninja Queen

What happens when two girls present the lives women in history when one has a big imagination and the other is a stickler for the facts.

Stand-alone biographies:

My Oh My, Nellie Bly: The pioneering investigative journalist in the last 19th Century gave a voice to the voiceless, writing exposés that lead to meaningful social change.

Hatshepsut’s Trees: The forgotten female pharaoh was also the first to transplant living trees.

The Best Pirate Ever: You may not know her name, but you should!  Cheng I Sao was the most successful pirate of any gender, and she commanded a fleet bigger than the Chinese navy in the 17th and 18th Centuries.


The Cow Steals the Show:

The cow who jumped over the moon is a bit of a diva.  He thinks that his gravity-defying bovine leap should be the last act in the classic “Hey, diddle, diddle” nursery rhyme.  Hijinks ensue as he demands a rewrite and storms around the stage claiming he can play all the parts, until the rest of the cast walks out.  Realizing it isn’t as fun to play all the parts yourself, he breaks the fourth wall to ask for the readers’ help in bringing his castmates back.

THE COW STEALS THE SHOW is a 650 word picture book in the spirit of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith.  With an unexpected animal twist and its humorously naughty, fourth-wall-breaking main character could be compared to Mo Willems’ Pigeon books.  THE COW STEALS THE SHOW is also a gentle hat tip to Bottom and the mechanicals in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a text that I teach each year to my 9th graders.