TWO Months until TOO MUCH!

1. Countdown to TOO MUCH! And just like that, a book I had an idea for about a decade ago will be in stores in two months! TOO MUCH! NOT ENOUGH! has been getting some excellent press. You can read reviews on Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, University of Manitoba (I really loved their review), and Story Monsters Ink. I was also recently interviewed on Boston Voyager where I talk about my winding journey to become an author/illustrator. I'll be blogging quite a bit more in the next two months - sharing sketches and videos about the making of TOO MUCH! Stay tuned!

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2. In today's mail I've been squirreling away swag for just this moment. I'm finally sending out these boxes to independent bookstores across the US. If you are a bookstore owner, send me an email and I'll make one up just for you! Some of you will get a Moe box, some will get a Peanut box, and just one of you will get a Moe AND Peanut box! But who!

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3. My To-Be-Read Mountain I've been incredibly busy at this time of year for the past few years. Which inevitably leads to a huge pile of books I desperately WANT to read but have no time for. I dream of a book vacation and until then will humbly share most of these books with the kids who are burning through books at a fierce rate. Also, there are a dozen books I want to add to this pile but I am barely restraining myself (Mary's Monster by Lita Judge will land there soon, I know it.)

4. Father's Day Shopping If you follow me on social media, you'll notice I've shared IT'S GREAT BEING A DAD quite a bit in advance of Father's Day. I had so much fun creating the illustrations for this book, and it's a little uncomfortable for me to hawk books aggressively but I really think more families need this book! You still have time to order from uh, that place with prime shipping and have something for Dad to cuddle up with on Sunday morning while you finish making breakfast (or getting dressed to go out!) ***But if you live near Exeter, Water Street Bookstore has a few copies left AND a million other awesome books - I dare you to leave with just one. I know I can't do it.

5. But I'm listening! Don't feel too sad for my lack of reading time. I am plowing through a lot through my ears while I work. Recent audiobooks I've enjoyed: Wild, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, and have just started Genuine Fraud. For podcasts I've burned through a ton of Hollywood Crime Scene (my new fav!) peppered with weekly listens to Westworld with Jay, Jack & Mike, Wait, Wait, and How I Built This.

Monday Reads

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This week was a little Thomas heavy. For my own sanity, I'm going to limit us to one Thomas book from the library at a time.

1. Hurry Hurry: The language is a little simple for the boy, but the pictures are beautiful and such a sweet farm story. Farm animals are very en vogue.

2. The Foot Book: Sing-songy and catchy. A smart and easy way to learn a few opposites.

3 & 4. Thomas gets a Snowplow and The Special Delivery: What's the deal with the 'Really Useful Engines'. I need to look into this before my child joins some sort of junior engineer group - it's a little creepy, right?

5. Amelia Bedelia: Ah, a blast from my past. He calls her 'Melia Delia' - I'm sure he'll tire of her before we run out of these books from my own collection!

Monday Reads

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I thought I'd start each Monday off with a post of our top 5 books from the previous week. Miles is nearly 19 months old, and still LOVES books. He reads the first book I read to him, all by himself! He surprises my husband and I with how well he recalls (and speaks) titles, refrains, passages, etc. He has turned out to be an extremely verbal child, and I feel like he's a bottomless pit with new books. It's a good thing his mommy loves the library!

1. John F. Kennedy and the Stormy Sea: A hand-me-down from my nephew: clearly I didn't pick a level 2 reader for my toddler! Miles follows this story all the way through, and we'll read it several times each day. It's had me reconsidering what types of books I should try with him, actually.

2. Thomas and the Naughty Diesel: What do you do with a Thomas-addicted toddler? Hope that he enjoys the books more than the TV show. Thankfully, there seems to be a lot of these at the Portsmouth Library. Phew!!!

3. Matthew's Truck: I adore the illustrations in this. So soft and simple. A fun fantasy book, and it's added donuts to Miles' vocab (without eating them yet!), so hooray!

4. If You Give a Moose a Muffin: This is my copy, from my first BFF, circa 1991. It took awhile before Miles could get straight through this one. The wandering nature of the story bothered his logical muffin-obsessed mind. Mine too, quite frankly! With this, we added puppet-show to his vocab.

5. Bebe goes to the Beach: *I'm reviewing this later in the week over at the Picture Book Junkies blog.

10 Things about what we're reading now.

1.Books. They've overflowed our shelves, baskets, cubbies, hands, chairs, and home.

2.We go to 2 different libraries, at least 1 trip a week.

3.Board books have been our staple for a few months, for their durability. Picture books are creeping back in for the long, quiet bedtime reading.

4.You can't go wrong with Leslie Patricelli, Simms Taback, or Sandra Boynton in our house.

5.Mommy grabs a handful of picture books, just for her, on our way out of the library.

6.Books about babies are a hit - their bodies, their routines, their actions.

7.I'm afraid to return certain books to the library because they are so loved at nap/bedtimes, but our next trip always gets a few new winners to replace them.

8.You can't predict what will be a success. I thought Baby Bear's Chairs (Jane Yolan, Melissa Sweet) would have been a huge hit, and we can only get 6 pages in each time.

9.When there are several copies of a title on the library shelf, it's a good sign.

10.Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb is the catchiest, most enjoyable read-aloud book about monkeys. And it's from 1969. Read (and see) why, here.