Monthly Archives: January 2017

25 Years

candlewick coverIt’s hard to believe Candlewick Press is 25 years old. Not because that seems old, but because it’s one of those happy things that seems to have been around forever.

Just look at the cover of their spring catalog, a tiny sampling of the stellar books they’ve provided our children for a quarter century and counting: Owl Babies (how I love this book), Because of Wynn Dixie (this one too), Feed (chills), Where’s Waldo (how many hours did my kids pore over these?) Voice of Freedom, Jazz Day (sing it!). Almost Astronauts,  the Judy Moody and Maisy books–a minuscule sampling of the wonders this small, mighty house has published. Lots with shiny gold stickers. Lots that quietly, indelibly worked their way into children’s heart and memories.

I guess you can tell how grateful I feel to have worked with editors and art directors in that cozy, playful office in Boston. Turn to page 50 of this landmark catalog and…

rules of life catalogThank you, dear bear with candle burning bright all these years, from me and readers past, present, future!


Stuff of Dreams


Last night I dreamed I was writing/struggling with an entirely different book. It featured a boy as the main character (this alone would be  dreamy, since I’ve never managed to pull that off) and maybe a dog (ditto). In the dream, I woke up in the middle of the night knowing the perfect solution to a knotty plot problem. In the dream, I found a pen and clean sheet of paper miraculously close at hand (in real life how often have I scribbled illegibly on the cover of a New Yorker lying on the nightstand?) and effortlessly wrote notes.

When I woke up–for real–I knew at once it was a dream, yet it was so vivid I had to check the nightstand to be sure. No paper, no note.  A wishful dream, for sure.

And yet…An hour later, as I was working/struggling with the book I actually am writing, good things began to happen. I figured some big stuff out. Or, it figured itself out–that’s always how it feels. As if the book is revealing itself. As if the story finally trusts me to know it.

Did my subconscious know what was coming? Or did the dream give me the boost of faith I needed to keep going?

I don’t know. But thank you, dream.