Good News

follow us on twitterJennifer Black Reinhardt has illustrated a new book!  Footer Davis Probably is Crazy (Simon and Schuster Paula Wiseman Books) by Susan Vaught debuted March 3.

Kathryn Finney had a book signing for Little Louie (Sky Pony Press) at the Jordan Creek Mall Barnes and Noble in West Des Moines in December.

Katherine House's book, The White House for Kids: A History of a Home, Office, and National Symbol, (Chicago Review Press) was named to the 2015 Notable Social Studies Trade Books list. The list is a joint project of the National Council for the Social Studies and the Children’s Book Council.

Amy Houts celebrated the release of her new biography, Rachel Maddow: Primetime Political Commentator (Remarkable Lgbtq Lives) (Rosen Young Adult) in January.  Amy is also hard at work on 15 new work for hire short stories.

Barbara Kramer's latest biography, Alexander Graham Bell (National Geographic) debuted in January.  Barbara  also presented an online discussion on research in the "Writers' Retreat" section of the The Institute of Children's Literature's website on January 27-28, 2015. 

Rachel Martin has an agent!  Rachel is now represented by David Dunton at Harvey Klinger Inc.

Claudia McGehee received advanced praise from Fuse8's Elizabeth Bird for her soon to be released (March) picture book, My Wilderness: A Pacific Northwest Adventure (Little Bigfoot).

Miranda Paul's  debut picture book, One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia (Millbrook Press) was released February 1st to a starred review from School Library Journal and is a Junior Library Guild Selection.  Learn more at the book's website:

Debbie Wagenbach had a book signing for The Grouchies (Magination Press) at the Jordan Creek Mall Barnes and Noble in West Des Moines in December.


Jennifer Black Reinhardt's picture book, Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons (Dial),  was reviewed in November's The Horn Book Magazine,  which says, "There is much joy…in the detail-filled watercolor and ink illustrations…"

Shelley Jones Clark's article "Opening Lines: Rules of Engagement" appears in the November/December issue of the SCBWI Bulletin.

Jill Esbaum received a starred review of her picture book I am Cow, Hear me Moo! (Dial) from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (BCCB) in their September issue.

Jill Friestad-Tate's article "Common Core: An Update" was published in the November/December issue of the SCBWI Bulletin.

Katherine L. House will discuss her book The White House for Kids at the State Historical Building in Des Moines as part of the Wonder of Words Festival. Her talk will begin at 10am, followed by a book signing at 11.  Katherine's new website is

Sarvinder Naberhaus celebrates the release of her first picture book, Boom Boom (Beach Lane Books) with launch parties on November 14 at 7pm at Books-A-Million in Ames and on Saturday November 15 at 2pm at the Ames Public Library.  On December 6 at 10:30am, she will have a Holiday Storytime at University Bookstore in the Iowa State Memorial Union.  Boom Boom was reveiwed in The Horn Book Magazine, where the reviewer commented, "Hear! hear! to this playful romp of a book." 

Sarah Prineas' fourth book in The Magic Thief series, The Magic Thief: Home, was released September 16 to favorable reviews.School Library Journal  says, "Fans of the series will relish Conn's return to his old gutterboy life…"


Old News is Still Good News:

Susan Benton has a new website.  Check out for her weekly Freaky Fact!

Susan Dahlman received a letter of merit for illustration from SCBWI's Magazine Merit Awards.

Kathryn Finney's book launch for her new picture book, Little Louie (Sky Pony Press) is scheduled for October 26th at 2PM at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines.

Debbie LaCroix was recently selected as one of the "10 under 40 in Sioux City" by Siouxland Magazine. Awardees were selected based on career and community involvement. A link to the article is on Debbie's website:

Mary Meinking Chambers has finished her 30th book. Her latest is one of the “Our Great States” book series for Lerner Publishing Group.  Her latest six books for the series are What's Great About… Florida, Colorado, Washington, South Dakota, New Jersey and Hawaii.  Each features the top 10 things for kids to do in that state, along with the state’s standards.

Patricia Miller won a letter of merit from SCBWI's Magazine Merit Awards for her article "Picture-Perfect Patriotism" that appeared in the May 2013 issue of Highlights for Children magazine.  Busy Patricia has also been making new book trailers: for Jill Esbaum's I am Cow, Hear me Moo and I Hatched (both from Dial) and Sarvinder Naberhaus' Boom Boom (Beach Lane) You can see them here:

Cheryl Mullenbach's book, The Industrial Revolution for Kids: The People and Technology that Changed the World has been released by Chicago Review Press. School Library Journal had this to say: "Mullenbach does a terrific job of streamlining the topic for children…The inclusion of excerpts from primary-source documents (such as letters and diaries written by kids) lends the book immediacy and personality."

Miranda Paul announced that the cover for her upcoming picture book Water is Water (Roaring Brook Press, May 26, 2015) has been revealed.  The book is already listed for pre-order on Amazon.

Dorothia Rohner's portfolio won a mentorship with a top SCBWI art director or illustrator at the summer SCBWI conference in Los Angeles!

Erin Taylor was selected as a semi-finalist for the SCBWI Tomie dePaola Award!  Erin's entry was a six-panel illustration sequence featuring a child, a mysterious red string and a cat.

Deborah Watley has a new blog at  Debbie blogs about story, memory, history and archeology.



Cindy Blobaum's  latest hands-on activity book Explore Money will be released in October by Nomad Press.  Cindy is now hard at work on a new book for Nomad, Explore Honey Bees.

Kimberly Cowger's pitch for Sprinkles Goes To School appeared on Susanna Hill's blog "Would You Read It?" and was selected as the  "Pitch Pick of the Month" for June.  Kimberly's pitch will now be read and critiqued by editor Erin Molta.

Jill Esbaum has sold her picture book If a T. Rex Crashes your Birthday Party to Sterling Children's Books.  This is her third sale to editor Alli Brydon, whom Jill first met at an SCBWI Iowa conference.  Jill also had two new books released in June, both from National Geographic: Explore My World: Penguins and Explore My World: Snow Leopards.  Blogger Susanna Leonard Hill featured Jill's I am Cow, Hear me Moo (Dial) as a Perfect Picture Book in her June 13th blog.

Barb Kramer will celebrate the release of her new level 3 biography, Nelson Mandela (National Geographic Children’s Books) on August 5th.

Jennifer Black Reinhardt has signed with Dinah Stevenson at Clarion to illustrate Linda Sue Park's Yaks Yak.  The picture book, in which the animals' names inspire their activity resulting in unusual situations, is scheduled for release in spring 2016.  Jennifer will also celebrate the release of Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons (Dial), written by Alice McGinty, on August 5th.  Kirkus has given the book a starred review and said "[Jennifer's] detailed watercolors depict a diverse congregation brimming with endearing idiosyncrasies and mutual affection—a real mishpochah."

Susan Maupin Schmid  has sold her fantasy novel One Hundred Dresses to Diane Landolf at Random House in a three book deal.  The fantasy about 100 magical dresses in a castle built by dragons is scheduled for publication in spring 2016.