• my books

    What’s New in Book News!

    I am attempting to post here every Tuesday and Thursday (big goals!) as part of my new “time-blocking” management system that I’m setting up for myself and I’ve scheduled a book update! This is something I should do every month, providing I’m doing anything new on the book front, which I usually am. I am a book-making queen these days.


    The big news is Little Hoo Goes to School is coming out in hardback in August! I’ll have more details on how you can buy those soon. I have a few in my office and they are sooooo nice! They cost a little more but if you are like me and don’t really like those floppy soft covers, then you won’t mind paying a little more. I think they are going to be $20 or so but there will be promotions now and then that you can take advantage of. I will keep you posted when promotions are running so stay tuned.


    Like all my Little Hoo books, this book is about dealing with anxiety. Little Hoo is anxious about his first day of school. That’s a subject Bug and I know all too well. I am so glad that Bug seems to have outgrown her anxiety now that she’s a big fat tweenager graduating from sixth grade but I know she still experiences it. Especially now that middle school is looming on the horizon. I’m really excited for her to go into middle school. We attended an orientation there a month or so ago and it seems like so much fun! They have clubs for everything and lots of free time to explore and socialize. I kinda wish I could go back to middle school. I know that clubs and free time are not always “fun” to anxious kids but she’ll get the hang of it.


    I thought I’d include my favorite illustration from this book. This is what Little Hoo imagines school (kindergarten or preschool) will be like. Graphs and squiggles and algebra in Kindergarten! Gah! He is of course wrong and the rest of the book shows him having a blast with his friends and learning in a fun way.


    The next book I want to share about it “Little Hoo Gets the Flu.” This is super relevant to me right now since I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck with some cold virus that’s going around. I am on day two of working from the couch by the fireplace in my pajamas. This one really took me down. I am coughing up acid-mucus and praying that it will go away as quickly as it came on. Good thing you can’t catch my germs from this page.


    Poor Little Hoo. He and I both have an intimate relationship with a box of tissues. This book should come out sometime in Spring! I’ll keep you posted on that.


    Next up: EASY READERS! I am working on a bunch of these. They are very very simple eight page books with simple sentences where only one word changes. This one is about Kat, a girl who likes to wear funky clothes (possibly inspired by Bug).  So basically it goes something like “Kat wears glasses. Kat wears pants. Kat wears gloves.” etc etc…


    They are really fun and simple to make so I think I will make them in six-packs. Teachers make sure you check back for promotions on this when they come out in Spring.  Of course I will post about them more as they get closer.


    I’m also working on a few easy readers called Cody Eats and Cody Eats Everything. Because he does!!


    Cody eats dog food. Cody eats cat food.. you get the gist. And yes, I even included an illustration of Cody eating POOP! Because he does and I do go there. (Ugh! Gross! Gross!) I did illustrate books about snot and slime after all so it’s not really surprising. Parents and teachers hate me. Kids love me.


    And that’s that! Look for Cody and Kat books coming out in Spring!

  • crazy stuff,  party party

    Joon’s Racing Unicorns Birthday Party at that amusement park that I hate.


    This latest birthday party for Joon is probably the first party since Bug’s 2nd Birthday  that I have not gone all out. I know! It’s possible. Who knew?!!  Let me just say that it was difficult for me. I had to sit on my hands.

    When Joon said she wanted to have her birthday party at the local mini-golf/bumper cars/video arcade amusement park I was legitimately sad. I HATE the local mini-golf/bumper car/video arcade amusement park like the DMV. It is NOT my idea of fun at all. It’s pretty much my worst favorite way to spend the day, right next to bowling or going to the dentist/obgyn.

    And that is why Payam and I get along so great. We are opposites and basically Joon is a mini Payam. She likes just about everything I don’t like and vise versa. This goes for food, amusement, songs, clothes…  just about everything. But you know what? I love this kid.

    So I put aside my overbearing party planning hat and let her do her thing.


    We started the day off right by making garbage pancakes while wearing unicorn pajamas, like you do. We played dance music and Queen (her favorite band) on Alexa very loud and Bug and Joon chair-danced while they ate.

    A side note: Joon is very musical kid. She makes videos on Musically all day long. She’s great at editing, singing, lip syncing, flossing and hair flipping. She knows every lyric to every hit song by heart and she can sing it on key even if another song is playing in the background. Her favorite thing to do is to sing an ear-worm infecting song at the top of her lungs and watch everyone else start humming it against their will. It always works. She’s also a pretty good dancer. What can I say. She’s a walking party.


    So naturally, a loud obnoxious place like Boomer’s (the local mini-golf/bumper-car/arcade) is just her speed. Lights blinking, bells ringing, loud music, kids running everywhere hyped up on sugar without parental supervision..it’s like home sweet home for Joon.

    My contribution to this crazy train? Nada. Well except maybe some packaging for slime party favors. I didn’t even make the slime.


    I mean, what else could I do? It’s not like I could Martha-Stewart decorate the underground prison room that they call a “party room.” It was so depressing. Fluorescent light, painted cement walls, plastic table cloths. It could drive a person like me to drink except the wine and beer they sell there was the cheap stuff that I can’t stomach. I just disengaged. There was no Brenda-party-planning-extraordinarre fixing this.

    BUT JOON LOVED IT! Because she was with her friends and when you are eleven that is all you really care about. Party favors schmarty favors. Just give us some candy and show us to the laser tag line!

    Which by the way, I need to point out that Joon made her own slime party favors  You know me and slime. I hate it. Joon loves it. I just made sure she and Bug were making it at the table on some cookie sheets to collect the mess and walked away. I couldn’t even be in the same room. I had to cover my ears when I heard the sounds of that stuff popping and slurping. All I could think about was how much trouble it would be to get out of the rug. Thankfully, Joon knows how much I hate the stuff and she was very careful and no rugs were harmed.


    But back to the party. Joon was in her element. Her friends seemed to have a really good time too. They didn’t even seem to notice the squad of eighteen-year-old boy hoodlums walking around with face tattoos. Shudder.


    They rode the kiddie rides again and again.


    They raced the go carts. They were magical birthday racing unicorns. I should have made them all unicorn horns but the go carts people have really strict rules about hats and hair and anything that could get in the way of a safe drive.


    Then we had cake in the prison room. Something funny I have to give Boomer’s credit for are these candles that are strung together by a ribbon of paper. You light one and then they all magically light up at once. It was quite impressive! I really have to research a DIY on that.


    We sang, we hugged, we took pictures in the crappy fluorescent light. We ate crappy pizza and bonded over how bad it tasted. Cardboard with cheese, yay!

    I hung out with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend all day and I have to say that I really like them! How can you not like a guy who plays Dance Dance Revolution with their kid? It’s pretty cool when the ex’s can all get along and celebrate how much they love their whacky kid.


    We celebrated Joon. She really is a sparkly unicorn of a girl. She is so optimistic and full of life. She wants to have all the fun all the time.


    I love that she and Bug are such good friends. They have their own language of inside jokes. Of course they have their moments when they bicker over what’s fair until my eyeballs are bleeding from rolling so far back into my head BUT they get along most of the time. Joon helps with Bug’s anxiety. She forces Bug to do things she would never do otherwise just by showing up and being competition. She forces me to do things I wouldn’t do otherwise. Joon definitely brings an appreciation of unabashed fun to this family.


    Love you Joon! Shine on sparkle unicorn.