“Storytime with Tea & Amy #4: Little Beaver and the Echo”

Snuggle up with your favorite stuffed animal, share a cup of chamomile tea with Amy, and listen as she reads one of her best-loved books, Little Beaver and the Echo.

This time, something different: original music, and a new setting.

Categories: Amy's Books & Writing, Children's Literature, Video | Leave a comment

Coronavirus Resource for Kids, Parents, Teachers: “Storytime with Tea & Amy”

Video thumbnail: Storytime with Tea #1: Rachel Fister's Blister, read by the authorDear Friends,

In response to COVID19, I’m making videos of me reading my children’s books available online for parents and teachers who are looking for ways to keep kids entertained and engaged with books while we’re all stuck indoors.

“Storytime with Tea and Amy” is designed to create a comfortable safe place where young children are encouraged to “share” a cup of tea while snuggling with a stuffed animal friend.

The first three episodes are now on YouTube. Feel free  to share them with:

  • kids needing a respite from the troubling world of the Corona Virus,
  • teachers looking for educational & entertaining online content for distance teaching,
  • or parents simply needing a quick breather of their own when children are cooped up all day at home.

Episode #1 (“Rachel Fister’s Blister”) is available now, as well as  #2 (“Cousin Ruth’s Tooth”), and #3 (“Quentin Fenton Herter III) with more to come soon.

I hope this might help just a tiny bit to get through this difficult and scary time for kids.

Stay well,




Categories: Amy's Books & Writing, Children's Literature, Video | 4 Comments

Never Lend Me a Book

I’m hard on books. I read them in the bath, dog ear pages (though never write in them), splay them face down. With paperbacks that is. Hardcover usually gets treated better. the old man and the seaBut yesterday I was reading a hardcover of Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea and had to stop myself from dog-earing a favorite passage. A sudden thought struck me—though in pristine condition, the book had been gathering dust in my bookshelf for decades; I checked the copyright page. Sure enough, it was a bona fide first edition. Rare, collectible, and worth many thousands of dollars. Or priceless, depending on point of view. And I came THAT close to ruining it.

In the future I will be a better person.

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5 Tips for a Happy Author Visit

Fall is when most schools start thinking about a children’s author visit or residency. Here are 5 easy ways to make it a happy, productive event for everyone–especially the children:

* Make sure the students are as familiar as possible with the author’s work. It makes a HUGE difference to their level of appreciation, and there’s nothing like an enthusiastic audience to get the author psyched to give his/her best.

laughing kids

*Ask the author for copies of his/her books in advance if you don’t have them in the library. Many authors will happily send sample copies that a school can either decide to keep or return at the end of the visit.

* Make sure you know their technical requirements and have an IT person on hand to help with the (inevitable) glitches. I once had the school’s A/V system fail before a crowd of 600 kids, and it was not easy to make myself heard or “vamp” for 60 minutes when everything I needed to illustrate my points was on an ‘invisible’ slide presentation!

*Check out the author’s reputation as a presenter. Being a famous writer doesn’t guarantee an author is a good speaker. I (and a lot of teachers) once watched in dismay as a household-name author, the featured speaker at a book festival, sat on a stool and for 30 minutes delivered an off-the-cuff lecture to 400 eighth graders about why it was important to get an education. No slides, nothing  about writing, just a lecture.

*Start on time!!! Like most other authors, I have timed my presentation to the minute. When the school spends 15 valuable minutes getting students seated, making announcements, doing an introduction, it means I have to cut out something crucial, like the Q & A, or the funny ending I had planned.


Schools work hard to come up with funds for an author visit. A few precautions like these will ensure everyone gets the most out it. Good luck with yours!

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Musical Setting of Little Beaver


Here’s a short video of me reading Little Beaver and the Echo to a musical setting composed by Bill Trevaskis and performed by pianist Lois Shapiro at Waterman’s Community Center on North Haven Island (Maine).

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Tooth Sleuth!


The Princeton University Cotsen Children’s Library has come up with a great activity around losing a tooth, inspired by Cousin Ruth’s Tooth. Thanks to everyone who dreamed this up and put it on their creative blog! Click here for instructions.

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That Unsolicited Manuscript

I recently stumbled across this very valuable and up to date list of 30 children’s book publishers–big and small–who will accept unsolicited, unagented manuscripts. So if your New Year’s resolution is to send out that manuscript, here’s a good place to start.

Categories: Writing/Publishing Tips | Leave a comment

The Way a Crow


shook down on me

a dust of snow

from a hemlock tree

has given my heart

a change of mood

and saved some part

of a day I had rued. 

              –Robert Frost

This poem popped into my head one day when I’d gone skiing through a hemlock forest after a really bad morning. And it really and truly did give my heart a change of mood. Thank you, Robert Frost.

Categories: Amy's Books & Writing | Tags: | 1 Comment

Snow joke…’s no joke

Wrote this little joke in honor of all the snow we’ve had this winter:

Front door. Since this was taken another 12" has fallen.

Front door. Since this was taken another 12″ has fallen.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Armageddon who?
Armageddon mighty tired OF ALL THIS SNOW!!!!!!!


Do I have a future as a joke writer? Or should I keep my day job?

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Believe It or Not

Amy and Faith at booksigningFaith Worster was in second grade when I signed this copy of Rachel Fister for  her. This month–all grown up now– she published her OWN children’s book, called Chronicles of Magic. Here she is signing her own book recently.

” I wanted to thank you for helping inspire me to write, ” she tweeted to me.

Has anyone out there been inspired to do some writing of their own by meeting a ‘real author’? If so, maybe you will follow in Faith’s footsteps and become a ‘real author.’ Just be sure to let the author know. It’s a real thrill to hear stories like this!

faith at booksigning.jpg thumb

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