See Portland Stage’s Version of “Little Beaver & the Echo” through May 16

If you missed Portland Stage’s live (online) production of their “Play Me a Story” version of Little Beaver, you have until May 16 to find it in video form here.

This is  delightful rendition, with creative use of the illustrations, that will get kids off the couch and actively involved. It seems to me a perfect way to spend a half hour, for kids in need of diversion and entertainment (and let’s face it, that’s just about everyone now).

Many thanks to the cast and crew who put this together. And be sure to catch the rest of their Play Me A Story shows, every Saturday morning at 10:30 live online; or in their video archive.cropped-am-wed-header-lbe.jpg

And for videos of me reading some of my favorite books aloud, check out my Tea and Story Time with Amy series:

Episode #1 (“Rachel Fister’s Blister”)    #2 (“Cousin Ruth’s Tooth”),   #3 (“Quentin Fenton Herter III) , and #4 (“Little Beaver and the Echo”).


Categories: Amy's Books & Writing, Children's Literature, Video | 1 Comment

Virtual Workshops & Presentations Now Available Live & Online

For schools looking for “distance learning” enrichment programs: nearly all of my school presentations and writing workshops are now available online through Zoom.

These workshops require little or no student materials:

  1. Writing by Storm (Gr. 1-4) is a group brainstorming session where we create a story together. Zoom allows me to use my computer screen in place of a white board, and there are no other technical requirements.
  2.  “Becoming an Author” (K-8) is a schoolwide presentation but can be tailored to smaller groups; Zoom can accommodate about 100 students for this session. Again, Zoom allows my computer screen to replace a Power Point projection.
  3. Other writing workshops such as “Big Book” (K) and “Where Do Ideas Come From?” (Gr. 1-5)  can also be done “live” on Zoom. The latter requires students to have a pencil and paper.

Visit the “School Visits” page here for more details on each workshop.

Prices for these workshops are adaptable to the new circumstances as well. Please click on “Contact” to be in touch with me or my booking agent.

And stay well during this challenging time.




Categories: School Visits, Uncategorized, Writing Workshops | Leave a comment

“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) , and #4 (“Little Beaver and the Echo”).

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.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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!

To Sign Up For My Newsletter

Simply email the author from the contact page, with the word NEWSLETTER in the subject line.

Categories: School Visits | Leave a comment

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).

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

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.

Categories: Amy's Books & Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: