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Saturday, November 12, 2016

This Week in Dragons

I will be at the Carlsbad Library (Cole Branch) on Tuesday, November 15, at 3:30 to celebrate Children's Picture Book Month. I'll have some of my dragon friends with me (You can expect Baby Dragon and Tri for certain, and I heard somewhere that Baby Dragon just might bring his dragon puppet, too--Babier Dragon!)  

But don't expect me to be reading any books about dragons. I mean, dragons can breathe fire and stuff like that. They can be dangerous!!

Actual picture of my brain this week. Seriously. 

Which is why I am  going to drop this quote here for you, in case you need it. (Because I find myself needing to hear words such as these...)

“Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.”

~ Neil Gaiman, Coraline 
(source,  G.K. Chesterton)

Holding all of you in my heart,


Saturday, October 15, 2016

DragonFest Part 5

It's been a crazy few weeks, so I'll recap a bit.

My new book baby has been in the world for about a month now. I absolutely love reading it to kids. Such fun!

On September 28 Barnes and Noble held a book event for me. It was awesome. Lots of kids and families came to celebrate dragons and books. I gave away some of these little guys:

And signed lots of copies of TBINAD.

Oh, some kids at my school asked me what it was like to write a book "without dragons"  so I decided to show them my process. I made a little film.....

Yes. I know. Too ridiculous. My pack of hounds were the total stars! Henry played the part of the green dragon. He did NOT love wearing the costume. (Watch him extract himself. Quite classy.) Jimmy played the part of the red dragon. Jimmy LOVED the costume. He didn't want to take it off. Daisy s not featured (except for her tail) because she was NOT HAVING IT. She did not want the costume on for even a second. (And Daisy is a Belgian Malinois so if she doesn't want to do something, you cannot make her. Period.)

Anyway, Dragon Fest continues!  More soon!!


PS.  I will be celebrating dragons again at the Cole Library in Carlsbad on Tuesday, November 15 at 3:30 pm in honor of Children's Picture Book Month. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

DragonFest (Part 4)

You didn't think I was done, did you?

Nope. There are always more dragons!  (Even when there aren't any in a specific book, if you get my meaning.)>
No dragons in this, you know.
Today, we are going to look at a couple of my favorite middle grade dragons:

A new favorite!!
I adore this book, THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON by Kelly Barnhill. There is a Perfectly Tiny Dragon named Fyrian who stole my heart. Highly recommend--just an incredibly readable book.! It does not lend itself well to being put down for a moment, though. It really likes it best when you just keep reading it for HOURS and HOURS. The language is lush and gorgeous. (Yes, it made me feel like a hack when I read it, but I couldn't even be angry at it because DRAGON!)

Also, I love this one:
I heart you, Grace Lin
Dragon in WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON is one of my favorite middle grade characters of all time. (He is up there with Ivan, in case you were wondering!) He's kind and brave...just the kind of dragon I'd like to meet someday.

So, if you are in the mood for a novel with a dragon sitting right there in the front seat of the story, please take a look at THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON and WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON.

(But if you are looking for dragons, don't look in here>
because you won't find one.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

DragonFest (Part 3)

Oh, it's not over yet! DragonFest Part 3!!!!

Today is a very special day because THIS BOOK IS NOT ABOUT DRAGONS is finally out in the world.

Here is a picture of some dragons that are not in the book:
yeah, I know, they are upside down and backwards. I meant to do that.
Nope. Not in the book at all. And if they were in the book, they would be going the right way--and they most certainly wouldn't be upside down!

I am so excited that my book is finally here. It's been a long time coming. Big thanks to Fred Koehler for his amazing art, and to Boyds Mills for bringing us together and for never losing faith in a book that absolutely has no dragons.

Happy Birthday!!

I've got events planned for the end of the month to celebrate its arrival. I'll keep you posted. But if you think there are going to be dragons at the book launch, well, there won't be.

Don't even think it! 


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DragonFest 2016 (Part 2)

Image result for dear dragon

Today's literary dragon is Blaise from DEAR DRAGON by Josh Funk. 

This is such a great book. As a teacher, I can't wait to read it with my class when we are learning about multiple perspectives and point of view. It's such an creative premise!  Josh Funk must have had a blast writing it. AND today is its Book Birthday!! So you can sing Happy Birthday to it if you want, but be careful when you blow out the candles--don't breathe fire and barbeque the cake. 


Monday, September 5, 2016

DragonFest 2016 (part 1)

Okay, folks, so we are about a week away from THIS BOOK IS NOT ABOUT DRAGONS entering the world. Yay!!!  (Here is what it looks like in case you forgot):
Image result for this book is not about dragons
Pretty little thing!
 I thought I'd spend a little time celebrating literary dragons with a little thing I like to call DRAGONFEST 2016. Basically I'll be highlighting some of my favorite dragons in books. Sounds like fun, yes?

 Let's start out with a new kid on the block, (and a very terrible dragon, I might add,) the feisty dragon in DRAGON WAS TERRIBLE  by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli.  This is such an incredibly fun read aloud. Actually, I dare you to read it aloud to some kids and not totally crack up yourself. Go ahead. Try it now.  I'll wait.

Image result for dragon was terrible
It's the toilet paper part that gets me every time!

So if you are sitting around waiting for THIS BOOK IS NOT ABOUT DRAGONS to come out (which doesn't even HAVE dragons in it, so....) I highly recommend picking up DRAGON WAS TERRIBLE. You'll be glad you did!

(And if you are a teacher of K-2, you will end up reading this aloud about a billion times. Kids LOVE it!)


Thursday, August 25, 2016


Getting the big box of book babies is always one of the best things in the world!  It is only a few weeks until THIS BOOK IS NOT ABOUT DRAGONS is out in the world and I am so excited. The writing of the books was one of the easy ones, to be honest. I had been playing around with the idea of writing a book about a moose (don't ask me why--I think there is something about a moose that is just inherently funny. Maybe it is the word, Moose. Moose. Yeah, it's a little funny.) Well, I was getting nowhere with the moose book. (FYI this was right before a BUNCH of books featuring moose(s) came out. I think many authors got bit by the moose bug at about the same time, but some of us are slower to make stuff happen.) ANYWAY, there I was, trying to write about a moose (who obviously didn't want any part of my story) and I thought, "Well, at least you're trying something new, Shelley. At least there are no dragons in this book."

And that became the working title of my next book:  THERE ARE NO DRAGONS IN THIS BOOK.
The silliness of writing a book about something I was trying NOT to write about must have unclogged a valve in my brain because the writing just flowed. I sent it to my agent and she loved it. She sent it to my editor and she loved it. (Eventually, my editor and I changed the title around a little to THIS BOOK IS NOT ABOUT DRAGONS.) 

And that's the story of the book that I wasn't even trying to write! (But am so glad that I did!!!)

Soon, I am going to introduce you to some of the dragons that are not in the book. That's right, NOT in the book. But until then, here's a little guy I call Fred (I named him for the illustrator, Fred Koehler.) Yes, I know it's a little strange that I am naming all of the dragons, (especially since I didn't draw them) but seeing as they didn't get to be in the book, I thought the least they deserved was a name. 

More soon!