Welcome to My Website!

Here you will find information about me, some of my works, my author visits and writing workshops, my creative agency, Pattycake Productions, my blog named "pattycakes," and my children's charity, Joanne's Raggedy Ann Club.

If you have any questions about these things, please contact me by clicking on my contact page (or clicking on contact page below) and I will get back to you lickety split. Thank you for stopping by.


Some BIG and Not-So-Big News...

More exciting news...

Jenna Pocius of Little Bee Books has acquired Mama, LOOK! , a picture book conceived by Patricia J. Murphy and Caldecott Medalist David Diaz, about curious baby creatures and their mothers discovering the world around them. Publication is scheduled for spring 2017; Rubin Pfeffer of Rubin Pfeffer Content negotiated the deal for world rights

On top of the above NEWS and NEW writing projects, the past several months have been filled with author visits, book events, and preparations for NEW visits, events, programs--and more. Here are just some of the latest happening happenings:

--I am working on a number of EXCITING new children's publishing projects which I can't talk about right now. I will when I can. Cross my heart.

--My HOPE FOR THE ELEPHANTS, early reader (in the US) and chapter book (in the UK and everywhere else) is available, as they say, "everywhere books are sold", and ready to inspire young readers to become part of the hope.

HOPE is about a boy who travels with his Grandma Jo to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand and a wildlife reserve in Africa to learn about what’s happening to the world’s elephants, what’s being done about it, and what we can all do to help these amazingly complex and majestic animals before it’s too late.

--I have been doing all kinds of programs surrounding my chapter book HORSE CLUB (Penguin/​DK 2014). HORSE CLUB is a story about a girl named Emma who longs to ride horses and finally gets a chance to do so when joining a horse club at her school. There’s some drama, intrigue, and a heart pounding ending that I hope will satisfy my readers and whet their appetites for more. For more information on HORSE CLUB, you can click on the link to the book.

--TELLING TIME WITH PUPPY AND KITTENS has been chosen as a SCHOLASTIC, INC. BOOK CLUB selection and available in paperback. Scholastic calls it, "...the most adorable how-to book on the shelf!"

--I am busily preparing for a number of RIVETING school and library programs for 2016. I've been traveling to places including Arlington Heights, Chicago, Cicero, Crystal Lake, Genoa-Kingston, Lake Zurich, Lisle, Naperville, Oak Park, and Woodridge to speak to young readers and writers. I've also have been a part of Book-A-Mania, Full-STEAM Ahead, and Rahm's Readers Summer Challenge programs with the Chicago Public Libraries.

--Soon, I will be heading back to Cicero, Chicago, and a number of new places. Please check out my VISITS page for more information on my author visits, etc. My calendar is filling up, so if you'd like me to visit your school or library, now is the time to book me:)

--My BUGS AND US book (Penguin/​DK) was released in May of 2012 in hard cover, paperback, and is now also an APPLE APP! It's truly a love letter to BUGS and a "call to action" for others to take care of the BUGS that take care of us. It was also chosen as part of IL READS. (See link above for more information!)

--This past spring and summer, I developed and delivered several BUG LOVE programs and workshops at suburban libraries, bookstores, and Chicago Botanic Garden. Please see my VISITS and WORKSHOPS pages if you might be interested some BUG LOVE...or another of my programs.

--The highly-anticipated sports poetry anthology, "And the Crowd Goes Wild: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems" anthology features one of my poems: "READY, SET, GOLD" is available in both paperback and e-book formats online and at area bookstores. For more information, visit my POETRY page by going to my WORKS page and clicking on POETRY.


In Other News...

New author visits, workshops, and appearances are always in the works. Please visit my VISITS AND WORKSHOP pages for the most up-to-date programs and offerings.

If you are interested in having me appear at your school, library, or bookstore--and/​or present a specially tailored writers' workshop for your group, please click on my VISITS and WORKSHOPS' pages. I would be thrilled to work with you.

Make sure to check out some of my latest images. A few are inspirations for some possible photography books. Very exciting! (To view them click on the IMAGES link on my WORKS page!)