pattycakes: musings on life, love, writing...

Dolly Parton Chooses BUG AND US!

March 9, 2015

Seems I have two things in common with Dolly Parton--and they are not what you think.

First, Dolly Parton is a literacy advocate like I am (1) and she loves my book--BUGS AND US (2) like...well, I do, or I wouldn't have written it. In fact, Ms. Parton loves it so much that she has (more…)

Hope and Soap for the Elephants?

February 16, 2015

Tags: Words or phrases to categorize this post for the tags section

HOPE FOR THE ELEPHANTS is my latest early reader (in the US) and a chapter book (in UK and the rest of the world)!

HOPE is about all the wonderful people who are giving hope to the elephants. The IVORY soap is a reminder that we can also be the hope by never buying ivory.

Thanks to P&G, l will be giving a bar of Ivory (soap) with each book with the words: "The only Ivory you should buy..."

To get a copy of HOPE FOR THE ELEPHANTS, visit your local library or independent bookstore. To order a copy in paperback or hard cover, go to to Indie Bound:

Be the hope for the elephants!


The Buzz on Our Latest Book Deal

November 3, 2014

For those who haven't already heard the BUZZ about our latest book deal, we can now officially announce that...


"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."

We couldn't beeeeeee happier with where Mama, LOOK! has landed. More soon.


My First Greeting Card Sale!!!

June 20, 2014

Seems making greeting cards since birth pays off in more ways than one. I just sold my first batch of greeting cards!

The cards are for kids 3-6 years old, and will be part of Peaceable Kingdom's ( WINTER 2015 greeting card line.

I am sooooo excited! I think I'll write a greeting card for myself to celebrate!

More news soon!

Holy Horses! Two Bits of Horse-Sized News to Share!!

December 27, 2013

Dear Friends:
I want to share two bits (horse pun intended) of Horse-sized (there I go again!) news here FIRST. I prefer posting things like this on my web site blog and linking them to social media. So, please keep an eye out for future announcements on pattycakes.

1) HORSE CLUB--My very first early chapter book is hot off the presses and available from Penguin/DK (DEC 2013) starting this week. You can find it at wherever they sell books. Lucky (horse shoes, okay I will stop...for now) me.

HORSE CLUB is a story about a young girl, Emma, (named after my one of my ancestors: Big and Little Emma--and Emma Dryden!) who LOVES, LOVES, LOVES horses almost as much as she adores her older sister, Amanda (named after another ancestor!), and who dreams of riding in a horse show with her one day.

Please click on my EARLY CHAPTER BOOK link on my home page for a more complete description, a glimpse of the gorgeous cover, and the first review of this--my first-ever early chapter book! (Thanks, Night Owl!)

2) I am featured in the Illinois Reading Council's Winter Journal in its Insights from Illinois Authors!* It's an interview about me, my writing process, my ILLINOIS READS award, and more. I feel both honored and humbled to be included in this important journal. They sent me their questions a few months ago and I carefully crafted my responses. Let me know what you think of it. Thanks!

*PS I will be linking the journal story to my web site as soon as I get a link. So, please check back if you'd like to read it!)

Well, that's all for now. Here's to magical and miraculous things ahead for all of us in the New Year!

xx oo


Grace Hopper: Computer Whiz Honored!

June 5, 2013

Tags: Words or phrases to categorize this post for the tags section

So excited to have my biography on Grace Murray Hopper included in other resources about this dynamic computer pioneer at the National Woman's History Museum!

Here'a s link to the museum web site. It's a must see!

Too busy to blog

April 13, 2013

It's both true and obvious. I've been too busy to blog. Well, it's not that I don't have anything to write about or something to say. It's truly the opposite and I couldn't be happier.

There are only so many hours in the day to write and blogging has taken and will continue to take a back seat. If and when things change, you will be the first to know.

If you're looking to read some of my writing, take a look at the some of the links on this web site and/or ask me to send some samples your way. I'd be thrilled if you did both. Yes, I would.



No "EL", No "L", No "L" and "NOEL"

December 22, 2011

To all my friends, colleagues, readers, beloved teachers + librarians and book-loving people who celebrate Christmas, I wish you and yours the PEACE, JOY, and LOVE of NOEL and a blessed NEW YEAR! (Click on the images that I've included with this greeting on the right margin!)

For everyone else, I wish you the peace, joy, and love of YOUR holiday--and the happiest 2012!

PS I will be sending a NEW YEAR greeting, too. Keep a look out for it! xx oo PJM

A Few Things I Learned On the Way Thru My First ALAN Workshop

December 4, 2011

I had the honor and pleasure of attending the ALAN (The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English) two-day workshop after the NCTE Conference in Chicago this year.

I felt like I had won the "golden ticket" to attend, but I had no idea what I was in for or the amazing teachers, librarians, and other book people I would soon meet. And, while I have been fortunate to attend ALA Conventions (with the most wonderful librarians) and SCBWI conferences (with the equally extraordinary fellow authors and illustrators), it has, however, been a while since I felt so connected or akin to book people as I did during those two days.

Here are just a few of the things I realized, learned, promised, and even pledged on my way through what I like to call my first ALAN YA LIT LOVE FEST: (more…)

On Writing Artist Statements--MINE!

September 7, 2011

Tags: Artist Statement, writing, writer

Recently, I was asked to supply an artist statement with a teaching artist application. Being familiar with them, but not having one myself, I was flummoxed on how to begin writing one and what to include.

Since I have a bevy of wonderful artist pals, I emailed a handful of my visual artist friends who I thought would know more about writing these than me. Sure enough, I was directed by the talented Wendy Martin to look at Alyson B. Stanfield's web site:

While I navigated through this amazingly thoughtful web site, I found a post or two about artists creating their own artist statements and tried writing my own.

Through this brief (and albeit, somewhat rushed) exploration, I learned that an artist statement is a living and breathing thing, that it changes as we change, and that I am to visit and revisit it every so often to refine it. Here's what I have so far... (more…)