Friday, June 26, 2020

Hugs and Hurrahs

Hello again, everyone! Well, the end of the school year was different this year, but we’ve made it to summer. I hope you’re all enjoying the nice weather! I’m so glad to be able to celebrate all this good news today.

Neal Levin’s poem “Brother For Sale” is posted on, a new website developed by Kenn Nesbitt, featuring “the funniest kids’ poems in the universe.” The website is meant to encourage children to read by providing them with new funny poems from writers all over the world, every weekday, on the website and by email. You can also find more of his poems here.

How cool, Neal!

Kristin Lenz's YA short story, “Spontaneous Combustion,” was a runner-up in the WOW! Women On Writing 2020 Winter Flash Fiction contest. You can read Kristin's story and find the other winners/finalists here.

That’s fantastic, Kristin!

Suzanne Jacobs Lipshawis celebrating signing two contracts. The first with Doodle and Peck Publishingfor the publication of her nonfiction picture book MIGHTY MAHI (working title) releasing fall 2022. The second with Professional Youth Theatre of Michiganwho are adapting her debut picture book I CAMPAIGNED FOR ICE CREAMinto a musical.

I can’t wait to see it, Suzanne!

Julie Wenzlick recently published her fourth rhyming picture book in a series about sisters Annabelle and Maisie, Julie's granddaughters. Her newest book, THE DREAM WAR: ANNABELLE VS. MAISIE (Illustrations by Jaime Buckley), is a tale of competitive sisters who seek parental attention by making up wild dreams in a battle of wit and imagination.  A companion coloring book is also available. A preview of the book can be seen here

How sweet, Julie!

Rachel Anderson’s debut MG historical fiction novel THE PUPPY PREDICAMENT (Late November Literary) was released in April. Eleven-year-old Emily Hanover is determined to secretly rescue a litter of mutts that her neighbor doesn’t want in this novel set in a small town in Michigan in the mid-1960s. 

Good for you, Rachel!

Lisa Rose won the PJ Library Author Incentive Award for her picture book A ZOMBIE VACATION illustrated by Ángeles Ruiz (Apples & Honey Press), which will be released on September 1.

That’s great news, Lisa!

Lisa Wheeler sold a picture book titled BABY SHOWER to Lauri Hornik at Dial. The book will come out in 2022 and be illustrated by Charlie Alder.

Congratulations, Lisa!

Kirbi Fagan and Deb Pilutti received a merit award from the 3x3. "The 3x3 is the first publication devoted entirely to the art of contemporary illustration. Published in the United States and distributed worldwide, our sole interest is in sharing what's shaping international illustration. Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote illustration in all its forms. Merit winners must have received a majority of our judge’s votes."

Hurrah for both of you!

David Stricklen’s book RIPLEY ROBINSON AND THE WORM CHARMERhas a new cover jacket. 

Looks great, David!

Stay well and happy writing, everyone! Please send all your good news to Sarah Prusoff LoCascio at Sarah.Prusoff.LoCascio@gmail.comfor the next Hugs and Hurrahs post.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Book Birthday Blog with Baxter Bramatti

Welcome to SCBWI-MI's Book Birthday Blog! 
Where we celebrate new books by Michigan's children's book authors and illustrators

Congratulations to Baxter Bramatti on the release of his book, Moon Puppets!

Congratulations on your debut book, Moon Puppets! What inspired this story? 

Thank you! My dad inspired the story. When I was kid and we'd lose power during a thunderstorm at night, my dad used to make shadow puppets with his flashlight. He would shine the flashlight directly above me and light up the ceiling. Then he’d lower his hand over it and speak in a deep, scary voice. As his hand dropped closer to the light, the shadow of his hand would get bigger and look as if a giant hand was lowering and trying to pick me up. I mean, it’s a dad joke, something every dad does I’m sure. But the image of him doing that stuck with me. Then one day, many years ago, I was gazing at one of those super harvest moons that hover just above the horizon. I started to imagine what it would look like if a shadow of a hand started out small but then gradually increased to cover the moon in its entirety, making the moon disappear. Perhaps there was the potential for a much darker, creepier story than Moon Puppets, but eventually I turned the idea into a rhyming poem about a girl who wants to make a shadow puppet show for the whole world to see.

This picture book was definitely a labor of love and time! You started Moon Puppet’s first draft eighteen years ago. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey from there to now?

That’s right. Eighteen years ago I completed the first draft of Moon Puppets and I never stopped thinking about it. The moon itself was a constant reminder of the work and story I wanted to share. I always knew that I’d find a way to release it into the world, just like the story’s protagonist, Flora, finds a way to see her dreams come true. I figured if I created Flora with imaginative qualities and the drive to see her goals reached, and I thought those were good characteristics that I wanted to put out there to inspire young readers, then I should learn from her and find a way to make my dreams come true as well. But, the hardest part for me was the art. I can’t draw. Well, I can’t draw anything that would be appealing in a picture book. So most of the eighteen years was taken up by me thinking about the book and wondering who to contact or how to complete the project, and then telling myself that maybe it’s not worth the time, effort, and other resources. Even though it is; it’s totally worth it. And I’d also tell myself that, too. So basically, I had an internal argument about the project for eighteen years. In the end though, I won. Not that it’s about winning (I tell myself that so myself feels better about the outcome). 

What was your inspiration or motivation to write picture books?

Other picture books are a motivation. I’ve always been fascinated by well-written, well-executed picture books. Picture book authors have very little time to grab their target audience’s attention (with words or pictures), and they have to get their message across clearly. I also like to write fun stories for the sake of them being fun. I know there’s plenty of heavy topics these days to write about. It’s necessary to write about them, and I’m so glad there’s people that do just that and do it well. But at the same time, kids are kids. Sometimes they simply need to hear a story or be inspired about a girl that projects shadows on the moon with her hands. Also, my children motivate me, although perhaps not to write Moon Puppets, since that was done over ten years before my first child was born. But my kids definitely inspired me to follow through with the story, create more, and reach for my dreams because that’s exactly what I tell them to do.

Moon Puppets is a self-published picture book. Why did you decide to take the self-publishing route?

There came a time when I realized that I had to get Flora’s story out there. I queried countless agents and publishers off and on throughout the last eighteen years. I even attended a few writer workshops and pitched the story directly to agents. I was never successful in landing an agent or publisher. I kept telling myself that the story I had was good enough and that one day I would publish it if no one else would. Then eighteen years passed. And I got older. And my children, although still young enough now to enjoy picture books, got older, too. I thought what am I waiting for? At what age do I no longer wait for something to happen and simply make it myself? I met the illustrator, Taylor Graham, around the same time I decided to just go for it, which I felt was serendipitous rather than simply happenstance. If I waited eighteen more years I’d be even older and I might not be as determined to see the project through. I’m glad I didn’t wait longer, I’m proud of the finished product and I learned a lot (with plenty more to learn still) about the publishing and self-publishing industry. At the end, holding the finished product, my book, in my hands after dreaming about the day for almost two decades was extremely satisfying.

How did you get in contact with artist Taylor Graham? What advice would you give to an author who’s self-publishing and looking for an illustrator? 

How do you get into contact with anyone these days? It’s a classic story of boy-uses-internet-to-awkwardly-ask-boy-a-question. After that, our relationship progressed quickly and about nine months after our initial meeting, we were holding our precious creation, our book, in our hands. My advice to other self-publishing authors is to find an illustrator whose style and work you admire. Don’t settle for something based on price or ease; the art and images are part of your story so get what you want. I hear writers say things like “write for you first” and I think that carries over in selecting an illustrator: write for you and present your story with art for you as well.

You wrote Moon Puppets in rhyme! Why did you chose that style of writing for this story? Do you usually like to write in rhyme, or was this newer for you? 

I do like to write in rhyme. I feel like it fits together like a puzzle. Some writers find it restrictive because there are rules, but I find the rules challenging, yet freeing in a way. If I need an extra syllable, I can swap a two syllable word for a three syllable word, or if I need to, maybe throw in the passive voice and, voila, the beat goes on. Doing that for prose might be considered “bad writing.” During my eighteen-year-long argument with myself I came across a lot of writing advice that said writing picture books in rhyme was a big no-no unless your name was Dr. Seuss. Discouraged, I rewrote the story a few times in prose, but it just wasn’t the same and never felt as fun. Then it came back to that “write for you” idea, and I knew the story was always meant to be in rhyme. It was always meant to be a fantasy poem about an ordinary girl doing something extraordinary.

Do you have anything in the works? Any future projects or plans? How can readers learn more about you and your work?

Yes, of course! I’m working on more of Flora’s fantastical stories. Her second story is complete (I only sat on that one for six years), and Taylor is going to begin working on the illustrations for it soon. I like to think of Flora as a girl who is surrounded by this sort of fantastical environment and wonderful things happen to her or she finds she’s capable of doing some extraordinary things. It’s kind of a Bobby’s World situation where she acts out her fantasies, but for her it’s possible that it all might not be in her imagination. 

I also have a Middle Grade magical realism manuscript about a unicorn struggling with his own identity and a genre-blending Young Adult manuscript that contrasts the life of an Italian immigrant with that of his grandson. Both manuscripts are completed (minus some final stage editing), as well as a few more picture books (in poetry and prose) that I’m working on.

Readers can learn more about me and my work by visiting my website,, or by following (and interacting!) with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @BBramatti.

A little bit about the book:

Flora wants to cast shadows on the moon using light from the sun. But can she stretch her arms up high enough to see her dreams come true? Flora will have to combine her imagination and determination to create the most fantastic shadow puppet show the world has ever seen!

A little bit about the author:

Baxter B. Bramatti lives in Michigan with his loving wife and their two daughters. He spends most of his time writing, dreaming, scheming, and eating. He does laundry, too, because food stains are natural consequences of his eating. If you would like to see what Baxter is working on, you can check out his latest projects from a safe distance (so he can't drip food juice on your shirt) by visiting or twittering @BBramatti.

Friday, June 12, 2020

We Each Have a Story to Tell by Kat Harrison

Kat Harrison celebrated her book birthday with an interview here on the Mitten blog last month. The idea for her picture book, Surgery on Sunday, grew from her own experience with chronic illness. We asked Kat to return to our blog to share some tips about writing from your own personal experiences, owning your story, and using your challenges to fuel your writing.

Here's Kat:

Telling your story to the world is like cracking your chest open and saying, "Here's my heart. Go ahead and take a look around." It's unbelievably scary and there isn't a lot to hide behind. But I've also learned how incredibly empowering it is to let your imperfect self shine, and I hope to encourage you to do the same.

(Quick note before we continue: My own story isn't why we're here, but in case you need some context -- you can head here or here.)

We each have a story to tell

The most beautiful part about life is that each one of us is uniquely spun from beginning to end. And while that can bring on feelings of loneliness and othering, I find so much hope (and writing material) in that. Try and tap into your experiences when you feel blocked. What have you been through? Who changed your life? What emotions have carried you this far? What small things bring you the most joy?

Share what you're comfortable with

I didn't share my story for the longest time. I felt deep shame about being so sick during "the best years of my life." But as I've come to share more and more of myself with the world and with readers, it's vital to acknowledge that I've done so on my own timeline -- no one else's. The same goes for you. Only tell your story when you're ready. Tell as little or as much as you like. The beauty of opening up is that most people won't know what details you're leaving out. It's OK to protect your heart as you're the only one who has to live with it beating inside your chest.

Prepare for impact

The freedom I've experienced with embracing what I've been through is second to none. I finally feel like myself in a world that tells me I should be a walking Instagram filter. But what I've learned is that when you channel every single speck of who you are into a written product, you're also opening yourself up for criticism. People won't always like what you create -- that's the underbelly of what it means to be an artist. But it's a tad bit harder to swallow when what they're critiquing is rooted in your inner fabric. It's almost as if they're rejecting who you are as a person as opposed to your finished product. But I hope you don't let that stop you.

I'll leave you with two final tips about how you can approach this:

1. Lead with vulnerability. Create a platform around what you've been through. It feels like I've told my life's story a million times and then I decided to write a work of fiction. Most people know me for my health advocacy and now I'm hoping they'll get to know me as an author.

2. End with vulnerability. Create a story around your story. Let the details of your life inspire characters or the plot. Even just plucking out meaningful conversations or events can bring shape and color to an otherwise fictional telling. Let people get to know you as an author and then surprise them with your dimension as a human being.

Whatever you do, I hope you know how much better your story makes this world. I'd love to hear it when and if you're ready.

Kat Harrison is a writer, editor, and chronic illness advocate. Her writing has been featured in various print and online outlets such as Real Simple, New York Family, The Mighty, and Yahoo. She lives with a not-so-fun buffet of chronic health conditions and has recovered from fourteen surgeries, but she keeps her sense of humor thanks to an incalculable amount of coffee and brightly colored headbands. Surgery on Sunday (Warren Publishing, 2020) is her debut picture book. You can visit her website at or follow her on Instagram @xokat.

Coming up on the Mitten Blog:

Diversity Dialogue, Book Birthday interviews, and our quarterly Hugs and Hurrahs. We want to celebrate your good news:
  • Did you receive a "champagne" rejection letter, a request to revise and resubmit?
  • Did you sign with an agent?
  • Did you win a contest?
  • Do you have a cover reveal?
  • Did you sign a contract?
  • Do you have an online interview, article, or event to share?
  • Did you sign up for or complete a class? An MFA program?
  • Did you meet a goal in your work-in-progress? Did you set a goal? Put it in writing and we'll help keep you accountable!
Your steps of progress inspire and motivate us too! Please email your writing/illustrating/publishing news to Sarah LoCascio by June 22nd to be included in the next Hugs and Hurrahs roundup later in June.

Did you notice we have a new spring/summer blog banner created by Rebecca Howe? Thank you, Rebecca! You can read her interview and see our previous Featured Illustrators here.

Look for the next Diversity Dialogue post in mid-July. Jack Cheng’s blog post, On Silence and Action, will focus on what we in the kidlit community can do, from our own respective lanes, when current events stir us to do something. He'll approach it from a more universal, ongoing perspective, rather than focusing on one event.

Publishing Opportunity! 

The Mitten Blog is seeking submissions from SCBWI-MI members. This is a great opportunity for novice writers to practice polishing and submitting their work and for experienced authors and illustrators to add to their platform. Your input helps all of us to learn and improve our craft and business and support our community. Here are the submission guidelines:

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Book Birthday Blog with Supriya Kelkar

Welcome to SCBWI-MI's Book Birthday Blog! 
Where we celebrate new books by Michigan's children's book authors and illustrators

Congratulations to Supriya Kelkar on the release of her new book, American as Paneer Pie!

Congratulations on the release of American As Paneer Pie! What inspired this story?

Thank you! I wrote the first draft in 2017, when it felt like hate was really being emboldened and encouraged by people in power. It made me think back to my childhood in a small town in Michigan that didn’t value diversity. I wanted to write a story that empowered readers everywhere into finding their voice, in whatever shape it may take, to speak out against hate.

The main plot of the story revolves around two young girls, Lekha and Avantika. What inspired these two characters, and what did you want to explore in their relationship?

A lot of Lekha is based on me when I was younger. Lekha deals with constant othering and microaggressions and racism and has grown to feel conflicted about her culture when she is not in spaces that appreciate it. Avantika is someone who is unwaveringly proud of who she is and not afraid to speak up for herself and others. She inspires Lekha to find her voice, and Lekha helps Avantika overcome an issue in her life as well when it comes to colorism and the fairness creams Avantika uses.

Food plays a big role in the book, hinted at by American as Paneer Pie’s title! Could you talk a little bit about the significance of food in your story?

I grew up loving Indian food but was made fun of it at school so much I eventually stopped bringing it. Lekha goes through something similar so I really wanted to pause and take time in lovingly describing the food that means so much to Lekha at home. Readers can find out what paneer pie is on June 9th, and there’s a recipe in the back of the book too!

In addition to writing middle grade and picture books, you’ve been a screenwriter for several Hindi films! Has your experience as a screenwriter informed how you write your books?

It has. I write all my novels using the three-act structure from screenwriting. Because my screenwriting background always emphasized how important structure is, I spend a lot of time at the start of drafting on outlining the book and plotting everything out.

What has publishing and marketing a book been like in the current situation? Do you have any advice for other authors currently working to publish and market their own books right now?

With so many important issues at the forefront right now, it isn’t an ideal time to market a book. I’m just doing what I can to get the word out and encouraging readers to get books from independent bookstores that can all use our support right now.

What’s something you hope your readers will take away from American as Paneer Pie?

I hope readers feel inspired to find their voice, be it through art, poetry, singing, writing, dance, etc. and use it to speak out against hate and stand up for what is right. I hope the book is a beacon of hope for those who need it and a book that builds empathy and understanding for all readers.

What’s next for you? Do you have any projects coming up? How can readers learn more about you and your work?

I have three books coming out after AMERICAN AS PANEER PIE (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster).

The first is STRONG AS FIRE, FIERCE AS FLAME (Tu Books, October 2020). It is a historical middle grade novel that takes place in 1857 in India. It is full of girl power and challenges readers to think about books we consider classics, and to think about who is being centered in colonial stories and all stories, and whose stories are being left out.

In spring 2021, BINDU’S BINDIS (Sterling), a picture book about a girl who loves to match the shape of her bindis to her Nani’s comes out. That is illustrated by Parvati Pillai and the art is gorgeous.

And after that, in summer 2021, THAT THING ABOUT BOLLYWOOD (Simon & Schuster BFYR) comes out. It is a middle grade novel about a Bollywood-loving girl named Sonali who isn’t very good at expressing herself. When her parents announce they are separating, a magical condition forces Sonali to express herself in the most obvious way possible, through Bollywood song-and-dance numbers.

I’m really excited for AMERICAN AS PANEER PIE and all of these upcoming books!

A little bit about the book:

An Indian American girl navigates prejudice in her small town and learns the power of her own voice in this brilliant gem of a middle grade novel full of humor and heart, perfect for fans of Front Desk and Amina’s Voice.

As the only Indian American kid in her small town, Lekha Divekar feels like she has two versions of herself: Home Lekha, who loves watching Bollywood movies and eating Indian food, and School Lekha, who pins her hair over her bindi birthmark and avoids confrontation at all costs, especially when someone teases her for being Indian.

When a girl Lekha’s age moves in across the street, Lekha is excited to hear that her name is Avantika and she’s Desi, too! Finally, there will be someone else around who gets it. But as soon as Avantika speaks, Lekha realizes she has an accent. She’s new to this country, and not at all like Lekha.

To Lekha’s surprise, Avantika does not feel the same way as Lekha about having two separate lives or about the bullying at school. Avantika doesn’t take the bullying quietly. And she proudly displays her culture no matter where she is: at home or at school.

When a racist incident rocks Lekha’s community, Lekha realizes she must make a choice: continue to remain silent or find her voice before it’s too late.

A little bit about the author:

Supriya grew up in the Midwest, where she learned Hindi as a child by watching three Hindi movies a week. Winner of the New Visions Award for her middle grade novel AHIMSA, (Tu Books, 2017), Supriya is a screenwriter who has worked on the writing teams for several Hindi films and one Hollywood feature. Supriya’s books include AHIMSA, THE MANY COLORS OF HARPREET SINGH (Sterling, 2019), AMERICAN AS PANEER PIE (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster, 2020) STRONG AS FIRE, FIERCE AS FLAME (Tu Books, 2020), BINDU’S BINDIS (Sterling, 2021), and THAT THING ABOUT BOLLYWOOD (Simon and Schuster BFYR, 2021).

Learn more about Supriya at

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Resources for Social Justice and Positively Impacting Change Through Children's Books

More resources:

  • #BVM Black Voices Matters has a new hashtag for PitMad pitches.

Dr. Traci Baxley is an expert on social justice parenting and education for children. She's hosting an online workshop for parents on June 10th and 19th: For Moms Who Want To Be Allies - Talking to Kids about Racism. For more information and registration, go here:

Please join the KidLit community on Thursday June 4th, 7pm for the Rally of Black Lives hosted on Facebook Live @THE BROWNBOOKSHELF.

Do you have a resource to share? Please let us know in the comments.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Book Birthday Blog with Lisa Richman

Welcome to SCBWI-MI's Book Birthday Blog! 
Where we celebrate new books by Michigan's children's book authors and illustrators

Congratulations to Lisa Richman on the release of her new book, Tavi Tails!

Congratulations on the release of your debut book, Tavi Tails! What inspired this heartwarming story?

I first shared Tavi’s short stories on his Facebook page. It was incredibly gratifying to see how he helps people smile, and think, and look at life from a unique perspective. This book is a chance to do that on a broader scale, and if ever there was a time the world could use more laughs and warm fuzzies, this is it. It has been especially rewarding to receive letters from teachers using this book to help students during this tough time in quarantine.

What inspired you to write this story from Tavi’s point of view? Were there any advantages or challenges to writing from Tavi’s perspective as a dog?

Tavi came home to us when he was seven weeks old. The day after we met him, we said, “What exactly do we have here?” He was so young, but already expressive and opinionated, both of which made it unusually easy to communicate with him.  I started writing for him within that first week.

The advantages to writing from Tavi’s perspective are huge. Looking at the world through the eyes of a dog allows us to understand our own point-of-view better. It is a bit like encountering another culture – it helps you realize things about your own culture you never noticed before. One of my favorite letters came from a teacher who works with autistic students. She wrote about how Tavi’s book helps her students learn about looking at life from different perspectives – a difficult skill. I think, in many ways, he does that for all his readers.

The biggest challenge to writing in Tavi’s voice is to not let my own voice and perspectives creep in. Often when I am proofreading or revising, I bump into a jarring spot and know I am no longer listening to the dog! 

Mental health and suicide can be both important and difficult topics to write about. What was your experience writing about them? Was there anything that helped you the most through the process?

While full of humor, the novel begins with me coming home from school one day, devastated because one of our students had committed suicide. Sadly, this was real, and not fiction, and the scene at the beginning of the book is basically what happened. Tavi could not understand, but he knew how upset I was, and I know he could feel the incredible loss and hole in my heart. That was the day we decided to share all he learned, in hopes that humans would always choose to stay.

At first, I avoided this catalyst for making Tavi’s stories a book. I simply started the tale with Tavi and his littermates. Then I realized that was wrong, and that if there is the tiniest hope that even one person chooses to stay because of the life lessons Tavi shares, I had to start with the honest beginning. It was a scary decision – what if I did it wrong? I am a teacher and a writer, not a mental health expert. No matter how scary, though, I owed the story that truth. I cannot put into words how grateful I am when I hear from readers about the positive difference Tavi has made in their lives, and that is what has helped me the most. 

I do think it is important for parents and educators to give students the opportunity to talk about this scene, as brief as it is. It is also why I list the book as young adult. I have heard from parents of younger kids who read the book and loved it, and all those parents offered support and discussion. 

Which writers and books are your biggest inspirations?

This list could go on and on, so I will pick two who greatly entertained, but also taught me valuable lessons, in writing and in life.

I love Robin Hobb - all her books are favorites, especially the Farseer tales. The worlds she creates are so real, I believe they actually exist somewhere. The strength, depth, and complexity of her characters help them capture my heart, or my loathing, as the case may be. Nighteyes, the wolf, will forever be my fictional soulmate.

Astrid Lindgren and Pippi Longstocking – Pippi was the first one to teach me it is cool to be yourself, even if you are a bit weird and unconventional, and Astrid Lindgren’s creativity is lasting proof that imagination cannot be fenced in.

Has your experience teaching impacted how or why you write, or who you write for?

While many teachers use their understanding of kids to write books that might appeal to them, as the only German teacher in our high school, I was in the unique position that I taught the same kids for four years. They walked into our classroom as awkward thirteen or fourteen year olds, looking to one another to figure out who they were, and left as young adults, increasingly confident in the person they were inside themselves. They are why I write. The laughs and lessons we shared will forever be part of who I am.

What’s something you hope your readers take away from Tavi Tails?

The last page of the book addresses this exact question, but there you see Tavi’s answers. For me, I hope for two things. The first one is that readers feel the strength of smiles and laughter, especially when shared. The second one is the knowledge that you cannot successfully be anyone other than yourself, and that is a good thing, because you are precious.

What’s next for you? Do you have any new ideas in the works? Where can readers lean more about you and your work?

I just finished a young adult fantasy book titled Tolemac – Through the Towers. It is the story of a teenage girl who discovers her dog is also a dragon. Underneath that, it is a story about wanting to belong, and learning that the price of belonging may not be worth it. 

While I look for that book’s home, I am beginning work on the second book in the series. Tolemac – The Two Trees, and I will always write for Tavi. 

Readers can stay in touch with both Tavi and me, and we love to hear from them!

A little bit about the book:

Tavi Tails – The Diary of a Dog is a story told by an expressive and opinionated English Golden Retriever. While full of humor, the story begins on the saddest note. Tavi’s mom came home from school full of sorrow, because a student there committed suicide. He whined, confused and sad too. He loved all his minutes and seconds, and he could not understand why someone would choose to Leave Forever. He knew then that his job was to share everything he learned, hoping that no matter how sad they might be, humans will pick to stay. 

Along with his duck chasing Lab, his protective Collie, and their humans, Tavi delights in life’s adventures and faces its challenges - from Bad Guy Leash and the power of Butt Plop Wide Paw, to the courage it takes to be a Flying Duckdog, to the scary responsibility of teaching his Puppy. He learns that dogs can be Here, But Not Here, that humans can get lost, and that if he has his Pack, he has all he really needs.

While translating from puppy to English is not an exact science, this book reflects Tavi’s experiences in his own voice. Tavi Tails will touch hearts and funny bones, and will offer readers the chance to learn about, and laugh at, our world from a unique perspective.

A little bit about the author:

Lisa Richman lives in Northern Michigan with her husband Michael and their three dogs, Tavi, Molly, and Shosti Shostakovich. Lisa has a Master’s Degree in World Languages and taught high school German and English for 25 years. She loved her time working with teenagers, learning, laughing, and growing alongside them. Grateful for everything those kids taught her, and grateful for the chance to make a positive difference in the world, she is now turning to writing, in hopes she might continue learning and contributing. She considers it one of her life’s greatest honors that Tavi chose her to write his stories.