Brighton Salad Pie

On Saturday and Sunday, the kids at Brighton's Barnes & Noble made Salad Pie. Here is their recipe:

carrots                                     2 Julias                           apple

flower                                       Marin                             ABC gum (already been chewed)

granola bar                              gift card                        grass

peas                                         pepper                           ABCDEF (I think the alphabet?)

balloon                                    ABS gum (not sure what this is, but it looks fun)

paperclips                               gumballs   

Yes, that is one interesting Salad Pie! Thank you, Brighton Barnes & Noble for hosting the Little Readers, Big Dreams event. Clockwise from below you see me with SALAD PIE, Mary Ann Riehle with THE LITTLE KIDS' TABLE, Lisa Wheeler with THE PET PROJECT: CUTE AND CUDDLY VICIOUS VERSES, and Jordan Scavone with MIGHT-E!

Chatham Salad Pie

On June 17, I was at Chatham Christian School in Ontario, Canada, reading and talking about SALAD PIE to a few different classrooms. First, I went to my sister's Grade 1 class:

My sister, Helen Hoekstra, and me.

My sister, Helen Hoekstra, and me.

  I read SALAD PIE,

And they mixed up a batch of Chatham Salad Pie.

Then we took class pictures, one nice...

  ...and one silly photo.

  ...and one silly photo.

Next, I headed over to Mrs. Hirnam's Learn & Play class:

 I read the story and talked about the book. Then they showed me something very special next door.

 I read the story and talked about the book. Then they showed me something very special next door.

 Little chicks!

 Little chicks!

Next was Miss Wiancko's Grade 2 class:

 They had lots of good questions and added many ingredients to Chatham Salad Pie. You can see the bowl of salad there in the front row, being mixed up.

 They had lots of good questions and added many ingredients to Chatham Salad Pie. You can see the bowl of salad there in the front row, being mixed up.

For the last class of the day, I visited Mrs. Van Eck's Grade 4 class. Long ago, Mrs. Van Eck was my teacher for Grade 5, except she was Miss Flikweert then, and she taught me in Fruitland, Ontario. I still remember reading Caddie Woodlawn in her class, and the gerbils we had as class pets, Pipsqueak and Rascal. They were always escaping which made for whole class searches.

We read and discussed the book, and also added to the huge recipe of Chatham Salad Pie.

After all those classes, you can imagine the huge recipe we made for Chatham Salad Pie. Just look at all of those magnificent ingredients!

 Good thing this is a pretend Salad Pie!

 Good thing this is a pretend Salad Pie!

Chesapeake Salad Pie

The children at Chesapeake Children's Book Festival added ingredients to a new batch of Salad Pie. Here's their magnificent recipe:

Chesapeake Salad Pie Recipe

1 carrot

1 tarantula

2 slugs



2 potatoes

1 golf ball

1 green blob (must be green)


2 tomatoes


one dash of I love you

bacon bits

lettuce (2 different kinds)

crabs (the Maryland kind)

one person whose name is Abigail

one J.H.


2 strawberries



1 flamingo

a good dose of summer


a softball

1 necklace



a foot


finger nail polish

1 orange


1 pet dog

1 apple

brussel sprouts J (the smiley face was in there with the brussel sprouts)

1 Ella

1 Elizabeth

1 dandelion


1 Kaleb

1 sprinkle of Tolerance



Visiting Lorena, Texas (virtually)

For Read Across America Day on March 2, I had a video-conference with this lovely first grade class in Lorena, Texas. I read them Salad Pie and answered questions. They were well prepared, and had written down their questions ahead of time. I showed them snow, since we had plenty of snow in Michigan in March, and made a little snowball for them. Too bad they couldn't reach through the screen and touch it--some of them hadn't experienced snow before. They sent me this beautiful photo.

Mrs. Maldonado's Grade One class in Lorena, Texas

Mrs. Maldonado's Grade One class in Lorena, Texas



Ripple Grove's Ripple Effect

Ripple Grove Press is having a book drive. From their website:

The Ripple Effect Book Drive

We started Ripple Grove Press to bring beautiful and timeless books to life.  But we also want to make a difference in the lives of children.  So we are teaming up with the Children’s Book Bank (CBB) in Portland, OR to start a book donation drive called “The Ripple Effect.” We want to put a book in every young child's hands.  The Children’s Book Bank makes that possible.

They reach low-income neighborhoods, where the ratio of books to children is one book for every 300 children, far below the ratio of 13 books per child in middle-income neighborhoods.  The Children's Book Bank closes this book gap by gathering tens of thousands of new and gently-used books from the community each year and engaging hundreds of volunteers to help clean, sort, and distribute the books to low-income children, free of charge.  Since 2008, The Children’s Book Bank has delivered over 510,000 books to over 41,000 local children in need, giving these kids tools to develop the language skills they need to become future readers, learners, and citizens.  We want this reach to go as far as possible.

For every Ripple Grove Press book bought and sent to us for CBB in the month of March, we'll match it, and for every dozen new or used books donated (not an RGP book) we’ll add a new RGP book.  Hardcover or softcover.  One book or 100.  We’ll find a new home for your books.

Please help us by sending children’s picture books to:

Ripple Grove Press

PO Box 86740

Portland, OR 97286


For more information on how to help and donate, please visit:

For more information on CBB visit





For the first graders in Lorena, Texas

Today, I read SALAD PIE to a first grade class in Lorena, Texas for Read Across America. I showed them some of the snow from the big storm we had in Michigan yesterday. I only had a bowl of snow, so this picture is to show the snow outside. 

Maggie and Herbert in the snow

Maggie and Herbert in the snow

Also, we talked about my cats, who couldn't be part of the video conference, so here they are:

On shelves today

Today, SALAD PIE is officially launched into the world, onto a shelf near you.

I have two events booked, both in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

  • Schuler Books and Music, March 19 at 10 a.m. Here I'll be signing books with two other authors.
  • Barnes and Noble, Woodland, March 26 at 1 p.m. At this event, I'll be reading SALAD PIE and then signing copies. 

If you are a teacher or librarian, the SALAD PIE Pinterest board is for you. Find extention activities and themes to build on, as well as a few behind-the-scenes peeks at the making of the book.

World Read Aloud Day

Today is World Read Aloud Day, and I'm looking forward to sharing SALAD PIE with a grade 2 class in Mississauga, Ontario via Skype.

Visit  LitWorld  to learn more.

Visit LitWorld to learn more.

Maggie and Herbert, Out on the Town

To celebrate their release out in the world, Maggie and Herbert spent a littlle time around Grand Rapids. Here they are on Monroe Center, enjoying the lights.




SALAD PIE is on Goodreads. You can use this handy button to add it to your shelf so you can be the first to know when I host my upcoming giveaway.