TRUMAN is a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book!

With the grand ALA award celebrations swiftly approaching (and yes, I’ll be rising early to tune into the live stream of excitement) other awards sometimes get overlooked. One of those is the Charlotte Zolotow Award – it is one of the only major awards given for picture book text. Here’s the description from the award website:

The Charlotte Zolotow Award is given annually to the author of the best picture book text published in the United States in the preceding year. Established in 1998, the award is named to honor the work of Charlotte Zolotow, a distinguished children’s book editor for 38 years with Harper Junior Books, and author of more than 70 picture books, including such classic works as Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present (Harper, 1962) and William’s Doll (Harper, 1972). Ms. Zolotow attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison on a writing scholarship from 1933-36 where she studied with Professor Helen C. White.

The award is administered by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a children’s literature library of the School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each year a committee of children’s literature experts selects the winner from the books published in the preceding year. The winner is announced in January each year. A bronze medallion is formally presented to the winning author in the spring during an annual public event that honors the career of Charlotte Zolotow.

With all of that said, I’m overwhelmed with emotion and very, VERY honored, to have TRUMAN recognized as a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book.

This makes my heart soar!

Thank you to the committee and to the fabulous team of Lucy Ruth Cummins, Emma Ledbetter, Alexa Pastor, Erin Murphy and all my friends at Atheneum/Simon & Schuster!

Congratulations to the gold medal winner!

And my fellow honorees!

And thank you to young readers everywhere!

Appearances 2020

New appearances are added daily!

2/6/20           CCIRA Denver 10:30-11:30 Noticings Wondering and Listerner-Led Read Alouds

2/7/20           CCIRA Denver RMC-SCBWI Panel 4:00

2/10/20          Willowbrook School Visit, Glenview, IL

2/11/20            Westcott School Visit,  Northbrook, IL

2/23/20           Emerson Elementary, Elmhurst, IL

3/21/20            RMC-SCBWI Denver South Connect “How to Study a Picture Book: Reading with Purpose to Elevate Your Picture Book Writing.” Noon. Gracepoint Community Church, Littleton. CO

3/23/20            Kearsage Regional Elementary School, New London, NH, Virtual Visit

4/4/20               Charlotte Zolotow Award Ceremony, Madison, WI

4/25/20            Denver Children’s Festival of Stories, Denver, CO

5/2/20               Hudson Children’s Book Festival

To find out more about Jean’s School and Virtual Visits.

To inquire about other appearances or to schedule Jean for an appearance.


There’s something magical about snow – whether you’re rolling it, stomping it, or watching it from your window. I happen to LOVE snow. That’s why I’m so excited to reveal my latest book – out today.

And I’m loving this Kirkus review!

“… this snow ballad (with repeated and expanding chorus and onomatopoeic exclamations) sings: “And my nose drip, drips, / and my wet cheeks freeze, / and the drifts, oh they drift / to the tops of my knees, / and my feet get soaked, / toes one and all, / because the snow is deeper— / it’s really so much deeper— / the snow is deeper than my boots are tall.” It’s just waiting for a performer and a young audience eager to participate. This celebration of the first day of snowy play hits the right notes.”

Here’s where you can buy your copy: Amazon, IndieBound, Barnes & Noble.

And here’s my complete schedule of appearances – updated daily.

Would you like Autographed Book Stickers? E-mail me.

Teachers and Librarians see my FREE resources including Skype Visits and the WHEN THE SNOW IS DEEPER THAN MY BOOTS ARE TALL Curriculum Guide and Storytime Kit. Or how about a school visit? Just e-mail me.

If you’re as excited about WHEN THE SNOW IS DEEPER as I am, please help me spread the word. Here are some sample tweets to get you started:

  • BRRRR! Just in time for chilly winter days. WHEN THE SNOW IS DEEPER THAN MY BOOTS ARE TALL a new picture book by @jeanreidy and illustrated by @joeychouart.
  • Chilly days are the perfect time to cozy up with a good book. How about WHEN THE SNOW IS DEEPER THAN MY BOOTS ARE TALL – a new picture book by @jeanreidy and illustrated by @joeychouart? 
  • Here’s a perfect picture book for the snow-loving young readers in your life. WHEN THE SNOW IS DEEPER THAN MY BOOTS ARE TALL – a new book by @jeanreidy and illustrated by @joeychouart.  

And if you simply can’t wait until you get your copy, here’s a sneak peek at a few of my favorite pages!

Stay warm and cozy up with a great book!



Another new book on the horizon – SYLVIE!!

A couple of years ago, a new character popped into my imagination – a small spider who hung outside an apartment building. I immediately knew that sweet spider would be altruistic and humble with a unique perspective on the people who lived inside. But as the spider’s story developed, I also discovered the stories of four people – and one brave tortoise making a cameo appearance – who would be the heart of this spider’s world.

I can’t wait for you all to meet SYLVIE! I’m thrilled to be paired up with Lucy Ruth Cummins again. 2022 can’t come fast enough! Here’s the announcement:

Alexa Pastor at Atheneum has bought world rights to a new picture book by Truman author and illustrator Jean Reidy (l.) and Lucy Ruth Cummins: Sylvie, about a surreptitious spider who gathers the courage to help the neighbors she has watched over from afar. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the illustrator.

TRUMAN Wins Parents’ Choice Gold Award!

In the “treats” category today – TRUMAN has been selected as a Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner! Lucy Ruth Cummins and I are so VERY honored. No celebratory donuts handy. But then again, all that Halloween candy is just sitting there … hmmmmm.

Here’s what they had to say:

“Truman is a very small tortoise, the size of a small doughnut. He lives with his Sarah and keeps her company when she quietly plays. Sarah keeps him in an aquarium in a window where can watch and hear the traffic far below. One day, he is given extra green beans and observes Sarah getting on the number eleven bus and leaving. When she doesn’t return quickly, Truman waits patiently. And he waits and he waits. And then, he climbs out of his aquarium to find her. The world turns out to be bigger and more ominous than Truman anticipated.

With soft black outlines and a flat cartoon style, Truman’s story of bravery and devotion is interspersed with numbered objects to be counted. It is well paced and perfectly suited for the very young and tender-hearted.”

All materials © 2020 Jean Reidy. Author website by Websy Daisy. Shelly the Turtle designed by Genevieve Leloup.