Empowering Readers to be the Authors of Their Own Stories

My latest book, WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? encourages readers to explore their hopes and dreams and empowers them to be the author of their own life stories. That feels like a tall order … until you ask a kid. Young readers will happily comply. They are natural storytellers. And with a few fun tools, they might evolve into story writers or illustrators, as well.

First, try these simple and fun activity pages (you can download them right here!). Just add a pencil or crayon to set kids off on their story’s journey. Spark their imagination by having them choose their “Dream Roles.” Give them time to practice their letters. Have them consider a few – or many – affirming character traits. And finally, allow them to map out their story with a handy graphic organizer. Then, watch their imaginations sparkle.

Next, hopes and dreams and story ideas can strike anytime or anywhere, so young artists or storytellers might appreciate having a notebook handy – especially if it fits right in their pocket! These mini-notebooks are so fun to fold – I love them! – and can be made out of a single sheet of paper. You can even use scrap paper as long as one side is clean. Kids will love their “shrunken stories.” And while their notebooks might fill up fast, no problem. Just grab another sheet of paper and fold a new one.

And finally, there’s nothing wrong with a plain old pencil (or colored pencils) and paper. Check out these amazing creations from the first graders at Southfield School in Shreveport, LA. Storytellers, indeed!

So, read the book. Ask the question. Grab some tools. And then let young readers and listeners launch into their amazing adventures. Because, when kids dream big, they might just become or create what we’ve yet to imagine.

You can buy WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? wherever books are sold and right here!

For more fun ideas of how to use this book in your home, library, classroom or bookstore, check out the WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU?  Storytime and Curriculum Guide and Graduation Kit!

Happy Storytelling!


I’m thrilled to introduce you to my latest picture book – perfect for babies, birthdays, graduations and more!

No dream is too big or too small in this heartwarming, heart-building book about you, empowering readers of all ages to dream big and to be the authors of their own life stories. 

HarperCollins Publishers


“Featuring upbeat rhymes and busy, cheerful, animated art, this peppy, motivational read invites kids to imagine what they could do or be, during playtime and beyond.”
 Booklist –

“When you use your imagination and tell your own stories, there are endless possibilities for magic, mayhem, fun, and learning.” 
– Kirkus Reviews –


Please join illustrator Joey Chou and me at our FREE Virtual Launch and Storytime Event on 4/10/21 at 11:00 AM Central Time, hosted by The Book Stall. Register and order your book right here! (Books ordered from The Book Stall will come with a bookplate signed by both Joey and me.)

If you can’t make it to the launch, you can also order your copy from your favorite bookseller (IndieBoundBarnes & NobleAmazon) or request it at your library.


Check out my FREE Downloadable Graduation Kit, Storytime Activity Sheets, and Curriculum/Storytime Guide linked to learning standards – all available on my book page.

For other FREE resources and information about booking school visits, check out the Schools and Libraries page of my website.


Social media is one of the best ways to spread the word about new books. If you’d like to join me in spreading the word about WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? here are some sample posts and the cover photo to get you started:
  • No dream is too big or too small! WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? – a new picture book from @jeanreidy and @joeychouart and @HarperChildrens! Buy it here: https://tinyurl.com/xmb3a8
  • New from @HarperChildrens – just in time for graduations! WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? – a new picture book by @jeanreidy and illustrated by @joeychouart. Buy it here: https://tinyurl.com/xmb3a8
  • The perfect picture book gift for any milestone – baby, birthday, graduation – or any day. WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? from @jeanreidy and @joeychouart and @HarperChildrens. Buy it here: https://tinyurl.com/xmb3a8 
  • Empower young readers to be the authors of their own life stories with WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? – a new picture book from @jeanreidy and @joeychouart and @HarperChildrens. Buy it here: https://tinyurl.com/xmb3a8
With excitement and gratitude,

Hooray for Tortoise Quilts and Color Proofs!

With my latest picture book WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? (illustrated by Joey Chou) coming out in less than two weeks, friends outside of publishing might think that I’m spending all my time and energy on promoting that book. And while, yes, a portion of time – think launch event planning, preorders, social media, interviews – goes to that latest book, my older books are still being read and appreciated, and my future books are still proceeding down the path to publication.

Take TRUMAN (illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins) for instance. That book of my heart is still getting lovely attention and earning new fans every single day. And just this week, I received an amazing gift from one of them.

A Truman quilt! Look at those details. I’m in awe of it, as well as humbled by the words on the inscription patch. It’s such a wonder to see and hear how our books touch people’s lives and the connections readers make with a simple story.

And then a little later this week, I got to move on to a mini-celebration of my upcoming book GROUP HUG! illustrated by Joey Chou and coming out  11/2021 from

Macmillan/Holt/Godwin Books. I say “mini” celebration because the book isn’t final, final yet. But I did receive the color proofs – which is one of the last steps before it goes to print.

I love when color proofs arrive. Because by then, revisions have been made and rough patches smoothed over and I get to bask in something beautiful. And without giving away the whole book, these are BEAUTIFUL … and joyful and fun! I’ll be revealing the cover soon. But until then, I’ll give you an itty-bitty peek at those proofs.

Yes, when you write and publish for children, sometimes your head has to be in several places at once. But one thing is for certain, keeping up lockstep with every task, every t0-do, every turn of your head, there lies your heart!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.


Hooray! It’s just one month away! Please join Joey Chou and me, virtually, as we celebrate the launch of our latest book WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? (HarperCollins) 4/10/21 11:00 AM Central (10:00 AM Mountain) hosted by The Book Stall.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? encourages readers, of all ages, to explore their hopes and dreams and empowers them to be the authors of their own life stories, making it the perfect gift for graduations, new babies, birthdays and more.

Tune in to the event on your own, or with your young readers, and get ready for reading, activities, art and more. The event is free but you have to register. You can do that right here:

Saturday Book Launch and Storytime with Jean Reidy and Joey Chou

I hope to see you there!



Showcasing My Upcoming Picture Book WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU?

Dear Readers,

Do you have 3 minutes? Then stick around and listen to my book talk about my upcoming picture book, WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? This book – which encourages kids to dream big – is illustrated by the amazing Joey Chou and published by the awesome children’s team at HarperCollins. We think it’s a perfect gift for a graduation, a new baby, a birthday, or any milestone.  So, have a listen. Then look for it on bookstore and library shelves on April 6th. OR you can preorder it now at your favorite independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

And stay tuned for virtual book launch party details coming soon! We’re so excited for April!


I am SOOO thrilled to share with you all the cover of my next picture book, WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? illustrated by the amazing Joey Chou. This book empowers kids, at any age or at any milestone, to dream big! And it comes out 4/6/21, from Harper Collins … just in time for graduations.

You can preorder it now!

IndieBound (will link you to your favorite independent bookseller)

Barnes & Noble


I can’t wait!

It’s a grand day for GRAND DAY!

You all know how obsessed I am with my grandkids!

That’s why my latest book deal is a dream come true!

As a matter of fact, when I first began to brainstorm the story, my third grandchild had just been born and I had recently learned that my fourth was on the way.

I’ve drawn inspiration for this book not only from my amazing days with my own grandkids and my mom’s wonderful relationships with my own four children but also my awesome memories with my own grandparents … one of whom lived with us during my growing up.

I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with genius editor Sylvie Frank and amazing cut-paper illustrator, Samantha Cotterill.

Fall 2022 is going to be “grand” for sure!

Here’s the announcement!

“Sylvie Frank at S&S/Wiseman has acquired world rights to Grand Day by Jean Reidy (l.) (Truman), illustrated by Samantha Cotterill (Secret Rhino Society), a picture book tribute to grandparents and grandkids and the fun time they have when they’re together. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.”

That time when TRUMAN traveled to Spain and …

a remarkable teacher in Barcelona introduced the story to her class. And her class created amazing art. And they all got to meet a real live tortoise. This is truly the best kind of e-mail.

Hi Jean,

My name is Laura and I am a kindergarten teacher in a public school in Barcelona (Catalonia). A few days ago I discovered Truman translated in Catalan, on the website of an expert in children’s literature, Jaume Centelles. I am writing to you because we have worked on your book at the school with great success! We have observed a real turtle, we have drawn it, we have learned many things about these animals and we have talked about our pets. Thank you so much for such a nice book!

A big warm hug from Catalonia,


Truman_Video (Be prepared for adorable Spanish-speaking voices!)

If you speak Spanish, please enjoy the Jaume Centelles review of Truman https://jaumecentelles.cat/2020/11/13/truman-quin-show-de-tortuga/

And if you don’t, here’s the translation:

“When I saw the cover of this book, I remembered the great movie ‘The Truman Show’ and after reading this beautiful story I understood why. It turns out that Truman is a turtle that lives in a kind of terrarium with glass walls and as it happens to Jim Carrey, he will leave his comfortable space to live an exciting adventure.

Turtle Truman lives in an apartment in a bustling city, with its owner, Sara. One day, he realizes that the girl has left him seven green beans on his plate (two more than usual) and begins to suspect that something different is about to happen. He also sees the girl preparing a backpack bigger than usual, and then kisses her on the finger, brings it to her shell and says ‘Be brave!’… Then Sara leaves and, for the first time, get on bus number 11 going south!

Truman waits, looking out the window for the girl to return, and after waiting, and waiting, and waiting a long time, he decides to go get her!

He climbs out of the terrarium, climbs some stones, reaches the window sill, walks slowly, climbs up the arm of the sofa, slips on a water boot, and fights Sara’s toys scattered on the carpet.

Will this brave turtle get to reunite with the girl?

Lucy Ruth Cummins’ illustrations are powerful, made with crayons, charcoal, markers, gouache and computer finishes.

A book recommended for children and especially for pet lovers and adventurers.

A great big thank you to Truman‘s translator Maria Lucchetti, book critic Jaume Centelles, and “abrazos muy fuertes” to Laura, her wonderful class and all the amazing young readers in Spain!




I’m absolutely thrilled about my latest book deal! WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A BOOK ABOUT YOU? is due out in Spring 2021 and I’m so excited to be working with Joey again. Here’s the announcement:

41645-1.JPGAntonia Markiet at HarperCollins has bought, at auction, What Would You Do in a Book About You?, written by Jean Reidy and illustrated by Joey Chou, and two additional picture books by the author-illustrator team. What Would You Do in a Book About You? empowers children to be the authors of their own stories, embracing all the possibilities that life—or imagination—puts in front of them. Publication is slated to begin in spring 2021; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.