First the sprinkles, and now the cover!

Look what just went live! Another cover (and a peek at some pages)!  I can’t wait for the world to meet TRUMAN – because it takes courage to see new sights, hear new sounds, think new thoughts … and go after what we love. Right? Illustrated by the amazing Lucy Ruth Cummins and edited by the brilliant Emma Ledbetter. Coming Summer 2019 from Atheneum/Simon&Schuster.

But you can preorder it now!


Cover Reveal: PUP 681

Back in 2015, I received this incomparably sweet illustration from my agent, Erin Murphy. Her message: “What would you think about writing this otter pup’s story?”



I soon learned that the art was inspired by an actual rescued sea otter pup living at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago – a place I LOVE.

So how could I resist?

Pup 681, my eighth book, hits bookstore and library shelves in February 2019 (Henry Holt, Godwin Books) and features the AWWWW-so-adorable art of illustrator Ashley Crowley (Officer Panda, The Boy and the Blue Moon) who created that super-cute sea otter pup above.

Here’s the essence of the story –

Washed ashore alone, a tiny sea otter pup needs help! Soon, a rescuer is there, to take her in and keep her warm and fed. The pup faces challenges in her new life without her sea otter family. But with the love and care of her rescuer, she flourishes in her new home. Inspired by a true story, this is a heartwarming and hopeful tale about family and love.

As you can imagine, we’re counting down the days until we can hold this book in our hands. And since seven months can seem like a long time to wait, we thought we’d tide you over for a bit with …

a cover!!!

So while the heat of summer is upon us, soak up these cool blue waters.

February will be here before we know it.


PUP 681 is available for preorder now!

Appearances 2018

2/1/18             Elizabeth Green Elementary School, Newington, CT, Virtual Visit

2/1/18             Providence Elementary School, Aubrey, TX, Virtual Visit

2/1/18             Palencia Elementary School, St. Augustine, FL, Virtual Visit

2/13/18           Tuckahoe Common School District, Southampton, NY, Virtual Visit

2/14/18           C. Bascom Slemp Memorial Library, Big Stone Gap, VA, Virtual Visit

3/1/18              Rolesville Elementary School, Rolesville, NC, Virtual Visit

3/2/18             Mt. Sinai Elementary School, Mt. Sinai, NY, Virtual Visit

3/2/18             Logan Elementary School, El Paso, TX, Virtual Visit

3/16/18           Children’s Festival of Stories, Denver, CO, Presenter

3/17/18           Children’s Festival of Stories, Denver, CO, Presenter

3/18/18           Children’s Festival of Stories, Denver, CO, Presenter

3/20/18           Kearsarge Regional Elementary School at New London, NH, Virtual Visit

4/30/18           Second Star to the Right Bookstore, Denver, CO, Storytime

5/18-20/18     Big Sur in the Rockies, Boulder, CO, Mentor

9/22-23/18     Letters and Lines Conference Rocky Mountain SCBWI, Golden CO

10/23/18          Southwood Elementary, Kentwood, MI, Virtual Visit

10/30/18          Freedom Crossing Academy, St. Johns, FL, Virtual Visit

11/13-14/18     Skype-a-Thon, Worldwide


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

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

Get ready for World Read Aloud Day … or everyday!

February 1st is World Read Aloud Day!  Hooray!

But there’s no need to limit your read aloud talent to one day of the year. Take every opportunity, all year long, to read with young readers or listeners. Whether it’s cuddled up on your couch, at a library, in a bookstore or via the internet, you have a wonderful and easy way to make a huge difference in the life of a child!

Not sure how? Here are some tips to get you started.

First, from Pam Allyn founder of World Read Aloud Day!

Literacy advocate and LitWorld founder Pam Allyn shares her top tips for hosting the perfect read-aloud! We're gearing up to celebrate World Read Aloud Day tomorrow (2/16)! To learn more and join the celebration, visit #WRAD17

Posted by Scholastic on Wednesday, February 15, 2017

And don’t forget Boni Hamilton’s brilliant blog post from my archives –

“Noticings and Wonderings: The Best Questions a Parent or Teacher Could Ask While Reading Aloud.”

Happy reading!


Write When You Least Expect To – Take 2

Hello again! It’s been a while. And rather than blog my list of excuses for not blogging, let me just say, it’s nice to be back.

After a not-so-restful night of sleep, a morning of exercise and errands followed by an afternoon at the soup kitchen, I predicted that not much writing was going to happen today. But guess what. I was wrong. Because I sat down with my very early morning tea, opened my documents and just did it. I polished my latest picture book and made some significant progress in the restructuring of my novel.

“Write When You Least Expect To” continues to be my best writing advice to myself.

Even sitting down to write this blog post is a case in point.

So for my first post of the new year,  I thought it a perfect time to dig up an old gem from 2011.

Hmmm. Maybe it will be my New Year’s Resolution! Maybe it will be yours!

Write When You Least Expect To

by Jean Reidy    2/18/2011

I do very few things well under pressure. So when I sit down to work on a book, especially a novel, I usually make sure I’ve set aside a large block of time, giving myself a chance to get back into the story, set up achievable goals for words on the page and then actually write those words.

But lately, those blocks of time have become smaller and smaller. I won’t bore you with the details of my busy life – we’re all wishing for 40-hour days these days, right? – but I do know that my time will free up a bit later this year. And I’ve been tempted to say “Well that’s when I’ll work on this novel.”

But I grew impatient. I was anxious to get back into this exciting project.

So for the past two days, I’ve been squeezing in some unexpected writing time. I’ll admit, I was set up pretty well for this experiment with ten pages of my own handwritten revision notes and a marked up manuscript.

One might expect that with a wee bit of time, I’d opt for wee revisions. But honestly, by the time I open up my 150-page manuscript and jump around finding just the right spots for those adjustments, and skip from revision note to revision note, I could have written an entire scene.

So that’s just what I did.

And there was something terribly freeing about opening up a brand new document labeled with a scene title and jumping right in.

I had no sense of foreboding about the task at hand because my expectations were low – I’ll just jot down some thoughts related to this scene. After all, I only have a few minutes. But then my fingers were flying across the keyboard as dialog and setting and metaphors (some were quite dastardly, I’ll admit) flowed with ease. And the delight of getting some work done when I expected to get none, actually inspired me to go beyond the stale scribbles of pressured revisions and take risks with the story. I wrote an entire scene. And just like with my golf game – when my expectations are low I play my best – the writing was surprisingly good.

So try it sometime. Write when you least expect to. The quantity and quality of what hits the page might pleasantly surprise you.

Have you had random writing moments? Tell me about them.



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