I am the author of four books for children and families.

Thank you to those who stopped by the Star Bright Books Booth at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on Sunday, June 25, 2023. My heart is warmed by learning about the ways you are sharing my books with young children and families.

Please Don’t Give Me a Hug! (Star Bright Books 2021)
There are children and children at heart who enjoy a solid bear hug, and there are many who don’t. I am a hugger. As a mother, grandmother, and school librarian, I have learned to wait to be invited into hugs.

This book is about consent and the many other ways to say “Hello, I see you,” ways that are just as dear as hugs. I hope that from an early age children can learn to speak up about the ways they want to be greeted. I also hope the huggers and non-huggers—young and older—who share this book will honor children’s preferences and promote the value of these many gestures that show we care about one another.

Estelle Corke, who has illustrated several books for Star Bright, provided the child-friendly artwork for Please Don’t Give Me a Hug!

You can read a review on the Publishers Weekly site.

This story was originally published in both English and in Spanish on the Make Way for Books app . Nikki Brzescinski created the illustrations for Please Don’t Give Me a Hug! and Por favor, ¡no me abraces! that appear on the app. Make Way for Books is an early literacy nonprofit that provides proven programs, services, and resources to 30,000 young children, parents, and educators throughout southern Arizona each year. Their mission is to give all children the chance to read and succeed.

See the information and resources related to Please Don’t Give Me a Hug! on TeachingBooks.net.

Available from Star Bright Books.

Available from Amazon.

Ready and Waiting for You (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers 2012)
Ready and Waiting for You is an interactive book designed to welcome young children into the caring community of school with a series of opening doors. From the school bus door, office door, library door, and more, the reader sees the teachers, principal, and staff that create a safe place for learning. The vivid and cheerful torn paper illustrations by Catherine Stock reinforce the fun that awaits students behind every door.

•Check out my 2021 podcast/video on the Eerdmans YouTube Channel.
Check out the Ready and Waiting for You trailer designed by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers!
• A Bank Street College 2014 Best Books (for children under age five) and is recommended for children ages four to six, you can read an interview related to the book on the Worlds of Words (WOW): International Collection of Children’s and Adolescent Literature Authors’ Corner webpage.
• See the “Cultural Representation Reflection” strategy for this book on the TeachingBooks.net website.

Available from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

Available on Amazon. 

Read to Me / Vamos a leer (Star Bright Books 2004)
At the American Library Association Conference in San Diego in June, 2024, we will be celebrating Read to Me‘s twentieth birthday. We hope you will join us for the party!
This child-sized board book encourages families to read, sing, and tell stories together. Kyra Teis’s illustrations portray tender literacy moments between multiethnic, intergenerational family members. Mary Margaret Mercado composed the Spanish adaptation. The book is also available in a Vietnamese/English bilingual board book. The poem was originally written for a pregnant teen literacy project.
I recorded a brief introduction and reading of the book on the TeachingBooks.net website.
More than 300,000 copies of Read to Me and its various editions have been sold, mostly to early childhood and family literacy programs.
• For example, the Family Reading Partnership in Ithaca, New York, includes Read to Me in their “Waiting for Baby” resources for parents.
• Beginning in 2021, the Great Beginnings Early Education Center Library and Parents as Teachers in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, provides a gift Read to Me to celebrate the birth or adoption of a new baby in their community.

Available from Star Bright Books.

Read to Me Available on Amazon .

Vamos a leer/Read to Me Available on Amazon.

Sing Down the Rain (Kiva Publishing 1997 – Out of Print)
Sing Down the Rain was published in August, 1997. The book is a narrative poem about the annual Tohono O’odham saguaro harvest and rain-making ceremony. The poem was written to be performed by a classroom of students. Michael Chiago, Tohono O’odham fine artist, painted the gouache and watercolor paintings. The late and esteemed Tohono O’odham elder, Danny Lopez, served as the cultural advisor for the book.
The choral reading has been respectfully performed by people from diverse cultural backgrounds, including performances by Tohono O’odham students and elders on and off the reservation. I have provided information about the book and an introductory reading, dedicated to my collaborators, on the TeachingBooks.net website.
Students and educators can access more information about the book on an archived menu of resources, including a downloadable copy of the choral reading with O’odham words.

Available on Amazon

Websites for Children, Educators, and Families

Desert Duets: Sonoran Desert Poems for Two Voices

This website supports students’ investigations into the animals featured in my as-yet unpublished book of two-voice poems. The site includes photographs and links to print and online resources for students’ further inquiry and research into seventeen Sonoran Desert animals.

Sabino Canyon: The Web of Life

I created this website to support students and educators in their study of the ecology of Sabino Canyon, which is a recreation area in the Santa Catalina Mountains on the outskirts of Tucson, Arizona. In addition to information and photographs, the site contains piggyback songs composed to help young people remember what they’ve learned about the Sonoran Desert.

Southwest Children’s and Young Adult Literature

This site is an archive. From 1999 to 2018, I facilitated the work of preservice classroom teachers and graduate education, library science, and English students as they published their book review work. The site contains reviews of over 125 books written for children and young adults. It also includes young people’s responses to the literature. In addition, there are interviews with authors and illustrators and lesson plans. The site earned the 2006 Exemplary University Department Website Award from the Arizona Technology in Education Alliance.

Last Updated on January 19, 2024 by Judi Moreillon
All Content, including Photographs © 2004 – 2024 Judi Moreillon