Category Archives: author spotlight

Special Event for your kids!

0002493_jonathan_james_and_the_whatif_monster_300One of our favorite author/illustrators, Michelle Nelson-Schmidt provides an online live story hour every Wednesday evening for anyone who wants to come.  She does this as a free service to the many children nationwide who have connected with her via school visits, but guess what? She LOVES spending time with kids and it makes her so happy to “see” lots of kids during these events. She doesn’t care how you found her. She just wants to love on the kids.
0008680_dog_and_mouse_300If you have preschool and elementary-aged children, you’re welcome to join her every Wednesday as she reads her books live and delights in the wonderful world of children. Share this with other families too. Be early to Story Time so you don’t miss anything. You might even win something extra special for attending! Here’s the link for Story Time and here’s the link for Michelle’s current titles that we offer. Once you meet her, whether “live” at Story Time or in person for a school visit, you’ll be excited to find out what she’s coming out with next. Maybe she’ll share during Story Time.

Spotlight – Author / Illustrator Michelle Nelson-Schmidt


A little bit about me, Michelle Nelson-Schmidt

Hello! Thank you for coming to visit my rose-colored world!

I am Michelle Nelson-Schmidt, I live in Lilburn, Georgia and I have the great privilege of getting to be an author and illustrator for EDC Publishing. After about 10 years eeking my way towards that goal while working full-time as a mother and graphic designer, I am finally doing it full time. Sometimes I need to pinch myself when I realize that this is actually my life. I still sometimes look behind me to see the ‘author’ that a person next to me is talking about. I write and illustrate books for kids. Wow! THIS IS MY LIFE! I travel to schools all over the United States reading them my books, talking about my journey and encouraging them to follow their dreams – with everything they’ve got – no matter what! Because my life is magical, it truly is and every minute, even the doubting, painful ones were so worth it to get to here, I want every person I know and meet to understand that this life is meant to be magical – and we all can have a magical life. You just have to have the courage to look for it and work for it.

I love that I get to show my children and all the children I meet (over 350,000 now) that life is what you make it. That persistence and hard work will overcome almost any obstacle – and I of course have to make sure that they know reading is pretty much the key it all, no matter what your dream.

When I am not traveling I am busy being silly and having fun with the loves of my life – my husband Kevin, my son Noah, my daughter Sophia and our crazy dogs. They are all my everything and I love them more than bees love flowers!

She’s one of my favorite authors / illustrators.   Find out about Michelle’s books

My name is not actually Penny Dreadful. It is Penelope Jones. The Dreadful bit is my dad’s JOKE. But I do not see the funny side. Plus it is not even true that I am dreadful. It’s just that sometimes my BRILLIANT IDEAS™ don’t work out completely brilliantly. Like I didn’t mean for my cousin to end up bald and covered in superglue, and I also didn’t mean to steal our neighbour’s dog and make him speak Russian. It’s not my fault. I can’t help it. I’m just a Magnet for Disaster…   (for info about this series, see Penny Dreadful)

About the author, Joanna Nadin

I grew up in Saffron Walden in Essex, a small town, where nothing much happened, and where I spent an awful lot of time wishing I was somewhere else, or someone else. And that’s what I write about now – for children, teenagers and young adults: Extraordinary things happening to very ordinary people, in very ordinary places. And about dreaming of other lives you might live. Continue reading Author Spotlight: Joanna Nadin, author of brand new Penny Dreadful series

Author Spotlight: Jez Alborough


Jez Alborough is the author and illustrator of over 45 books for children. His Eddy and the Bear trilogy (which began with the much-loved Where’s My Teddy in 1992) has sold nearly four and a half million copies and was made into an award-winning animated television series.

Duck in the Truck (published in 1999) heralded the start of another bestselling series, this time featuring the irrepressible Duck and his three friends – Frog, Goat and Sheep. There are currently nine books in the Duck series and 1.2 million copies have been sold.

In 2000 Jez created Hug – a powerful and touching book of only three words about a baby chimpanzee called Bobo who loses his Mom. Oprah Winfrey raved about it on her show when she chose it for her recommended reading list while Richard Curtis (the writer and director of Four Weddings and a Funeral) selected it as one of his ‘Best Books’, calling it ‘classic family drama which holds up well next to Jez’s other masterpieces.’ Bobo went on to star in two more classics; Tall ( which along with Hug won the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Book Award ) and Yes. The series has sold 1.76 million copies.

Jez’s latest publication is Nat the Cat’s Sunny Smile, the first book in a new rhyming series featuring Billy the Goat and Hugo the Hare. You can share Nat the Cat’s journey from idea to publication in his Nat the Cat Blog and Billy’s in his Billy the Goat Blog.

Jez lives in West London and is a keen musician and music lover. 


James Phelan  The Last Thirteen

James Phelan was born on the 21st of May, 1979, in Melbourne, Australia. His creative spirit was nurtured from a young age, and he credits his overactive imagination to being exposed to authors such as Roald Dahl and Paul Jennings, as well as such works as The Hobbit, Treasure Island, The Jungle Book, Tales of the Punjab, Siddhartha, and The Little Prince.

As a teenager James discovered a love of geo-political thrillers, of being entertained and informed on topical global events. James cites influences on the Fox series from reading such authors as Alistair MacLean, Clive Cussler, Jeffery Archer, Ken Follett, Tom Clancy, Jack Higgins, Robert Ludlum, John le Carre, Ian Fleming, and Jeffery Deaver.

In 1995, aged fifteen, James started his first novel, which he went on to develop as part of his major VCE English assignment in 1996. A thriller involving a terrorist attack on the 2000 Sydney Olympics, James eventually abandoned the storyline when Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six was published in 1998. 

After high school James went on to study in Architecture, and then English Literature, eventually graduating with a PhD in Writing. It was during his masters degree and while working at The Age newspaper James developed the idea that would become his first published book, and would lead to seeing his novels in print.

Any Writing Tips?

Here’s a few I’ve picked up and figured out along the way: Continue reading Author Spotlight and tips for aspiring writers

Did you love Jez Alborough’s video that I posted Sunday?


Isn’t he such fun to watch? I hope you enjoyed it because here’s another one. This one is a reading of his book Nat the Cat’s Sunny Smile.  No intro is necessary as you’ve probably fallen in love with his books after watching the one from Sunday. Here’s hoping you catch Nat’s smile today and share it with everyone you meet.

And again, to purchase the book click here. For his other books, see the Jez Alborough page.

You (and your kids) will love this video read-aloud from author Jez Alborough!

I’m so excited! I found a video on Jez Alborough’s website of him reading his book, The Gobble, Gobble Moo Tractor Book. Are you familiar with author Jez Alborough? He has written many delightful rhyming children’s books and we are lucky enough to have published a few of them. He came to speak at the National Convention of “Usborne Books & More”  in 2010 and we were treated to the simple pleasure of participating in his reading of this book. Oh yeah, 500 adult women mooing, gobbling and clucking – it was a site to see!

After his talk, he was thronged by women who insisted he videotape a reading to share with his devoted fans, young and old. He has graciously accommodated our request and you and your kids can view it by clicking on the picture of the book. You’re going to enjoy it!

To acquire your own copy of this book so you can follow along (or host your own interactive reading circle), you can purchase The Gobble, Gobble, Moo Tractor Book here.