Wednesday, November 24, 2010


On this Thanksgiving Eve, I'd like to give a shout out to my new friends in Rochester, New York. Northwood, Village, and Quest Elementary Schools hosted my visit earlier this month and I had a terrific time!

BIG thanks to Julie Rapp who organized my visit from start to finish.

Assistant Principal Karen Bolinger read THE SANDWICH SWAP to every single class at Northwood Elementary while dressed as a peanut butter & jelly sandwich! I want to bring her on the road with me as my mascot!

These two lovely young ladies wrote their own lyrics to a beautiful song about friendship and they sang it to me! Thank you, girls! You are so talented.

An amazing gallery of "Sandwich Friends".

Me and more Sandwich Friends.

These little helpers did a fantastic job sharing what they remembered about the beginning, middle, & end of the story in my HUNGRY FOR BOOKS program.

And a great, BIG, GIANT thank you goes out to Brooke who made this enormous, custom sandwich for me for my school visit programs. Check out Brooke's Etsy store, Royal Rugrats, to see all of her adorable felt play food sets.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Halloween Treat

This Halloween I am passing out a little eye candy - - -
the cover and a few random pages from ZOMBIE IN LOVE! (Simon & Schuster, 2011)
Illustrated by the spooktacular Scott Campbell.
Way better than Milk Duds.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Saturday, September 11th at 10:30 am GRACE FOR PRESIDENT will come to life on stage with Portland Stage's Theater for Kids! Click the link for more information.
Way to go, Grace! Way to go, kids!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Look Back at LA...

It's that time of summer again! Next week I'll be in Los Angeles for the SCBWI summer conference. I've been attending this conference nearly every year since 2003. If you're a children's writer, I highly recommend the conference. If you can't swing a trip to California, be sure to check out your local scbwi chapter for regional & state conferences. Michigan has a terrific chapter. If it weren't for scbwi, I think I'd still be collecting stacks of rejection letters.

My first conference in 2003. Pictured with the legendary Tomie dePaola.

The petrified look on my face pretty much sums up how I felt that first conference: I can not believe I am here.

Feeling much more relaxed my second year!

Hangin' out with Rhea and Danny at Storyopolis.

Michael impersonator & me in front of the Kodak Theatre. 2006.

The very best part of LA...time with my girlfriends!

Left to Right: Paula Yoo, April Fritz, Lisa Wheeler, Me, Hope Vestergaard

Lisa Wheeler with SIPPING SPIDERS THROUGH A STRAW illustrator, Gris Grimly. 2007.

One of my heroes! Former Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Jon Scieszka.

New York Times bestselling author, Jay Asher. FYI: What happens in LA, doesn't always stay in LA.

Paula Yoo and former CWIM editor and current SCBWI blogger, Alice Pope.

Left to Right: Paula Yoo, Me, Lisa Wheeler, Carolyn Crimi, April Fritz, & Autumn Cornwell 2008.

Left to Right: Ben Esch, Sonya Sones, Stephanie Hemphill, Paula Yoo,
Steven Malk, Lisa Wheeler, Deanna Caswell, Me, & Donna Bray

Shiny, happy people: Me, Lisa, Agent Steve Malk, Paula

2009. In LA with my husband. That white dot above my head is the
Hollywood sign.

Check back this fall for 2010 conference pics!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

25 Things You Don't Know About Me...

1. I got fired from my very first waitressing job at BIG BOY.

2. I have freakishly small baby toes.

3. I grew up in a haunted house. (this one---> )

4. I love to watch TOP CHEF, but I hate to cook.

5. I believe in extraterrestrials.

6. I delivered all three of my children without any pain medication. Two were delivered by a midwife.

7. When I was a child, I had a pet goat named Ladybird Johnson.
<-----this is her.

8. I like liverwurst sandwiches.

9. My appendix was removed by mistake.

10. I started writing children's books because of a dream my aunt had after my grandpa died in 1993.

11. For 20 years I drank instant coffee (gack!). Now I am a total coffee snob and I only drink brewed Starbucks French Roast.

12. I dislike Christmas.

13. I take at least 20 vitamin, mineral, & herb suppliments every day.

14. I have Barry Manilow songs on my iPod.

15. I am most proud that my children have a sense of humor.

16. When I was a child, I caught a live bat and kept it as a pet for a whole week.

17. My grandma will be 103 years old in September.

18. I like burnt potato chips.

19. My favorite flowers are lilacs.

20. The first picture book I ever wrote was about a turtle who wanted to learn how to dance. (I am a terrible dancer!)

21. I have a bachelor's degree in child psych. & development.

22. Five years ago a psychic predicted that one of my books would be featured on Good Morning America. I did not believe her. (THE SANDWICH SWAP, April 27, 2010)

23. Sedona, Arizona is one of my favorite places on the planet. Ironically, my favorite thing to do on vacation is beachcombing.

24. I love the smell of puppies.

25. I'm not very good at updating my blog, but you probably already know that!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


After a seven year labor & delivery, ALFRED ZECTOR, BOOK COLLECTOR was born today weighing 14.4 oz, 11.5" long. I could have delivered three consecutive baby elephants in less time! Welcome to the world, Alfred.

Bubble gum cigars for everyone!

ALFRED ZECTOR, BOOK COLLECTOR - Illustrated by Macky Pamintuan. (HarperCollins, May 2010)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An Open Letter to Oprah Winfrey

Dear Oprah,

Not too long ago, Rosie O’Donnell told you in an interview on your show that you played a starring role in the story of her life – only you didn’t know it.

That remark made me smile because I feel very much the same way.

Rewind the tape of my life 15 years and you’ll see me, a young, sleep-deprived, stay-at-home mother of two in a suburb of Detroit “putting the roast in the oven.” I probably hadn’t had a shower that day, and if I had, there would have been a crying baby in a bouncy seat on the floor just outside the curtain. Chances are good, I was wearing grey maternity sweat pants (even though my baby was 6 months old) and I had spit up on my shoulder. But there you were, in the kitchen with me. Talking to ME, of that I was sure. You looked me in the eyes and you said, “Do what you love.”

I listened.

I listened to you and I listened to my heart. And my heart told me to write.

So, I did.

The journey to publication was not pretty or easy. Along the way, my husband and I added another baby to the family. We struggled with mortgage payments, bills, and a failing Detroit economy. And while I continued to collect stacks of rejection letters from publishers, you and my husband never stopped cheering me on.

It took six years, but with the image of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers etched in my mind, I sold my first picture book to HarperCollins in 2001. Since then, I have had another 7 books published. My three babies are teenagers now.

But your starring role in the story of my life does not end there. Two years ago, I began reading A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle. I became a faithful student of your podcasts. In one of the podcasts, you talked about a turning point in your career when you changed the focus of your prayers. Instead of asking God for specific things, you said these three things instead… I wrote them down in my journal:

Allow your purpose to shine through me.
How do you want me to live?
How can I be used?

I incorporated those same words into my daily meditations. Within DAYS, I got a phone call from my editor at Disney-Hyperion, asking me if I would be interested in writing a book with the lovely Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan. The book was to be about tolerance, and friendship, and healing the gap between all cultures and backgrounds.

When I hung up the phone, I was stunned. But even more so, I was humbled and grateful. I knew without a doubt the assignment had come from above.

Our story comes full circle on Friday when I will be sitting in your audience in Chicago, cheering on Queen Rania and THE SANDWICH SWAP. I hope that I have the opportunity to thank you personally, but just being there will further validate my knowing that a purpose far greater than myself is being played out on the stage.

Kelly DiPucchio

Look for Queen Rania and THE SANDWICH SWAP on The Oprah Show, Friday, April 23rd.

Other upcoming appearances by Her Majesty:

Good Morning America - Tuesday, April 27th
The View - Wednesday, April 28th

Friday, March 19, 2010

Made In Michigan

I'd like to interupt your 'March Is Reading Month' to give a shout-out to these fabulous new picture books by Michigan Authors. Way to go, Girls!

POTTY ANIMALS By Hope Vestergaard Pictures by Valeria Petrone

DINO-BASEBALL By Lisa Wheeler Pictures by Barry Gott

OVER AT THE CASTLE By Boni Ashburn Pictures by Kelly Murphy

By Deborah Diesen Pictures by Tracy Dockray

BIG CHICKENS GO TO TOWN By Leslie Helakoski Pictures by Henry Cole

By Rhonda Gowler Greene Pictures by Maggie Smith


Friday, February 26, 2010

Peanut Gallery

School visit season has begun! One of my favorite things about visiting schools is seeing all of the wonderful art on the walls. And I reeeeally love when my books are the inspiration for the art. Here are a few masterpieces from the super talented, awesome readers at Yacks Elementary in Harrison Township. Thanks, kids!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Which one of you wise guys took January?

I swear it was just here a minute ago! I think I must have gotten sucked into some kind of cosmic loophole because I blinked and now it’s February 5th. I should probably check outside my window to make sure I’m not on some freaky island with Sawyer, Jack, Kate, and Hurley.

I apologize for my absence. I'd like to say it won't happen again, but that's kind of like saying the Duggars are done having children. On the bright side, with only 16 followers, I could actually pick up the phone and call each and every one of you to fill you in on my exciting January. It went something like this:

Day 1: rise, coffee, revise, sleep.
Day 2: rise, coffee, revise, sleep.
Day 3: rise, coffee, shower, revise, sleep.
Repeat for the next 28 days.

I wish I could report this glamorous schedule has come to an end, and I have emerged from hibernation with finished manuscripts and lucrative contracts in hand, but I can’t. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow the other day, which, according to my editors and my agent, means six more weeks of revising.

I have to run. The Black Smoke Monster is knocking on my front door.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Looking ahead...

with joy...

and gratitude.

Illustrations from THE SANDWICH SWAP
Pictures by Tricia Tusa
Disney-Hyperion, April 2010