Children's picture book


The other day I taught a poetry class at the Young Writer’s Club at the Portola Valley Library. I asked the students to pick a color and describe it with all of their senses. These were children ranging from first grade to fifth grade and they came up with amazing poems. One did an acrostic, another described blue in terms of a velvety dress, another described the taste of green as ‘rainwater’, another picked smooth stones and water as her metaphors. Just delicious! Here’s what I came up with for the color “red”…


Luscious lips lick candy apple

Crunchy, crispy, lip-smacking

Cinnamon, gumdrops, tomato juice

Smooth, silky, sticky, hot

Strawberries in sunshine

Chili peppers in salsa


Children's picture book

Armadillos Amble by Jeannine Gerkman

My upcoming book has twenty-six two-word sentences from A to Z in the form of a rhyming poem. Each sentence is an animal doing an action matching its letter. At the bottom of each page is a description of the action (verb) and a fun fact about the animal.

I’m doing the illustrations myself using Book Creator on my I-Pad.

For example, under “Armadillos amble’, the page reads: “To walk slowly. Armadillos don’t see very well. They wander around and when an armadillo finds food (like ants in an anthill), he uses his long sticky tongue to chow down.”

Armadillos amble. Bears browse. Camels cuddle. Donkeys drowse.

Elephants eat. Foxes flop. Giraffes glide. Horseflies hop.

Ibex itches. Jaguars jump. Kangaroo kicks. Lemurs lump.

Monkeys mimic. Nenes nod. Owls ogle. Puppies plod.

Quails quiver. Rhinos relax. Snails slither. Tiger tracks.

Uriel ungulates. Viper vexes. Whale whooshes. Exmoor exits.

Yaks yawn. Zebras zag.

Children's picture book, Uncategorized

Kirkus raves about ‘Spring’

The Kirkus May 2015 Newsletter  is talking about Spring, Jeannine Gerkman’s debut picture book, and they’ve got my ears tingling! What have they been saying? Page 127 declares in large print at the top of the page: “The illustrations throughout are a delight, particularly the wonderfully lifelike birds and detailed flowers“. Below on the right column is their review and a picture of the cover.

I received this good news via email from Crystal Timbeross, Client Promotions & Advertising Associate, KIRKUS REVIEWS | KIRKUS MEDIA LLC. She wrote:

“I’m writing to let you know that your review for “Spring” was selected by our Indie Editors to be featured in Kirkus Reviews 5/1 Issue. Congratulations! Your review appears as one of the 35 reviews in the Indie section of Kirkus Reviews magazine which is sent out to over 5,200 industry professionals (librarians, publishers, agents, etc.) Less than 10% of our Indie reviews are chosen for this, so it’s a great honor.”

Children's picture book, Uncategorized

A is for Action!

Went to the Golden Gate Conference of (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators) at Asilomar in Pacific Grove this last weekend. Met lots of wonderful people, read and purchased delightful children’s books, and was part of a critique group.  My newest book in the works…is an ABC book full of VERBS! Received some good feedback that my A-J was fun and worked, but K-W needed some sprucing up and more visual images. I’ve taken the advice to heart. Here are a few of my re-worked letters:

O is for ogling an ostrich and offending an ocelot

P is for preening and posing and petting A LOT

Q is for quieting a quack and quelling a quip

R is for raising a ruckus and rending a rip


Anna Borenstein, Becky Levine & Tuky Reyes, thanks so much for your feedback!

Spring Picture Book on Facebook

Children's picture book, Uncategorized

San Francisco Writers Conference

I’ve just finished my first day at the 13th SF Writers Conference up at the Mark Hopkins Hotel. What a whirlwind of instruction!  Among many other things, we were coached on the finer points of pitches (we’re not talking baseball here) and given honest feedback by agents willing to hurt feelings for our good.

Here’s my (edited) pitch:

“Spring is a dreamy picture book that unfolds the wonder of Spring for 3-5 year olds and their parents and grandparents. This lyrical poem has sun-drenched illustrations and is designed to be read over and over at bedtimes. This 32 page book has the feeling of Goodnight Moon.”

Author and Co-illustrator, Jeannine Gerkman.

Published by Dog Ear Publishing and available on and