In the Media

When You Look Out the Window: Gayle Pitman shares her inspiration.


When You Look Out the Window: Lambda Literary List

Grow Happy: “I love that this book teaches kids that they have the power to make themselves happy.” —Mom’s Radius (see the full review here.)

When You Look Out the Window: “Extensive information about Lyon and Martin’s activism, marriage equality, and San Francisco itself (contained in a readers’ note) offers a useful overview of LGBTQ history and women’s rights.” —Publishers Weekly

GIRL: “This is a raw book that any teen girl will find enlightening. The book is definitely uncensored and offers a fully factual account of so many of the things that these young women will go through in their lives. The book goes through issues regarding relationships, sex, dating, romance and so much more. There are questions that will lead the reader on a self-reflective journey and some great lists and additional resources that many will refer back to again and again…. This is a great resource for all teen girls today!” —Dad of Divas (see the full review here.)

Someone To Talk To: Review from Kid’s Book Buzz

Grow Happy: “Wonderfully entertaining from beginning to end and with an invaluable life affirming message, Grow Happy is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.” —Midwest Book Review

Mapping My Day: Mapping My Day is an original and very highly recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.” —Midwest Book Review

Mapping My Day: Review from Where Imagination Grows

King Calm: “Mindfulness is so important for kids in this day and age, many of whom are being raised in a world of instant gratification, abundance of everything, and constant stimulation coming from screens. Marvin and Grandpa’s mindfulness journey is a well-told example of how to exist in the moment, observe your surroundings, and stay calm instead of just looking for the next distraction…. Like many of Magination Press’s books, King Calm is a fantastic primer for emotional health, written by people who know whereof they speak, and told in an accessible way for children.” —Portland Book Review

Mapping My Day: “With simple text and cheerful pictures, plus all the activities, this book is all you need for a science activity, lesson, or program on mapping.” —Jean Little Library

Being Me: Gold medal winner in the Mom’s Choice Awards!

A World of Pausabilities: Gold medal winner in the Mom’s Choice Awards!

Mapping My Day: “It’s a great invitation to start mapping out our world—something that may be seen by some as a dying art in this age of GPS, but is a critically important skill to have.” —Mom Read It

All My Stripes: “The book will help those without autism to understand and accept the differences in others.” —California Kids

Depression: “In their balanced approach, Toner and Freeland off information in a supportive, noncondescending way and treat depression like the serious issue it is, all while maintaining an ultimately positive outlook.” —Booklist

King Calm: “King Calm is a wonderful gateway for teaching mindfulness to children. The narrative manages to give explicit instructions on being mindful without being pedantic or dull.” —Seattle Book Review (see full review here.)

Reviews for Mapping My Day:

“This book helps kids learn is by talking about something that kids use and love every day: maps! What kid doesn’t love drawing a treasure map like a pirate? Without even knowing it, kids will realize that they already know how to read and/draw maps.” —Unconventional Librarian (see full review here.)

“This is a book that will be appreciated by teachers and readers alike!” —Unleashing Readers (see full review here.)

Review from Crafty Moms Share

“This book is a great way to introduce your child to maps and to share all the different types of maps with them in a simple format.” —Sincerely Stacie (see full review here.)

Review from Growing With Science

Review from 5 Minutes For Books

Teach Mentor Texts

“A tool every educator of young children should have in their toolbox.” —Wrapped in Foil (see full review here.)

“I loved Flora and her multi-cultural family and think this book is an excellent way to introduce kids to the dying art of map reading.”—Bermuda Onion (see full review here.)

Mapping My Day: Review from Teach Mentor Texts

What to Do When You Feel Too Shy:  Review from Kids’ Book Buzz

Mapping My Day: “I would recommend Mapping My Day for grades 1-3.” —The Late Bloomer’s Book Blog

Grow Happy: Review from Kids’ Book Buzz

A World of Pausabilities: Review from Kids’ Book Buzz

Dating and Sex: Author Andrew Smiler on “Psych Up Live” and

Big Red and the Little Bitty Wolf: Interview with the author Jeanie Franz Ransom.

Either Way:Five Worth Finding” in Windy City Times.

This Day in June: Named a “social justice picture book” by Book Riot.

Dating and Sex: Included in Chicago Tribune Top 10 list.

Dating and Sex: Author Andrew Smiler mentioned in New York Times.

King Calm: Podcast with the authors Brenda Miles and Susan Sweet on Yoga in My School.

Publishers Weekly Fall 2017 Previews!

A World of Pausabilities: “Ideal for a yoga storytime or as a bedtime read to encourage children to pause, take a breath, and go to sleep with a sense of appreciation…elementary teachers could use this title as a warm-up read before starting the day’s activities, to provide a respite from work, or to stimulate concentration.” —School Library Journal

Grow Happy: “A charming and to-the-point book for addressing mindfulness with young children, perfect for classrooms and libraries.” —School Library Journal

Mapping My Day: “The playful cartoon artwork is simple enough to allow young readers to absorb the mindfulness and geographic reasoning lessons that are demonstrated on each page…. An excellent addition to geography collections.” —School Library Journal

Somebody Cares: “An important tool…. This book belongs in every school library and counselor’s office.” —Children’s Books Heal (see the full review here.)

Dating and Sex: “Smiler…has written an insightful and engaging work that explores dating and sex in a nonjudgmental manner…. Overall, this is a refreshing work that covers a number of pertinent issues (body image, masturbation, sexual identity, etc.) with sensitivity and clarity.” —School Library Journal (see the full review here.)

King Calm: “King Calm: Mindful Gorilla in the City is expressly recommended, especially for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children.” —Midwest Book Review

Either Way: “Either Way is especially commended for personal reading lists, as well as school and community library LGBTQ issues collections for young readers.” —Midwest Book Review

Grow Happy: “Creating and caring for a garden serves as an apt metaphor for self-care in this sensitive story from the father-daughter team of Lasser and Foster-Lasser….. Crinkly, textured papers bring pleasing warmth to Lyles’s mixed-media collages, creating an atmosphere of positivity to match the girl’s confident attitude.” —Publishers Weekly (see the full review here.)

A World of Pausabilities: “Sileo invites readers to explore the potential in ‘pausabilities’…he offers a wealth of ideas for how children and families can stay engaged in the present.” —Publishers Weekly (see the full review here.)

King Calm: “This lively and edifying children’s book…makes a good case for mindfulness as a spiritual practice that brings alive our senses of tasting, seeing, feeling, smelling, and listening…. Highly recommended!” —Spirituality & Practice (see the full review here.)

Get Ready for Jetty: “Get Ready for Jetty is also an excellent book to read in class to raise awareness of different types of learners and make other children aware of the various challenges that other students may have. Understanding and relating to Jetty’s perspective can make our children more empathetic and open minded. As parents and educators, I think we can raise more open minded and accepting children by being non-judgmental and educating them about all different learning differences.” —Gravity Bread (see the full review here.)

Princess Penelopea Hates Peas: “Picky eaters will relate to this story, and the end notes give parents lots of great advice on how to broaden their children’s horizons when it comes to eating.” —Mom’s Radius (see full review here.)

Cinderstella:  “It’s so important to tell our girls stories that aren’t tales of princes and princesses living happily ever after. It’s important for them to dream of careers, especially those in the STEM fields. This book is not preachy, but it does contain some additional resources for parents at the end on how to encourage girls into STEM pursuits, or at least how not to discourage it. This book is truly a Cinderella story for the next generation. Cinderstella is a girl after my own heart.” —Mom’s Radius (see the full review here.)

Stickley Makes a Mistake: Stickley Makes a Mistake will help children more easily understand a constellation of executive function skills which are largely abstract.” —Midwest Book Review

Cinderstella: Review in Foreword.

Cinderstella: “We are seeing a huge shift in picture books that promote strong female protagonists who don’t need a prince or anyone else to come and save them. We have strong willed girls who are perfectly capable of determining their own destiny and that is what we have in Cinderstella.” —The Petite Stag (see the full review here.)

Big Red and the Little Bitty Wolf: “This is a perfect topic for the beginning of the school year and a way to engage students in a discussion about how they treat each other!  Big Red and the Little Bitty Wolf is an excellent resource for teaching children good emotional techniques and to stand up for what is right.” —Children’s Books Heal (see the full review here.)

Dating and Sex“It’s for boys who need answers to questions they don’t even know they have…. Smiler does an excellent job of urging boys to consider what type of people they are—what makes them tick, what makes them unique—and reminds them frequently how that will change and evolve for the rest of their lives.” —Chicago Tribune (see the full story here.)

Dating and Sex“Even though Dating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy is written especially for young men, it is filled with practical, invaluable wisdom for readers of all ages and both genders….Highly recommended, for public and school library collections, and a ‘must-read’ for teenagers everywhere.” —Midwest Book Review

Something Very Sad HappenedSomething Very Sad Happened is impressively exceptional and an invaluable addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.” —Midwest Book Review

Dating and SexDating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy does a great job of presenting information about healthy relationships, sex, consent, puberty, and more in a friendly and fact-based way. Smiler is a therapist and researcher who specializes in male sexual development and relationships, and his extensive knowledge of and experience with his subject are evident throughout.” —

Big Red and the Little Bitty Wolf: “This is a perfect topic for the beginning of the school year and a way to engage students in a discussion about how they treat each other!  Big Red and the Little Bitty Wolf is an excellent resource for teaching children good emotional techniques and to stand up for what is right.” —Children’s Books Heal (see the full review here.)

Something Very Sad Happened: “essential, powerful, and psychologically researched resource to equip adults to model healthy grieving and help children at this age with loss.” —Booklist

Dating and Sex“Issues of consent, gender roles, stereotypes, and the often-confusing and little-discussed emotions in boys’ early sexual experiences add up to a substantive, thorough treatment of the topic.” —Publisher’s Weekly

Move Your Mood“Boys and girls are encouraged to begin the day positively with a wide range of motions and affirmations, while adults are invited to use the pictures and text as a springboard for helping youngsters to foster a better understanding of emotions, fitness, and their symbiotic relationship. Illustrations by Holly Clifton-Brown show a delightful range of agile animals moving their own heads, tails, hooves, and tentacles, proving that healthy minds and healthy bodies are just a shimmy away.” —Foreword Reviews (see the full review here.)

Stickley Makes A Mistake: “I think that Stickley Makes a Mistake is an important book, one that should be in every single kindergarten classroom; because making mistakes and navigating challenging situations and problem solving skills are so incredibly important. This book is a perfect read for preschool through third grade. The tips in the back are ones all lower elementary teachers and parents should read and learn more about.” —The Petite Stag (see the full review here.)

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: Featured in Slate.

Sally Sore Loser: Featured in the Martinsville Bulletin. Check it out here.

Gentle Willow: Included in “7 Children’s Books That Are Even More Healing Than the Self-Help Section” on

Something Very Sad Happened: “No one likes to think about it, and even fewer plan for it, but explaining death to a toddler can be a difficult task…. The author acknowledges that a book on death written just for little ones is a bit niche but emphasizes in the foreword the need to properly discuss this tough situation with young children…. An important book to have on hand for those who serve toddlers.” —School Library Journal

Stickley Makes a Mistake: “The text is written in straightforward prose, making this a good choice for kids who may miss the point otherwise…. A key lesson directly delivered; this book will be well received by little ones who could use some support.” —School Library Journal

Ouch Moments:Ouch Moments is published by Magination Press, an arm of the American Psychological Association. Their books stand on firm ground. The multicultural illustrations are engaging and feature diverse circumstances. This would be an excellent read for the entire family; sometimes even adults need to be reminded of the important lessons Ouch Moments strives to teach. This book includes an informative and practical ‘Note to Parents and Caregivers.’” —

Ouch Moments“Children will learn strategies that will empower them to stand up to insults and hurtful language. This is a book that all children can identify with because they have been on both sides, as the perpetrator and receiver. Genhart also helps kids to recognize their own hurtful language in a way that doesn’t shame.” —Children’s Books Heal (see the full review here.)

Princess Penelopea Hates Peas: “Adorable, curvy, colorful illustrations perfectly complement the amusing alliterative language style of Princess Penelopea Hates Peas. Perfect puns and funny peas adorn these pea-luscious pages of inspiration for pea-challenged cooks, caregivers, and eaters.” —Midwest Book Review

Somebody Cares: Somebody Cares is an excellent book for children to share with caring adults (including foster parents, kinship parents, or therapists).” —Midwest Book Review

The Moment You Were Born“It’s refreshing to read a book that specifically addresses the unique circumstances that NICU parents face, while at the same time giving suggestions as to how to build attachment, putting words to the strength of the babies and families who are going through the NICU, and talking about our babies’ remarkable introduction to the world. I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s been through the NICU, but especially to those families who have just been inducted into it, and are struggling to find a way to connect with their baby, and don’t yet feel comfortable in knowing how.” —NICU Healing (see the full review here.)

Danny and the Blue Cloud“The author James M. Foley is a licensed psychologist, experienced in treating children. So his stand-in in the story, Barnaby, knows what he’s talking about…. Danny and the Blue Cloud could be an invaluable resource for children who are coping with depression or know someone who is, and perhaps it could help the adults who read it with them develop some more compassion and understanding, as well.” —Portland Book Review (see the full review here.)

Danny and the Blue Cloud“illustrations of woodland creatures will be a familiar sight and comfort to readers. Children do experience depression, and the back matter addresses strategies for caregivers explained in a simple language that is not overwhelming…” —School Library Journal

Somebody Cares“A therapeutic tool for school counselors, therapists, and social workers.” —School Library Journal

Emily Grace and the What-Ifs“Perfect for introducing one’s child to basic relaxation techniques, and encouraging them to be more independent at bedtime instead of crying or calling for an adult. Highly recommended.” —Midwest Book Review

Danny and the Blue CloudReview on Kid’s Book Buzz.

Joey Daring Caring and Curious“This delightful book serves as a wonderful reminder of parental unconditional love.” —Children’s Books Heal (See the full post here.)

This Day in JuneHighlighted on Fatherly.

Sally Sore Loser: Mentioned in The Charlotte Observer.

The Moment You Were Born: “a beautiful love poem to a baby born prematurely. The text is lyrical and the words sing off the pages as parents pour their love, hopes and dreams into the pure joy waiting their eager touch.” —Children’s Books Heal (See the full post here.)

Move Your Mood!: “The authors behind How I Learn: A Kid’s Guide to Learning Disability suggest activity as a way to keep the blues at bay, introducing a parade of animals that show off a variety of movements…Clifton-Brown never lets her anthropomorphically accessorized animals look too dour (except perhaps for a cowboy cow in the opening scene, shown sitting beside some very droopy cacti), providing a secondary boost of positive thinking.” —Publisher’s Weekly

Emily Grace and the What-Ifs“A useful addition to a public library’s parenting collection, or for school libraries where parents seek help regarding their children’s behavior.” —School Library Journal

Ouch Moments: “People of all ages can learn and grow from the message of this offering. A great addition to collections.” —School Library Journal

The Moment You Were Born: Highlighted on About Health.

Princess Penelopea Hates Peas: “The accompanying illustrations are whimsical and colorful, and help turn a topic that some children may hesitate to embrace into a book that is a great deal of fun to read.” —Foreword Reviews

Lucy in the CityFeatured on the NPR affiliate KQED.

Big Red and the Little Bitty Wolf: “The text’s nonintimidating, gentle tone, paired with playful, bright, and inviting illustrations, is certain to inspire a more in-depth discussion in the classroom or during one-on-one sharing about bullying…. Caregivers and educators will appreciate the constructive message that this fractured fairy tale has to offer on the subject of bullying.” —School Library Journal

Learning to Be Kind and Understand Differences: “Their expertise in both AD/HD and age-appropriate strategies shines in this handbook, advising kids with AD/HD on relating to both their peers and the adults in their lives… Beyl’s illustrations are essential, effectively driving home the most foundational concepts, and the comic-book style of art makes this offering all the more accessible.” —Booklist

Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: “This is another important book for parents to have at home and for teachers to put on their bookshelves to help boost self-esteem in children. Well done!” —Children’s Books Heal

1-2-3 A Calmer Me: “a most hopeful book to give children a tool that will help them release and control their uncomfortable emotions or angry feelings, helping them prevent meltdowns and upsets.” —Midwest Book Review

What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake: “Highly recommended as an invaluable resource, especially for children whose strong perfectionist tendencies hold them back.” —Midwest Book Review

The Hugging Tree: “an inspiring and captivating story…Jill Niemark’s text is poetic and rhythmic with beautiful imagery. Nicole Wong’s illustrations are exquisite and evoke the emotion and joy in the story…. It is all about encouraging children to talk about the challenges they face (i.e. bullying, disappointments, loss, etc.) and to give them tools to cope.” —Children’s Books Heal

Ouch Moments: “Genhart clearly articulates how, when bullying occurs, it can be hard to know what to do. He encourages readers to avoid responding in kind, practice kindness (both to themselves and others), and talk to adults. It’s a solid resource for conflict meditation in clinical or school settings.”—Publisher’s Weekly

The Tween Book: “Authoritative, comprehensive, and fun to read, this handbook is universally appealing for those struggling with one of the most challenging periods of modern adolescence” —Booklist

Stickley Sticks To It: “More than a picture book, it’s also a subtle guide to learning how to focus on getting tasks done.” —Midwest Book Review

Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: “Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town” has a wonderful message that makes you stop and think about how you could help your child and perhaps even yourself.  It deals with self-confidence, one of the most serious challenges in life.  The Circus children who are overcome by making mistakes are re-taught by Ringmaster Rick to face those mistakes and believe in themselves. Hurray!  Polka Dot Patti falls off her bike and loses her bowling pins, but she doesn’t give up. She works hard and prepares for the show. Larry the Lion Tamer realizes anyone can make a mistake and tries again. Dougie the Dog Trainer learns that putting yourself down is almost like bullying yourself.  At the end of the book there are serious in-depth notes to parents by psychologist Dr. Frank Sileo explaining how self-confidence works and how it affects every moment in life. Dr. Sileo’s book was a treat to read.  The illustrations are great, colorful and fun.” —Bob McGrath (“Bob” from Sesame Street)

My Sister Beth’s Pink Birthday: “My Sister Beth’s Pink Birthday has a classic problem carefully presented in child-friendly format. The resolution to the problem is both simple and profound. Jen is comforted by her mother after she tries to hide and keep all of Beth’s birthday presents. Eventually Jen is able to re-gift the gifts back to Beth and to add a very precious gift of her own. My Sister Beth’s Pink Birthday has a helpful section at the end called Note to Parents and Other Caregivers, with practical ideas and approaches for improving sibling relationships. The charming, expressive pink decorated illustrations convey the story’s characters and events in a quietly nonjudgmental way, with touches of delicious sparkle, perhaps the magic of love.” —Midwest Book Review

Woolfred Cannot Eat Dandelions: “Crangle has done a wonderful job of stating a grown-up issue in a manner that is easy for a child to understand. A cute story, with simple language and examples of the desire to throw caution to the wind and eat whatever you want no matter how it makes you feel, this book belongs in the hands of every parent of a child with an allergy, every doctor’s office, every school nurse, and teacher’s classroom.” —Portland Book Review

Friends Always: “Friends Always is gentle, non-threatening and clear in all its messages, a book children will be comforted by and comfortable with.” —Midwest Book Review