Food tour in…Lucca, Italy!

We went on a fantastic Flavors of Lucca food tour in Italy last month. The short review: It was super comprehensive and we made so many stops for tastings, viewings, etc.  We thought the tour was only supposed to last about 2.5 hours, but it lasted an entire 4 hours, full of delicious tastings that… Read more »

Hotel Review: Château de la Chèvre d’Or – Èze – French Riviera

When I first went to the Côte d’Azur over fifteen years ago, I quickly realized which areas I loved and which areas I didn’t. I loved Saint Paul de Vence, Èze and St. Tropez. Notice I didn’t mention the big cities. So when we went last month, I already had the “dream itinerary” in mind…. Read more »

Publication news!

I’m so thrilled to announce that Random House has acquired my second picture book, The Paper Kingdom.  I poured my heart and soul into this story, and I’m excited to see the book when it’s released! I’ll keep everyone posted, and one of these days, I’d like to write a post about how the entire… Read more »

Alone time in Venice, California

A few Saturdays ago, I decided to live like a tourist in my own city. So I went over to Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice for some quality alone time. What an AMAZING afternoon! I started off with tea at Caudalie Spa while waiting for my facial appointment.  I love this place. Why is everyone… Read more »

A Fun Glimpse into an Artist’s Process

I’m happy to reveal the work in progress of Colleen Kong-Savage, the talented artist who is illustrating THE TURTLE SHIP.  I find absolutely fascinating the thought process behind her artistic choices.  For instance, Colleen is working to find a way to contrast the turtle enough to make him pop off the page, instead of blending… Read more »

Joining the pros

Here’s my latest article for SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators), which covers attending the pro track for the first time at their conference. Featuring photos of Judy Blume and Newbery winner Linda Sue Park. Girl crush time!! Check it out here.

In Love with Sempé

I have been in love with the artwork of Jean-Jacques Sempé since I was fifteen, when I read the NICOLAS series (which he illustrated) for a high school French class.  Sempé is known in the U.S. for his iconic New Yorker covers, such as this one: But in his home country of France, his illustrated… Read more »

The reason for my absence

When I first launched this website a few months ago, I promised myself that I’d post at least once a week. Well, three months into this endeavor, I’ve already been absent for an entire month. The reason for my absence is actually a pretty good one 😉  Our home renovations were finally completed (side note:… Read more »

Good eats in Italy (plus a fabulous garden)

Get thee to these delectable spots in Rome and Tuscany: Rome: Bonci Pizza – Anthony Bourdain raved about this place, so we had to check it out. And oh my goodness, it totally lived up to his assessment.  I loved the cherry tomato pizza and the pizza with mortadella.  The Geno loved everything, even the… Read more »

Hotel Review: Lake Como, Italy – Villa d’Este vs. Grand Hotel Tremezzo

(Villa d’Este with view of Lake Como) We were torn about where to stay during our visit to Lake Como, Italy.  There are so many gorgeous options, we simply couldn’t choose. Major flip-floppiness!  So we split our time between the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, and the famous Villa d’Este. Boy, am I glad we experienced both…. Read more »