Issue #10 • June 2018

Dear Readers,

This month marks the book birthday for a very special project: The Doll Hospital written by me and illustrated by Sara Gillingham and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, available June 5th!


When toys need a little (or a lot of!) TLC, they head to the Doll Hospital to be looked after by dear Dr. Pegs. Dr. Pegs is a Type A kind of doll. She likes to have everything just so. But today the hospital is really busy. Every time she wants to start an item on her list, a new patient comes in. What will she do?

(Just to note, I am pretty much Dr. Pegs--I like things to be just so!)

This project emerged in a really interesting and beautiful way. I've ALWAYS wanted to write a story about a Doll Hospital. I actually have lots of stuffies of my own. My husband has "Teddy" and I have "Flopsy" and at our wedding our two stuffies got married as well!


So, inspired by my own stuffies, I decided to write a chapter book about a Doll Hospital. I worked one summer nonstop on it, but at the end, it just didn't feel right, and my agent gave me the same feedback. So... it was back to the drawing board (or writing board, in this case)!

I ended up talking to my dear friend and talented illustrator and book designer Sara Gillingham about the idea, and she really liked it. I don't remember if it was her or me that thought that maybe it would make a better picture book. In any case, we brainstormed the story together, and I wrote it up. And then we pitched it to our agents as a project that we wanted to work on together. Usually picture books never happen this way--usually an author submits a story first and an illustrator is brought on board later by an art director, but luckily this project was different and everyone was totally on board. Including our fabulous editor at Atheneum.

So, here are some of the great spreads from the story! (Didn't Sara do a fabulous job???!)

I hope you really enjoy this one!

Have a happy June!


For more fun check out the websites for my two series!

Visit the Heartwood Hotel, where you can book a room in the fancy oak tree, take a quiz to find out which room is perfect for you, and download activities.

At the Magical Animal Adoption Agency find out which magical animal is perfect for you, adopt a magic animal, and learn tips and tricks for taking care of your tricky enchanted beasts.

Extra Fun

Featured Activity - Pretty Postcards!

Check out the super cute paper doll postcard for the Doll Hospital. It's available for download here. If you print it out on cardstock, you can cut out Dr. Pegs and her supplies.

Have fun!