“The Christmas Truce” Gets a Royal Reading
Dec. 24, 2021—Aaron’s fictional story “The Christmas Truce”—condensed and titled “A Letter from a Soldier to His Sister”—was read by Tom Felton of Harry Potter fame as part of the British television network ITV’s 2021 Christmas Eve special, “Royal Carols: Together at Christmas.” The program was sponsored by Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, and prerecorded on Dec. 8 at Westminster Abbey. (The letter—credited on screen to Aaron Shepherd rather than Shepard—seems to have been believed by most viewers to be an actual letter from World War I, so adding to the myths surrounding the Christmas Truce!) Aaron’s story is available also in versions for storytelling and reader’s theater, as well as in a picture book illustrated by Wendy Edelson.
Princess of India—A Picture Book Reborn
May 4, 2020—Almost three decades after it was published, Aaron’s very first picture book, Savitri: A Tale of Ancient India, illustrated by Vera Rosenberry, has been reissued by Aaron’s own Skyhook Press as Princess of India: An Ancient Tale. Drawn from the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, it tells of a young woman’s defiance of the god of death to save her husband’s life. The 30th Anniversary Edition features a new cover, a tweaked interior design, and the addition of a detailed note on the story’s background. The story appears on this Web site in reader’s theater and storytelling versions as “The Princess and the God” and can also be found under that title in Aaron’s Folktales on Stage.
Aaron Goes Mobile!
Jan. 11, 2020—Aaron’s Home Page has been completely revamped for optimal viewing on smartphones and tablets as well as on the desktop. Scripts in the popular series Reader’s Theater Editions can now even be read in performance directly from handheld devices instead of from printed copies. (You may have to refresh your pages once for proper viewing.)
Aaron and Wendy Ask, Which Shoes Do You Choose?
Nov. 20, 2019—Aaron continues his recent string of collaborations with Wendy Edelson, illustrator of his Christmas classic The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale. Their latest is a picture book for younger kids, Which Shoes Do You Choose?, an original story aimed especially at girls, about all the wonderful choices you can make in life. It includes 40—count them, 40!—of Wendy's wonderful watercolors. Though never before published as a book, the story may be familiar as Reader’s Theater Edition #22—which has been updated with improvements made for the book!
Aaron to Launch Three More Coloring Storybooks
May 4, 2019—Following the success of The Baker’s Dozen Coloring Book, Aaron will launch three more grayscale coloring storybooks for adults and older kids—The Skeeter and the Weasels Coloring Book, illustrated by Anne L. Watson, on July 15, The Quackling Coloring Book, illustrated by Wendy Edelson, on August 15, and The Sea King’s Daughter Coloring Book, illustrated by Gennady Spirin, on September 15. All books are currently available for preorder on Amazon.com.
Aaron and Anne Team Up for Skeeter and the Weasels
Jan. 11, 2019—Aaron Shepard and his wife, author/illustrator Anne L. Watson, have teamed up for their first picture book together, Skeeter and the Weasels. The story combines characters of Anne’s and an avatar of their cat, Skeeter, all filtered through Aaron’s wild imagination. If you’ve ever suspected the world was run by weasels, this one’s for you!
Quackling Brings Aaron and Wendy Together Again
July 24, 2018—Wendy Edelson, the illustrator of Aaron’s Christmas Truce and his bestselling Christmas classic The Baker’s Dozen, has teamed up with Aaron again for the new folktale picture book Quackling: A Feathered Fairy Tale. After waiting in vain for the King to repay a loan, Quackling wants his money back! Lively storytelling, a catchy refrain, and rich illustrations in a classic vein will make this an instant favorite.
Aaron Launches His First “Coloring Storybook”
May 13, 2018—Aaron Shepard has launched his first “coloring storybook,” The Baker’s Dozen Coloring Book, based on his perennially popular Christmas picture book with illustrator Wendy Edelson, The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale. Meanwhile, the picture book itself has been updated and digitally enhanced with a 25th Anniversary Edition, available in both paperback and hardcover.
Aaron and Anne Move to Bellingham
Sept. 14, 2017—Aaron Shepard, along with his wife and publishing partner, Anne L. Watson, has moved from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island to Bellingham, a university town in northwest Washington—ten miles on the map and a world away!
Reader’s Theater Goes Mobile
Oct. 8, 2014—Aaron has released ebook editions of his two published reader’s theater script collections, Folktales on Stage and Stories on Stage. Unlike other reader’s theater ebooks, these are priced extremely low for economical purchase of classroom sets. The ebooks are available from Amazon, Apple’s iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo. Also available as ebooks from the same outlets are RT Tips and RT Scripts, free samplers of Aaron’s reader’s theater materials, extracted from his book Readers on Stage.
Christmas Truce Commemorated in Aaron’s Latest
May 23, 2014—In time for the World War I centennial, Aaron’s popular story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 is available as the picture book Christmas Truce. Illustrations are by Wendy Edelson, author of Aaron’s Christmas picture book The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale. The book is available now on Kindle and will be published in September in hardcover and paperback. The story may be found on this site in versions for reading, reader’s theater (both regular and small‑team), and storytelling. Aaron’s Extras includes performances of the story by Lakes Area Theatre and the Chamber Readers.
Aaron Launches “Magic Classics” Series
Oct. 4, 2014—As a complement to his Ancient Fantasy series of middle-grade mini-novels, Aaron has launched a new series of “Magic Classics” for the same age group. The first two books in the series are The Man Who Sang to Ghosts, a retelling of the Japanese legend of Hoichi the Earless, and The Swan Knight, a retelling of the medieval legend of Lohengrin, based on the opera by Richard Wagner. These books will initially be available as ebooks only. Cover art for the series is taken from classic illustrations.
The Baker’s Dozen Now on Kindle!
Apr. 25, 2013—One of Aaron’s most popular picture books is now available in a Kindle edition. The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale can be found at a bargain price in Amazon’s Kindle Store. Designed for all Kindles.
Mouse Deer and Lightning Larry Now on Kindle!
Apr. 25, 2013—Two of Aaron’s most beloved characters are now available in Kindle editions. The Adventures of Mouse Deer and The Legend of Lightning Larry can be found at a bargain price in Amazon’s Kindle Store. Designed for all Kindles.
The Sea King’s Daughter Available Again
Mar. 3, 2011—Aaron’s lavish picture book The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend, illustrated by the world-renowned artist Gennady Spirin, is once more available. This paperback fifteenth anniversary edition features digitally restored color and a new cover. The book was originally published by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster and received numerous honors, including appearances on the lists of the 1997 New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books of the Year, the 1998 American Library Association Notable Children’s Books, and the 1998 NCSS/CBC Notable Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies.
The Baker’s Dozen Returns to Print
Nov. 28, 2010—Aaron’s classic Christmas story, The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale, illustrated by Wendy Edelson, is returning to print. Due out in the week before Saint Nicholas Day, Dec. 6, this paperback fifteenth anniversary edition will add a bonus cookie recipe and pattern for making St. Nicholas Christmas cookies. The book was originally published by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster and was honored as an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, a Trumpet Book Club selection, and a choice of Valerie and Walter’s Best Books for Children.
King o’ the Cats Now in Paperback
Mar. 5, 2010—Aaron’s picture book King o’ the Cats has been released in paperback by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. This book was an August 2004 Junior Library Guild Selection, a 2005 Kansas National Educational Association Reading Circle Catalog title, and a 2006 Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award Nominee.
Aaron Jumps Onto Kindle
Sept. 26, 2009—Aaron Shepard has launched himself onto the Kindle with all of his chapter books and mini-novels. These include Timothy Tolliver and the Bully Basher and the entire Ancient Fantasy series. And for now at least, they’re all at the price of a penny!
Aaron Escapes to New Island Home
Apr. 17, 2009—Aaron Shepard, his wife, Anne L. Watson, and their cat, Skeeter, have fled the U.S. mainland to take up residence in Friday Harbor, Washington, on San Juan Island. The island is one of the San Juan Islands, a cluster lying between Washington state and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Commonly reached by ferry, the islands are a popular tourist destination during the summer but offer a rare experience of isolated small‑town living for year-round residents like Aaron and Anne.
Monkey King and Lady White Snake Out on Their Own
Jan. 6, 2008—Aaron has set up independent fan sites/link pages for the Monkey King and Lady White Snake, two legendary Chinese figures found in Aaron’s retellings. Both characters are enjoying growing worldwide interest, with major movies coming for both, plus a Western opera for Lady White Snake—so Aaron thought it time to provide them independent venues. Each page features relevant links back to this site plus others on the Web.
Mouse Deer and Lightning Larry Now in Color!
May 6, 2008—Aaron Shepard’s two easy readers, The Adventures of Mouse Deer and The Legend of Lightning Larry, originally published by Aaron’s Skyhook Press in black and white, are now available from Skyhook in glorious color. The upgrade, though, has come at a price: For now at least, the books are available only on Amazon.com.
Two Superheroes Come to Aaron’s “Ancient Fantasy” Series
Jan. 4, 2008—The third and fourth titles in Aaron Shepard’s Ancient Fantasy series of “mini-novels” feature superheroes of ancient cultures. Ancient Fantasy #3 is The Magic Flyswatter: A Superhero Tale of Africa, retold from the Mwindo epic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). Ancient Fantasy #4 is The Monkey King: A Superhero Tale of China, retold from the comic epic The Journey to the West. (This new title is a reissue of Aaron’s Monkey: A Superhero Tale of China.) Both books feature the powerful cover art of Xiaojun Li, illustrator of Aaron’s picture book The Magic Brocade. Aaron’s site includes a number of special features for each book.
One‑Eye! Two‑Eyes! Three‑Eyes! Is Honored by New York Public Library
Oct. 22, 2007—Aaron Shepard’s latest picture book, One‑Eye! Two‑Eyes! Three‑Eyes!, has been selected for the New York Public Library’s honor list “Children’s Books 2007: One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing.” Aaron’s book, illustrated by Gary Clement, was published in January by Atheneum, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. On Aaron’s site, the story is available also in versions for reader’s theater and storytelling. Another picture book of Aaron’s, The Princess Mouse: A Tale of Finland, was on NYPL’s honor list for 2003.
Aaron’s Second “Ancient Fantasy” Reveals Songs of Power
Sept. 15, 2007—The second title in Aaron Shepard’s Ancient Fantasy series of “mini-novels” is The Songs of Power: A Northern Tale of Magic, a retelling from Finland’s great national epic, the Kalevala. Written in blank verse, this may be Aaron’s finest work ever! (Aaron’s long‑time fans may recognize it as the text from his out-of-print picture book The Maiden of Northland, and the cover features one of Carol Schwartz’s powerful illustrations from that earlier version.) Aaron’s site offers a number of special features for the book, including Reader’s Theater Edition #10, “The Battle of Song,” in both regular and team versions.
Aaron Gets 5 Millionth Visitor!
May 1, 2007—April brought the five millionth visitor to Aaron Shepard’s home page, Author Online! The site has been online since 1996 and now often gets 25,000 visitors in a week.
All Eyes Are on Aaron’s Seventeenth Picture Book
Jan. 12, 2007—The eyes have it in Aaron Shepard’s seventeenth—and possibly final—picture book, One‑Eye! Two‑Eyes! Three‑Eyes!: A Very Grimm Fairy Tale, just published by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. Based on a tale of the Brothers Grimm, Aaron’s latest seeks to discover how a girl with just two eyes can overcome being so tragically different to find true love and a good meal.
Aaron Launches New Series of “Ancient Fantasy”
Jan. 12, 2007—Aaron Shepard has launched “Ancient Fantasy,” a series of fantasy novellas retold from traditional literature. The first volume is The Mountain of Marvels: A Celtic Tale of Magic, just published by Skyhook Press. The story is retold from The Mabinogion, a collection of tales from medieval Wales, and features the sharp-tongued, magical lady Rhiannon. The slim book features stunning cover art by fantasy artist Suzanne Hankins.
Aaron and Anne Descend to the World of Comics
Jan. 12, 2007—Aaron Shepard has descended to the world of comics and has dragged with him his wife, Anne L. Watson. The first graphic novel by the unrepentant pair is a retelling of the legend of Robin Hood, published in August by Stone Arch Books. When asked what he could possibly have been thinking of, Aaron replied, “Despite a few real gaffes introduced by the editors, I think you’ll like it. The climax, cooked up by Anne from a blend of traditional elements, is a major contribution to the Robin Hood genre.”
Aaron Celebrates Web Site’s 10th Anniversary
Oct. 1, 2006—Aaron Shepard is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his Web site, Author Online!, launched in October 1996. Developed and maintained entirely by Aaron himself, his site has grown to include hundreds of documents, including stories, articles, and scripts, all provided at no charge. Over the years, the site has drawn over 4 million visitors and today receives as many as 25,000 visitors a week.
Aaron’s Picture Book Staged by Theatreworks USA
July 1, 2006—Aaron Shepard’s picture book Master Man: A Tall Tale of Nigeria is being presented this summer on the children’s theater stage by Theatreworks USA of New York City. The story is included in the free July–August production of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and Other Storybooks, a musical revue. They’re doing Master Man in rap!
Aaron Plans Western Washington State Tour
Nov. 2, 2005—Though Aaron now mostly limits his appearances to Thurston County, Washington, he is planning a western Washington state tour in February and March 2006 in honor of the nomination of his King o’ the Cats for the Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award. If your school or library will be voting for that award and would like a visit, please contact Aaron.
Stories on Stage Is Back—and in Paperback
Aug. 2, 2005—Aaron Shepard’s classic reader’s theater script collection Stories on Stage is back in print, now in a low‑cost paperback edition. Most of the original scripts have returned, all with improved formatting and introductory matter. The book features stories by fifteen authors, including Louis Sachar, Nancy Farmer, and Roald Dahl. Included is a script for Dahl’s The Twits, soon to be a major movie.
King o’ the Cats is 2006 Washington Children’s Choice Nominee
May 26, 2005—Aaron Shepard’s King o’ the Cats has been nominated for the 2006 Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award. The book is one of twenty that will be read and voted on next year by children around Washington state. A number of supplementary materials for the book are available on Aaron’s site, including a Reader’s Theater Edition.
Lightning Larry and Mouse Deer Now in Paperback!
Feb. 23, 2005—The stories from two of Aaron’s most popular scripts are now available in paperback storybooks from Skyhook Press. The Legend of Lightning Larry, first published as a hardcover picture book by Scribners, in this edition features black-and-white versions of nearly all the original illustrations by Toni Goffe. The Adventures of Mouse Deer features black-and-white versions of the illustrations in School Magazine by Kim Gamble.
Monkey and Timothy Tolliver Arrive for Older Readers
Feb. 4, 2005—After publication of sixteen picture books, children’s author Aaron Shepard has published two books for older readers: Timothy Tolliver and the Bully Basher, a chapter book, and Monkey: A Superhero Tale of China, a “mini-novel.” Unlike Aaron’s picture books, these two books are being published by Aaron’s own Skyhook Press. They are available from major booksellers in both paperback and hardcover.
Aaron and Anne Move to Washington State
Sept. 21, 2004—After celebrating their marriage in May, Aaron Shepard and Anne Watson moved at the end of August from the Los Angeles area to Olympia, capital of Washington state. (The capital is where they built the capitol, see?) Since then, they’ve been enjoying Washington’s chief import and export—rain—as well as the easy access, clean air, beautiful views, personable bookstores, lively arts, low traffic, and inexpensive rents in this small, friendly city. From his new home, Aaron hopes to be an energetic presence in the Pacific Northwest children’s author, library, and educational communities. Author visit inquiries are welcome!
Aaron’s New Reader’s Theater Book Provides “Key to RT”
Aug. 1, 2004—Aaron Shepard’s new reader’s theater book is Readers on Stage: Resources for Reader’s Theater. This how‑to book offers tips, scripts, and worksheets—everything you need to get started or go further with reader’s theater. It joins Aaron’s Folktales on Stage: Scripts for Reader’s Theater, published last year. Due in 2005 is a second edition of Stories on Stage: Scripts for Reader’s Theater, currently out of print.
Cat Reigns Over Aaron’s Sixteenth Picture Book
Aug. 1, 2004—Aaron Shepard’s latest picture book is King o’ the Cats, from Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. This imaginative retelling of an English folktale is about young Peter Black and his unexpected run‑ins with cats who are all too human. Illustrations are by up-and-coming artist Kristin Sorra. The book is an August selection of the Junior Library Guild. Available on Aaron’s Web site are a variety of special features, including a reader’s theater script.
Aaron and Anne Marry, Plan Move to Washington State
June 5, 2004—Aaron Shepard and Anne Watson celebrated their marriage on May 21, 2004, in a civil ceremony at Los Angeles County’s Airport Courthouse. Their weekend honeymoon was spent on Catalina Island, where they stayed two nights in a cozy, unheated cottage, rode in a glass-bottom boat over a kelp forest, toured the historic circular Casino with its art‑deco movie theater below and 6,000‑capacity ballroom above, and on their departure by ferry passed through an enormous school of leaping dolphins. The couple looks forward to many loving years together, and plans to move to Washington state this summer, most likely to the state capital, Olympia.
The Princess Mouse Honored by New York Public Library
Nov. 14, 2003—Aaron Shepard’s latest picture book, The Princess Mouse: A Tale of Finland, has been selected for the New York Public Library’s honor list “Children’s Books 2003: One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing.” Aaron’s book, illustrated by Leonid Gore, was published in February by Atheneum, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. A piece of original art from the book is on display in the Central Children’s Room of the library from Nov. 7 to Jan. 5. On Aaron’s site, the story is available also in versions for reader’s theater and storytelling.
Aaron’s Next Picture Book Selected by Junior Library Guild
Oct. 13, 2003—Aaron Shepard’s next picture book, King o’ the Cats, coming from Atheneum/Simon & Schuster in August 2004, will be a monthly selection of the Junior Library Guild. The Guild sends only one book in each of nine age categories a month to its members, which are mostly public and school libraries.
Aaron Offers New Books for Reader’s Theater
Sept. 1, 2003—Aaron Shepard’s first new reader’s theater book in a decade has been published and is now available online and off. Folktales on Stage is a collection of 16 scripts based on Aaron’s picture books, magazine stories, and other retellings. Coming in 2004 is a paperback edition of Readers on Stage, Aaron’s guide to reader’s theater, enlarged to include sample scripts and scripting worksheets. And coming by 2005 is a paperback second edition of Stories on Stage, to replace H. W. Wilson’s hardcover edition, which recently went out of print.
Aaron Sells Picture Book #17—Again!
April 2, 2003—Aaron Shepard has sold his picture book manuscript Two‑Eyes to Atheneum, a children’s book imprint of Simon & Schuster. The story is retold from a lesser-known tale of the Brothers Grimm. Aaron has fifteen picture books already published and one other forthcoming. Picture book publication takes at least two years from the time of manuscript sale. This manuscript was previously sold to Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, an imprint of Morrow, but was returned to Aaron after that publisher was bought up.
Princess Mouse Stars in Aaron’s Fifteenth Picture Book
January 20, 2003—Aaron Shepard’s latest picture book is The Princess Mouse: A Tale of Finland. The book features a magical mouse who becomes the sweetheart of a young man seeking a wife. Illustrations are by acclaimed Russian-American artist Leonid Gore. Available on Aaron’s site are a variety of special features for the book, including a reader’s theater script.
Lightning Larry Is Back!
December 4, 2002—Skyhook Press has released an Acrobat PDF picture book edition of The Legend of Lightning Larry. This is Aaron Shepard’s best-loved book, but the hardcover originally from Scribners has been out of print since 1999. The new edition, with almost all of the original illustrations by Toni Goffe, is an Acrobat download specially designed for printing on your own printer, as well as for reading on screen. It is available for a ridiculously low price from eBookAd.com. [Update, 4/17/2003: Larry is now instead at Amazon.com, an affiliate, at an even more ridiculously low price.]
The College Board Taps Aaron’s Web Site
August 18, 2002—The College Board recently licensed several scripts and stories found on Author Online!, home page of author Aaron Shepard, for use in the English component of its emerging “Pacesetter” teacher-training program. This follows a recent trend of educational and trade publishers buying rights to materials found on Aaron’s site. Other recent acquirers include Harcourt Educational Measurement, SIRS Publishing, Korea Froebel, Nathan Langues (a French subsidiary of Vivendi Universal), The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and Playbooks, Inc. For a complete list, see Aaron’s Rights & Permissions.
Aaron’s Web Site Welcomes Millionth Visitor
August 18, 2002—In August, Aaron Shepard’s Web site, Author Online!, welcomed its millionth visitor. The site currently receives about 8,000 visitors a week. The visitor counter will no longer appear on Aaron’s site, however. Due to technical problems requiring frequent maintenance, the counter has been removed.
Aaron Does Chinese Opera in Latest Picture Book
August 24, 2001—Aaron Shepard’s newest picture book is Lady White Snake: A Tale From Chinese Opera. The legend of White Snake is one of the most popular stories in Chinese opera and may have arisen as early as the seventh century. Aaron discovered it while speaking at a conference in Taiwan and fell in love with it. This is his most extensively researched retelling to date!
Aaron to Keynote Utah-Idaho SCBWI
August 24, 2001—Aaron will keynote the annual conference of the Utah-Idaho region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in Salt Lake City, September 28–29. He will give three workshops as well, including one for published writers only.
Caldecott Artist David Wisniewski Illustrates Aaron’s Latest
January 16, 2001—Caldecott Medal winner David Wisniewski is the illustrator of Aaron’s latest picture book, Master Man: A Tall Tale of Nigeria, published this month by HarperCollins. Master Man has already garnered starred reviews from The Horn Book and Kirkus Reviews. Also just out for Aaron is The Magic Brocade: A Tale of China, illustrated by Xiaojun Li; and a paperback reprint of the award-winning The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend, illustrated by Gennady Spirin. Free Reader’s Theater Editions are available for all three books.
Aaron’s Guide to Children’s Writing Is Tops at Amazon
January 16, 2001—Aaron’s The Business of Writing for Children has been regularly listed on Amazon.com as its bestselling guide to children’s writing, and its second-bestselling children’s writer resource of any kind (after Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market). The guide, a print-on-demand book self-published by Aaron, has sold over 1000 copies in its first year.
Three New Picture Books for Aaron in Coming Year
December 2, 2000—Aaron will have three new picture books in the coming year. Due in December 2000 is The Magic Brocade: A Tale of China, illustrated by Xiaojun Li, from Edustar Press. In January 2001, HarperCollins will publish Master Man: A Tall Tale of Nigeria, illustrated by Caldecott Award winner David Wisniewski. In May 2001, also from Edustar, will come Lady White Snake: A Tale From Chinese Opera, illustrated by Song Nan Zhang. In addition, February will see Aladdin’s paperback edition of The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend, illustrated by Gennady Spirin.
Aaron’s New Book Tells How to Write for Children
February 25, 2000—Aaron announces publication of his new how‑to book for children’s writers, The Business of Writing for Children. The book features professional tips on how to write, sell, and promote children’s books, including material not found on his Web site. It has already garnered testimonials from a wide array of editors, agents, authors, librarians, booksellers, and other professionals in the field. The Business of Writing for Children is distributed by Ingram Book Company and can be ordered from local or online booksellers. For more information, visit Aaron’s Kidwriter Page.
U.S. West Coast Schools: Last Chance for Lower Rates on Aaron’s Author Visits
March 5, 2000—Aaron’s fees for U.S. West Coast school visits will go up, starting next fall. Schools wishing to invite him at the current rates should contact him now for scheduling by May. For information, please see About Aaron’s Author Visits.
Florida Schools: Aaron Will Tour This Spring
January 15, 2000—Aaron will visit schools in Florida in an author tour scheduled for the first two weeks of April. Schools near Tampa or Sarasota will pay a reduced fee—$750 for a full day of three presentations, or $500 for a “half‑day” of two—while travel expenses will be waived. Schools elsewhere in Florida will be charged $1000 plus in‑state expenses. Interested schools should contact Aaron by March 3. For general information, please see About Aaron’s Author Visits.
The Baker’s Dozen Now in Paperback!
September 26, 1999—Aaron’s popular holiday tale, The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Legend, is now available in paperback from Simon & Schuster’s Aladdin Books. Though previously sold in paperback in a school book club edition, this is the first time a paperback is available in stores.
Forty Fortunes Now Available!
August 15, 1999—Aaron’s latest book, Forty Fortunes: A Tale of Iran, is now available from your favorite bookseller. An early review calls it “a well-paced combination of humor and action.” A reader’s theater script is also available. This story was developed with extensive student feedback as part of Aaron’s acclaimed online experiment Works in Progress.
Aaron Sells Two More Picture Books
August 15, 1999—Aaron has sold two more picture book manuscripts to Pan Asian Publications, which will already publish his The Magic Brocade: A Tale of China this winter. The two new titles are Lady White Snake: A Tale From Chinese Opera, to be illustrated by Song Nan Zhang and published in Winter 2000; and The Hidden One: A Native American Cinderella Tale. Pan Asian specializes in English-language and bilingual picture books of multicultural stories from many countries.
Aaron Has Moved to the Los Angeles Area!
January 28, 1999—Aaron Shepard has just moved from Monterey, California, to San Pedro, south of Los Angeles. School visit inquiries are welcome.
Aaron Sells Picture Book #17
January 11, 1999—Aaron Shepard recently sold his picture book manuscript Two‑Eyes to children’s book publisher Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (no relation). The story is retold from a lesser-known tale of the Brothers Grimm. Two‑Eyes is the seventeenth picture book manuscript sold by Aaron, with ten already published and six others forthcoming. Picture book publication takes at least two years from the time of manuscript sale.
The Sea King’s Daughter Now in German
November 11, 1998—Aaron Shepard’s award-winning picture book The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend is now available in German as Des Meerkönigs Tochter (Esslinger, 1998). It can be ordered from Amazon.de, the German branch of Amazon.com.
Aaron Sells Three More Books
September 5, 1998—This summer, Aaron Shepard sold three more manuscripts to be made into folktale picture books. The titles and publishers are The Princess Mouse: A Tale of Finland (Atheneum), The Magic Brocade: A Tale of China (Pan Asian), and Quackling (Golden Books). The first to appear will be The Magic Brocade, in late 1999.
The Crystal Heart Now Available!
August 26, 1998—Aaron Shepard’s latest picture book, The Crystal Heart: A Vietnamese Legend, is now available in bookstores and from online booksellers. An early review calls it “a haunting tale of unrequited love.” A reader’s theater script is also available.
The Crystal Heart Makes Ingram Bestseller List
August 9, 1998—Aaron Shepard’s new picture book, The Crystal Heart: A Vietnamese Legend, is #18 on Ingram Book Group’s bestseller list of children’s books for ages 4–8 for the week of August 3. Ingram is the largest distributor of books to the U.S. retail market, and its bestseller “A‑List” is based on orders from booksellers rather than final customer sales. The Crystal Heart will be officially published in September, but can be ordered now.
Aaron Listed in Valerie & Walter’s Best Books
July 30, 1998—Two picture books by Aaron Shepard have been listed in the new Valerie & Walter’s Best Books for Children, by Valerie V. Lewis and Walter M. Mayes, from Avon. The titles reviewed are The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale and The Gifts of Wali Dad: A Tale of India and Pakistan. Valerie Lewis is the co‑owner of Hicklebee’s, one of the foremost independent children’s bookstores in the U.S. She recently featured a newer book of Aaron’s, The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend, on “CBS This Morning.” Walter Mayes is known nationally as “Walter the Giant Storyteller,” a leading proponent of children’s books and reading. Their book is available through all U.S. booksellers. For an autographed copy, order direct from Hicklebee’s, 888‑898‑0093 (toll‑free, U.S. only).
The Sea King’s Daughter To Be Translated
May 8, 1998—Aaron Shepard’s latest picture book, The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend, will appear soon in French and German foreign editions. The German edition is due from Schreiber in Fall 1998. The French edition is due from Editions Casterman in Spring 1999.
Aaron To Visit Wisconsin in Spring 1999
March 31, 1998—Aaron Shepard will visit schools in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area during National Library Week, April 11–17, 1999. The visit is being coordinated by Phyllis Sigmond of Lake Country School, Hartland, Wisconsin.
The Sea King’s Daughter Is ALA Notable
January 16, 1998—Aaron Shepard’s The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend has been listed as a 1998 Notable Children’s Book (Nonfiction category) by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. It has also been listed as a 1998 Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, jointly by the National Council for the Social Studies and the Children’s Book Council. Previously, it had been listed as a Best Illustrated Book of 1997 by The New York Times and had received an Aesop Accolade from the American Folklore Society.
Aaron to Speak at Taiwan Conference
January 13, 1998—Taiwan’s Providence University has invited Aaron Shepard to speak at an international conference on children’s literature this May 29 to June 2. Aaron’s topic is “Author Online!: Adventures in Children’s Literature on the Internet.” For conference details, contact Dr. Patricia Haseltine, English Department, Providence University, 200 Chungchi Road, Shalu, Taichung Hsien, Taiwan.
The Sea King’s Daughter: A New York Times “Best Illustrated”
November 9, 1997—The New York Times Book Review today listed The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend as one of the ten “Best Illustrated Books” of 1997. The book is illustrated by the acclaimed Russian-American artist Gennady Spirin, with text by Aaron Shepard. The list appears yearly in a special children’s book supplement.
The Sea King’s Daughter Wins Aesop Accolade
Austin, Texas, Oct. 30, 1997—The Children’s Literature Section of the American Folklore Society today awarded an Aesop Accolade to Aaron Shepard’s 1997 picture book retelling, The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend. Two of Aaron’s books have won the award previously: The Maiden of Northland and The Gifts of Wali Dad.
The Sea King’s Daughter Is Here!
September 15, 1997—Aaron Shepard’s ninth picture book, The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend, is now arriving in U.S. bookstores. The story is drawn from the most popular of Russian epic ballads, telling of a poor musician invited to play in the Sea King’s palace, where he’s offered more than riches. Lavish illustrations are by the renowned Russian-American illustrator Gennady Spirin. A reader’s theater adaptation is available.
Master Maid Is Here!
May 25, 1997—Aaron Shepard’s eighth picture book, Master Maid: A Tale of Norway, has arrived in U.S. bookstores. The story tells of a lad who goes to work for the troll, where only a remarkable young woman can save him from his foolishness. The book features elegant, classically influenced illustrations by Pauline Ellison of England in her U.S. debut. A reader’s theater adaptation will be available in the fall.
Caldecott Winner to Illustrate Aaron’s Book
March 11, 1997—David Wisniewski, the 1997 Caldecott Award winner, will illustrate Aaron Shepard’s Master Man: A Tall Tale of Nigeria. The picture book is scheduled for publication by Lothrop in Fall 1999.
Aaron Launches New Home Page
February 24, 1997—Children’s author Aaron Shepard, known for his innovative Internet programs for educators, librarians, storytellers, and kids, has launched his new Web page, Author Online! He hopes this venture will let him offer more stories, information, and special treats to his many fans, as well as attract new readers.