My Books

Behold, the latest anthology from The Writers’ Loft!

Available November 20, 2020

The anthology’s marvelously maritime cover art is by the brilliant illustrator Jodie Apeseche, and the book contains ocean poetry from over 70 contributors, including yours truly.

In addition, the Writers’ Loft has teamed up with the Rozalia Project to empower and encourage readers of all ages to cherish and protect our oceans. All profits from the first month’s sales of Friends and Anemones will be donated in support of this nonprofit organization’s environmental efforts.

To order your copy, visit our wonderful launch bookstore, The Blue Bunny, or from The Writers’ Loft Bookshop page, your local indie,  or on Amazon.

 Girl Versus Squirrel

Speaking of original artwork, feast your eyes on illustrator Renée Andriani‘s adorable cover for Girl Versus Squirrel from Margaret Ferguson Books at Holiday House.

One resourceful girl. One intrepid squirrel. Great minds meet their match in Girl Versus Squirrel, a rollicking tale of towering teacups, prized peanuts, and the satisfying surprise of finding something in common. 

Publishers’ Weekly:

“Cartooned illustrations by Andriani (Dudley’s Day at Home) are loads of fun, capturing this backyard battle of wills from every angle. The real star, however, is the luscious text by Barrett (Babymoon), redolent with rousing G-rated expletives and rollicking proclamations that feel almost Shakespearean. “Drat, drat, drat,” Pearl declaims before making peace with her adversary. “You’re a bird-feeder-crashing, teacup-smashing, peanut-poaching pest!” A PW Noteworthy Release.

School Library Journal:  “A compelling and generous addition to picture book collections that can inspire young naturalists and builders, and create a well of empathy in storytimes.” Also one of their Best Reads for Summer 2020.

Kirkus: “Barrett’s high-energy narrative is filled with action verbs that give it a pleasingly crisp forward movement while Andriani’s illustrations are just as pleasingly varied in their presentation and keep up perfectly with the text. This can-do story is delivered with great good humor, and it has the added benefit of ending with empathy rather than outright victory. Backmatter delivers more factual information about squirrels.”

Booklist: “Any animal-lover will enjoy this creative, STEM powered book and appreciate its appended ‘Squirrelly Facts.’ . . . Dynamic illustrations capture the ingenuity of Pearl’s complex designs and the playfulness of the squirrel to deliver a story kids will go nuts for.”

Check out my friend Rajani LaRocca‘s blog post about the inspiration behind this fun book. It involves American Ninja Warrior and a gerbil cage.

The Tiny Baker

Every day, elegantly attired insect customers line up to dine at the tiny baker’s tearoom. But when her ladybug chefs fly away, upending the pristine kitchen, the baker learns how friendship can save the day.

Alison Jay created the book’s delectable illustrations.

School Library Journal says, “…this is a grand addition to any library, gently demonstrating how we find friends where we least expect to.”


“The bugs, tearoom, and kitchen are drawn with intricate details, and the delectable desserts with their sweet embellishments are the highlight…. Coming to the aid of a friend benefits everyone in this gratifying tale.”


A new person has arrived. Let’s take our time. We’ll rest together. Learn together. We’ll fall in love as a family.

Perfect for parents-to-be, Babymoon encourages the slow and sensitive welcoming of a child to the world. The gentle, rhyming story also appeals to young readers, taking them from dawn to dusk and back to dawn, all while they learn about life with a newborn and connect with their own baby days. 

The gloriously talented Juana Martinez-Neal illustrated this lyrical, dreamy picture book.

(Candlewick Press, ISBN 9780763688523)



Intimate and full of wonder, this book celebrates the babymoon experience, which is the adjustment and bonding period between parents and a newborn. It calls out the tentative and awkward (getting used to a new name, the unsureness of baby’s first sponge bath), focuses on the moments of rare rest (a daytime nap with dad; a slow, rocking walk in matching hats with mom), and highlights the tenderness and gentleness on display by an uncertain and lovestruck new father and mother, be it the curl of a tiny hand around a finger or an infant’s downy head resting on a sturdy chest. Parents and children alike will be thrilled to recognize their experiences on the page as represented by this stunning biracial couple. Barrett’s lyrical poetry is enchanting, and Martinez-Neal’s (Alma and How She Got Her Name, 2018) artwork is as soft and round and delicate as a newborn. Her representation of each precious moment is a croon-worthy, dimpled, tiny-fisted pleasure, and a close-up illustration of the yawning baby captures the book’s tone so beautifully it’s worthy of framing. A guaranteed homerun read-aloud to share at baby storytime, this book is also a perfect gift for expecting friends and an ideal addition for home and public libraries. — Becca Worthington

HereWeeRead says Babymoon is:

“A definite must-have for newborn parents or parents-to-be.  Add this one to your baby shower gift giving list!”

What Miss Mitchell Saw

Stars and ships and splashing whales! What Miss Mitchell Saw recounts Nantucket astronomer Maria Mitchell’s amazing 1847 discovery of a telescopic comet. Her find caused an international sensation as astronomers debated her claim to a royal reward. Did Miss Mitchell win gold and glory?

The brilliantly imaginative Diana Sudyka illustrates this narrative nonfiction picture book. 

Here’s the cover reveal from my critique partner, Rajani LaRocca, Fairy Bookmother extraordinaire. What you cannot see is its delicate spattering of translucent, iridescent stars! Miss Mitchell would certainly have approved. 

The illustrious Elizabeth Bird of School Library Journal said What Miss Mitchell Saw is, “Beautifully rendered with excellent writing and a nice scientific twist.” She included the book on her lists The Best So Far: 2019 Picture Book Biographies Done Exceedingly Well and Science and Math: 2019 Appears to Know What It’s Doing.

A star for What Miss Mitchell Saw from School Library Journal!

An engaging, inspiring biography of an important figure in the history of science. This book could also serve to launch discussions and inspire further research about astronomy. Highly recommended.

Best-of-2019 honors for What Miss Mitchell Saw:

A Mighty Girl’s 2019 Books of the Year starring girls and women for readers of all ages.

An Assortment of Animals

Authors and illustrators from The Writers’ Loft collaborated to create this smart, spectacular collection of children’s animal poetry. Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Brian Lies created the delicious cover art and contributors include Jane Yolen, Josh Funk, Jane Kohuth, Jane Sutton and many more. My poem is about eohippus, an early ancestor of the horse, and is called Toes To Hooves. The amazing artwork for the poem was done by Priscilla Alpaugh. 

What’s The News, Revision Bunny?

When bookish news happens, Revision Bunny promises to let you know.  Would Revision Bunny let you down? No!

I encourage you to support local bookstores by buying their books, attending their events, and baking cookies for their staff. Bookstores create community, and we all need more of that.

A few of my favorite indie bookstores:

  • Whitelam Books, preorder home of signed, personalized copies of Babymoon , What Miss Mitchell Saw, and Girl Versus Squirrel.
  • If you call to reserve a book to be personalized, please be sure to leave clear instructions and spell any necessary name(s).  There are eleventy billion ways to spell “Hayley,” so I care about getting every name exactly right. Thanks.