Quick Note on Pronunciation: My last name is pronounced like “lay” as in “lay down” or “lay it all on the line.” Click here to hear the full name pronunciation on TeachingBooks.net.

About Me

I am the author of Drawn Together (winner of the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature) illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, Let Me Finish! (named an NPR Best Book of 2016) illustrated by Isabel Roxas, and The Perfect Seat illustrated by Gus Gordon (all published by Disney-Hyperion). I am also writing Green Lantern: Legacy, a graphic novel (illustrated by Andie Tong) for the new DC Comics middle grade imprint, DC Zoom. In addition to writing books, I have written for a variety of publications, including the New York Times, The Horn BookNPR, and HuffPost.

Photo by  Danielle Lurie

(Longer) About Me

I am the author of Drawn Together (winner of the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature) illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, Let Me Finish! (named an NPR Best Book of 2016) illustrated by Isabel Roxas, and The Perfect Seat illustrated by Gus Gordon (all published by Disney-Hyperion). I am also writing Green Lantern: Legacy, a graphic novel (illustrated by Andie Tong) for the new DC Comics middle grade imprint, DC Zoom and have several other unannounced projects in the works.

During the day, I am a federal early childhood policy expert who has worked in education at the national, state, and local level -- both in and out of the classroom. I got my bachelor's in Psychology (and some would argue, Ultimate Frisbee) from Dartmouth College and received a master's in Ed Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Outside of spending time with my beautiful wife and sons, my favorite place to be is in the middle of a good book.

I write about picture books at Bottom Shelf Books (my blog) and as a member of the children's literature consortium The Niblings. I have also been published in the New York Times, The Horn BookHuffPost, NPRBook Riot, the Atlantic Wire, the New York Daily News and Reading Rainbow. Currently, I am serving as a judge for the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. In 2010, I co-led the design of 826DC's original storefront, the Museum of Unnatural History, the only place where you could both support youth creative writing and pick up your daily supply of unicorn tears.

I have the good fortune of being represented by the one and only Stephen Barbara of InkWell Management.

Books by me:

Coming January 2020

Coming January 2020

Coming November 2019

Coming November 2019

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Let-Me-Finish high res.jpg

Other books with me in them:

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