What's new:

Hi all!

So, I've been horrible about sending this out monthly, but I promise to do better. A lot has happened since the last newsletter. After 21 years of teaching, I have a new job! I wasn't looking for a new job, but I was doing summer work with Curriculum Associates, an educational publisher (i-Ready), and a permanent position as a Senior Editor became available.

My new job started at the same time my daughter was starting the 10th grade and I was getting ready for the Sept. 1 release of my debut picture book, THREE POCKETS FULL: A Story of Love, Family, and Tradition!

WHEW! All good things, though! THREE POCKETS FULL has gotten lots of love from readers and reviewers. Since the last newsletter, the book received two positive professional reviews (see below) and was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award!

The pictures below are:
  1. Me at an event in Glastonbury, on stage for the River Bend Book Store with author-illustrator Deborah Freedman.
  2. Me with Maria Dismondy, publisher of Cardinal Rule Press. She flew out from Michigan to celebrate the release of THREE POCKETS FULL (which would be a GREAT holiday gift, in my opinion!)
  3. Me at the CT Book Awards at the Hartford Public Library.


"Latinx author Rodriguez’s debut picture book is a wonderful story about the challenges associated with change, family, and feelings. Beto’s mother is remarrying, and he is not happy about having to wear a guayabera for the occasion. Made from light, soft linen or cotton with two or four pockets in front and two tight pleats, the guayabera is a traditional shirt—also known as the Mexican wedding shirt—worn in many Latin American countries. Nevertheless, Beto wants to wear a formal tuxedo, and he and his mother wage a playful battle over his attire by passing each other notes for and against the guayabera. Beto’s opinion finally changes when he discovers an old box of photos from his mother and father’s wedding that includes happy snapshots of his abuelo and bisabuelo wearing guayaberas. Though never explicitly stated, it is implied that Beto’s father has passed away and the boy’s decision to wear the guayabera is, in part, a gesture of remembrance. The bold, digital illustrations incorporate both humor and tenderness into this interesting look at a cultural tradition."


"Beto’s mother is excited for him to wear a blue guayabera to an upcoming wedding, but Beto is having none of that. Besides, he may be coming down with something, so he might not be able to go to the wedding at all. Beto and his mother send the shirt back and forth with notes in the pockets, until finally Beto decides to hide it. When he does, he discovers photographs of his mother and father at their wedding, and his grandfather is wearing a guayabera. A deeper reason Beto might not want to go to the wedding surfaces, as he and his mother talk about how much Beto’s father is missed. Beto attends his mother’s wedding wearing the guayabera and takes advantage of the usefulness of the pockets. Starting with playful banter between mother and son, this picture book reveals stronger emotions under the charming text. Bright and colorful digital illustrations show Beto’s loving home, kind mother, and playful dog. Brief sentences share happenings with readers, while larger, bold text emphasizes Beto’s determination to avoid the guayabera. An author’s note provides details about the origin of this garment.

VERDICT A sweet tale about cultural traditions and the loved ones we carry with us, this title is an excellent addition to picture book collections."

What I'm reading:

Click on the image to get more information about each book.
EVan Pao
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5 easy ways to support an author:

  1. Buy the book. Already have it? Buy another as a gift for someone.
  2. Write a review on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
  3. Ask your local library to add it to their collection.
  4. Request the book at your local bookstore.
  5. Post a photo of you reading the book on Instagram.

Shameless Animal Photo

This is Ozzie's "please pet me" look.

Shameless Book Plug

The third "Jake Maddox" book I wrote is GYMNASTICS PAYBACK. This was the first time I wrote a mystery!

I read. I write. I "dwell in Possibility."


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