When you're editing a picture book, you have very regular contact with the project. You communicate with the author to get the manuscript just right. You review copy edits and consult with design. You pore over sketches and then tighter sketches and final art. Pass after pass routes until the book is perfect and ready to go to the printer. You talk about the book with sales and marketing and publicity and librarians, in meetings and at conferences. The time seems to fly, and then, suddenly, you find a finished book in your inbox.

Writing a picture book is a very different experience. You work with your editor to get the story just right--my editor (the brilliant Emma Ledbetter) and I did that back in December 2016. Occasionally, you'll get an email with an update or be asked to review sketches, but weeks, even months, can go by. And then, suddenly, there's a box of books with your name on the cover at your front door.

Front Cover - Teddy's Favorite Toy.jpg

I'm proud to have my name on the cover of this particular book—Teddy's Favorite Toy is my most personal story to date and one that speaks to themes I wholeheartedly believe in. Booklist called it a "refreshingly bold story that  makes its message clear without being pedantic" in its starred review. And Publishers Weekly wrote, "Trimmer's [that's me!] smart, closely observed portrait celebrates a boy and a mother whose relationship grows out of mutual respect," also in a starred review. I really love what Horn Book had to say: "The story’s implicit messages—that it should be unremarkable when boys play with dolls; that parents can become superheroic to do right by their children—ring loud, true, and...funny." The book is also a Junior Library Guild selection. 

I hope you enjoy it!

My Third Book Deal

When I was a little boy, my favorite toy in the whole world was the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman doll.

The resemblance is uncanny!

The resemblance is uncanny!

Oh, how I loved her. She was beautiful and powerful and such good company. I would tragically lose her (and no, I didn't misplace her--I lost her), and to this day, I feel her absence.

The memory of her was triggered by Target's decision last year to stop labeling toys for boys or girls. I have the sense that neither my mom nor dad liked that I spent so much time with a Barbie-like doll, which added a weight to playtime. It was a crappy feeling.

A more political Knuffle Bunny for a slightly older reader, Teddy's Favorite Toy is a love letter to moms. It's also the perfect book for parents who could give two shits about giving their child "gender appropriate" toys. Teddy's Favorite Toy is my most personal story to date, though I've rewritten history to give Teddy a happier ending.

I'm thrilled that Madeline Valentine is illustrating--her work is so cool, and she's here in New York! I might get to meet her! And I've already loved working with Emma. Her notes on the manuscript gave the story more heart and pep.