TRUMAN by Jean Reidy: My New Go-To Book – A Review by Rosanne L. Kurstedt

Here.’s a blog post I wrote for TRUMAN over at The Nerdy Book Club

Nerdy Book Club

I read picture books. I write picture books. And I share picture books with students of all ages.


I often go to Barnes and Noble or the library and pull handfuls of books off the shelves. After scouring the new releases, I settle in to read. As I open each book, my stomach twitters with excitement. Will this be my new working-with-teachers-and-students book? Will this be my new when-my-own writing is stalled mentor text? Or, will this be my new I-just-need-a-little-lift book?


Well, recently I stumbled upon the book TRUMAN by Jean Reidy, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins, and it immediately became my all-of-those-things-mentioned-above book.


Set in one day, Truman’s Sarah leaves him alone as she goes off to the first day of school. After waiting and waiting and waiting, Truman (he’s a tortoise, by the way) decides it’s time to find his Sarah. And his journey…

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Introducing Karate Kid

Karate Kid Cover

I am so excited to announce that KARATE KID will be released on September 3, 2019. I recently received the F&G (folded and gathered)— the colors are so vibrant and Karate Kid’s expressions are priceless. Mark Chambers has done such an amazing job illustrating the different Karate moves. Each time I read the book, I have a new favorite.

I’m so thankful to Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids, my agents Liza Fleissig and Ginger Harris, and all my writing friends who are some of the smartest, kindest, and thoughtful people I know.

A goat kid loves to do karate! And he is sure to inspire young kids to try karate as well. Follow Karate Kid as he goes through the major stances and karate moves, teaching readers to channel focus and build strength through each pose. Karate Kid‘s simple, measured, and meditative text is complemented by playful yet instructive illustrations by Mark Chambers to teach youngsters how to get involved in karate–and to have fun while doing so, too.


OPPORTUNITY: NJSCBWI Fall Craft Weekend – Book Winners

Fall Craft Weekend is always amazing. Making writer friends, learning about your craft, and enjoying a fall weekend in Princeton.

Writing and Illustrating


Judy Sobanski won Beauty and Bernice by Nancy Vaiu

 Marcia Strykowski won Drive by Joyce Moyer Hostetter

Carl Scott won Rock & Roll Woods by Sherry Howard

Winners please send addresses.

Princeton Theological Seminary
Princeton N.J.

Weekend Overview:

(You can sign up for Saturday-only or the full weekend)

Enjoy an editor/agent/art director panel, followed by an afternoon of workshops with published author/illustrators to help you further your skills in the world of children’s books. (Critiques will be scheduled throughout the day for those signed up for the full weekend.)
Breakfast with the faculty and opening editor/agent/art director panel. Writers will meet with editors and agents in first page sessions, and round tables. Illustrators will work with an art director and an illustrator mentor in an illustration Intensive project. Lunch with the faculty is also included.
You will be able to book a room on the…

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