Who Lives Here

The Little Crooked Cottagers are two children's book authors—Anika Aldamuy Denise and Jamie Michalak, elementary school librarian Melanie Roy, and one dapper pig: Mr. Pig. (Kara LaReau, cottager emeritus, is off on a secret mission traveling by way of the aircraft Bluebird, and was last seen somewhere over Casablanca.)

Mr. Pig is an internationally acclaimed children's book character, best known for his role as Pig #3 in the classic story The Three Little Pigs. He's been appearing in children's books since he was just a piglet. Mr. Pig made his debut as the Little Pig who wee-wee-wee'ed all the way home in the beloved This Little Piggy Went to Market. These days, Mr. Pig is the executive producer, writer, and host of the hit talk show Mr. Pig Live! 

Anika Aldamuy Denise the celebrated author of many picture books, including Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, Starring Carmen!, Lights, Camera CARMEN!Monster Trucks, Baking Day at Grandma’s, and Bella and Stella Come Home. She is married to the children's book illustrator Christopher Denise (Mr. Pig's portrait painter). They have three daughters and live near the coast in Rhode Island. Visit her anikadenise.com and on Twitter @AnikaDenise.



Anika's Books
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
illustrated by Paola Escobar
Harper 2019

“An appealing tribute and successful remedy to the lack of titles about the groundbreaking librarian…a must-have for all libraries.” (School Library Journal (starred review))

“Denise and Escobar pay tribute to the legacy of librarian Pura Belpré in this vibrant picture-book biography…Planting Stories is a glossy immigration tale of dreams coming true, and the lyrical language lends itself to being read aloud.” (Booklist)

“Denise plants an idea of her own—that telling stories is a crucial activity for keeping culture alive.” (Publishers Weekly)

Lights, Camera, CARMEN! 
illustrated by Lorena Alvarez Gómez
Abrams 2018

"This delightful sequel to Starring Carmen! (2017) is equally as charming as its predecessor. Again, there is positive messaging for emotional development (how to be happy when you don’t win, how to value your siblings) and a terrific, understated celebration of diversity (sprinkled Spanish words and the subtle, beautiful representation of a mixed-race family)." —Booklist

Starring Carmen!
illustrated by Lorena Alvarez Gómez
Abrams 2017

"A wonderful celebration of creativity and imagination that may inspire readers to engage in their own dramatic productions. What fun!"—School Library Journal

Gómez's art seems to leap off the page...For caregivers of extremely extroverted kids, Carmen's ambitions will feel very familiar; for kid readers, Carmen and Eduardo's very fun activities might inspire some musical productions at home."—Kirkus
Monster Trucks
illustrated by Nate Wragg
Harper 2016

“Full-throttle Halloween fun.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“In the energetic rhyming text…the action never stops.” —The Horn Book

“A quick seasonal storytime selection that is sure to be popular around Halloween. Monstrous fun!” —School Library Journal

Baking Day at Grandma's
illustrated by Christopher Denise
Philomel 2014

"This gentle story will leave children feeling warm and fuzzy. It’s perfect for individual sharing, storytime, baking time, and pretty much any time."—School Library Journal

"A rollicking, rhyming salute to the grandmother-grandchild bond."—Kirkus 

"Three vivacious bears spend a pleasant and productive day with their grandmother in this warm tale."—Publishers Weekly

"[W]arm and cuddly and brimming with character..."—BCCB
Bella and Stella Come Home
Illustrated by Christopher Denise
Philomel, 2010

A lively and charming tale about moving, bravery, friendship, and most of all, feeling at home.

"A splendid marriage of words and pictures". —Kirkus Reviews 
Pigs Love Potatoes
Illustrated by Christopher Denise

Philomel, 2007

A charming, classic counting book, full of picture-perfect pigs and pleasing rhyme.

“Even after youngsters are adept at counting to 10, they'll find much to cherish here.” 
Publishers Weekly

 * For more about Anika's books, visit her website at www.anikadenise.com

Jamie Michalak is an author and former children’s book editor. She has written more than twenty-five books, including the forthcoming Frank and Bean early reader, illustrated by Bob Kolar (coming September 2019!) and Crumb's Treasure, illustrated by Kelly Murphy (coming 2021), as well as the acclaimed Joe and Sparky series. Jamie grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts in a neighborhood where Dr. Seuss once lived. She now resides in Barrington, Rhode Island with her husband and two sons.

 Jamie's Books
Joe and Sparky Go to School
Illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
Candlewick Press, 2013
ISBN 978-0-7636-6278-3

The endearing and mismatched pals accidentally latch onto a big yellow bus and leave the cageless zoo for their first trip to school.

 "Perfect for the newly independent reader and makes a fine bridge from Amelia Bedelia to Ramona." —The Horn Book, starred review

Joe and Sparky, Superstars!
Illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
Candlewick Press, 2011
ISBN 978-0-7636-4578-6 (hardcover); ISBN 978-0-7636-6059-8 (paperback)

The unlikely duo return in a very funny tale of friendship, derring-do, and the discovery that, bold or shy, anyone can become a superstar.

A Bankstreet Best Book of the Year

"This warm buddy story is just about perfect for new readers . . . This little treasure is one that will get passed around." —Kirkus, starred review

Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels
Illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
Candlewick Press, 2009

ISBN 978-0-7636-3387-5 (hardcover). 
ISBN 978-0-7636-4893-0 (paperback)

• A Kirkus Best Children's Book of the Year
• A Chicago Public Library Best Children's Book of the Year
• A Junior Library Guild Selection

“Children . . . will laugh out loud at the innocent assumptions Joe and Sparky make as they explore the world outside Sparky's shell. Utterly charming!” —Kirkus, starred review

So You Want To Catch Bigfoot?
Illustrated by Mark Fearing
Candlewick Press, 2011
ISBN 978-07636-5550-1 

Let's go Bigfooting! This valuable field guide contains everything you need to know about the furry fugitive, including tips on trapping and releasing your specimen.

"Bigfoot enthusiasts rejoice!" —Children's Literature

* For more of Jamie's books, visit her website at www.jamiemichalak.com

Kara LaReau was born and raised in Connecticut. She received her Masters in Fine Arts in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and later worked as an editor at Candlewick Press and at Scholastic Press. She is the author of Snowbaby Could Not Sleep, illustrated by Jim Ishikawa; the Rocko and Spanky stories, illustrated by her sister, Jenna LaReau; and Ugly Fish, Rabbit and Squirrel, OTTO: The Boy Who Loved Cars, and Mr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story. Kara lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and son and their two cats.

Kara's Books
Mr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story 
Illustrated by Scott Magoon
Roaring Brook Press, 2011
ISBN 978-1-5964-3483-7

Poor Mr. Prickles was very lonely-until the day he met Miss Pointypants. Could she be the perfect prickly companion? 

“Young audiences will be amused by the humorous character names and pun-filled text.” —Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books

Otto, The Boy Who Loved Cars
Illustrated by Scott Magoon
Roaring Brook Press, 2011
ISBN 978-1-5964-3484-4

Otto loves cars more than anything else in the world. But that all changes when he awakes one morning to find that he has somehow turned into a car.

"A winner, whether sharing with a group or in a one-on-one setting." School Library Journal

Ugly Fish
Illustrated by Scott Magoon
Harcourt, 2006
ISBN 978-0-1520-5082-5

Ugly Fish is ugly and big and mean, and he won't share his driftwood tunnel or his special briny flakes with anyone. 

"While not for the faint of heart, this book will appeal to many kids; they'll thoroughly enjoy its humor and shock value. School Library Journal

Rabbit & Squirrel: A Tale of War and Peas
Illustrated by Scott Magoon
Harcourt, 2008
ISBN 9780152063078

Rabbit loves her garden. Squirrel loves his. But then their delicious vegetables begin disappearing. And they have only each other to blame . . . or do they?

"A lighthearted look at conflict, this story provides numerous opportunities to discuss the best methods of coping with a variety of circumstances, from being a good neighbor to avoiding jumping to conclusions."  Children's Literature

* For more of Kara's books, visit her website at www.karalareau.com