hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: Maria Gianferrari (+ a giveaway!)

Maria is a picture book reading/writing, tea-drinking, dog-loving, Becca-walking, birdwatching resident of Virginia, though her heart still lives in New England.


☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: I cannot live without my loose-leaf German tea, Nizze Sahne Tee! Nizze = Nice as in France and Sahne means cream. It’s an aromatic black tea flavored with cornflowers and safflowers, so there are hints of blue and orange. I first discovered it on a trip to Berlin in 2000. Now I order it by the kilo. And this is my favorite tea mug, purchased at Woolworth’s in Berlin, Germany, a remembrance of our time living there
2004-2005 for my husband Niko’s sabbatical.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: My debut fiction picture book, Penny & Jelly: The School Show, illustrated by Thyra Heder, was published by HMH in July 2015; a companion book, Penny & Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars will be released in mid-June 2016. I also have a debut nonfiction picture book, Coyote Moon, with illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline, releasing on July 19, 2016 (Roaring Brook). In October 2016, Aladdin will publish another fiction picture book, Officer Katz & Houndini: A Tale of Two Tails, illustrated by Danny Chatzikonstantinou.

☕ FORTHCOMING IN 2017 AND BEYOND: Roaring Brook Press will also publish Hello Goodbye Dog, illustrated by Patrice Barton (2017); Highway Hawks, illustrated by Brian Floca (2018), and they recently acquired a second book with Bagram Ibatoulline, A Home for Bobcat. I also have a concept book called Terrific Tongues forthcoming from Boyds Mills Press as well as a haiku story about Great Horned Owls, Whooo-Ku, which will be published by GP Putnam’s Sons.

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOKS: Some recent foodie picture books that I loved are Pat Zietlow Miller’s Sharing the Bread as well as Mara Rockliff’s Gingerbread for Liberty. Some middle grade titles include Sarah Weeks’ Pie —you will become obsessed with pie-making after you read it; A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff, and Kat Yeh’s The Truth About Twinkie Pie —full of heart, though the twinkie pies themselves are not my cup of tea ;). And though I haven’t yet gotten to them, I’ve heard wonderful things about Tara Dairman’s Gladys Gatsby books: All Four Stars, The Stars of Summer, and Stars So Sweet.

☕ Visit Maria Gianferrari’s Official Website and her Facebook Author Page. Don’t miss Penny and Jelly’s Website and Instagram!

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Check out the Penny and Jelly Talent Show Kit!

☕☕☕ STILL THIRSTY: Smack your lips for this adorable Penny and Jelly Literary Lunch prepared by Nina at Mamabelly’s Lunches with Love.

☕☕☕☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Cool spreads from the forthcoming Officer Katz & Houndini: A Tale of Two Tails!




Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

33 thoughts on “hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: Maria Gianferrari (+ a giveaway!)

  1. So much cute! Officer Katz & Houdini looks super adorable, and I love the idea of Penny making herself a portable Jelly for those no-pet occasions. It’s very real kid-creativity! The superb mug and lovely-sounding tea are the icing on the tea cake! Thanks for another intro to a new-to-me hotTEA!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love my tea, tee-d–totally addicted & can barely drink anything else. I have turned into a total tea snob :).

      Thanks for your kind words :)!


    1. Hello Jessica & thank you!!!

      You know that Hound from the Pound is one of my very favorite books! I love Blue ;). When my daughter was younger, I had to read it over and over again (so it was a good thing that I loved it too!) 🙂


  2. Jama–you take the cake (and you are the icing on the cake too)!!!

    Thank you so much for this amazing post! You always do such a lovely job, and I am so grateful and honored to be a part of it today :)!

    Cheers & hugs & more thanks!!
    ~Maria xo ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  3. So lovely to see Maria here! Congratulations on all the recent and forthcoming books! Houndini looks especially magical. 🙂 So happy to see you’ll be visiting us at PictureBookBuilders too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Woops–that went in the wrong place. Anyhoo, it is magically delicious tea :). It just took some time to steep!

    Thank you again, Jama!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I know nothing about children’s books but know for sure that all of Maria’s books are top notch because she is incredibly and naturally talented, and a hard worker too. Isn’t that the perfect combination for success? I am SO proud of her!! Most important, she is a genuinely kind and very thoughtful person, with a BIG heart for people and animals. My advice: add Swiss chocolate to the tea 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Marie-Anne–merci!! What a surprise to see your comment here, my dear friend :)!! Many hugs & hearts ❤ ❤ ❤


    1. I love Thyra’s cover too, as well as the rest of the book art, Carol :)! Thyra’s AMAZING, and I am very lucky!!


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