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Instagram Live


Hey, distance learners! Everyday at 1:30 pm PST I’ll be reading from OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS, answering questions, and doing show and tell on Instagram live.

Static videos will be available here! Email me for your teacher password: robin@blueeggbooks.com!

I’ll share something new and interesting everyday! It could be a pet, a specimen from the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, or a favorite book.

Monday, March 23: The Strawberry Iced Classic

Tuesday, March 24:  The Banana Slug Bar

Wednesday, March 25: The Chocolate Rainbow

Thursday, March 26: The Turkey Talon

Friday, March 27: The Golden Galaxy

Click HERE for Related Writing Activities

OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS is a perfect fit for young fans of cozy and quirky mysteries. It’s sweet, odd, and uplifting!

See you on Insta!

❤ Robin


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Inspiration is a Hoot!


Last month the Mixed Up Files posted a fun interview all about my inspiration, my obsession with owls, and my love of the natural world.

I gave them a backstage tour of one of my favorite places at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History–the Nature Collection!

It was a hoot!



Barnes & Noble



Lerner Books


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A Secret Scene…


Now that Mattie and my eco-crime fighting owl Alfred are officially out in the wilds of libraries and bookstores, I’m in the mood for donuts. LOTS OF DONUTS!

I’ve written a secret scene about a very special donut. You can unlock the scene in several ways:

  1. Tweet a donut picture or gif to @RobinYardi, please do indulge!
  2. Tweet a picture of the cover of OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS on a wild bookshelf!
  3. Follow my blog and comment here, and please DO tell me your favorite flavor!!

A perfectly baked PDF can be delivered to greedy readers via DM or email!

Happy reading & happy eating!


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Camilla Cartographer Cover Reveal!

Today I’m so happy to host the cover reveal for Camilla Cartographer! It was a pleasure interviewing Julie Dillemuth and Laura Wood about their new book, which is their third author/illustrator collaboration published by Magination Press.

From the publisher: Camilla loves maps, especially ones of her forest home. But when a huge snowstorm comes and covers all the paths and landmarks, even her maps can’t help her find her way to the creek! Camilla realizes this is the perfect opportunity to make her own maps…forging new paths and discovering her forest all over again!

Camilla Cartographer is a delightful book about finding your way, even when it’s not on any map!

I loved how the book chronicled Camilla’s transformation from a collector of maps to a creator of them. The story illustrates the beautiful moment of transition that kids go through again and again as they grow, from knowing to doing. From dreaming to being. This story is sure to appeal to kids moving toward mastery in all sorts of skills. And who doesn’t like making maps?

Questions for Julie Dillemuth

RY: After I read I wondered if you have ever had a happy realization, like Camilla, that you suddenly knew what you wanted to do… and to be?
JD: I was lucky enough to have an “a-ha!” moment of figuring out what I wanted to do with my (career) life in my mid-30s, with writing for kids. I had struggled with wanting to write creatively for a long time, but an idea for a picture book came to me one summer and something just clicked for me with that genre. Also at that time I kept running across people who had switched careers right around age 40; for example, Julia Child, who took her first cooking class in her late 30s. Those kinds of stories gave me courage, and about 4 months after writing that first story I decided to get serious about a writing career. I’m grateful that I found my passion!
RY: What is your favorite moment in the text (I know mine) and why?
JD: My favorite line comes right after Camilla realizes that when the snow melts, all the paths she made will be gone — it’s that moment we‘ve all experienced when you’re losing something and you realize your going to have to let it go. Camilla is hugging her map and Parsley is hugging Camilla, and the line is, “The snow made the silence especially quiet.” She’s being with those feelings and having a coming-to-terms moment, and the illustration captures the emotion so beautifully.
She jugged the map
But I also love the scene where she comes running out of her house all geared up for exploring and mapping — she has a vest full of pockets and they’re brimming with all kinds of supplies; she even has a pencil tucked behind her ear… I can completely relate to that!
RY: What’s your earliest (or best) map related memory?
JD: My first experience with real cartography was in college, when I was an archaeology major. In field school we learned different techniques for mapping a site — compass and tape measure, plane table and alidade, and transit. The instruments were totally cool, but it was difficult and I remember feeling very inept and doubtful. When we finally ended up with a map that looked right and that I knew was accurate, it was a great feeling of accomplishment. There’s something satisfying in all the measuring and mapping a landscape; maybe that’s because I’m kind of an organizational and control freak!
I also worked on projects that combined historical maps with satellite imagery, which was really exciting — and this was about 25 years ago, when we didn’t have anything close to the resolutions we have now in imagery. The length of a pixel represented 30 meters on the ground, and the best resolution we had was something like 10 m, and that was in black and white! GPS was around then, but there was a deliberate, built-in error that would change daily — accuracy for civilian use was purposely degraded. Can you imagine? It was so cutting-edge then, but nowhere near what we do with location services today.
GPS is pretty fundamental to surveying and mapping now, but I’m happy I got a chance to learn old-school methods. I think that experience was part of what inspired Camilla’s fascination with early explorers and cartographers.

Questions for Laura Wood

RY: You’ve made three books about maps and spatial thinking with Julie Dillemuth and I wonder what you’ve learned about maps along the way that ended up inspiring the finished art in CAMILLA?
LW: While working with Julie on three books about maps I surely had the opportunity to look at lots of different kinds of maps! And yes, I feel like I definitely learned something about them.
For example, I learned that a map doesn’t have to be a complex to be effective, the importance of a good legend and the effectiveness of symbols.
Also, some vintage maps I encountered gave me the inspiration for the colour palette of Camilla’s book which ended up being warm, limited and muted.
RY: Do you have a favorite image (I certainly do) and can you tell me about creating it?
LW: It’s hard to pick one favourite image from all the ones in the book since I usually consider a book like one single unit.

But if I have to pick one that I particularly enjoy looking at myself, it would be the opening one, where the reader is introduced to the main character, Camilla, and to her little world.

I wanted to make the image fun and engaging so that the reader could be thrown straight into the story and her world.

Here people can start getting to know her for the first time, having a sense of who she is and where she lives.

It took me a while to get this image right. Before getting to the final sketch I drew a few different versions until I was happy enough and I had the right composition to fit the story and the text.

RY: What’s your earliest (or best) map related memory?

Nowadays my maps are all on my phone, but my earliest memories go back to when maps were still on paper!

In particular, I remember when as a child I used to make maps myself about the world I was living in: a map of my room, my school, my building, etc… I was fascinated by them!

To be honest not much has changed 🙂

Thank you both for letting me ask my nosy questions! Brava, ladies!

Julie Dillemuth is a children’s author with a PhD in geography. Her books LUCY IN THE CITY: A STORY ABOUT DEVELOPING SPATIAL THINKING SKILLS (Magination Press) and MAPPING MY DAY (Magination Press) promote spatial reasoning skills by encouraging readers to tune into their surroundings, think about where they are in relation to other things and places, draw maps to tell stories, and more. Her most recent book, LOVING COMFORT: A TODDLER WEANING STORY, helps toddlers and mothers through the emotional process of weaning from breastfeeding. Julie lives in Santa Barbara, California, where the west coast faces south. To find her online, navigate to http://www.juliedillemuth.com or @JulieDillemuthBooks on Facebook.

Originally from a small town in the north of Italy, Laura Wood studied illustration in the wonderful city of Melbourne, Australia, where she started her illustration career. After a few years of seeking adventures and travelling around the world, she currently lives and works in Milan, Italy. She creates her art digitally using lots of textured brushes and a fun color palette. Visit her online at www.laurawoodillustration.com or find her on Instagram @laura_wood_illustration!

This Cover is a Hoot!

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The cover of OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS is officially out in the wild today and let’s just say I think it’s an absolute hoot!

The cover designer, Emily Harris, and illustrator, Kelsey King, are over on the Lerner Books Blog answering questions about their creative process. Fly on over and check it out!

But before you do, Alfred wants to make sure you see something. Something suspicious. Something in Big Sur. And it’s happening right across the road from OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS…




And now that Alfred’s got your attention, you’re absolutely going to need to pre-order my new middle grade mystery. Kirkus says, “Doughn’t miss this earnest tale.”


Pre-order OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS at Barnes & Noble!

Pre-order OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS through IndieBound!

Pre-order OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS through Lerner Books!

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Pre-order Alert!!




Owl’s Outstanding Donuts won’t be out until September 3, but you can pre-order a copy through your local bookstore on IndieBound.org!!

OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS is “a story full of mystery, feathers, and sprinkles. After Mattie Waters loses her mother, she goes to live with her aunt, the owner of a roadside donut shop in Big Sur, California. When an owl taps on Mattie’s window one night, Mattie looks out to see something suspicious taking place nearby. With help from her friends–and from Alfred, a stuffy but good-hearted owl–she’ll set out to find the culprits, facing fears that have followed her since her mother’s death.”

I can’t wait for you all to meet Mattie and Alfred and would love to support our beautiful, local, brick and mortar bookstores!IndieBound

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Tons of kid lit authors will be offering free Skype visits on February 1st. We will be reading to schools across the globe. Visit Kate Messner’s author site for a complete list of participating authors.

On WRAD I’ll be reading from my books, giving sneak peaks into new projects, and recommending some of my favorite titles from other authors. And I’ll always answer student questions! If you would like to schedule a Skype visit just send me an email after checking my availability listed below: robin@blueeggbooks.com.


THEY JUST KNOW: ANIMAL INSTINCTS would be a great choice for lower elementary classes. To read a sample, PEEK HERE!

THE MIDNIGHT WAR OF MATEO MARTINEZ would work best for grades 2-6. To read the first chapter, PEEK HERE!

OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS (Coming Fall/2019) would be a fabulous choice for classes that don’t mind a pretty long cliffhanger!

WILD CARD – I have shelves full of favorite books, written by other amazing authors, from picture books to middle grade novels that I’m always excited to share.

My current availability is listed below. If Friday gets filled, or another day would work better, I’m happy to schedule something with your class at another time. Happy reading!

[All availability is listed in Pacific Standard Time]

Tuesday, January 29th

10:05 AM: BOOKED, Mechanicsville, MD

10:45 AM: BOOKED, Roebuck, SC


Thursday, January 31st

8:30 AM: BOOKED, Mesquite, TX

10:05 AM: BOOKED, Mechanicsville, MD

10:55 AM: BOOKED, Mechanicsville, MD

11:30 AM: BOOKED, Mundelein, IL

12:00 PM: BOOKED, El Paso, TX


Friday, February 1st

5:20: AM: BOOKED, Newark, NJ

6:30 AM: BOOKED, Wakefield, KS

7:00 AM: BOOKED, Jacksonville, FL

8:30 AM: BOOKED, Royal Oak, MI


9:30 AM: BOOKED, South Windsor, CT

10:00 AM: BOOKED, Tucson, AZ

11:00 AM: BOOKED, Morgan Hill, CA

11:30 AM: BOOKED, Thompson, Manitoba