Author Susan Hood at book launch

My new friend, author Susan Hood

One of the delightful perks of my job is meeting some amazingly creative people from game inventors to book authors.  Susan Hood contacted me about reviewing her new picture books this past summer and as I took a  look at her stories and their beautiful illustrations,  I knew we had some winners!

Spike the Mixed-Up Monster artwork

Spike the Mixed-up Monster artwork

I was privileged to attend  Susan’s Book Launch Party to introduce “Spike the Mixed-Up Monster,” “The Tooth Mouse” and “Just Say Boo!” last night hosted at the Pequot Library in Southport, Connecticut. It is no surprise that Susan has three new hard covered picture books being promoted by three publishing houses all at once, when you listen to her story, as she’s been preparing for this for years. She had written  hundreds of books and edited content for magazines through her career stops at Scholastic, Instructor Magazine, Fisher-Price, Sesame

salamander cake

Spike cake by Karen Jordan

Street’s “Sesame Workshop” and most recently, Nick Jr. Magazine. After about 10 years at Nick Jr. Magazine, Susan and her staff were laid off, giving her the impetus to go back to all the picture books she had started and needed finishing. Aren’t we lucky she did!

Martha Lord, the interim director of Pequot Library,  introduced Susan last night and correctly described her books as having all the qualities of a great picture book–rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, onomatopoeia, and concise writing. I would add to that her use of  rich vocabulary to cultivate kids’ language.

"Boo" cookies and mouse cookies

Boo and mouse cookies

Besides being treated to Susan’s three incredible picture books, guests could nibble on Spike cake, mouse cookies and BOO pumpkin shaped cookies amidst hor d’oeurves. Susan’s clever writing support group provided many of the goodies and much of the praise and applause as they were obviously delighted with her success.

Susan shared her inspiration to go through the day “observing” and “being astonished” at what you see. I thought of her today as I drove home near dusk, after a rainfall and went past a woman riding a horse along the road (not that common, really), and looked into a meadow of gleaming mist reflecting the sun. Maybe that’s the start of a new picture book!

For more information on Susan Hood’s books go to You’ll get a flavor of how creative she is when you read “About Me” and “FAQ’s”