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I'm a children's and YA writer, composer, teacher of sorts, and mom. My work has been published in magazines, newspapers, anthologies, and on the web. I am currently at work on several books.
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1. A Little About Jodi Moore, Author of the Upcoming GOOD NEWS NELSON

Jodi Moore is the author of WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN (May 2011, Flashlight Press) and GOOD NEWS NELSON (Story Pie Press, to be released December 2012). Jodi considers books, along with chocolate, to be one of the main food groups. She writes both picture books and young adult novels, hoping to challenge, nourish and inspire her readers by opening up brand new worlds and encouraging unique ways of thinking.

Jodi is the proud and (admittedly) neurotic mother of two incredibly talented young adults and  never ceases to be amazed at how far the umbilical cord really will stretch. She lives in central PA with her always-supportive best friend/husband, Larry, two laughing doves and an ever-changing bunch of characters in her head.

In addition to reading, writing and chocolate, Jodi enjoys music, theatre, dancing, the beach and precious time spent with her family. Finally, Jodi thinks it would be really cool if one of her stories eventually became a Disney or Universal movie or theme park ride. Or a Broadway musical. Just puttin’ it out there.

We look forward to GOOD NEWS NELSON bringing everyone some good news to be happy about!

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2. Our books!

Our books are not only printed in the USA, they are green, and give back to organizations that make a difference in the lives of children. Portions of the proceeds from all book sales go to places like Johns Hopkins Children's Center and Flashes of Hope. Help us to make a difference, while giving the gift of a great book to that precious child in your life.

Keep up with all the latest here at storypie.blogspot.com and also through the following:

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3. Another nice review for Samson's Tale

Here is a nice review of Samson's Tale by Rebecca Reid of the Rebecca Reads blog, an insightful blog that highlights and reviews the classics, nonfiction, and children's literature!

"Samson’s Tale by Carla Mooney and illustrated by Kathleen Spade (Story Pie Press, 2011) is a sensitive story about a boy dealing with recovery from leukemia, as viewed from the perspective of his best friend, his dog Samson. By telling the story from the dog’s perspective, there is appropriate distance for the reader, thus avoiding melodrama that otherwise might belittle the delicate story. Samson the dog wags his tail when he sees Daniel return home (finally) from the hospital, and he comforts and supports Daniel during his ill days. With this perspective, the story of Daniel’s recovery is memorable, and it shows what a loved one (in Daniel’s case, his best friend Samson) can do to support an ill child. The mixed media illustrations treat the story with sensitivity as well, and the overall result is one that may comfort children dealing with sick family or friends. " ~Rebecca Reid

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4. Brendan Flannelly-King and Good News Nelson

Story Pie Press is in production with its third title, Good News Nelson.  This adorable and heartwarming story was written by the talented Jodi Moore and will be illustrated by the equally talented Brendan Flannelly-King.

Here is a short introduction to our newest Story Pie Press artist:

Brendan Flannelly-King has been drawing and painting his whole life. He studied Illustration at Pratt Institute and has been freelancing as an illustrator and designer since graduating in 2004. He lives in Ashfield Massachusetts with his partner, son, goats, chickens and a crew of neighborhood cats.

Please feel free to visit Brendan on the web by clicking on the maze below:

...or follow the link here: http://www.brendanfliesakite.com/


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5. Meaningful Holiday Gifts

If you are looking for gifts that are truly meaningful, that nurture a child's interest in good stories and reading, and that also give back in a major way, consider Story Pie Press' books for children. 

Samson's Tale tells the story of love and loyalty between a boy and his dog, with 30% of the proceeds go to Flashes of Hope!

The Day I Met The Nuts helps children realize that any challenge can be overcome, and that family and friends are there to help.  And  45% of the proceeds support Johns Hopkins Children's Center in their efforts to find a cure for food allergies.

So consider gifts that truly matter, books that care about the future of children!

Happy Holidays!

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6. In case you haven't seen it yet....

The book trailer for Samson's Tale

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7. Exploring the healing power of pets, Kathleen Spale's Interview with the Chicago Parent

Our wonderful Kathleen Spale was written up in the Chicago Parent for her integral part in Samson's Tale!  Please stop by to read this article, which highlights the reasons she decided to illustrate this special book.  Also, consider purchasing a copy for your library at home, or local library.  Remember, 30 percent of the proceeds goes to Flashes of Hope.  Both Samson's Tale and Flashes strive to give children with life threatening illnesses hope in the future!


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8. Picture Book Idea Month, November 2011!

For all you children's book writers out there, or even those who secretly dream of writing for children, this month is a good month.  It's PiBoIdMo, otherwise known as Picture book Idea Month.  I absolutely love this idea and encourage you to participate (even next year...if you're too late to participate this year), as we never have enough good stories for children. 

Tara Lazar, the founder of PiBoIdMo, has asked me to be one of the guest bloggers for the month.  Every day, there's a new guest sharing what they know and love about writing for children.  Guests include editors, agents, and authors, among others.  So stop on by the site, read what all the guest bloggers have to say about writing for children and the magic of dreaming up picture book ideas.


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9. Ten Stories Up Interviews Carla Mooney

To find out the story behind Samson's Tale, visit the Ten Stories Up blog for an interview with Carla Mooney.  Though the story is fiction, Carla had a great deal of real life inspiration that got her writing this important and touching book.

Happy reading,

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10. The Light The Night Walk on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at Heinz Field

Carla Mooney will be reading Samson's Tale in the kids area at LIGHT THE NIGHT at  6 pm this evening!  Light the Night is at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA, and honors the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Light The Night is a two mile walk where participants carry red illuminated balloons and cancer survivors carry white illuminated balloons. All proceeds go toward finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and Hodgkin's disease, while improving the lives of patients and their families.


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11. Author Carla Mooney Talks About Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Most people know what this stands for:

But what about this one?

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Many people don’t even realize that childhood cancer has its own “month” and a gold ribbon symbol. Yet many of us have been impacted by childhood cancer, either in our own families or in people we know. Cancer is the #1 disease killer of children in the United States, and even through survival rates are improving, about ¼ of children diagnosed with cancer will die within five years.

My own experience with childhood cancer began when my son Daniel was diagnosed with leukemia at 19 months of age. We quickly learned that he was one of the “lucky” ones – he had a type of leukemia (acute lymphoblastic leukemia or ALL) which has a higher survival rate. Yet I will never forget a conversation with one of his doctors, where she told us that he had a 75 percent chance of surviving for 5 years. For me, that 25 percent loomed too big and menacing over our Daniel. With great understanding, the doctor acknowledged our fears and said quite simply, “But for each family, it’s either 100 percent or nothing.” How true. Statistics mean nothing when a child has cancer. Either that child beats it or they don’t. And that is why raising awareness and research for childhood cancer is so important. So that every family can have their 100 percent.

Our journey through cancer has been tough and heartbreaking at times. We have gotten to know many children and families who did not win their battle. Yet we’ve also gotten to see the strength, kindness, and generosity of family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. And through this experience, I was able to write Samson’s Tale. I hope that this book can be one piece of my “paying it forward” and helping someone else who may be going through similar experiences.

If you didn’t know, 30 percent of the proceeds of sales of Samson’s Tale go to Flashes of Hope, a national nonprofit that changes the w

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12. Young Illustrators Inspired by Samson's Tale

Kathleen Spale recently visited an elementary school where students participated in illustrating their favorite pets, which was inspired by a reading of our famous Samson's Tale.  Here is a sampling of their wonderful drawings, each one unique and special.  I must say, I think there may be some future illustrators in this group.  These students have certainly inspired me!

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13. The 57th Street Children's Book Fair with Kathleen Spale!

Kathleen Spale, illustrator of Samson's Tale, will be at The 57th Street Children's Book Fair on September 18, 2011.  So if you are in the area, stop by to see her this Sunday from 5:00 pm until 6:00 pm at the SCBWI booth.

The 57th Street Children's Book Fair  began 25 years ago as a back-to-school celebration.  The Fair hosts dozens of local booksellers and community organizations.  Thousands are expected to attend the fair, which includes a huge selection of books, reading-related activities, live entertainment, and refreshments!



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14. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with Samson's Tale

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I think back to the cancer survival stories that touched my life.  I knew a few amazing children who were dealt the hardship of battling cancer.  I was always amazed at their courage and determination.  It was an odd mix of fear, worry, curiosity and admiration I had for these friends.  How could you be healthy one day, and then suddenly sick with cancer the next?  And how could you be sick and go to school at the same time, or miss weeks of school and then bounce back strong and hopeful?  How could one have a head full of beautiful hair and then become bald?  As children, it's hard to understand the hows and whys of childhood cancer.  As an adult, it is even more difficult to comprehend why this has to happen to children in the first place.  But resilience is a beautiful thing...and it's amazing to hear stories of how strong these children can be.

Way back when, I remember a smart, happy boy who lived up the street from me.  I had such a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that he had cancer, one because he was just a kid like me, and two because he was so positive and inspirational...it was almost easy to forget he was sick.  There were times he would be "out of sight" for weeks because of treatments, then the cancer would go into remission and he would be on the bus again, happy to return to school, talking and dreaming about things that were important to him, like sports.  He was brave and mature beyond his years.  The last I remember, he was cancer free.  I can still see that smile on his face.      

Sadly, thousands of children are diagnosed with cancer each year.  It is an astonishing and heart-aching amount.  Carla Mooney, the author of Samson's Tale, is a mother who understands what it's like to have a child who has battled cancer.  Her very own son inspired her to write this amazing story.  We invite you to check out Samson's Tale in support of children with cancer.  And in case you didn't know, 30% of the proceeds from book sales go to Flashes of Hope, a wonderful organization that changes the way children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses see themselves through the gift of photography, all while raising money for pediatric cancer research.  You might even consider buying a copy of Samson's Tale for your home library or for the library at your child's school.  If you want, you might even ask your school or community librarians to contact Follett Library Resources to purchase Samson's Tale for their shelves.

To those brave children fighting the good fight...you are my heroes!

Editor, Story Pie Press

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15. Spotlight on Follett Library Resources

We are happy to announce our books are now available through Follett Library Resources.  Follett Library Resources is the largest supplier of books, eBooks, and audiovisual materials to PreK-12 schools.  If you happen to be a teacher or librarian, you may already know about Follett.  If you don't know much about Follett, I'm here to share a bit about their history.

The Follet story began in 1873 at the home of C.M. Barnes in Wheaton, Illinois.  It was there that he started a small bookstore (I wonder if he dreamed of how big his business would grow?).  Barnes soon moved the store to Chicago, where he sold books to students and other stores.  As the business grew, employees were hired, including C. W. Follett who started as a stock clerk (and I wonder if Follett dared to  imagine that he would one day take over the business and own it?).  Eventually, Barnes passed away and his son moved to New York to launch another company with a gentleman named Noble (that's another story).  Follett purchased "the Barnes family’s ownership interest" and eventually owned the entire company (yes, big things do happen to stock clerks).

In the 1920's and 30's, Follett turned the business into a family affair by bringing on his sons to help out.  By 1940, Garth Follett founded the Follett Library Book Company (which later became Follett Library Resources). FLBC was created to specialize in K-12 schools.  In 1994, Follett Library Book Company became Follett Library Resources to reflect their ever-growing expansion of products and services.  The products Follett Library Resources offer are PreK-12 books, audiovisual materials, and electronic ordering with TITLEWAVE Internet.  Check them out and consider stocking your shelves with Story Pie Press' special books for kids!


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16. Another great review for Samson's Tale

Lindsay Carmichael of Ten Stories Up has given Samson's Tale a glowing review.  Carmichael is a bookseller and writer from Halifax.  Her blog mostly consists of book reviews and author interviews.

Here is a snippet: "How can an author explain leukemia and the effects of chemotherapy without lecturing or bogging down in details?  How can an author be honest, while still leaving room for hope?  Mooney's solution is to tell the story through the eyes of the patient's pet, and it works brilliantly."

To read the entire review, visit Ten Stories Up!

Happy reading!


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17. Printers Row and Kathleen Spale

Illustrator Kathleen Spale will be at Printers Row Lit Fest today at booth DD from 2pm until 4pm!  Stop by to meet her if you plan on attending the event.  She will be there signing copies of Samson's Tale!  Read about the event by clicking on the link below. 

Read on !

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18. Review

Check it out...a fabulous review of Samson's Tale by Children's Books Examiner, Lori Calabrese! Click on the title of the review below to read.

"Big words like leukemia and chemotherapy can't compare to the biggest word of all."

Happy reading,

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19. Happy Birthday, Samson's Tale

Dear Parents, Teachers, Grandparents, and Friends:

We want to introduce to you a book that will make an impact on any child.  This is a story of love and loyalty, of courage and strength...of heroes.  And today is this story's birthday!  Samson's Tale is now available to you and your children, and is doing meaningful work along the way, as every book that is purchased gives back thirty percent to Flashes of Hope

Love and happiness,
Story Pie Press

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20. Press Release: Samson's Tale and Story Pie Press

Read all about Story Pie Press' relationship with Flashes of Hope:  http://www.flashesofhope.org/news/100 .

Discover who was Carla's Mooney's inspiration for Samson's Tale.  Find out about Carla's book launch and more!


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Mary Rand Hess

Story Pie Press



Ashburn, Virginia – April 12, 2011 – Story Pie Press has released its second picture book for children, Samson’s Tale illustrated by Chicago area resident, Kathleen Spale. The book, which supports Flashes of Hope, tells the story of a boy and his dog, and how together they can get through anything…even cancer.

Samson’s Tale (written by Carla Mooney) was illustrated by Kathleen Spale who was immediately touched by the story and the fact that the book would be partnered up with a charitable cause. Flashes of Hope was picked as the organization to support because of its dedication in providing hope and smiles to children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Flashes of Hope is a nonprofit organization that “changes the way children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses see themselves through the gift of photography and raises money for pediatric cancer research.” www.flashesofhope.org

Once Kathleen signed on to be the artist, she brought this inspirational tale to life by using live models to capture the essence of the story. This story was inspired by the author’s son who has courageously lived with leukemia. Samson’s Tale touches on the support of family, but mostly captures the bond between a boy and his loyal and loving dog.

Kathleen is a graduate of Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has loved drawing since she was a child. Over the years, she has created artwork for everything from gallery shows to personal commissions, although her greatest passion is creating artwork for children’s books. When not illustrating, Kathleen resides and works as a librarian near Chicago. www.kathleenspale.com

Kathleen will be celebrating the book launch of Samson’s Tale at The Magic Tree Bookstore located at 141 North Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois on May 1 from 1 to 3 PM. There, she will be talking about the process of illustrating. Live models from the book are expected to be in attendance, including the dog who modeled as Samson. Signed copies of Samson’s Tale will be available for purchase at the book launch, Amazon, independent bookstores, hospitals, and other boutiques and stores. The book retails at $15.99.

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22. Draw and Write About Your Favorite Pet

In case you missed Kathleen Spale's appearance at The Magic Tree Bookstore yesterday, she has delivered  a present right here for you on the Story Pie Press News Blog.  It's a coloring page inspired by Samson's Tale, where you can draw your own special pet.  I encourage you and your children to write about these special pets, too.  Feel free to submit your stories here, along with your drawings...if you can attach them.

Happy illustrating and writing!


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23. A Former Student Makes Former Teacher Proud

Read about about this former elementary teacher and what she has to say about her former student, the talented Kathleen Spale. 


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24. First Book Launch for Samson's Tale

At our first book launch for Samson's Tale, Kathleen Spale shared snippets of her life as an illustrator and talked about her experience illustrating this special book.  Also in attendance were Amber Leberman, our fabulous book designer, models from the book, including the dog who inspired the look of Samson.  Family, friends, and fans came by to purchase signed copies and enjoy the celebration.    Let the pictures tell the story of our first launch.  Enjoy and check out the cake!

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25. Carla Mooney and Samson's Tale

Carla Mooney was at The Penguin Bookshop this past weekend to celebrate the launch of her first children's picture book, Samson's Tale.  Carla is the author of over 20 children's books, but this is her first picture book!  At the launch, there was a reading of Samson's Tale by Carla, delicious cake, and a book signing...all in conjunction with Sewickley Unleashed (for animal lovers of all walks).  If you couldn't make the signing, but are still eager to purchase this amazing book (and support a great cause, Flashes of Hope, in the process), click on the book cover above! 

Here are some pictures of the lovely launch at the Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley, PA .

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