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Kenny & The Dragon

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For Teachers and Librarians

Since it will be available paperback come April, Simon and Schuster has created a new discussion guide for The Search for WondLa combined with Kenny and the Dragon (which was just released in paperback). Read more

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Paperback Rider

I am happy to say that my 2008 bestselling chapter book, Kenny & the Dragon is now available in paperback. If you haven’t had a chance to read the story of a bookish rabbit and his poetry-reciting, crème-brûlée-lovin, dragon then now’s your chance. Read more

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Friday Fan Art

For this week’s Friday Fan Art addition, where we have some lovely drawings by the very talented Elly from Canada.  Besides being a gifted artist, Elly has ambitions to be an aspiring young author and has been plugging away writing books.  Oh, and did I mention that this creative machine is just 8 years old?  Yep that’s right, check out this variety pack of drawings from some of Elly’s favorite books:  The Search for WondLa, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Kenny and the Dragon, and Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guided to the Fantastical World Around You.  Thanks for being such a big fan Elly, you rock!  Read more

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Friday Fan Art

Isabella from Ohio sent in an awesome drawing inspired by Kenny & the Dragon for this week’s Friday Fan Art.  She mentioned in her letter how much she loved how Grahame (the dragon) and Kenny Rabbit became such good friends, which I think she conveyed nicely here.  Check out Grahame’s giant grin… Read more

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Download some DiTerlizzi!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Fourth of July. I took a weekend off from WondLa 2 and enjoyed some food, fireworks and finding fireflies. Also, I uploaded all sorts of DiTerlizzi-themed downloads to the site. If you read about each title under the BOOKS section, you’ll now find lots of cool FREE stuff, like audio samples from my various audio books (read by the likes of Mark Hamill, Alan Cumming, Andrew McCarthy and the lovely Teri Hatcher), as well as a plethora of coloring pages and activity sheets for use at home or in the classroom. Read more

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Thank You Switzerland!

On Monday in Lucerne, Switzerland, yours truly received the Prix Chronos book award for Kenny & The Dragon.

The Prix Chronos is an inter-generational book award with the ambition to encourage people to read and to bring together generations: children at the age of 10 to 12 and elderly people together read and review five nominated books. All readers, both young and old, can cast their votes.

One of the nomination criteria is: the relation between these two generations must be a main topic of the book. Or, in this case, the relationship between a dragon and a rabbit.

Since I could not be present, (I have to finish WondLa 2 at some point), I wrote up a thank you letter that I thought you might enjoy:

Hello Dear Readers,

First off, let me apologize for not being here in person to receive this honor. I tried, I truly did. But apparently you can’t bring a full-grown dragon on the plane, even if said dragon purchased their own first class round-trip ticket.

A rabbit? Perhaps. But a dragon? Not gonna happen.

If I were present, I would likely have let this dragon, Grahame, give the acceptance speech. He’s much more eloquent and articulate than I. Oh, he would have begun with kind words about your beautiful country and awe-inspiring landscape, but honestly he would have been present only for the food. You know how dragons are.

He would have then continued on about how this award would not have been possible if it were not for him and his endless wisdom and wit. If there were no dragon in this book, then it would have simply been a story about a bunch of angry bunnies, and who wants to read about that?

Finally I would come up and join Grahame and remind him that his story would not exist were it not for Kenneth Grahame’s beloved tale, “The Reluctant Dragon” originally published in the book, “Dream Days”. I would wax on about how much I adored this old classic and wondered if I could create a new take on it. I would recount how worried I was that children and adults would not like my new version however earnest it may have been. Grahame would chuckle and say, “of course people will like it. It has a dragon in it. And a classy one at that.”

“Yes,” I would agree. “Everyone enjoys a story with dragons, no matter what age they are.”

I know this because there were certain books that I loved as a child that my mom enjoyed reading as well. As a parent I now realize a good book can bridge a generational gap with the flip of a page.

When I was young, sharing a book with my mom and then discussing it afterward was one of my favorite things to do. These conversations often led to what else was going on our lives and it still continues to this day.

In our age of communication chatter, its comforting to know that a simple book can open up real dialogue between the young and the old. I continually strive to craft stories for children of all ages and this award acknowledges my mission and inspires me to continue on my creative journey.

Thank you readers of Switzerland and Prix Chronos for this fantastic award. I share this honor with my translator, Anne Brauner. Thank you to my German publisher, Random House, and my US publisher, Simon & Schuster, for making my stories available the world over. I promise I’ll visit Lucerne soon and I’ll be sure to bring my dragon.

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Friday Fan Art!

Beth Hanlon, a fifth grade teacher at Tropic Isles Elementary in Fort Meyers, Florida, sent us some pics of this awesome sculpt of Grahame from Kenny and the Dragon.

The sculpture was created by one of her gifted students, Ashley, and was done as a visual for her Book Share project.

“…Ashley’s Dragon has inspired others in our class to read “Kenny and the Dragon”. Ashley’s Dragon is currently on display in our Media Center.”

How cool is that?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have Kenny nominated for several state book awards including Florida’s Sunshine State Young Readers Award. What I like about state book awards is that students are encouraged to read independently based on individual interests rather than for assignments. Discovering a favorite story genre at a young age is big step in evolving into a passionate reader.

Thanks for sharing this with me, Beth, and please tell Ashley that Grahame said, “Nice sculpting young bantling.”

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Unpublished Original Artwork for Auction

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend surrounded by family and loved ones. I enjoyed some much-needed time off from my whirlwind WondLa tour. Thanks again to all of you who came out to see me at the various events. You keep me going.

I feel so fortunate that I’ve wanted to give back and become involved with a charity that benefits children. Thankfully, I’ve found my place with the Starlight Children’s Foundation. The people involved in this amazing organization are kind, generous spirits and I couldn’t be more humbled by their company. As you may recall, the WondLa kickoff event we did in New York City (with Uma Thurman) raised money for Starlight as does a current live auction where I am releasing one of my personal favorites.

Here is the description:

Own this original piece of artwork from Tony DiTerlizzi, creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles & The Spider and the Fly, including a complete set of autographed books!

Tony DiTerlizzi, the #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book author and illustrator, celebrated a milestone in his career in 2006 with the production of this personal painting titled “Imagine”. This 17×14” watercolor and ink illustration was reproduced as a limited edition giclee print that was given to friends and family for the holidays and contains characters from DiTerlizzi’s books including The Spiderwick Chronicles, as well as the Caldecott Honor award winning The Spider and the Fly.

This lot also includes a signed collection of Tony’s books, as well as a signed Artist’s-proof giclee print recreated from the original artwork.


This is a great opportunity to own a piece from my personal collection that I have been holding onto for years. I don’t let much of my original book art go these days, so this is a chance to get a bunch of my characters in one unique image…and its for a great cause.

Check out the auction here. And, hey, it ends right before the holidays – what a great gift idea!

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