Jim Scott sings "I am Waiting"

Recently my church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brazos Valley, had the good fortune of hosting gentle troubadour, Jim Scott for an evening of songs and stories.

Jim played for many years with the Paul Winter Consort, and has performed with Holly Near, Peter Yarrow, and a host of other musicians. These days, he travels the world as an advocate for the environment, serving as a key figure in the Green Sanctuary program, for church congregations to become more environmentally conscious.

He also writes and performs for kids!

One of the kindest, smartest, nicest and most talented folks you’ll ever meet. Here he is, singing his beautiful “I Am Waiting.”

You can find out more about Jim at his website: www.jimscottmusic.com.

On any given Sunday, you can bet that at least a handful of UU congregations around the world are singing his song, “Gather the Spirit,” which can be found in the UU hymn book. It’s one of our favorite hymns.


By |February 11th, 2011|Books, Family and Friends, Music, UU church|Comments Off on Jim Scott sings "I am Waiting"|

Janet Fox Talks about FAITHFUL


Fellow author Janet Fox recently dropped in and I was able to convince her that a spin in front of my Flipcam would be a great idea. Once you’ve watched her, I think you’ll agree:

Wasn’t that wonderful?

If you haven’t read Faithful yet, get thee to a bookstore. It’s gotten great reviews. Here’s just a taste of the good news surrounding this book:

Booklist: “Fox combines mystery, romance, and a young girl’s coming-of-age in this satisfying historical tale.”
School Library Journal: “The wilderness of Yellowstone…is lovingly and beautifully depicted…the gradual revelation of the truth about Maggie’s mother, the developing relationship between Maggie and Tom, and the thrilling episodes sprinkled throughout will engage readers.”
YALSA 2011 Nominee: Best Fiction for Young Adults
ALAN: Pick for 2010
Social Responsibilities Roundtable, ALA, 2011: Recommended Title, Amelia Bloomer Project

Check out the book trailer that Janet’s son, Kevin, created for her:

Oh boy, I love it when good things happen for good people. And that’s my friend Janet: Good People.

And soon, very soon . . .

Calloo, callay!

Questions about KEEPER

Hi Sports Fans!

Recently I’ve received a number of really great questions about Keeper from students around the country and the world.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, are my responses:

If you or your students have any other questions, please just send them to me. My e-mail address is: k-author@kathiappelt.com.

And while we’re on the topic of Keeper, here is a shot of the beautiful sculpture that sits on the Seawall in Galveston. It’s a tribute to the victims and survivors of the Storm of 1900 that was so devastating. But beyond that, to me the mother and child look just like Signe and Keeper.


Merry Christmas, Merry Crow!

Morning everyone!

It’s the season, and to celebrate I thought I’d take a few moments to read my picture book, Merry Christmas, Merry Crow, which is beautifully illustrated by Jon Goodell..

Okay, I bobbled a couple of the lines, but it’s not that easy reading to yourself in the mirror image of my laptop. Give a girl a break.

And I also know that the video truly doesn’t do justice to the beautiful art that Jon created for this book. Here’s a better look at the cover:

Jon also illustrated my book, Alley Cat’s Meow, and as a bonus, here’s one of the spreads from that:

So here’s to reading a great picture book to the little and big ones in your family. Is there anything better than that? I think not.

Calloo, callay y’all!

Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Poet & Teacher

Rebecca Kai Dotlich is “some poet,” as Charlotte might say!

My first encounter with Rebecca was several years ago. We were both speaking at an SCBWI conference in Birmingham, AL. We got to stay in the lovely home of Joan Broerman, who made sure that we were cozy and comfortable. In fact, Rebecca and I were so cozy and comfortable that we took up residence in the kitchen in our jammies and ate bagels and cream cheese for what seemed like hours. I’m sure it wasn’t that long, but the point I’m trying to make is that from the first bites of those bagels, it seemed like we had been friends our whole lives long.

Ever since then, we try our hardest to meet at kitchen tables in our jammies, at least once a year. This year, I caught her on my Flipcam. Enjoy!

Not only is Rebecca “some poet,” she’s also “some teacher”!

Here are some photos of Rebecca in action:

Jeanette Ingold–More Than One Life

The first time I met Jeanette Ingold, back in the early 90’s, both of us were celebrating first books. Mine, a picture book called Elephants Aloft, consisted of approximately 40 words.

Jeanette’s, a novel called The Window, had about 40,000 words.

Despite that difference, we’ve shared millions of words in each others’ company, and I count her as one of my most cherished friends and associates. No telling how many words we’ve spoken to each other across the span of our friendship. Let’s just say a lot.

Recently, I had the good fortune of joining Jeanette on our annual retreat together and was able to lure her into the kitchen to talk about her newest young adult book, Paper Daughter.

Pay attention, because Jeanette is a wordsmith, regardless of the count.

I love Paper Daughter, as I do all of Jeanette’s books. They’re smart, savvy, and full of heart. Just like their author. My friend. Jeanette.

Calloo, callay, my homies!

"Closing Time," by Lyle Lovett–A Little History

Back in the late 1970’s my parents, Pat and George Childress, opened a club here in College Station called Grin’s. At the time it was one of the only music venues in the entire Brazos Valley, and we had some wonderful artists perform there. One of those artists was a very young, shy Lyle Lovett, who was a classmate of mine at Texas A&M.

Ken and I both worked at the club in a variety of positions. Ken mostly ran sound, and I cooked, cleaned, and tended bar.

One night Eric Taylor was performing, and right at the end of the night, as he was finishing up his last set, I started closing down the bar by filling the beer coolers. I confess, I was not paying any attention to Eric even though I love his music. The plain old fact was–I just wanted to go home, so I was hurrying to get things set up for the next day so that I could leave. After all, I had been there for many hours and I still had homework to do. Could you blame me? Anyways, while Eric was singing, Lyle came over and asked me to please stop so that the noise from the bottles wouldn’t be so obtrusive. But instead of pausing to listen to Eric’s beautiful voice, I just brushed Lyle off and kept on keeping on.

I didn’t realize how upset Lyle was until he wrote “Closing Time,” and so there you have it. It’s not one of my proudest moments, even though I’m happy that Lyle got a powerful, provocative song out of it.

I learned something important that night. [...]

Kimberly Willis Holt–Magic in Threes

For the past eight years, a group of us have been meeting for a writer’s retreat each fall at my family’s country place in central Texas: Kimberly Willis Holt, Jeanette Ingold, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, and yours truly.

Of course, this year, I packed my trusty FlipCam.

One by one, I lured my pals into the kitchen for a “kitchen talk.” Here’s what Kimberly had to say:

Such a wise and wonderful friend. Thank you, Kimberly!


Spinning fire

Hi everyone–thought you might enjoy this live-action video of my oldest son Jacob playing with fire.

Calloo, callay!

By |September 10th, 2010|Family and Friends, Music|3 Comments|

Cathy Liles–Lifetime Achievement Award/BVCAA-WIC

Cathy Liles and I met back in the early ’80’s when both of us were new moms, and both of us became La Leche League leaders. Those were the tenderest of years. Breastfeeding my babies was one of the most important things I’ve ever done in this ol’ life, and it was equally important to have friends like Cathy to share those experiences with.

You could say that we grew up together, right alongside our children.

Here’s Cathy with her family. From left to right is youngest son Garrison, daughter Marisa, Cathy, husband Ben, and oldest son Benjamin.

And here she is with her own mom, Peggy.

Cathy has spent her life as an advocate for nursing babies and their mothers. She has served on the board for the International La Leche League; she has worked in international circles at the United Nations in developing policies that affect breastfeeding pairs; and she has been tireless in her support for better infant and maternal health.

No one deserves this lifetime achievement award more [...]