Coronation Crown In Cake

On his recent state visit to Germany, King Charles was presented with a cake copy of his

Perfectly PURPLE

coronation crown.

William Perkin would say “DELICIOUS!”

Are you curious about crowns, queens and how royal PURPLE is made? Check out PERKIN’S PERFECT PURPLE!


Do you read dangerously?

Britain’s new Queen Camilla does!

Watch her recent conversation with the UK Children’s Laureate, Joseph Coelho on World Book Day, especially the part about the wonderful excitement of reading a scary book in your own safe space.

Caring People Are Out There

If you look for kindness and caring around you you will find it.

And you can be a force for caring and kindness if you chose to be.

Case in point– electrician John Kinney. Kinney was summoned to what he thought was a routine house call. When he arrived at 72 year old Gloria Scott’s home he found much more trouble than a simple light switch on the fritz. The house had decades of deferred maintenance, with no hot water, clogged glutters, a bad roof, a broken chimney… the problems went on and on. When Mr. Kinney got home after making the electrical repair he couldn’t get Ms. Scott and her dangerous house out of his mind. He was worried about Gloria’s safety and he cared enough to do something about it.

John Kinney didn’t just fix broken things around Gloria Kinney’s property. He and the massive team of building pros he brought together through a Facebook group called Gloria’s Gladiators reassembled Gloria’s life. They’ve raised lots of money, donations of building materials and food for volunteers. Even more exciting they’re inspiring others all over the country to reach out to neighbors in need to share a meal, to make a repair, or to give support. To care.

What the world needs now? More like John Kinney. Friends who care. You can read more about John and Gloria’s story here.

Did you know I’m offering Zoom workshops about Caring and Kindness and how we can make the most of this essential thing we all need the most? Check it out on my Visits page!

Double Delight!

AMAZING news- times two!

The Society of Illustrators in New York has accepted both PERKIN’S PERFECT PURPLE and ART IS LIFE for the prestigious 2020 Original Art Show.

Congratulations Francesca Sanna, my illustrator for Perkin’s Perfect Purple and Keith Negley, my illustrator for Art is Life!

What did Victoria’s coronation SOUND like?

Queen Victoria commanded “Make me a coronation crown of purple velvet and silver and gold…”

This poster hung in the window of the royal jeweler, Rundell Bridge & Co. bragging that they’d created the masterpiece crown “in obedience to the command of her most sacred majesty Queen Victoria.”

The Queen was amused.

We can see paintings to find out what the coronation looked like.

We can read accounts, like Queen Victoria’s own diary, to find out what was planned to happen — and what wasn’t. For example, when 82 year old Lord Rolle tried to climb the stairs to bow to the new Queen he tripped. Victoria herself wrote that he “rolled right down, but was not the least hurt. When he attempted again to ascend the steps, I advanced to the edge, in order to prevent another fall.”

But what did the coronation sound like?

With great research we can discover that, too… so we can almost experience Victoria’s coronation for ourselves.

This is the music played for Victoria’s coronation.


And this is how it sounded- listen to Victoria’s Perfectly Purple Coronation for yourself!

PURPLE! By Command Of The Queen!

“Make me a coronation crown of PURPLE velvet, and silver and gold,” commanded Queen Victoria.

Purple was tricky, until William Perkin came along. The rare color was reserved for Queens and Kings until William made PURPLE FOR THE PEOPLE.

How much do you know about Queen Victoria? She wasn’t always an old widow dressed in black. When Princess Victoria became Queen and commissioned her purple crown she was only 18 years old- just like William Perkin when he made his marvelous invention of purple dye and changed chemistry forever.

Royal_Reviewer is creating an excellent series that charts Victoria’s rise from Princess to Queen. Check out Elliot’s Victoria videos here.

PERKIN’S PERFECT PURPLE: How A Boy Created Color With Chemistry (Little Brown, 2020) will be in bookstores everywhere on October 6!


 The American Society for Engineering Education, the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, the National Science Teachers Association, the Society of Elementary Presidential Awardees, and the Children’s Book Council selected INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED as one of 31 BEST STEM BOOKS for K-12!

We’re thrilled!

But that’s not all–

INSTRUCTIONS also was named a 2020 NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book!

The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) and the Children’s Book Council have named INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED as an OUTSTANDING SCIENCE TRADE BOOK! We’re so honored!

Hip Hip Hooray for Betty, Jean and Kay!

I’d love to share INSTRUCTIONS with your science class. Email me to arrange a free Skype visit.

Let’s Do World Read Aloud Day!

I love World Read Aloud Day– so I’ve turned it into World Read Aloud MONTH! All February I’ll be Skyping with schools, troops and kids around the world. And it’s FREE! Plus we’ll send free bookmarks for you to share with your students.

I’m a former elementary school librarian and I love to talk to students about inspiration, writing and research– with my books INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED and WE REALLY DO CARE. I’ll also give your kiddos a “top secret” preview of the AMAZING new books I have coming out in 2020.

My INSTRUCTIONS co-writer Debbie Dunn is also Skyping for WRAD. I’m managing both our WRAD schedules so you can book either one of us by emailing me. We still have a few slots available on February 5– and more on lots of other days in February.

Email me today to schedule your WRAD Free Skype visit with me or Debbie.

My email is

I can’t wait to hear from you and to meet your students!

Women’s History Month is around the corner…

I have something VERY special planned for you, your class or troop to celebrate Women’s History Month all March long! Lots of scientists you need to know and lots of fun puzzles, games and activities!

Stay tuned and check back in February for all the details!

Texas Book Festival

Join Debbie and me at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas!

True Stories That Inspire

Sunday, October 27, 2019 1:15 PM – 2:00 PM Authors Tami Lewis Brown and Debbie Loren Dunn, and National Book Award Finalist Steve Sheinken with Moderator Diane Hernandez at Next Chapter Tent Congress Avenue, AUSTIN Texas

And at 2:15 we’ll be signing INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED in the Kids Signing Tent!

Do you love fun facts? Is social studies your favorite subject? Do you hope for a history lesson? Or do you just really like learning about awesome people from the past? We’ve got two stories of amazing women from history who took on the challenge of flight and engineering to change the world. Learn how the soared through the clouds and programmed the very first computers!

Steven Sheinkin’s new book is Born to Fly: The First Women’s Air Race Across America. And guess what– Elinor Smith is one of the women included in his story!

Can you believe it? We’d love to hear what Elinor would have to say about that!

Debbie and I can’t wait to talk to Steve and to meet more Austin book lovers! Y’all come!