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Capture the Flag
Kate Messner


Sweet Sites for Children's Books

Seven Impossible Things...
100 Scope Notes
A Fuse #8 Production
A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Books 4 Your Kids
Chicken Spaghetti
Charlotte's Library
From the Mixed-Up Files...
Jen Robinson's Book Page
Just One More Book
Literacy Learning Zone
Mid-Grade Re(ad)action
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Nerdy Book Club
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Smack Dab in the Middle
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The Guardian: Children's Books
The Miss Rumphius Effect
The Reading Tub
There's a Book
Through the Looking Glass
Waking Brain Cells

Check out the Sweet on Books Interview with

Carey Mills Federspiel

Author of Frankie: The Untold Story of an Itsy Bitsy Spider.

What peaked your curiosity about the Itsy Bitsy Spider’s backstory?
The Itsy Bitsy Spider has always been one of my favorite nursery rhymes—I wanted to illustrate it, and asked myself why the spider would want to go up a water spout—and why in the world would he want to go up again after he got washed out?

Will you write more stories involving Frankie? OR will you create new characters?
I’m excited to write more about Frankie, and I’m developing the characters around him that you see in the original story -- the ants who play as much as they work, the ladybug who is not as ladylike as she might be presumed to be, and the reclusive pill bug.

Are there other folk tales/nursery rhymes that you wonder about?
I’m interested in Little Miss Muffet and her curious diet.

What are your goals in publishing an e-book/app?
While my ultimate goal is having my books in real, hardcover book form, the app helps develop my audience.

What are your thoughts on a digital book vs. a traditional book?
Digital books are great to have on the go, but nothing beats holding a traditional book—especially children’s picture books. I think that my interactive book app is the digital version of the “lift-the-flap” book, but having an “old-school” version on a real bookshelf would be sweet at bedtime.

What made you want to be an artist/writer? Are you more of a writer or artist?
I’ve always been drawing, painting, creating, so I became an art teacher, feeding my creative side with my students’ art projects. Now that I’m working on children’s books, the writing inspires the art.

Where do you prefer to do your writing? What time of day?
I love working in my basement. The kids think of it as their place to hang out, but I work when they’re at school.

If you could have lunch with any writer whom would you choose? Why?
I would go back in time and have lunch with Georgia O’Keefe on her ranch in New Mexico. I’d bring my watercolors and paint afterward. I love the composition and color of her landscapes.


Read or write?    Read

Call or text?    Depends. I have teens, so texting works well for quick communication. But a phone call with a friend is very nice.

Fly or drive?    I’m a road trip fan.

Beach or ski?    Haven’t skied in a while. Love a beach and a good book!

Time travel back or time travel forward?    Backward. I want the future to be a surprise.

E-book or traditional book?    Traditional book


Children's book:    Charlotte's Web

Song:    Boys of Summer by Don Henley

Sports team:    Yankees

Travel destination:    Any place tropical

Superhero:   Superman

Magic power:    Instant laundry cleaning (that’s what I wish for)

We are Sweet on Books, so we have to ask – what is your favorite sweet treat?

Lemon Meringue Pie!

Carey Mills Federspiel has been painting in watercolor her whole life. She remembers painting at an easel in her room before she started grade school. She started college at The University of Kansas as a journalism major, but switched to Art Education. She moved west to be an elementary art teacher in the Los Alamos, New Mexico schools. Not surprisingly, she met and married a physicist who worked at the lab there.

After singing nursery rhymes to her four children over the years, she was inspired to flesh out the stories and illustrate them. Her first book is Frankie: the untold story of an itsy bitsy spider. She is currently working on Muffy: the untold story of Little Miss Muffet.

Carey Mills Federspiel lives in New York with her husband and four children.