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Coming in 2018:  two new picture books, and I'm seeing stars (starred reviews, that is)!

THE ROUGH PATCH (Greenwillow, Aug. 14th) is a story of loss and hope. 

STARRED REVIEWS:  School Library Journal and Booklist, May 2018.  See REVIEWS here.

Evan and his dog do everything together. They play and read and eat. But mostly you will find them tending to Evan’s extraordinary garden, where flowers and other good things flourish and reach for the sky.

But friends don’t always stay forever, and when Evan loses his, he destroys the place that meant the most to them, and creates something to match his mood. Something ugly and twisted, sad and stubborn, ragged and rough—and he likes it that way. 

Until one day . . . 

  SThe Rough Patch , Greenwillow Books, August, 2018

SThe Rough Patch, Greenwillow Books, August, 2018

GOT TO GET TO BEAR'S! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Oct.) is a story of the lengths to which you'll go to help a friend.

STARRED REVIEW, Booklist, June 1 2018 

Bear never asks for anything. So when a letter arrives for the little chipmunk Izzy, urgently requesting her presence, she can’t refuse--even if there is a blizzard on the way!

  Got to Get to Bear's!,  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 2018

Got to Get to Bear's!, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 2018

It's a new year, and I'm eager to be working with students again!  If you'd like a dynamic, award-winning presenter at your school, book festival or conference, drop me a line!  Here's what one school said last year:

What a treat it was to have Brian Lies present to our Grade 1-5 students today! His animated approach immediately captured everyone’s interest. There were so many ways that he ignited students’ imaginations and sent the message that it is hard work and perseverance that makes one a successful writer/ illustrator.

Whether it was in reading aloud his popular Bat series books, discussing/ showing how he generates words and stories, displaying his pages and pages of practice writings and drawings, or reading aloud his work as a second grade student, Brian got his audience thinking. Kids and adults loved his humor, role playing, drawing demonstration, and easy rapport.

We thank the PTO and you for providing our students and staff with this learning opportunity that will extend into their classroom reading and writing instructional time.
We appreciate you!
— Principal, Massachusetts Elementary School (Dec. 2016)

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GATOR DAD (2016)

A father shows love in many ways.  Sometimes it's in what he says, but sometimes it's in what he does.  Come along as a gator dad and the kids do nothing in particular. . . and still get a whole lot done together.  This book celebrates some of the inventive—and sometimes unorthodox—ways that dads do things!  These gators demonstrate an energetic and loving style of parenting, one that embraces each day to the very fullest.

ONE REVIEW for GATOR DAD:    ". . . what is most evident are the feelings these four have for one another. Dads, squeeze the day with your own children just as this one does."
                              —Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2016 edition