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GNOMES and UNGNOMES: Poems of Hidden Creatures


This anthology is an expansive collection of original, illustrated poems about mythological creatures. Criss-cross the globe through the lens of over 100 authors and illustrators.

From the nightmare-eating Baku of Japan to the weather-weaving Acalica fairies in Bolivia.

Can you keep track of all seven heads of the Cambrian dragon? Do you want to know what's inside a unicorn's horn?

Can you spot Spectre Moose in Maine?

Flip the page to India and behold the stunning 9-animal patchwork Navagunjara.

Or pop into a middle school dance just in time to watch Big Foot stomp on his date's toe! Oh no!

From the tourist-terrorizing Drop Bears of Australia to the fireball Soucoyant of the Caribbean, this anthology is packed with more mermaids, gnomes, and other mythological creatures than you can point a shaky camera at.

With over 13 different types of poems, this book is an unbelievable poetry resource for teachers, librarians, and parents.  

Whatever you do, don't forget to find the hidden gnome on every spread!

Edited by Audrey Day-Williams and Kristen Wixted

Art Direction and Book Design by Robert Thibeault

This is part of my poem in the book. It's about a dryad who is playing hide and seek in the forest with her friend. The illustration is done by Adriane Tsai. I love her art so much! I want to go mushroom-hunting in this forest.
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This is a picture book I wrote a few years ago. My agent shopped the manuscript around publishers and though several editors loved the story and the humor (and the twist ending!), no one accepted it.

So does that mean it should sit on my hard drive and be ignored? NO. That no one should laugh at the jokes? NO!

People need jokes to get through the day.

I created Pocket Moon Press with co-conspirator and indie-publisher Heather Kelly.

I hired my friend Priscilla Alpaugh, who is an experienced picture book artist, to illustrate it. I had worked with her before on other Writers' Loft anthologies, and I knew she was able to convey humor in her art. 

Which is important in a funny story!

With help from my book designer friend, Bob (aka Robert Thibeault), we turned this manuscript into a real live book for readers to enjoy.

Much better than sitting on my hard drive.

Miss Rita, Mystery Reader

By Sam Donovan and Kristen Wixted, illustrated by Violet Tobacco

A few snippets from the jacket flap:

Sparkle is serious business.

Tori loves it when Daddy becomes Miss Rita. But will the other kids at school love Miss Rita like Tori does? Luckily, a last-minute idea helps Daddy and Tori find a way to make story time sparkle for everyone.

This heartwarming and relatable family story celebrates drag queens, reading, and self-acceptance, teaching every kid to let their sparkle shine! 

MacMillan, FSGBYR May 3, 2022

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*Starred* Booklist review: This fun selection is a great way to enhance picture book collections.

Kirkus: Let this winning pair sashay onto your shelf.

Publishers Weekly: The controversial text emphasizes an emotionally honest parent-child relationship, and like any good drag performance, it's fun and full of heart.

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This is a book of poetry by Boston-area teen poets, edited by two Boston area poets. All the writers in the book are BIPOC.

Flip through the pages of poems, written by Boston-area young people. Brave, potentially overlooked, brilliant wordsmiths who reveal what is on their minds and in their souls.

There is beauty in these pages.


Edgy moments.




Some rage here and there, sometimes hidden behind a metaphor, sometimes not.

Mostly stuff you either didn't know about, or stuff you knew and forgot.

These kids didn't have to write these poems, they chose to. They didn't have to stick with this project over the course of more than a year, either.

Some of them are in college now.

Some of them are still in high school.

None of them wrote specifically about the pandemic, but it hovers in the background.

All of them wrote with their hearts.

ODES OF US was published by Writers' Loft Press and we're really proud of it. 

It was a Loft Press/Kristen pandemic project and I am really proud of the kids and the editors who shared their words and ideas to make it the beautiful book that it is. Thank you to them all. xoxo

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Edited by Kristen Wixted and Heather Kelly

Book Design by Robert Thibeault

Cover Art by Jodie Apeseche

Art Director: Sally Hinkley

Marketing Director: Audrey Day-Williams

(title also by Audrey)

The first illustrated collection of original poems for kids published by The Writers' Loft Press

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Edited by Kristen Wixted and Heather Kelly

Book Design by Doreen Buchinski

Cover Art by Brian Lies

Creative Team: Sally Hinkley and Priscilla Alpaugh

Marketing Manager: Audrey Day-Williams

An Assortment of Animals


It’s fun…

There’s a centipede that goes shoe shopping, a cat who dreams of haute cuisine, a slug on a slip-n-slide!


Moms and babies: deer, pangolins, giraffes, elephants—with art that makes you want to cuddle.

A little bit scary…

Some of the predators in the book may … or may not … eat other characters. An anteater and an ant. A grizzly bear and a boy. You get the idea.

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