This is my second quarterly update. So much is going on, and I am grateful for it all.

Last Sunday I had the incredible honor of spending the day with Dr. Jane Goodall. You may know that my picture book Me…Jane is premiering as a musical this November at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Jane will be participating in that play via film, and for the taping she was, as always, amazing. Just being in her presence gives you a feeling of peace. And, also, of wanting desperately to do more to help our fragile planet.

In August, we announced that from now on, five percent of all purchases at will be donated to The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team. Just a few weeks after this announcement, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and we decided to double our giving to 10 percent for the month of September. (Thank you to everyone who made purchases.)

Due to foresight and prep work (such as Clear the Shelters Week and the relocation of remaining homeless pets to the north), The HSUS was ready and teams were deployed in Texas. Then Irma and Maria struck Florida, the islands, and Puerto Rico, where The HSUS has been heavily engaged for several years. Right now, The HSUS (like many other animal welfare organizations) is being stretched to the limit with all the need for their support.

Enough can’t be said about the amazing impact The HSUS had in helping pets both during and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In Katrina’s wake, they were key in creating and passing U.S. legislation allowing people to take their pets with them during evacuations. With the most recent disasters, people were encouraged to take all their family members with them — meaning that even though so many people lost so much, at least they didn’t have to leave their pets left behind. And now in Puerto Rico, the need is so urgent that The HSUS sent a plane with supplies (for people) while working with the governor to solve the enormous problems animals are facing.

In more lighthearted news, my newest picture book The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away (and Learned His ABCs The Hard Way) was released earlier this month and has received starred reviews. As some readers have pointed out, Little Red looks like he could be related to a certain pink-sock-loving feline we all know. And if you look closely, you’ll see that The Red Cat is indeed a close relative of Mooch!

Last week I was honored with a Wings Award from the inspiring Pegasus Foundation. They are an amazing organization dedicated to helping animals in so many ways, and among other major projects operate a marine mammal rescue on Cape Cod called the Cape Wildlife Center. Another awardee, Sharon Young, field director of marine wildlife protection for The HSUS, said during her acceptance: “There is no life so small that it’s not worth fighting for.” That is something that guides us at

Lastly, this holiday season will mark the first annual MUTTS Gift of Nothing Day (Dec. 30), based on the concept behind the book and play. This occasion will be a day for sharing the gift of time with loved ones. A day for nothing and everything.

Happy October, everyone.


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