I’m going to a parade in Washington, D.C. … the Parade of States.

The National Book Festival “2019 PARADE OF STATES” list is out … and look who’s headed to Washington D.C. this Labor Day. Well, there’s plenty of New York Times bestsellers, a Newberry Honor Award winner, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Rick Riordan presents and well … ME.

Source: The Library of Congress National Book Festival Blog >

The Parade of the States at the Library of Congress National Book Festival is not a parade like the Thanksgiving Day Parade or your local St. Patrick’s Day Parade or even the parades held during Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

But it is a parade, nonetheless.

Read More >

The National Book Festival is on Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Visit loc.gov/bookfest for full details.

Here’s this year’s 2019 Great Reads About Great Places:

  • Alabama • Ernestine’s Milky Way by Kerry Madden-Lunsford
  • Alaska • Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich by Annie Boochever; in collaboration with Roy Peratrovich Jr.
  • Arizona • The Night Flower: The Blooming of the Saguaro Cactus by Lara Hawthorne
  • Arkansas • Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington’s Mount Vernon by Carla Killough McClafferty
  • California • The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
  • Colorado • Mela and the Elephant by Dow Phumiruk
  • Connecticut • Whale Quest: Working Together to Save Endangered Species by Karen Romano Young
  • Delaware • Lost Soul, Be at Peace by Maggie Thrash
  • District of Columbia • A Place to Land by Barry Wittenstein
  • Florida • Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
  • Georgia • Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons
  • Hawaii • Daughter of Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
  • Idaho • Beauty and the Beak by Deborah Lee Rose and Jane Veltkamp
  • Illinois • Otis and Will Discover the Deep by Barb Rosenstock
  • Indiana • ATTUCKS!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team that Awakened a City by Phillip Hoose
  • Iowa • Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus
  • Kansas • No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas by Tonya Bolden
  • Kentucky • Rock and Roll Woods by Sherry Howard
  • Louisiana • The Craziest Fishing Tale on the Bayou by Gary Alipio (THAT’S ME : )
  • Maine • Little Bird’s Flock by The Telling Room’s Publishing Workshop
  • Maryland • Riverbound by Melinda Beatty
  • Massachusetts • Windows by Julia Denos
  • Michigan • Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story by Lindsey McDivitt
  • Minnesota • The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
  • Mississippi • The Rambling by Jimmy Cajoleas
  • Missouri • What Is Given From the Heart by Patricia McKissack
  • Montana • Montana for Kids by Allen Morris Jones
  • Nebraska • Simpson’s Sheep Just Want to Sleep! by Bruce Arant
  • Nevada • The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons
  • New Hampshire • The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
  • New Jersey • I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy
  • New Mexico • The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes
  • New York • Harriett the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  • North Carolina • Grenade by Alan Gratz
  • North Dakota • The Legend of Greg: An Epic Series of Failures by Chris Rylander
  • Ohio • Miss Mary Reporting by Sue Macy
  • Oklahoma • Friends Stick Together by Hannah E. Harrison
  • Oregon • Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
  • Pennsylvania • A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
  • Puerto Rico • Mi isla bella, mi isla hermosa by Isset M. Pastrana-Andino
  • Rhode Island • Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
  • South Carolina • How High the Moon by Karyn Parsons
  • South Dakota • Muskrat and Skunk / Sinkpe na Maka: A Lakota Drum Story
  • by Donald F. Montileaux (Lakota translation by Agnes Gay)
  • Tennessee • This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce
  • Texas • What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton
  • U.S. Territories • I Am the Virgin Islands by Tiphanie Yanique
  • Utah • Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
  • Vermont • Bob by Tracey Campbell Pearson
  • Virginia • Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
  • Washington • All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
  • West Virginia • The Princess and the Pickup Truck by Bil Lepp
  • Wisconsin • The Rhino in Right Field by Stacy DeKeyser
  • Wyoming • Rusty and the River: A Rusty the Ranch Horse Tale by Mary Fichtner

Here fishy, fishy, fishy at Barnes & Noble Westbank, NOLA (Sat, June 15)

Come see me and talk kids’ books and fishing at Barnes & Noble Westbank in Harvey (Sat., June 15 from 11am-1pm). Fishing tales and tasty gummy worms, of course.

I’ll also tell you where I’ve been catching largemouth bass right in New Orleans City Park. #FishOn

Illustrated by Sarah Gramelspacher
Published by Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

Barnes & Noble Westbank
1601 B Westbank Expressway
Harvey, LA 70058


The little fishing book that could … (go to the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.)

Me, a book and Sarah Gramelspacher’s illustration on our way to Washington, D.C.

Okay, the craziest thing just happened …

I got off the phone with the State Library of Louisiana. And they informed me that this little book Craziest Fishing Tale on the Bayou has been been selected to represent Louisiana at this year’s 19th National Book Festival Washington Convention Center in D.C., August 31 this year.

“SERIOUSLY?” Was my first response. Who would have thought … me … in The Library of Congress …F-O-R-E-V-E-R!!!

AND this will be my first time ever to see the U.S. Capitol.

I’m still contemplating how this happens: that a reluctant reader me would end up writing a story, I end up sharing that story, someone thinks “hey, let’s publish this story in print,” and then the story winds up being selected to represent literature in your state … and all the way to the National Book Festival.

To all who believed in this little tall tale about a boy’s hopes to enter a fishing contest to win money to help his family stay in their home …

THANK YOU !!! 🎣🐟🐠

Here’s a few of the authors who appeared at the National Book Festival just last year in 2018: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor; Newberry medalists Kate DiCamillo, Katherine Applegate, Matt de la Peña and Erin Entrada Kelly; a kids’ book idol of mine Dan Santat and lots more.

Pretty sweet list of authors and illustrators there.

And where would this tall fishing tale be without the fantastic, humorous illustrations of Sarah Gramelspacher.

I’d like to tell you how Hatcher Hampton, the eleven year-old boy, fares in his trials against pestering insects, a one-armed man, angry seas, boat blunders and an old swamp legend … BUT what would be the fun in that?!

So if you can’t make it out to Washington D.C. for the National Book Festival on Labor Day weekend, you can always but a copy from me here ; }

Is there a huge lesson in all of this book craziness? Maybe that you can take the boy out of the bayou, but you can never take the bayou out of the boy.

Check back after Labor Day to find out what happens next…