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About Maryann Cocca-Leffler
My PLAY: www.princesskimthemusical.com
I've been writing and illustrating children's books for more than 30 years and have published over 60 books. I graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a BFA in illustration. My Italian childhood has inspired several books. The first book I wrote and illustrated was "Wednesday is Spaghetti Day". My books "Bus Route to Boston" and "Clams All Year" are family stories which I hold dear to my heart. Recent books include: "The Belonging Tree", "Same Way Ben", and "The Power of Yet". "Janine" and "Janine and the Field Day Finish" are books inspired by my daughter and her experience has a child with disabilities; (www.Janinesparty.com). My most popular series are the "LET IT" Books; LET IT RAIN & LET IT SHINE, LET IT FALL & LET IT SNOW. Please keep checking my website to learn more about my books, school visits and upcoming projects. I live and work in Maine where I am working on my next new book!
(I look forward to hearing from you.)
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Books By Maryann Cocca-Leffler
A Junior Library Guild Selection February 2022
The true story of the people who helped make every public school a more inclusive place.
There was a time in the United States when millions of children with disabilities weren't allowed to go to public school. But in 1971, seven kids and their families wanted to do something about it. They knew that every child had a right to an equal education, so they went to court to fight for that right. The case Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia led to laws ensuring children with disabilities would receive a free, appropriate public education. Told in the voice of Janine Leffler, one of the millions of kids who went to school because of these laws, this book shares the true story of this landmark case.
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“I can’t do it!”
“Can’t do it yet.”
This charming picture book tells the story of one small piglet who uses the Power of Yet to conquer frustration. While it may not be possible to perfectly flip pancakes or play the violin yet, with practice and patience and courage and grit, anything is possible!
When Wanda discovers a thornbush growing in the empty lot at the corner of Fillmore and Hudson, she's quite sure it's a rosebush all ready to bloom. So she clears away the trash, checks on it every day, and brings water from the butcher shop across the street. But no roses appear. Wanda's neighbors and friends are all doubtful, but when she invites them to a tea party in her "rose garden" one day in June, they're in for a big surprise.
The Belonging Tree is a thoughtful picture book about respect, inclusion, and acceptance in a woodland community of animals from writer Maryann Cocca-Leffler and illustrator Kristine A. Lombardi.
Life was ordinary in the big oak tree on Forest Lane. Squirrels lived in every part of the tree, and the Gray squirrel family inhabited the knot in the middle. But the neighborhood starts to change as the big oak tree welcomes families of chipmunks, beavers, and birds. And with each new arrival, the Grays become increasingly unhappy. Can’t everything remain just as it was?
It will take an unexpected moment of heroism from a thoughtful inhabitant to finally open hearts and bind together this diverse animal community.
Christy Ottaviano Books
Life is the same every day for Ben, and that's just how he likes it.
Ben likes things the same way every day at school—he sits at the same table, eats the same lunch, and likes the daily class routine. But when his teacher leaves to have her baby and a substitute teacher comes and changes everything, Ben gets upset. He liked everything the way it was before! But soon Ben starts to think differently about change and realizes that doing things another way can be fun.
Janine is back!
Today is field day and even though Janine is not good at sports, she is ready to compete. Her body just doesn't work like the other kids'. But no matter what, Janine cheers for everyone and tries her best. During the big race, her classmate Abby trips and falls. Janine is right there to help. But Abby is crushed that she won't win the race. Can Janine teach Abby and her classmates that being a winner is not always about being number one?
A family decides their Christmas gifts to each other must be homemade rather than store bought.
A family of adorable pigs decides that this year they will make their gifts to each other for Christmas rather than buy gifts. Each family member is excited to try. Momma makes breakfast, Dad makes a blanket, and sister Rosie sings a song. But the littlest pig struggles to come up with an idea. What can he make?
ILA 2016 Teachers' Choices Reading List
Meet Janine. She is one of a kind! Janine dresses a little different, remembers random facts, reads the dictionary for fun, and has her own style of cheering. Nobody does things the way Janine does things! One girl in Janine's class is throwing a party and all the COOL kids are invited. But Janine is not cool. Some kids think she is strange and want her to change. Will Janine try to be different or just be her spectacular self? In this charming story, Maryann Cocca-Leffler uses her own daughter as inspiration for a delightfully spunky character. Janine Leffler focuses on the positive while navigating life with disabilities. She has become a role model to children and adults, encouraging them to focus on abilities and promoting respect, tolerance, and kindness.
The Best Children's Books of the Year 2014, Bank Street College
On "Mood Monday," students describe their moods after the weekend. But Theo doesn't know what to say because he has a new baby sister and is feeling so many emotions all at once.
It's Mood Monday and Miss Cady's class is sharing how they feel after the weekend. But Theo doesn’t know whether he’s in a good mood or a bad mood. He has a new baby sister, and he isn’t just happy like Eric who got a new bike or sad like April who lost her dog. As Theo’s classmates discuss all their feelings, he realizes he’s not in a good mood or a bad mood—he’s both those things!
Behind every cloud there is sun.
Nate always sees the bright side of life.
While others complain about rain, Nate is happy about the frogs that it brings. When you might think there is nothing to do, Nate is just happy to enjoy the view. Instead of wanting more, Nate is grateful for what he's got.
Smile along with Nate as he enjoys all the good things life has to offer.
2013-2014 Show Me Readers Nominee List
2012 Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College
Although she's always been called Princess at home, Kim is not a real princess, so she decides "From now on, no matter what, I'm only going to tell the truth!" At home, she tells her Dad that the pancakes are rubbery and her Grandma that her new necklace looks the the slimy rocks at the bottom of the fish tank. At school, she's just as honest...until she learns what too much truth can do.
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