newsstands, featuring the latest adventure of my hard-boiled policeman living in a fairy tale world, "Captain Monday of the Forest Rangers." Whimsical illustrations by the talented Dave Clark add to the fun. Grab a copy and see if Monday is up to this latest challenge. He'll have to answer to the Emperor if he's not.
1/1/15 Happy New Year! Now through January 31st, Amazon.com is offering the Kindle edition of ODD BALL: HILARIOUS, UNUSUAL, AND BIZARRE BASEBALL MOMENTS for $1.00. Take advantage of this opportunity to start 2015 with a few laughs at a bargain basement price.
12/30/14 Watch for the January issue of Cricket Magazine containing my humorous story about the early days of automotives, "Becky Lets Off Steam." You will meet the Stanley twins, inventors of the most successful steam powered car, the Stanley Steamer. Lots of laughs as the brothers try to prove the merit of their creation. You will also learn why the cleaner, quieter, more reliable Steamer eventually lost the market to the gas guzzlers that dominate the roads today.
12/13/14 In the mood for a holiday poem? Find my latest effort, "The Flight Before Christmas", on the misnamed Poem of the Week page of this website. Scroll down to 12/20/13, 12/20/11, 12/15/11, 12/5/11, and 11/28/11 for more holiday hilarity.
11/13/14 2014 National Book Awards
This year's winners in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and young people's literature will be announced on November 19th. Brief reviews of the 5 finalists in the youth category may be found on the Have You Read? page of this website. (Check the entries for 10/26, 10/19, 10/2, 9/28, and 2/8.) If you enjoy memoir, nonfiction, historical or contemporary fiction, there is a title you will want to read. All are award worthy. My personal favorite is a touching memoir in verse called BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson.
9/27/14 Second Annual Chappaqua Children's Book Festival
Were you one of the estimated 6,000 people who attended this year's event on the sun splashed grounds of Bell Middle School? If so, you know all about the excitement that is generated when kids interact with the writers and illustrators of their favorite storybook characters, and meet the colorfully costumed characters themselves. While Biscuit, Curious George, Clifford, and others entertained the younger set, more mature readers sought out novels and nonfiction that will live in their minds for years to come. Then, there was the food - delicious sandwiches, wood-fired pizza cooked on site, and an amazing variety of baked goods, each delectation more tempting than the last. Throw in live music ranging from a string quartet to hip-hop and let the fun begin. Don't miss the photo gallery at lohud.com. Search under Chappaqua Children's Book Festival.
July 2014 - Two of my recently published short stories are posted on line:
Looking for a tale to read to kids? Visit www.imagination-cafe.com, and click What's Hot? on their home page. That will take you to "Playground Prospector", inspired jointly by an experience in my own childhood, and an incident from my teaching career.
If your interests lie more with humor or baseball, try "Uniformity" at Saturdayeveningpost.com. Select fiction on the home page, then click "show all contemporary fiction" on the next menu.
Set aside time to attend these fall festivals. Please stop at my table to say hello.
September 27th - Chappaqua Children's Book Festival
October 11 - Collingswood, NJ Book Festival
November 1 - Albany Children's Book Fair
Each of these events has a dedicated website with details on hours, presentations, and information about the authors and illustrators who will be on hand.
June 21st - Thanks to everyone who made the fifth Millbrook Literary Festival our best one yet. Watch for information on next year's event. We are determined to keep improving and growing!
May 3rd HUDSON CHILDREN'S BOOK FESTIVAL
New York State's largest festival devoted to books for children and teens just keeps getting better. Visit www.hudsonchildrensbookfestival.org for a schedule and a roster of the many talented authors and illustrators who will be on hand. Music, books, and a fantastic crew of volunteers make for a great day. Hope you were among the thousands in attendance! Great conversations, live music, mermaids, and , best of all, oodles of books and their creators.
1/21/2014 Anyone ready for baseball? ODD BALL: HILARIOUS, UNUSUAL, AND BIZARRE BASEBALL MOMENTS is out in paperback, published by Two Lions. This graphic look at strange events in baseball history was named a best nonfiction book of 2013 by Bank Street College. It is also nominated for the 2014 Garden State Children's Book Award. If you like to laugh, you will enjoy ODD BALL.
1/10/2014 Today the Saturday Evening Post began a new on-line feature. Each Friday, the magazine will post original fiction at saturdayeveningpost.com. I am happy to announce that my story, "Unauthorized", is the initial offering. This humorous tale should be of interest to anyone who loves books and writing. Read part one now, and watch for the conclusion which will be posted on January 17th.
Chappaqua Children's Book Festival - I hope you were among the 4,000 people who made this first annual event a smashing success. More than 150 volunteers ensured that the day ran smoothly despite the huge crowd. Parents and children enjoyed meeting such luminaries of the children's book world as Jerry Pinkney, Wendell Minor, Peter Sis, Nicky Bruel, Gail Carson Levine, and more than 60 others. Thanks to everyone who stopped at the sports themed table manned by myself and Richard Brenner. Lots of good conversation. I was even treated to a visit by a young lady who was in my third grade class in 1994. How gratifying to learn that she now writes and performs her own music! If you missed the fun this year, mark September 27, 2014, on your calendar. I don't know how the organizing committee could top this year's affair, but I know they will be trying.
Welcome to Timothy Tocher's website. Here you will find recommendations for books that I have enjoyed - crossing the spectrum from children's literature, to YA, to adult. There is also a bibliography of books that I have written. I hope you will share your opinions in a family friendly manner.
ODD BALL: HILARIOUS, UNUSUAL, AND BIZARRE BASEBALL MOMENTS has been nominated for the 2014 Garden State Children's Book Award in nonfiction. Thanks to all the librarians for this honor! Watch for the paperback edition of ODD BALL, available January 21, 2014, from Two Lions.My latest short story for adults is now (May 2013) available. Visit www.spitball.com to order issue #71 and read "Diamond Dilemma", a gilded age tale in which a skirmish in the battle of the sexes takes place at the ballpark.
Meadowbrook Press has reissued my first two chapter books, Long Shot and Playing for Pride in both paperback and electronic editions. Meet Laurie Bird Preston, a sports loving middle school student, as she tries to harness her athletic talent and contend with off court problems. Raised in a single parent household, Laurie must make friends in a new school where her father is her coach. A strong anti-bullying theme makes these novels even more timely than when they were originally published more than 10 years ago.
Do you read e-books? A free download of my take on a classic fairy tale, "Little Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood" from Newfangled Fairy Tales, Book 1 has proven popular. This story recently (12/25-1/3) enjoyed a 10 day stay in Amazon's top 100 free kindles.
Thanks to the students at Eastford Elementary School in CT for making a hilarious video of my poem, "Help Wanted." View it at: www.schooltube.com/video/3a8a5249402152f1599e/Help-Wanted. If, like me, you always mistype those long URLs, google my name and the poem title.
1st Annual Chappaqua Children's Book Festival, October 5, 2013 With a high energy planning committee, an impressive guest list, and a beautiful community, this promises to be an exciting event. Put it on your calendar now, or risk missing Jerry Pinkney, Wendel Minor, and dozens of other award winning authors and illustrators.
2013 Hudson Children's Book Festival Saturday, May 4, 2013 Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table at this year's event.
Millbrook Literary Festival After 5 consecutive years, we are on hiatus. Watch this site for information on our 2014 event.