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Invite an Author

Every month, we highlight an author in an initiative called "BCCLS Invite an Author". Many of these authors are happy to visit BCCLS libraries to chat with your book clubs or present programs either in person or via Skype. You can email them directly for more information or to schedule a library visit.

Previous Authors

January 2014

Selene Castrovilla

Photo © Dan Formento.


   Alison Ashley Formento


Web Site:


Letter of Introduction:

Dear Colleagues:

We’re starting off 2014 with an author who has multiple award winning picture books to her credit and last year, her first YA title was published to much positive acclaim.

It is with great delight that I present Alison Ashley Formento as BCCLS Invite an Author for January 2014.  Alison is a true BCCLS supporter, a genuinely warm and wonderful person and she is a BCCLS resident so I’m especially happy that she is our Ms. January.

Alison Ashley Formento is the author of multi-award-winning nature picture books This Tree Counts!This Tree, 1, 2, 3These Bees Count!These Seas Count!, and These Rocks Count! (2014). Her debut young adult novel Twigs (Merit Press) is edited by New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Mitchard and was named one of New Jersey's "2013 Hottest Teen Reads." Alison has written for several national publications including The New York TimesThe Writer, and Parenting, and regularly appears at schools, libraries, bookstores, conferences, and festivals. She donates a portion of her book proceeds to To learn more about Alison, visit her website at

About Twigs:

"In a charming...small-town drama, Madeline 'Twigs' Henry navigates family secrets, boyfriend troubles and a friendship with a spirited older woman. The larger-than-life characters and gestures bring humor and action to the story.... Twigs is a compellingly flawed character, and [her] growth is palpable."

Kirkus Reviews

About This Tree Counts!:

"Not only does this tree count, it matters!...The message branches out into a concisely written story with a child’s point of view that is enlivened with realistic and artfully composed paper-cut and digital-collage illustrations. Teachers will welcome this “going green” tale, which ends with the junior tree huggers planting more trees."


About These Bees Count!:

"...the adventures of this multicultural class of kids are sure to interest readers, and Snow makes it easy to identify and count the items in the pictures. After learning all about how bees count, readers will be counting on Mr. Tate's class to give them another environmental armchair trip."

School Library Journal

About These Seas Count!:

"Captivated readers will imagine they feel the warm sun, salty ocean spray, and cooling breezes along with the students."

School Library Journal

"Formento once again underlines the value of the learning that takes place outside the classroom."

Publishers Weekly

"This useful addition to classroom units on ocean life and pollution is the sequel to This Tree Counts! (2010) and These Bees Count! (2012)."

School Library Journal

I'll have some copies of TWIGS and THESE SEAS COUNT! coming soon.  Copies are limited so hit that ‘reply’ button fast if you'd like a copy of one or the other to add to your collection.

Alison’s fee for BCCLS libraries is $100, which includes one highly-interactive trees, bees, seas, rocks author presentation for younger kids, or her "Writing Seeds" author presentation/creative writing workshop for middle graders, teens, or adults. Both presentations are approximately 50 minutes long, but the time is flexible depending on library scheduling

I hope you’re getting a sense of the many possibilities a visit with Alison could include.  Class visits, story hours, Earth Day programs, and YA book talks are just a few.  And please don’t forget about the many core curriculum possibilities, as well. Contact Alison directly at:

On behalf of all of us at 810, the happiest of New Year wishes to all of you.  May 2014 bring many good things to all of our libraries and our librarians.  Here’s to a year of great books in all their formats!

Warmest regards,