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Kids' Stuff

archived in 2012



I’m working on a new dummy book about an adventurous little boy named Max Speed.

My wife Trisha’s maiden name is Speed. I have always wanted to change my last name to hers. I would be Steve Speed!

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Loft Children's Lit ConferenceWHEN: April 27

WHERE: The Loft Literary Center  1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415

I will presenting along with many other talented Minnesota authors at this years conference!

Picture books 101: what to do, what not to do

with Stephen Shaskan

Just starting out? Halfway there? First book on its way? This session is for you. From what to write or illustrate, to submitting to and working with agents, editors, and art directors, to getting published, and what happens after your book is published. Stephen Shaskan will pass on the best advice he has received, and a lot of helpful hints he had to figure out for himself.

Other presenters/speakers: Justin Chanda (Simon & Schuster), Kelly Barnhill, Kirstin Cronn‐Mills, Janet Graber, Susan Runholt, Megan Atwood, Molly Beth Griffin, Kurtis Scaletta, Eric Wight, M. Molly Backes, Julie Halpern, James Klise, Claire Zulkey, Heather Bouwman, Pete Hautman, Sheila O’Connor, Tracy Nelson Maurer, Jennie Goloboy, and Andrew Karre

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Red Rock Elementary ROCKS!


A BIG thanks to Carla Larsen, Media Specialist extraordinaire! I had such a warm welcome at Red Rock Elementary! The kids had made dozens of posters, and even had colored dog masks from my Kids’ Stuff page! We sang songs, came up with new rhymes for Down By the Bay, and shared lots of questions. One classroom gave me a stack of awesome compliments and questions. I’ll be working hard on answering all of them. One student showed me her drawing of a person coming out of a snowman costume! And a special thanks goes out to Mr. Sorensen and Carla for wearing the Dog costume!

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Big Week!


My editor at Beach Lane Books approved my 6th revision of The Three Triceratops Tuff! Now it just goes back to the art director, so we can make the appropriate changes to the sketches, and then it’s on to the finished art!

Children’s Literature Network has featured me on their online magazine for new authors, DEBUT! www​.childrensliteraturenetwork​.org/​m​a​g​a​z​i​n​e​/​d​ebut/

I wrote a post for The Nerdy Book Club blog titled Who’s Afraid of the Picture Book? nerdybookclub​.wordpress​.com/​2​0​1​2​/​0​3​/​2​5​/​w​h​o​s​-​a​f​r​a​i​d​-​o​f​-​a​-​p​i​c​t​u​r​e​-​book/

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A Dog is a Dog Fun Sheets!


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The girls get a dog!


Introducing Rags the dog! Ella and Ava are two characters that I’ve been working on. I recently reworked the story to include a super cute pup. A big thanks to my friends Tara and Scott for letting me take photos of their adorable Elliot.

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Share a Book coloring Sheet!


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Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year


Just discovered that Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year has been blogging about A Dog is a Dog! Here is a quote, and link to her blog:

I am crazy about the book “A Dog is A Dog” by Stephen Shaskan and was so happy to share it with Mrs. Mehling’s kindergartners this morning.”-Katy Smith Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year

I’ve worked in education in Minnesota for eighteen years, and it is such a great feeling seeing such an awesome educator enjoying my book with children!

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I Saw A Thousand Faces and I Rocked Them All!


Today was my first school visit! Thanks to Jessica Freeburg for setting this up at Cherry View Elementary in Lakeville Minnesota. A big thank you to Paula and Angela for helping me with my presentation, and to all the teachers, staff and crazy awesome kids at CVE!

The K‐2 groups helped me sing some songs, learned a little about me as a kid, and came up with some fantastic new rhymes when we sang Down By the Bay. The 3rd‐5th graders got to hear about being an artist, how what I liked when I was a kid still effects what I do now, the stages of A Dog is a Dog from dummy to finished book, and my process. All the kids had fantastic questions, and I loved answering all of them! I kept the songs for the younger kids, but in the end the older kids wanted me to play my guitar. Since most of the songs I do are for younger kids, and I didn’t know Crazy Train (actual request, so cool), I played Buddy Holly’s All My Love All My Kisses, to a deafening roar. As the kids were leaving the gym they were chanting, “Stephen! Stephen!”

Cherry View Elementary

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Purple Cats! Barking Chickens!


Here are three new pieces of art for a dummy book I’m working on.

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