Reviews are in...

Praise for Janine and the Field Day Finish 
"With a heartening lesson about friendship, competition, and what constitutes winning, this encouraging picture book nicely demonstrates the value of confidence and generosity." -Booklist 

"Her [Cocca-Leffler] colorful illustrations liven up this touching story of a child who does not fit in, but is self-assured enough not to worry about it. Readers will agree that this optimistic little girl has a mighty big heart."  -Kirkus 

Publishes Oct 2016
Cocca-Leffler’s slouchy-socked, pigtailed character, introduced in Janine (2015), brings her characteristic self-confidence and enthusiasm to this follow-up title about field day. Janine knows she’s not as fast as other kids, but she’s ready for field day anyway, from the froufrou good-luck ribbons adorning her red sneakers to the kicky cheer she’s invented to spur everyone on. Her classmate Abby, however, is not impressed: “You’re going to need more than luck . . . because I’m going to win.” Abby’s strategy for winning the race—shoving everyone out of her way—backfires when she trips and ends up in last place with Janine, but, thanks to Janine’s good-natured attitude, she’s eager to help in spite of Abby’s earlier comments, and together they limp across the finish line. Cocca-Leffler’s expressive, colorful illustrations capture Janine’s irrepressible spirit, and while she never names her disability, she gently explains the ways Janine is a little different from her classmates. With a  heartening lesson about friendship, competition, and what constitutes winning, this encouraging picture book nicely demonstrates the value of confidence and generosity.

Young protagonist Janine excels in many ways—but not in sports. Janine wants to participate in sports even though she has to wear glasses, is uncoordinated, has an, um, interesting sense of sport attire, and has never once made it around the track in PE class. Do these things get her down? No way! Always positive and enthusiastic, Janine is determined to participate in the upcoming field-day race. Snarky classmate Abby not only criticizes Janine's choice of running clothes, but also brags that she will win the first-place ribbon. When Abby encounters a problem during the race, Janine thinks outside the box to help her and proves that kindness is more important than winning. Prolific author/illustrator Cocca-Leffler gives readers this follow-up to Janine (2015), basing the endearing character on her own daughter's experiences and can-do attitude while growing up with disabilities. Her colorful illustrations liven up this touching story of a child who does not fit in but is self-assured enough not to worry about it. Both Janine and Abby appeared to be white; their classmates are diverse in many ways, including a boy who zooms along in a wheelchair. Readers will agree that this optimistic little girl has a mighty big heart.

Publishing Soon...

JANINE is back! 
And she doesn't let her challenges stop her. 
Once again inspires others by embracing who she is.
Publishes Sept 2016
 ABOUT: 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 finish the race. Can Janine teach Abby and her classmates that being a winner is not always about being number one?

Wrapping up School Visits

 I visited many schools this Spring, featuring my book JANINE.  I was greeted by a Giant hand- painted JANINE made by a staff member at Main St. School Exeter, NH  and inspired JANINE DAY in Peterborough, NH where everyone celebrated their Spectacular Self!
To all my classroom friends, Happy Summer! Stay Spectacular and keep READING!
In the Fall you will get to discover a New JANINE book...
Janine and the Field Day Finish publishes in October.

A GIANT Janine, Exeter, NH 
New Book- Publishes in FALL 2016
Exeter, NH readers

A Peterborough, NH School has JANINE day.
Mr Tanen's Ties graced the walls (Exeter)

New 'Janine' book coming this Fall

A new Janine book is in the works,
Janine  Field Day Finish 
Sneak peak of Art.
It's field day and Janine is ready. 
Janine is good at lots of things, but not sports. 
Her body just doesn't work like other kids. 
Janine never won first place... ever, 
but she tries her best (and she is wearing her lucky sneakers!)
Will that be enough to win her a blue ribbon?
Find out how Janine uses her optimism and 
unique cheers to inspire her classmates.

JANINE Field Day Finish
Publishes in the Fall of 2016 by Albert Whitman & Co.

Stand UP.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month!
Be like JANINE! 

Love who you are. Stand up for yourself and Stand up for others.
Don't change.

Talk About A Throwback- by Janine

Me and my Mom, Maryann, Speaking at Lynnhurst School in Saugus, MA
Our mission for the JANINE book and this Janine’s Party website is to change the public’s perception of children with disabilities and inspire inclusion.  I have spent the past two months traveling to local schools with my mom to help spread our message. It has been a great experience especially, last week when I visited two places, which played an important part in my education. It's been a whirlwind.

On Wednesday, April 29 my mom and I traveled to Henniker, NH to speak at my (and my boyfriend Matt's) alma mater New England College. It was wonderful to see my old professors again. I love Henniker and miss it a lot. We spoke in front of a group of professors and students mostly, in the education department. I hope they gained some insight into what it’s like to be a student with disabilities.

On Thursday, April 30 we traveled to my former elementary school, The Lynnhurst School in Saugus, Massachusetts. After 17 years the school still looked the same and there were even several teachers still teaching there.
We spoke to all the students, for three sessions, grades Kindergarten to 5th. The kids were awesome and asked some great questions about how I have overcome challenges over the years. I gladly answered them. I am so humbled to be able to come back to the place I grew up and inspire future generations to put an end to bullying.

Here are some former teachers from Lynnhurst:
Me with Mrs.Bibeau (5th Grade Teacher)

Me and Mrs. Nadeau (2nd Grade Teacher)

 Mrs. Elwell (3rd Gr.) and Me, with a book I created in 3rd grade!
Thanks everyone - It was fun!

Thank you. JANINE has been LAUNCHED.

Thank you so much for joining us at our JANINE Publishing Launch Party!  
We enjoyed sharing our Book, our Story and our CAKE!  Please continuing sharing our message...Stand UP, Inspire, and Include...
and spread the word about JANINE.

All Photos by Brian Woodbury- Toadstool Bookshop. Thanks Brian.

It may be the end of the cake....but just the beginning for JANINE!
A big thanks to Toadstool Bookshops (Support your independent bookstore!)
and our Publisher, Albert Whitman & Co.
Love who you are! Warmly-
Maryann & Janine