TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour

The TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour is your opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more!

Welcome Joyce Sidman

Joyce Sidman on Dear Treefrog

In this post, we feature acclaimed poet Joyce Sidman, whose previous titles include the Newbery Honor Book Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night. You can hear her speak about her new picture book, Dear Treefrog, illustrated by Diana Sudyka, and try her fun “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!


Joyce Sidman and the cover of Dear Treefrog

Dear Treefrog

  • Written by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Diana Sudyka
  • Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
  • Release date: May 25, 2021

When a shy girl moves to a strange new home, she discovers a treefrog perched in a secret spot nearby and learns that sometimes, all it takes to connect with the people and the world around us is a little patience, a curious mind, and a willingness to see the world through a different perspective than your own. With beautiful gouache illustrations by Diana Sudyka and magical, perceptive poems from Newbery Honor–winning author Joyce Sidman, the lives of one tree frog and the girl who discovers it converge, bringing solace, courage, and joy in finding a kindred spirit.

An interior image from Dear Treefrog, by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Diana Sudyka, showing a girl and a treefrog eyeing each other in a lush garden.
An interior image from Dear Treefrog, by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Diana Sudyka, showing a girl with a telescope and a treefrog in patterned sillhouette next to the words, "You are the tiny master of this sea-green ship / and I will be / your first mate."

Explore Dear Treefrog

Listen to Joyce Sidman talking with TeachingBooks about creating Dear Treefrog. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.


Invitation to Imagine

TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by Joyce Sidman.

Imagination Activity with Joyce Sidman

Try writing a letter poem! Choose an object either inside or outside your home that you find interesting. Look at it very closely. Notice what makes it special, what it reminds you of, how it looks, sounds, feels, behaves. Then write directly to that object, including:

  • Two compliments (how is it amazing?)
  • Two questions (what do you wonder about its life?)
  • Two wishes (what do you wish you could do with it?)

Finish This Sentence . . . with Joyce Sidman

As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Joyce Sidman’s response.

A surprising thing that helps me work is . . .”

A surprising thing that helps me work is the sound of my dog snoring.

Joyce Sidman's dog, sleeping.

Thank you!

To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank Joyce Sidman for signing a book for all of us.

The title page of Dear Treefrog, signed by the author, Joyce Sidman, with the message, "May you find friends in unexpected places!"

More Connections to Joyce Sidman and Dear Treefrog


Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!

All text and images are courtesy of Joyce Sidman, Diana Sudyka, and HMH Books for Young Readers and may not be used without expressed written consent.

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