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A lot about Erica... (longer bio!)

Erica has presented her work to the educators at conferences including the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the National Head Start Association and Shenandoah University's Children's Literature Conference. She has also led workshops for literacy organizations including The Reading Connection, Turning the Page and ReadBoston. A crowd-pleasing presenter to children of all ages, she has also done author visits at schools and libraries across the United States and in Europe. In addition to writing books, Erica works at First Book, the groundbreaking non-profit organization that has provided over 100 million brand new books to children in need. Erica is a champion for First Book Authors & Illustrators in Action! and encourages her fellow authors and illustrators to join her!


IRA/NCTE ReadWriteThink Chatting About Books Podcast

WETA Launching Young Writers video

Dotty Goes to Florida with First Book and AFT

More video: Meet-the-Author Interview

I'm a First Book Author in Action!

First Book provides access to new books for children in need.

To date, First Book has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education by making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis.

If you are an author or illustrator and you want to help First Book connect kids in need with books and resources, please join First Book Authors & Illustrators in Action

Learn more at


Get your talking Chicken Butt! doll here

for Kids and Grown-ups and Classrooms and Libraries and Storytimes

and all-around FUN



When you sit groups of kindergarten and first grade students on the floor, wear a hat resembling a chicken's backside and say the words "chicken butt," you've got 'em hooked from the start.  Erica Perl was a huge hit here at Laytonsville Elementary School in suburban Maryland.  And, underneath the silliness (and there was that to be sure), Ms. Perl's presentation had a lot to offer both students and teachers.  She had the kids totally engaged in a call-and-response reading of Chicken Butt and got them generating ideas for their own rhyming books.  In fact, one kindergarten teacher started her students creating rhyming books to wrap up their study of dinosaurs literally minutes after Ms. Perl left at the end of the day!

And, the books turned out great!  Ms. Perl's quieter, more contemplative book Dotty had the kids thinking and asking questions about the need for imaginary friends and the importance of real ones.  We all learned something about the writing craft and the work behind the books.  All in all, a great time was had by all!  Thanks, Erica Perl for visiting Laytonsville.


Rich Parker

Media Specialist

Laytonsville Elementary School, Gaithersburg, MD


Chicken Butt videos!

Vintage Veronica book trailer

Ninety-Three in My Family Activity Guide

for Classrooms and Storytimes

Download  (PDF 838kb)


On The Radio


Children's Fiction Tackles Economic Uncertainty

The Book Show

Books to read to children during financial ruin


What Happened To Kids Books?




Erica's Slate slideshows

Mom,What's a Credit Default Swap?

Books to read your children during a financial crisis.

See Iron Man Run
Hollywood wants to teach your kid to read

I'm Talking to You, Corded!
The mismatch of technology and picture books

Where the Wild Things Came From
How children's books evolved from morals to madcap fun posts

FRONTLINE "Storm Over Everest"

The Complete Jane Austen "Emma"


Huffington Post posts

Junie B., Meet 34B

You Might Even Say I Started It All!


Wow, you scrolled all the way down here?  Here's your reward: Video of the day Erica met First Book!