The very first picture book I ever wrote was called Wilma and the Big Scream. It featured dramatic lines like: The scream was so loud people on the other side of the world woke up! The scream was so loud spiders fell out of their webs! The scream was so loud birds fell out of the trees!

Wilma and the Big Scream was a favorite story at my house. Whenever a particular daughter (who would not be named except for the book’s dedication: To Sydney, the original BIG screamer.) screamed, I told her stories of Wilma who figured out how to stop screaming. I hoped my stories would change Sydney’s narrative, helping her learn coping mechanisms and other ways of expressing herself. It mostly worked. Now she’s 16 years old (hey, it only took 10 years for this book to make it’s way into the world!) and hardly ever screams at all.

About 10 years ago, I brought WILMA to the Writer’s Rumpus critique group. I got an offer for Wilma and the Big Scream with a small press shortly thereafter. Ultimately, I decided not to go with them, and I’m so grateful! After dozens of revisions, and cutting my darlings from 500 words to 72, THE BIG SCREAM is a board book published by Little Simon!

Here’s my favorite spread–spoiler alert–it involves a tantrum.

Publishing is a waiting game. And it’s worth the wait. Here’s the song Sydney wrote for THE BIG SCREAM. I think it’s a scream!!!!

And, here’s our starred review from School Library Journal!


The Big Scream

by Kirsti Call (text) & illus. by Denis Angelov

Little Simon. Jun. 2022. 26p. Board $7.99. ISBN 9781665907392.


 Toddler-PreS–Big emotions can be hard for little ones to understand. This developmentally appropriate board book meets toddlers where they keep their feelings and does a spectacular job of tackling the topic with sparse text and vivid illustrations. A young boy is having a hard morning after realizing there are no more cookies left in the cookie jar. “Uh-oh! Big cry/ Can’t stop Toys fly/ Can’t breathe Fists Pound/ Big wail Kick ground.” After a time-out with deep breathing and counting to ten, a hug and big love make it all better.

VERDICT A first purchase.

Reviewed by Brooke Newberry , Jun 17, 2022

Hopefully toddlers everywhere will find this book practical AND a scream of a read! Hopefully they will connect with their own feelings and the people around them. And perhaps the adults will too.


is flying onto shelves on November 23rd!  

The Mitten meets How to Catch a Turkey in this absurd-yet-heartwarming read-aloud that's perfect for Thanksgiving—or anytime you're feeling ch-ch-chilly!

Turkey woke up c-c-cold.
He wheezed, "It's ten degrees!"
I need to b-b-bundle up,
before I f-f-freeze!"

Sheep is shivering, Chicken is chilly, and Cow is quivering! Lucky for them, bundled-up Turkey is generous and shares his warm clothes with each of his barnyard friends. But once he's down to just his birthday suit, what's a cold turkey to do? (Not to worry—his friends will have him toasty again in no time!)

With rollicking rhythm and giggle-inducing illustrations, this heartwarming story of kindness is sure to be a hit with young readers at Thanksgiving, through snowy winter months, and all year-round!

Corey, Chad and I are doing a virtual book launch at 6pm EST. To register, go here.

And here's the song SYD wrote for this book!!!1


★ "Children will be delighted with the combination of onomatopoeia and puns in this amusing read-aloud that will introduce a new generation to witty wordplay."—School Library Journal, STARRED review

"Children will giggle over the absurdly wrong sounds the animals make at each page turn."—Kirkus Reviews

I'm so excited that my second cow book has mooooooved onto shelves!  It's filled with cow-racters I love and hope you do to! 

HMH's blurb: A humorous picture book filled with wordplay and mixed-up onomatopoeia, Cow Says Meow features bold graphic art, silly animals, and unique cover cut-outs at the front and back.

Cow says . . . Meow!

Cat says . . . Neigh!

. . . or does it?

With bold graphic art and a punny narrator, this zany picture book is full of outrageously mixed-up animal sounds. Puns and wordplay will leave readers giggling through the roller-coaster of sounds all the way to the final pages featuring the correct animal noises. Cow Says Meow is a perfect read aloud for home, the classroom, or anywhere else, and will delight fans of Cece Bell’s I Yam a Donkey and David Ezra Stein's Interrupting Chicken.

I hope you check it out at the library or at any bookstore near you.  And take a listen to this PUR-fect song my daughter Syd wrote for my virtual book launch.  She's the cat's meow!