4.21.2016: Some Poems for Your Pockets

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!

I hope you’ve been having a mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful National Poetry Month

In honor of Poem in Your Pocket Day (and springtime!), here are two poems I published in my hometown newspaper, the Island Ad-Vantages, in May 1986 (age 7), plus some never-before-seen original artwork. 

And here's a link to another spring poem, "April Prayer," by a much better Maine poet, Stuart Kestenbaum.

9.22.2015: Festival Fun

I 💙 Book Lovers

One of my favorite parts of being an author is getting to meet and talk with kid readers, fellow authors, and other book lovers. I've been lucky to do several fun festivals and events in the past few months. Here's a photo tour of where I've been. 

If you would like me to visit your elementary school or library this fall or winter, either in-person or via Skype, please be in touch! I love talking with kids about books and the writing process, from ideas to drafts to revisions, and beyond. 

Reading and workshop at the Newburyport Literary Festival in Newburyport, MA (April)

Book release party at Hooray for Books! in Alexandria, VA (May)

Reading at the Stonington Public Library in Stonington, ME (August)

Children's Parade at the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA (September)

Moderating the What a Character! panel with authors Lenore Look (Alvin Ho), Abby Hanlon (Dory Fantasmagory), and Jon Scieszka (Frank Einstein) at the Brooklyn Book Festival in Brooklyn, NY (September)

Joint book release party with author Terra Elan McVoy (Drive Me Crazy) at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA (May)

Book release party at BookCourt in Brooklyn, NY (May)

Welcome signs at the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA (September)

Best Friends Forever! panel with authors Terra Elan McVoy (Drive Me Crazy) and Abby Hanlon (Dory Fantasmagory), moderated by Tui Sutherland (Wings of Fire), at the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA (September)

Autographed copies of the Anna, Banana books on display in bookstores throughout New York City and in Princeton, NJ, Decatur, GA, and Waterbury, CT (May-September)

Thanks to all the terrific bookstores, libraries, festivals, and schools that have welcomed Anna, Banana, and me so farand a huge thank you to the friends and fans who've come out to see us. I look forward to meeting more of you soon!

8.7.2015: Readings and Festivals and Giveaways, Oh My!

Attention, friends in Downeast Maine, greater Atlanta, and New York City (and also, friends on the internet): 

Anna, Banana, and I are gearing up for some fun events in the next two months, and we'd love to see you there! We're also booking a few free Skype visits with classrooms and libraries for the fall. For more information on both those things, please see below.

But first: Anna, Banana, and the Big-Mouth Bet comes out on September 8th, and I'm giving away five beautiful hardcovers. Please click here to enter the Goodreads giveaway. The book is also available for pre-order: You can find it on IndieboundB&NBAMiTunes, Target, or Amazon, or ask for it at your local bookstore or library. Thanks for your support.

Doubly exciting: Books one and two recently went into their second printings! Thank you to all the friends and readers who helped make that happen.


Upcoming events:

August 15th: Stonington Public Library

Join me at the Stonington Public Library in Stonington, Maine (my hometown!) on Saturday, August 15th at 1pm, for an hour of reading, storytelling, activities, and fun. Perfect for kid lit fans of all ages, especially children ages 5-10. The event is free; books will be available for sale (and for signing).

September 5th: AJC Decatur Book Festival

Join authors Terra Elan McVoy (Drive Me Crazy), Abby Hanlon (Dory Fantastmagory), and me for the Best Friends Forever panel at the AJC Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia on Saturday, September 5th. We'll be speaking on the Children's Stage from 3:15 to 3:45pm and signing books afterward.

September 19th: Brooklyn Book Festival Children's Day

I'm honored to be moderating a panel of three fabulous authors at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Saturday, September 19th, at 11am, at MetroTech Commons in downtown Brooklyn. Here's the official panel description:

WHAT A CHARACTER!: Lovable, laughable, and unforgettable, favorite chapter book characters always have the most engaging personalities--and the most memorable names. Authors Abby Hanlon (Dory Fantasmagory), Lenore Look (Alvin Ho and Ruby Lu), and Jon Scieszka (Frank Einstein) come together to discuss their inspiration behind creating--and naming--their beloved characters. Moderated by Anica Rissi (Anna, Banana).

If you've got a question for the authors on the panel, let me know and I might ask it!

Skype visits:

I'm offering a select number of free Skype visits with elementary school classrooms and libraries this fall. If you're interested in having me Skype with your school, please send me an email at anicamroserissi at gmail dot com. These 30-minute interactive Skype presentations are best for students in 2nd or 3rd grade.

(I do in-person school visits too! Those can be slightly trickier to schedule, but if you'd like me to come to your school this year, I'd be delighted to try to make it work.)


12.7.2014: Do Not Eat It

Book of Poisonous Things

When I was in Maine for Thanksgiving, my mom pulled out some books I wrote when I was a kid. Book of Poisonous Things (dictated to my mother in 1983, the month I turned four) contains some good advice.

"This is playdoh: Do not eat it."


"These are leaves from rhubarb. Don't eat them!"


"This is dirt. Do not eat dirt; it is not good for you."


I'm currently hard at work on a 35th Anniversary Updated Edition, containing many more things you should not eat.

Being back in Maine for a few days was wonderful. Here are our Thanksgiving pies cooling in the kitchen window as the snowstorm begins. Neither the pies nor the snowflakes were poisonous.