My Books

Barbara Jean Hicks, Children’s Book Author


Coming soon…. ONCE UPON A PARSNIP IN FAIRYTALE LAND! I’ve written a script for a five-act play for a local elementary school production that I hope to make available to other schools. My picture book collaboration with Kevin R. Wood and Ben Mann, Once Upon a Parsnip, comprises one act of the play, but there is also a larger story arc that features the Queen of Fairytale Land (a.k.a. The Story Queen), her muse (Penelope Parsnip), and the story-making process. Those of you who follow me on Facebook will have already been introduced to my muse, The Divine Ms. P.

To make it even more fun, Once Upon a Parsnip in Fairytale Land is a musical! I guided students to write song lyrics in a series of writing workshops and their music teacher is guiding them to compose music for the words. Illustrator Ben Mann is leading art workshops to guide students in the production of set pieces and props. A theatre education professor at our local university and ten of her theatre/dance students are working with on lines, staging and choreography with students. Every one of the 500+ K-5 students at the school will be involved in some way. We are fortunate to have been granted monies from a local arts education organization (Allied Arts of Whatcom County) and a local market (Bellingham Whole Foods) to supplement funding from Cascadia Elementary School‘s PTO. It takes a village!

If you’re in Whatcom County, Washington State, mark your calendars for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, June 13th, 14th and 15th at 6:00 p.m. In the weeks following the production, Bellingham Whole Foods will also be hanging student art and poetry in their store; the Gallery Opening is scheduled for Saturday afternoon June 17th from 2:00-4:00 p.m. We would love to have you join us for both the musical and the art opening. Please send me an email for any additional details!

Mascot Books 2016

“A perfect read-aloud, fun for listeners and readers alike!” ―NW Authors 4 Authors

Join Little Red and Old Bully Wolf on a madcap shopping spree through the marvelous Fairytale Market! Little Red is simply looking for parsnips for Granny Hood’s lunch, but Mr. Wolf is determined to snare the stew-worthy trio of famous pigs who run the storeand getting back at Little Red wouldn’t be bad, either.

This fairytale mash-up is rhyming fun with no agendabut don’t be surprised if kids take a sudden interest in trying new foods, like Little Red’s mouth-watering Apple-Parsnip Soup. The child-tested recipe is included!

Purchase a signed copy from the Story Queen

Disney Press 2014

“The Zen of Olaf. Simple but profoundly subversive text.” ―Goodreads

A snowman who loves summer? Crazy!

But Olaf, the happy-go-lucky comic relief in Disney’s animated feature film FROZEN, is not your everyday snowman. He walks, he talks, he even sings. And those aren’t the only things that make him special.

This sweet, funny tale, charmingly illustrated by Disney artist Olga Mosqueda, is for everyone who believes in Zen and the power of positive thinking.

Purchase a signed copy from the Story Queen

Disney Press 2013

“Excellent supplementary reading material for an excellent film.” ―Rachel Khan

Princess sisters Anna and Elsa of Arendelle couldn’t be more different. The only thing they agree on is that each would be a lot happier if her sister were more like her.

Or would she?

This spirited look at sibling relationships, told in alternating voices, features stunning illustrations by Brittney Lee, a visual development artist and animator for Disney’s Oscar-winning film FROZEN.

Purchase a signed copy from the Story Queen

Random House/Knopf 2009

“More fun than a book with a message should ever hope to be.” ―Fuse 8 Productions

Monsters don’t eat broccoli…or do they? And if they don’t, what DO they eat? (Hint: certain vehicles and parts of vehicles appear to be favorites.)

In this ode to imagination and vegetables, a group of grinning, brightly colored Godzillas gleefully rampage across the pages to prove just how far their distaste for broccoli stretches. These goofy, toothy monsters, brought to life by British illustrator Sue Hendra, will delight even the pickiest of young eaters and the most timid of young readers.

Purchase a signed copy from the Story Queen

Random House/Knopf 2007

“A charmer!” ―Kirkus Reviews

Walter is no ordinary housecat. In fact, even if his Person doesn’t know it, his real name is Fang—and he’s a swashbuckling superhero tiger of a cat, so watch out, Wanda!

Readers young and old will recognize in Walter Kitty both their cats and themselves. This zany tale, illustrated by the equally zany Caldecott-winning Dan Santat, is one of those rare books that keeps little ones giggling while delivering a powerful message: With a little imagination, we can all transcend the limits of ordinary life.

Out of Print: Search Used on

Web Jitterbug CoverJITTERBUG JAM
Farrar Straus Giroux 2005, Random House/Hutchinson 2004

“A book to fall into over and over again.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

What’s a little monster to do with a boy hiding under the bed? Acting on the advice of his grandpa Boo-Dad, Bobo confronts the intruder—and gets unexpected results.

Set in an other-world full of enchantment and surprise, this award-winning role reversal tale encourages readers to look beyond stereotypes to the hearts of those different from themselves.

Guaranteed to keep even the littlest monster entertained.

Out of Print: Search Used on

tiger tales 2005, Random House/Hutchinson 2004

“Captivating, visually stunning and evocative.” ―Education Today

A lyrical poem that celebrates all things black and white, from puppies and penguins to dancing feet and helping hands, this little book is a feast both for ears and eyes. The rhyming text and playful images set against vividly colored backgrounds, with underlying themes of tolerance and friendship, are sure to delight young and old.

Out of Print: Search Used on

tiger tales 2005, Random House/Hutchinson 2004

“Bright, bold, simple and very stylish.” ―Carousel magazine

A celebration of all things bold and bright, this companion book to I LIKE BLACK & WHITE vividly portrays whimsical frogs, bugs, birds and other natural wonders against inky black backgrounds. In addition to being a rhapsody to bold, bright color, I LIKE COLORS introduces little ones to common pairs of opposites, too.

Out of Print: Search Used on