In Conversation with Mark Tatulli & Beverly Stiffler Smith

In Conversation with Mark Tatulli & Beverly Stiffler Smith post thumbnail image

Super Excited to  Introduce“Santa’s Izzy Elves (4 Book Series)” by Dorothea Jensen. A fun picture book series that is guaranteed to add some magic to your Christmas celebrations!! Visit to grab your copy today!

Santa’s Izzy Elves (4 Book Series) by Dorothea Jensen

Reading with Your Kids Podcast Ft. Mark Tatulli & Beverly Stiffler Smith

Sloppy Kisses by Beverly Stiffler Smith / Short & Skinny by Mark Tatulli

Hello everyone,

It is with great honor that we introduce you to Mark Tatulli, an internationally syndicated cartoonist and middle-grade author, best known for his popular comic strips Heart of the City and Lio! Mark is joining us to talk about his full-color middle-grade graphic novel titled Short & Skinny that centers on Mark’s own experience in the summer after seventh grade.

In addition to his cartooning experience, Tatulli is also an accomplished filmmaker and animator and is the recipient of three Emmy awards for his prior work in television.

Our second guest Beverly Stiffler Smith spent thirty-nine years as an educator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. Listen in as Beverly talks about learning early in her career that young children are drawn to the rhythms and patterns of language often found in picture books, which has led her to fulfill her dream of becoming a children’s author! Beverly’s puppy, Jellybean, has been the inspiration to make this dream a reality.

Tune in to learn more about Mark Tatulli,  Beverly Stiffler Smith and their books!


About Mark Tatulli

Mark TatulliMark Tatulli is an internationally syndicated cartoonist, best known for his popular comic strips HEART OF THE CITY and LIO, which appear in more than 400 newspapers all over the world.

LIO has been nominated for Germany’s 2010 MAX AND MORITZ award and multiple times for the National Cartoonists Society’s Best Comic Strip, winning in 2009. Mark has also been nominated numerous times for cartoonist of the year by the NCS. A LIO animated television series is currently in the works.

Mark has now expanded his cartooning and writing into middle-grade kids’ books, making the illustrated novel series DESMOND PUCKET for Andrews McMeel Publishing. He also wrote and illustrated two picture books, DAYDREAMING and THEY CAME, for Roaring Brook Press, a Macmillan company. He is currently working on two graphic novels for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. The first gn, SHORT AND SKINNY, a memoir of Mark’s life in the summer of 1977, lands in bookstores in September 2018.

Amazon –

Website –



About Short & Skinny

Short & Skinny by [Tatulli, Mark]As a middle schooler, Mark finds himself on the smaller side of the physical spectrum–being short AND skinny has really wreaked havoc on his confidence. So to end his bullying woes and get the girl–or at least the confidence to talk to the girl–he starts to explore bulking up by way of the miracle cures in the backs of his comics. But his obsession with beefing up is soon derailed by a new obsession: Star Wars, the hottest thing to hit the summer of 1977. As he explores his creative outlets as well as his cures to body image woes, Mark sets out to make his own stamp on the film that he loves.
Mark Tatulli’s graphic novel debut is a humorous and heartfelt take on body-image, finding a creative outlet, and spending a summer in the ’70s.


Order Short & Skinny here:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Powell’s | BAM


About Beverly Stiffler Smith

 beverly stiffler smith york book expoAs an inner-city kindergarten teacher in York, Pennsylvania, Beverly developed a classroom environment that was rich in opportunities to develop and expand the language skills of her young students. However, it was not until the district adopted the Core Knowledge curriculum that Beverly fully understood the power of utilizing literature to teach all concepts across the curriculum. It was at that time the dream of becoming a children’s author began to take shape. Many years later, now retired, Beverly has realized her dream with her first picture book, Naughty Little Puppy. Widowed for 10 years, the addition of her spirited little puppy in 2014 brought much healing and joy to her life.
Jellybean’s playful nature and loving spirit is the perfect inspiration for the repetitive and predictable patterns of her first children’s picture book. The Perfect Hiding Place and Sloppy Kisses now complete the set of books about the antics of Jellybean.

Naughty Little Puppy

Naughty Little Puppy by [Stiffler Smith, Beverly]Follow the antics of my naughty little puppy as she romps through the house leaving a trail of mischief behind her.


Here is Beverly’s amazon link –

In this episode, we discuss

  • Introduction to Short & Skinny
  • Where the idea came from? Why did Mark choose to write his book in the Graphic Novel format?
  • If Mark always wanted to be a writer and what inspires his writing?
  • What are you currently working on and where can people find you online?
  • Introduction to Beverly Stiffler Smith and her picture book series Naughty Little Puppy
  • From Beverly’s perspective as a kindergarten teacher, what kind of benefits does she sees kids get by reading with their parents?
  • What’s next for Beverly and much more.


Thank you,  Mark & Beverly, for joining us and for sharing your wonderful books with us!


If you love this episode then please share and please subscribe to us on iTunes. And please spread the word: tell your friends, and leave a rating on iTunes so that others can find it.

We’d love to hear from you!  Contact us and together we can discuss what ideas you think should be included in a future episode, and we can explore potentially setting up an interview. Our goal is to have all voices at the table!

Thanks for tuning in and have a wonderful day😆

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Super Excited to  Introduce“Santa’s Izzy Elves (4 Book Series)” by Dorothea Jensen. A fun picture book series that is guaranteed to add some magic to your Christmas celebrations!! Visit to grab your copy today!

Santa’s Izzy Elves (4 Book Series) by Dorothea Jensen

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