Picture Book Party Spring 2020
PB Party Entry 4: Moon Bug, The Spotted Zebra, Author Illustrator
Author Illustrator, Character Driven
Word Count:

Dear Michelle and Mindy,

MOON BUG THE SPOTTED ZEBRA, 335 words, is about the love between a mother and her spotted zebra, but this rare foal lacks camouflage and the herd is frightened Moon Bug will attract the lions. After running away, Moon Bug discovers his differences could be the key to saving the herd. ‬The story exposes challenges for being unique as in NOT QUITE NARWHAL (2017), by Jessie Sima, while delivering the affection of Audrey Penn’s THE KISSING HAND (1993).

The Moon Bug story was inspired by Tira, the real spotted zebra discovered by Antony Tira, a photographer and guide in South Africa. That story is included in the back matter, along with ‘enlightenment’ to protect declining populations of moon bugs (also known as lightning bugs).

My writing path includes a win in the Fall Writing Frenzy contest, and illustration for #PBParty 2019. I’m an active member of Northern Ohio SCBWI, Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge, a participant at the 2019 (and upcoming 2020) Andrea Brown’s Big Sur at Cape Cod workshop, and Picture Book Summit. When I’m not writing or painting, I enjoy critiquing and beta reading for both published and unpublished authors. I have been an artist my entire life, beginning with Smashed Peas On Highchair #3, but as a newly retired art teacher, I’m currently developing my skills for illustration.

I will gladly send other picture book manuscripts if interested.


On a warm summer night, while moon bugs danced,
a black spotted zebra was born…
a rare and beautiful gift.
“I will name you Moon Bug,” his mother whispered.

In the morning light, Mother led Moon Bug to the watering hole.
Wildebeest scuttled.
Antelope sprinted.
Ostrich buried his head.
But the zebra herd stopped and gawked.


  • I’m intrigued.

    Please send to, subject PBParty Request, with the query in the body of the email and the full manuscript attached as a word document.

    Thanks so much! I’m looking forward to reading this!

  • Secret Agent 1616 swooped in and would love to see your manuscript. Please send the text to me along with one sample illustration ( and I’ll forward it to her. She’s amazing, editorial and I’m happy dancing that you might have the chance to work with her. Congratulations!!!!

  • I’d love to read the rest of this manuscript. Please read submission policy at and submit at the address provided at the bottom of the submissions page. Please put PBParty Request and the title of your story in the subject line. If you have an online portfolio, I would appreciate the link to that with your submission. Thank you.

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This contest entry was posted on Wednesday, 18 March 2020.