Indie Next Selection


It'll stick in your brain long after you've read it, this one, and you'll be glad that it's in there. -Fuse #8 blog

Hear a sample here.


Button Down

Short chapters, simple yet meticulous language, a wholesome feel and the universal story of a boy with a dream combine to give this one widespread appeal. -Kirkus

Details and a sample chapter here


The Curse of the Buttons

Ike Button, 11 and an endearing combination of credulous and cranky, is a high-energy wannabe hero who is constantly getting knocked down. And that's what makes him such fun. ... The characters charm, and the material is enhanced by the author's well-realized rendition of time and place. -Kirkus

Details here.


Winner of the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award

A boy, his dog, a raft, a river, the falls...


Booklist Top Ten Youth First Novel

Can writing a letter mend a heart, unite a family, help a girl grow up?

Teachers and Book Groups


If I had to answer in one word the question

Where do ideas come from?

I'd say 


It's all about the wondering

read more


Ylvisaker = ILL vi soccer

News and Guest Blogs


Poems and Sketches

Friday May 3 / 5-9 pm 

CSUMB Salinas Center for Art and Culture 

1 Main Street, Salinas, California

exhibit runs through August


Ike's hometown newspaper in 1861 was the Keokuk Daily Gate City, so it's fun to have that same paper featuring an article about The Curse of the Buttons.


For their quirky celebrations feature, celebrates National Button Day with an interview about The Curse of the Buttons.


How setting inspires story, a Curse of the Buttons guest post on the blog of marvelous Elizabeth Dulemba. 


Thanks to the Monterey County Weekly for this feature article, including an excerpt from Button Down. 


I'm honored to be November's Star Author for Christchurch New Zealand Library's Kids Blog. Find writing tricks and treats, ideas for using pictures as story starters, and small collections any writer can start. Tiny Collections and Growing a Story: The art of doing nothing are also posted here on my website. 


Just Launched is the Children's Literature Network's spot to read the behind the scenes scoop on newly released books. Here's my contribution about Button Down


Marvelous Middle Grade Monday's Barbara Watson and I chat about the writing process in a post she calls Buttoning Down


In the Children's Literature Network's Bookscope, I look back at how Little Klein came about. I've made some lucky mistakes in my day, and this is the story of one of them. 


Novel and Nouveau is Barbara Watson's excellent blog about writing and reading middle grade lit. She generously reviewed The Luck of the Buttons recently, and asked me to write a guest post about process as well. 


Bruce Black, author of Writing Yoga, interviewed me about process on his wonderful blog wordswimmer. Thanks, Bruce!


To celebrate The Luck of the Buttons release, there was a pie party on Amy Alessio's excellent Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts blog! Read and bake here: Memory PieIt's All About the CrustPie Worthy, and Launch Day Pie. Then try Amy's excellent pie craft


Children's Literature Network interviewer Tom Owens asks me, What's right with children's literature today? Libraries, that's what!

Find books at:



  • Button Down
    Button Down
    by Anne Ylvisaker
  • The Luck of the Buttons
    The Luck of the Buttons
    by Anne Ylvisaker
  • Little Klein
    Little Klein
    by Anne Ylvisaker
  • Dear Papa
    Dear Papa
    by Anne Ylvisaker
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Entries in knitting (1)


Why Iowa...inspiration

Five years ago, as I was considering a move to Iowa, I searched the internet for author/illustrator Michelle Edwards. We had met once, just before she left St. Paul for Iowa City. What is it like? I wrote. Her immediate response: I love Iowa. She later welcomed me when I moved to Iowa and we became great friends.

Michelle is the author and illustrator of  A Knitter’s Home Companion, an enticing collection of essays, knitting patterns and recipes, as well as numerous books for children, and is a regular columnist in the Lion Brand Yarn Co. newsletter.

Here are Michelle's Why Iowa thoughts:

from A Knitter's Home Companion by Michelle EdwardsIt took me a long time to fall in love with Iowa. At first, the rolling vistas of vast greenness, the calmness of Iowans, and the quiet of day to day living, spooked me. Now, it inspires me.

Many other places hold a piece of my heart, too. The Hudson River Valley where I grew up. Vermont where I spent my summers at Camp Hochelaga. And Israel where I studied and worked and do so deeply hope to return someday.  After years of being unsettled, Iowa is where I have landed. It is where I have hung up my curtains, grown deep roots, and found a good life.

Win a copy of A Knitter’s Home Companion! Enjoy Michelle’s charming illustrations, delicious recipes (Mitten Lady Soup is a favorite at our house), patterns, and insightful essays.

Enter by submitting an email with your name and the name of a place that inspires you.

One entry only, please! Submit by by 5 pm. PST Tuesday, May 3, 2011. The lucky winner will be announced the next day.

See more Why Iowa thoughts here.