Banana Pie!

The book B IS FOR BANANAS, with a pie decorated like the cover, yellow roses, and a cup of coffee.

Check out this adorable banana-themed pie from Stephanie Hockersmith of Pie Lady Books! If you haven’t checked out all of her pies yet, they are a must-see. What’s better than a combo of books, art, and dessert?! I’m feeling inspired to try making a banana cream pie or some banana bread or something now! See Stephanie’s full post about B IS FOR BANANAS on Instagram. Thank you, Stephanie!

It’s a Book Birthday!

🍌B IS FOR BANANAS is out today!

I feel so lucky to have gotten to make this book with our amazing Team Banana. Thanks to Estrela Lourenço for her amazing illustrations and friendship! Thanks to Cheryl Eissing for her wonderful editorial eye, and for reigning me in when I try to put leeches into too many books. Thanks to the whole Flamingo Books team and Penguin Young Readers for ushering this book into being. Thanks to my agent Tracy Marchini for her help along the way. And huge thanks to my critique partners, without whom this book would still be a pile of first draft garbage. Books truly are a team effort, and this book wouldn’t be here without these people and many more.

This book takes a lot of inspiration from real life in raising my son. I am a proponent of playful parenting thanks to influences like Aha Parenting, and Lawrence J. Cohen ( This book incorporates some of the silliness my son and I have gone through with our own bedtime routine. I hope this book is both fun and silly for kids to read with their grown-ups, and also an inspiration for parents to play with their kids!

Author Carrie Tillotson holding her book B IS FOR BANANAS.

Oregon Book Awards Ceremony

Last night I attended the Oregon Book Awards Ceremony, as a finalist for the Eloise Jarvis McGraw Award for Children’s Literature. What a night! So much fun to celebrate friends old and new. Huge congratulations to my critique partner Dane Liu for her win for FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS FOREVER! It was an honor to be a finalist alongside her book and other finalists Zoey Abbott, Cathy Camper, and Trudy Ludwig. Thanks to Literary Arts for putting on this amazing event!Oregon Book Award finalists in Children's literature, Zoey Abbott, Carrie Tillotson, Cathy Camper, and Dane Liu.

2023 Oregon Book Awards Finalist

Compilation of cover images of the five finalists for the 2023 Oregon Book Awards in Children's Literature.

Yippee! Counting to Bananas is a finalist for the 2023 Oregon Book Awards for the Eloise Jarvis McGraw Award for Children’s Literature, along with some other incredible books!

Congratulations to all the finalists!:

  • Zoey Abbott of Portland, Pig and Horse and the Something Scary (Abrams/Abrams Books for Young Readers)
  • Cathy Camper of Portland, Arab Arab All Year Long! (Candlewick Press)
  • Dane Liu of Portland, Friends Are Friends, Forever (Henry Holt and Co.)
  • Trudy Ludwig of Portland, Brave Every Day (Alfred A. Knopf/Knopf Books for Young Readers)
  • Carrie Tillotson of Tigard, Counting to Bananas: A Mostly Rhyming Fruit Book (Flamingo Books/Penguin Young Readers)

Will I see you at the awards ceremony on April 3rd?


Kirkus calls B Is for Bananas “an a-peeling alphabet adventure”

Cover image of picture book "B Is for Bananas" with text from Kirkus Reviews.

🍌The first review is in for B IS FOR BANANAS, and Kirkus Reviews calls it “an a-peeling alphabet adventure”! So happy for our team with illustrator Estrela Lourenço, editor Cheryl Eissing, and all the other amazing folks at Flamingo Books. 😍 And thank you Kirkus Reviews!

🌛Read the full review here.
🌟Preorder your copy.
🍌Release Date: April 11, 2023 from Flamingo Books/Penguin Young Readers

2022 Undies Case Cover Award Winner

Congratulations to all the winners of School Library Journal’s 2022 Undies Case Covers Awards! And hugest congrats to Estrela Lourenço, the mastermind behind the case cover for our book, COUNTING TO BANANAS, winner of the category for best “Something to Read.”

I have loved the case cover she made all along, but recently found out from Estrela that the premise is that not only does Banana want to be the star of our book, but rather Banana wants to take over all media, from books to newspapers and magazines to flyers. So brilliant!

Check out more about the awards and winners here.
Book jacket and case cover of the book "Counting to Bananas."
Special thanks to Travis Jonker, Carter Higgins, and Mel Schuit for putting on this fun and fabulous award!

Portland Book Festival Appearances

Do you know about Portland Book Festival? This daylong event features 100+ presenters in all-ages events, pop-up readings, an extensive book fair, food carts, and more at Portland Art Museum and neighboring venues, including me! It’s coming up on November 5th, 2022.

Announcement for Story Time with author Carrie Tillotson and her book Counting to Bananas at the Portland Book Festival, November 5th, 2022 at 11:50am.Announcement for Making Picture Books panel at the Portland Book Festival, November 5, 2022 at 3:45pm.

Come see me at:

Story Time with host Emily Arrow for a reading of Counting to Bananas
Fields Ballroom, Portland Art Museum

Book Signing
Fields Ballroom, Portland Art Museum

Crafting with Counting to Bananas Activities
Fields Ballroom, Portland Art Museum

Making Picture Books Panel with Nora Ericson, Sabrina Moyle, and moderator Cathy Camper.
Portland Parks Foundation Tent

Book Signing
Mark Building, Portland Art Museum

Passes are on sale at Literary Arts now. I hope to see you there!