I’m a retired professor of literacy development—reading, writing, drama, and other language arts. I’m also an author of picture books and a collection of twenty folk and fairy tales. I love books of all kinds, whether paper or electronic. I can’t get enough. And I love writing and helping writers.


This is my letter to you, boys and girls.  Or should I call you ladies and gentlemen?  Or would you like to be called readers and writers because I hope you are both?  Each and every one of you.

Over the years, I’ve spent a whole lot of time with readers— and writers and speakers and listeners —all around the world! Always, always, always, they tell me they like to read— and write —for entertainment, adventure, a good laugh, suspense, mystery, survival, the thrill of sports, and questions and answers about life and living …. I could go on and on!

Look, I’m a super cool professor of the language arts— reading, writing, speaking, listening —-wherever and whenever language is used and shared. Well, I’m retired now. A retired super cool professor. But just because I no longer go off to Kent State University every day as I did for 30 years [Wow—30 years!], it doesn’t mean I’ve lost my mind … HA! … or my excitement about meeting up with readers like you to explore the world of books —-whether as readers or writers. Get it, dear readers and writers?

That’s it. That’s what I believe. I’ve co-authored stories illustrated by really great artists and a cool collection of 20 stories known as folktales and fairy tales.

In case you haven’t noticed: I love books of all kinds, whether paper or electronic. Can’t get enough. Bring ‘em on!

What about you? Would you like to join me on a thrilling reading adventure?

Academic Awards

Distinguished Teaching Award, Kent State University

Students’ Choice Award, Student Education Association, Kent State University

Creative Contribution Award for the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth, Kent State University.

Arbuthnot Award from the International Literacy Association for outstanding university teaching

Center for Literature and Medicine (Hiram College/Northeast Ohio College of Medicine) Fellowship

American Library Association’s 2006 John Newbery Award Committee Invited to serve as a member to select the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children

What Kids are saying about Professor Granpa Tonio