About Me (and Finley Frog)


Picture Books are the Jump-Off Point from which Literacy Takes Flight.

~Lauri Fortino

My name is Lauri, and I’m a retired Library Assistant. I’m also a children’s picture book author, freelance writer, and transcriptionist. I’m the winner of the 2022 Kate Dopirak Craft & Community Award.

My picture book The Peddler’s Bed, published by Ripple Grove Press, is available now. It’s illustrated by the incredibly talented Bong Redila.

You can find me:

On Goodreads

On Facebook

On Twitter

On Amazon

More About Me

I grew up in Canastota, NY with my twin sister and four other siblings. I have a degree in Library and Information Services, as well as a certificate with Highest Honors in Writing Stories For Children. I’m also a graduate of the Children’s Book Academy, and a member of SCBWI, CBI Clubhouse, 12×12, and Inked Voices.

I am married to a wonderful man, Chris, who holds a fifth-degree black belt in karate. I love to play with our little dog, Java. And in my spare time I enjoy blogging, reading, and Japanese anime. 

I am also a strong proponent of the benefits of reading, for people of all ages, but especially for children. If children are introduced to books and reading early on and throughout their growing-up years, I know that they will become strong readers. The best way to start is by reading picture books.

Many of us take reading for granted, but did you know that some people can’t read street signs, or menus, or cereal boxes, let alone job applications, instruction manuals, or other important documents? So parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings, read picture books with the children in your lives often. Remember, some picture books are meant for children all the way up to the age of eight or nine. And some people never lose their love for these wonderful and important works of art. Just look at me!

Literacy is the jump-off point from which all of life’s successes take flight.

~Lauri Fortino

If you’d like to learn even more about me, click below.

Interview on Vivian Kirkfield’s Picture Books Help Kids Soar

Interview on Karlin Gray’s Blog

Interview on Operation Awesome

Interview on The Reading Tub

Interview on The Family Bookshelf

Interview on Readilearn

Interview on SpeakWell, ReadWell

Interview on Frog on a Blog


Illustration by Bill Megenhardt


Finley is THE Frog On A Blog. He is a friendly, playful frog with a wacky fashion sense. He is the main character in my children’s story entitled Fabulous Finley. 

As much as Finley loves his fabulous coat, what he wants most of all is a friend. One day, his wish comes true; he meets Chelsey. When Chelsey becomes sick and loses all of her hair, Finley sticks by her side and finds the perfect way to help his best friend.   

29 thoughts on “About Me (and Finley Frog)

  1. You know Beatrix Potter had difficulty publishing, and she is one of the most widely known and published children’s book author ever.

    I love picture books too, and I am almost ready for Medicare.

    Thank you for your fun and informative blog.


    • Thank you Pat. It’s a tough business and you have to have a thick skin. But it’s hard not to take rejections personally. I know that all authors get rejected, children’s book authors included. And for many, it can literally take years to get an acceptance. Once you get your foot in the door, a whole new world can open up for you.


  2. Mary P. Haden says:

    Dear Lauri,

    I was in the neighborhood, so, I thought I’d drop by. It’s great to see you and The Finster again. He sure looks flush in his fine fur! Chelsey the Chipmunk is blessed to have such a loyal friend.

    During this visit I clicked on “about me” and was very happy to hear of your success in the 2008 ABC’s Children’s Picture Book Competition. Well Done! Finley already has a following, and there’s no doubt in my mind that some savvy publisher will accept your series. Finley’s sweet and adventurous nature, unique fashion sense, and wonderful group of friends will soon be enjoyed by lots and lots of little ones (and big ones, too)!

    I’m going to putter around your site now. Be well, Lauri.



    • Thanks so much Mary. I truly appreciate your kind words and confidence in my story. I can only hope you’re right about that savvy publisher. Take care.


  3. Pat Macie says:

    I am enjoying exploring your blog. Thank you so much for spending the time to teach me how to find it and to find blogs in general.



    • Hi, Pat! I’m so glad you’re enjoying Frog on a Blog. Please feel free to stop by and leave comments anytime. And if you have more blogging questions, I’m happy to help.


  4. Hi Lauri,

    My apologies for posting in your comment section, but I didn’t see a contact link.

    My name is Jennifer Rustgi. I am familiar with your blog and know that you are an influencer in the field of Children’s Literature. I’m a children’s book author, and I’m reaching out to you to request a favor of sorts: I’m looking for bloggers who could help me spread the word on a project. I live in Austin, Tx. now but, coincidentally, I grew up in Central NY (DeRuyter) and still have friends and family in the area.

    I’m self-publishing a children’s picture book titled Much Too Much, and my illustrating partner and I are using Kickstarter to help fund us to get to publication. Kickstarter is a way to essentially get people to “preorder” by pledging money toward your project. We’re not just asking for a handout, we’re offering great rewards for pledges. For example, at the $25 reward level, you’ll get a signed, first-edition copy of our book! If you’re curious and want to learn more, check out our Kickstarter page here. We’re based in Austin but not limiting our reach to only local readers.

    Much Too Much is a rhyming, counting story with a great message. I could go on, trying to describe it to you, but you can get a better idea about the project by checking out our page. There’s even a link to a preview of the entire text of the story! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/muchtoomuchbook/much-too-much-childrens-picture-book

    You could help us get the word out about our fun project by simply sharing a link on social media or a quick post on Frog on a Blog. We’re hoping to appeal to parents of small children who would be interested in supporting a creative endeavor (while getting something unique in return). We’d greatly appreciate any help!

    Thank you for your consideration.

    -Jennifer Rustgi


  5. Hi, Jennifer, I’m happy to help! I’ll post a link to your Kickstarter page right here on Frog on a Blog. My blog is linked to my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, so the post will appear in those places as well. I read your story and think it’s great! And Molly’s illustrations are beautiful too. Good luck, I hope you reach your goal and are able to bring your picture book to life!


  6. Christie Wright Wild says:

    Hi, Lauri! It’s nice to finally put a face to your name. I think your “Frog on a Blog” title is catchy for your blog. Congrats on your book contract!

    “The ability to read is the jump-off point from which all of life’s successes take flight.”

    I love this quote from you! I may quote you on my blog for my writer inspiration quote page.


    • Thanks so much, Christie! And congratulations to you too; I believe I read on your blog that you have a contract as well. That’s awesome! And by all means, use my quote however you wish. Thanks for taking the time to comment here.


  7. Ali says:

    Thank you Lauri for posting information to help unpublished writers. I always think of Dr. Seuss receiving 27 rejections before he was published. Look how great his career turned out. Congratulations on signing with Ripple Grove Press. I’m going to continue to write and submit my stories. Thanks for the help. Ali

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Ali, I’m glad you like Frog on a Blog and find it helpful. That’s great to hear! I try to remember that all writers get rejections, sometimes just one, sometimes hundreds. But if writing is something you love to do and your dream is to get published, then don’t give up. Good luck!


  8. Hi Lauri,
    Congratulations on MeeGenius! When I saw your bio, I had to ask: is DeWitt, NY, close to Dewittville, NY? I grew up going to camp on Chautauqua Lake in western NY near Dewittville.


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