BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Susanna Leonard Hill



Title: When Your Llama Needs A Haircut

Author: Susanna Leonard Hill

Illustrator: Daniel Wiseman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Publishers

Ages: 0-4




Does your llama need a haircut? When your llama needs a haircut, you’ll first need to pick the perfect style…


Why you should get it:


When I found out my friend, author Susanna Leonard Hill, was releasing a new series of board books, I offered to review one. My friends know I’m not likely to give a favorable BOOK NOOK REVIEW unless I sincerely like the book I’ve been given.

The day WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT came in the mail, I was having a very rough time at work. I thought I would give Susanna’s book a quick read and then delve deeper into it at a later time. I found myself actually chuckling out loud at some of the adorable illustrations Daniel Wiseman created to compliment Susanna’s cute story, like this one…


llama 2.jpg
It brougt me back to the days of my own youth when I tried wearing a perm myself, as well as those days of trying to tame my own son’s curly locks. It is also written in a similar vein as author Laura Numeroff’s “If You Give…” series which makes WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT a very enjoyable read. I can’t wait to read other books in the series like WHEN YOUR LION NEEDS A BATH and WHEN YOUR ELEPHANT HAS THE SNIFFLES.

Young readers will laugh at the whimsical artwork and parents will find their own little ones asking to hear this delightful story “just one more time!” A great addition to any home library…

Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5…grab it.

**Rating scale**
5 out of 5…grab it!
4 out of 5…think about it.
3 out of 5…take it or leave it.
2 out of 5…maybe not for you.
1 out of 5…forget about it!




Donna's Books


Looking for a way to spend that Christmas cash? Gift cards burning a hole in your pocket? Books always make a great gift! There’s everything from inspirational essay journals to picture books…young adult fantasy novels to historical fiction chapter books. Something for everyone on sale now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other retailers. HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams can also be found at the Titanic Museums in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Branson, Missouri.




donna - Copy


Best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, was released in November.

Writerly Wisdom: Susanna Leonard Hill




Here is the first post in my WRITERLY WISDOM series I first ran back in 2013. Five years later, I’ve updated the material and made sure it still applies to today’s writers. Check out Susanna’s website at, visit her blog at, or even send her an email to



By: Susanna Leonard Hill


Once upon a time, a little girl loved to write. She lay on the kitchen floor with scrap paper – the blank back sides of legal document drafts (her parents were lawyers) – and a blue-green Crayola (not the green-blue one!) and asked her mom how to spell the words she didn’t know… which was most of them 🙂 Her mom was patient, and the little girl was determined, and word by word, her stories took shape. She wrote about whispering under the covers with her sister. She wrote about a fight with her best friend. She wrote about a girl and a witch. She wrote about the day her cat died. And somewhere along the line, when she found out it was a thing you could be, the little girl began to dream of becoming a writer…

If you’re a writer, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a once upon a time like that… or some variation thereof 🙂

And, if you’re a writer, you probably already know that on certain levels, a writer isn’t something you become. It’s something you are. For most of us who write, writing is so much a part of us that we can’t imagine not doing it. It’s more a question of what we’ll write than whether we’ll write.

From journaling for our own personal satisfaction to writing bestsellers that will be printed tens of thousands of times in numerous languages, there is joy in finding the right words. There is meaning in telling stories that touch the truth of those things we all have in common. There is understanding to be found in writing through the hard times – self-doubt, misunderstanding, loss, death.

If you’re a writer, there’s a big difference between knowing it yourself and proclaiming it to the rest of the world. It takes courage to say, “I am a writer.”

But it takes courage to do most things that are worthwhile.

If you’re a writer, you might never make a million dollars.
But you may write stories that help others feel valued, accepted, understood, confident, not alone. You can make that kind of magic.

If you’re a writer, your work is a piece of your soul. By putting it out into the world, you risk it getting stomped on.

But the words you put out there might change someone’s life.

Sometimes you have to take a deep breath…

… and jump!

Writing is about shared experience, connectedness, finding a way to acknowledge, embrace, and express the essential parts of life that are common to us all.

The little girl on the kitchen floor knew what it was about long before she could articulate it. It was right there in the stories she wrote: family and friendship, love and loss, imagination and dreams.

And yet if you ask anyone who writes what the hardest thing they do is, they’ll probably tell you it’s writing 🙂 There’s a reason there are so many famous quotes along the lines of Red Smith’s “Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and open a vein!”

Writing takes actual, physical effort. It’s hard to find the perfect words. It’s hard to find a way to say what’s in your heart.

But it’s important, because if it’s in your heart, it’s certainly in someone else’s. And maybe you can find the way to say it so it makes sense to them.

Writing is a labor of love, no matter how you do it or who you do it for.

We all have stories to tell.

Some of us paint them with a brush on canvas.

Some of us sing them in major or minor keys with three verses and a chorus.

Some of us dance them with grace and power, leaping and gliding across a stage.

Some share their stories over a cup of coffee at the kitchen table with friends or family.

And some of us write.

If you’re a writer, you have a gift.

Don’t let practicality or fear or the opinions of others stand in your way.

Share it 🙂




Susanna Leonard Hill grew up in New York City with her mom and dad, one sister and two brothers, and an assortment of cats. She went to the Brearley School for K – 12, then received her B.A. in English and Psychology from Middlebury College. She then went on to get her M.A. and M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology and Special Education of Children With Learning Disabilities from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

She worked for many years teaching dyslexic students, but stopped after her third child was born. Now she spends her time being a mom, writing, and visiting schools whenever she gets the opportunity.



(When Your Llama Needs A Haircut)