Books by Cheryl Lawton Malone

Cheryl is the author of two children’s books, DARIO AND THE WHALE (2015) and ELEPHANTS WALK TOGETHER (2017), both published by Albert Whitman. DARIO AND THE WHALE is a Shelf Awareness Best Children’s Book of 2016, a Cooperative Children’s Book Center Winner for 2017, a Book Best Debut Picture Books of 2016, and a 2018 Mass Book Awards Must Read. It is now in its fourth printing. Her latest book, WRITING KIDLIT 102: YOUR FIRST DRAFT (2024), offers tips and strategies for wrangling that special kidlit story out of your heart and onto the page, and joins the first book in the Writing Kidlit Series, WRITING KIDLIT 101: A SELF-GUIDED COURSE (2023). Both published by Write On Productions and co-authored by kidlit best seller Victoria J. Coe. Cheryl is also a freelance writer, creative consultant, and award-winning poet. After a successful law career, she obtained her MFA from and taught creative writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She consults on manuscripts through Grub Street and speaks at schools, museums, and libraries. Her stories and poems have appeared online and in numerous journals and anthologies, including YARN,, and Lutheran Journal.

Dario and The Whale

When Dario and his mother move to Cape Cod from Brazil, Dario has a hard time making friends since he doesn’t speak English well. But one day Dario meets someone else who has just arrived in New England and he doesn’t speak any English at all…because he’s a right whale! Day after day Dario and the whale meet at the beach. But what will happen when it’s time for the whale to migrate?


“A heartwarming paean to long walks along the beach.” Kirkus Reviews

“Will spark rich conversations.” School Library Journal

“Powerful yet buoyant.” Shelf Awareness (starred)

DARIO AND THE WHALE was recently selected for the 2021 Library of Congress’ Great Reads From Great Places program.

Elephants Walk Together

As calves, Asian elephants Precious and Baba roam the wild together, curious and proud. But when they get captured and are split up, their time together seems like a distant memory. Still, separated by many miles and over many years, their friendship remains, and there’s hope they will once again roam wide open spaces together.


“Heartwarming . . . a sweet and sensitive encouragement of wildlife conservation.” Kirkus Reviews

“This sweet story of enduring friendship should help create empathy and spark lots of questions.” Booklist

Writing Kidlit Series

Best-selling kidlit author Victoria J. Coe, my friend and guru for all things kidlit, and I have been teaching writing students for YEARS — some of whom have gone on to hugely successful careers. We’d love to help YOU, too! (Visit the Write On Productions YouTube Channel for more videos!)

Writing Kidlit 101

Do you want to write the book that kids (or teens) want to read? Writing Kidlit 101 is a 10-session, self-guided course that will help you learn the craft of writing fiction for children and young adults — aka kidlit. As passionate kidlit authors & writing teachers, we’ve developed a series of user-friendly narratives, tips and tricks, hands-on exercises, and calls to action that you can put into practice as you go. That’s the secret sauce! A solid understanding of the craft, an awareness of the marketplace, and a process that works for you.

Writing Kidlit 102

Writing a book for children or young adults — no matter how long or short — is a challenge. Sure, you could sit down and let the words flow. But the reality is — except for a lucky few — first drafts rarely happen that way. We know — and you know — there’s no “one way” to write a picture book or novel. That’s where Writing Kidlit 102 comes in. This book will help you wrangle that story out of your heart and onto the page. On your terms. In your time. In a way that sets you up for success.

And that’s just the beginning. Through our collaboration, Write On Productions, we offer writers a new way to get on track and stay on track, including tools, resources, and exclusive digital content. We know how hard it is to write because we’ve been there. Both of us dreamed of writing kidlit while juggling kids and careers. Now having sold more than 350,000 books between us, we can’t wait to help you achieve your dream.