Read This: There’s an N on Your Nose

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

One of the very best things about reading is starting. Whether it’s with your own kids, your classroom, or kids you know and love, watching them make connections and learn is magical. You might choose to read to them with books you’ve known and loved for years, or embark with new discoveries. 

Read This: There’s an N on Your Nose

One such discovery for me is a gorgeous new picture book, entitled There’s an N on Your Nose. Written by Dennis Canfield and illustrated by Stella Mongodi, this beautiful and playful book teaches letters by action—and laughter. Whether you love the penguin most (raises hand!), the koala, monkey, giraffe, or other animals that are featured in this book, I think you and your young readers will both enjoy and learn with them. 

Highly, highly recommended.

Dennis Canfield and his wife and live near Chicago, Illinois. He is an alumnus of the University of Illinois College of Commerce and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. In addition to writing books, he is working on stage musical and film versions of his book, South Pole Santa.

Author Dennis Canfield. From Read This: There’s an N on Your Nose

We were lucky enough to catch up with Dennis and chat about his book, inspiration, those gorgeous illustrations, and more. Here’s what he had to say…

Please tell us about your book, There's an N on your Nose...
There’s an N on Your Nose is written, above all, to be a fun book for parents and grandparents to read with children who are about two to four years old. In addition, much like a traditional alphabet book, it will help children in this age group begin to make the connection between sounds and letters and words, to prepare them to begin to read on their own.

This book would also be very useful for non-native English speakers who want to introduce their children to the English language and alphabet.

What inspired you to write this book?
There’s an N on Your Nose is one of several poems I wrote for my older daughter, who was then three years old. Several years later, I found a copy of all the poems in my scrapbook file, and published them as a collection under the title The Robin and The Sparrow. About a year ago, I decided to publish this poem on its own.

I adore the illustrations! Can you please tell us about your illustrator, and how you collaborated to create this beautiful book?
Stella Mongodi is an absolutely brilliant illustrator of children’s books; I’m so glad I found her (through In addition to creating the wonderful illustrations, she gave me a lot of help with the whole process of getting the book published. But, before she agreed to take on the project on, she said I had to add four more lines to the original poem, in order to make it long enough for a children’s book. So I added: “Can the A on your Arm say “hello”/To the F on your foot far below?” And, “Does the B on your Belly start to giggle/When the W on your Waist starts to wiggle?”

Stella also recognized that the book needed a theme, so she came up with the idea of each of the animals performing one of the steps of getting ready for their first day of school (the koala bear wakes up when his alarm clock goes off; the penguin does stretches and toe-touches, the lion combs his hair, and so on), ending with all the animals in the classroom together.

Read This: There’s an N on Your Nose

How do you suggest parents utilize this book in reading to their kids? 
There’s an N on Your Nose is designed to be an interactive book. For example, when I was reading this poem with my daughter, I would say, “Did you know there’s an N on your Nose?” and I’d tap her nose. “Can you touch the T on your Toes” and tickle her toes, and she would giggle, and so on. It was a lot of fun. 

How can people find your work?
Some bookstores carry it, and it’s available from in hardcover, paperback and Kindle editions at this link: 
There's an N on Your Nose: Canfield, Dennis, Maris Mongodi, Stella: 9798985275612: Books

And from Barnes and Noble in hardcover at this link:
There's an N on Your Nose by Dennis Canfield, Stella Maris Mongodi, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble® (

What's up next for you?
I’m working on both a screenplay and a stage musical based on my book, South Pole Santa, which is a family-oriented Christmas comedy, about an unhappy elf and an unpleasant family, and how they all help each other rediscover their Christmas spirit. 

Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I hope your readers will visit my website,, where they can learn more about this book and the others I’ve written, including Ethan and the Key, a middle-grade adventure fantasy.

You can also find me online at and