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Hello, my name is Laura Smetana, and I write and illustrate books for children, and love talking to kids about the book making process!

My Love For You Is Like a Garden

Written & Illustrated by Laura Smetana


ISBN: 978-1737140962 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1737140979 (Paperback)

A Kirkus Reviews' Best Book of 2023


★ “Endearing, engaging text pairs well with gorgeously executed illustrations for a joyful read.” —Kirkus Reviews,  starred review

With bright watercolor collages, My Love for You Is Like a Garden celebrates unconditional love with vibrant garden scenes that will delight fans of Lois Ehlert and Eric Carle. Perfect for bedtime read-alouds, baby showers or anyone you love!

Say “I love you” with this charming picture book families will love reading together over and over again. Bold, colorful illustrations of flowers, butterflies, and animals will inspire readers of all ages to explore the natural world⁠—and maybe even plant their own garden.


Children will delight in finding ladybugs hidden throughout, and a glossary provides the names of each plant and animal featured.

​Buy Now:

Amazon    Barnes & Noble

Autographed copies available at:

Frugal Muse Books (Darien, IL)

Anderson's Bookshop (Downers Grove, IL)

The Morton Arboretum (Lisle, IL)

Awards & Accolades

  • A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2023

  • IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Award - Children’s Picture Book (0-3 Years)

  • 2023 Northern Lights Book Award Winner - Author/Illustrator Category

  • 2023 Maxy Award Children's Book Winner

Ice Cream with Grandpa

A Loving Story for Kids About Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Written by Laura Smetana, Illustrated by Elisabete B. P. de Moraes


ISBN: 978-1737140924 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1737140948 (Paperback)

After his grandpa is diagnosed with dementia, a grandson discovers their special bond remains strong through a shared love of ice cream.


Ice Cream with Grandpa is a loving, tender picture book that gently explores the topics of dementia, aging, and loss. Written from a child’s point of view, it chronicles the changes in their relationship as his grandpa moves to assisted living, then memory care, and eventually hospice.


Includes a guide for parents on talking to kids about dementia, hospice, death, and grief written by expert Diane Snyder Cowan, MA, MT-BC, CHPCA.

Buy Now:


Barnes & Noble


Autographed copies available at Frugal Muse Books (Darien, IL) & Anderson's Bookshop (Downers Grove, IL)

"A moving, effective resource for conversations in the face of dementia and loss." — Kirkus Reviews

"Smetana pulls from personal experience, as detailed in an author’s note, to deliver an approachable and realistic story brimming with well-researched, audience-conscious insight." — Publisher's Weekly


  • 2023 Firebird Book Award Winner - Children's Grief/Death

  • 2022 Northern Lights Book Award Winner - Health Category

  • 2022 Maxy Award Children's Book Runner-Up

Little Squiggle's Lake Adventure

Written by Laura Smetana & Stirling Hebda, Illustrated by Laura Smetana


ISBN: 978-1737140917 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1737140931 (Paperback)

Join two curious giraffes as they go on a kayaking adventure and discover nature’s beauty on a lake, in this colorfully illustrated picture book co-authored by a mother and son team.

When two giraffes, Little Squiggle and Little Lou, go kayaking, beautiful music draws them to an island. What could it be? They explore the island to find out, but when the unexpected happens, will they make it back to shore?

Co-written by mother and son, Laura Smetana and Stirling Hebda, Little Squiggle’s Lake Adventure is a delightful children’s book about curiosity, courage, and the friends you meet along the way.

Buy Now:


Barnes & Noble



Autographed copies available at Frugal Muse Books (Darien, IL)!

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