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

New Release

Ice Cream with Grandpa:
A Loving Story About Alzheimer’s & Dementia

After his beloved grandpa’s health declines and he receives a diagnosis of dementia, a grandson must navigate the changes in their relationship. Through it all, he learns that Grandpa is still Grandpa, and their bond deepens and sweetens through a shared love of ice cream.


Includes a guide for parents on talking to kids about dementia, hospice, death, and grief written by expert on grief and loss, Diane Snyder Cowan, MA, MT-BC, CHPCA. Also includes access to a bonus Keepsake Activity Sheet.

Available now at:


Barnes & Noble


Autographed copies available at Anderson's Bookshop

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

~ Maxy Award 2022 Children's Book Runner-Up ~

Ice Cream with Grandpa_Book Signing_Frugal_Muse_Sat_Sept-17.jpg
Book Signing Event & Ice Pops
Frugal Muse Books - Sat. 9/17

Come celebrate the launch of Ice Cream with Grandpa at Frugal Muse Books in Darien! Join Laura for a book reading,  scavenger hunt, children's activities, and ice pops for all!

Saturday, Sept. 17th
10:30 am - Noon

Frugal Muse Books

7511 Lemont Rd. | Darien, IL

Activities Include:

  • Book Reading

  • Draw Along

  • Scavenger Hunt

  • Card making activity for local seniors

  • Free Ice Pops

  • Books Available for Signing

Little Squiggle's Lake Adventure


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.


Little Squiggle is a spunky giraffe with a new kayak! When he invites his best friend Little Lou to go kayaking, she is a little hesitant. Are there sharks? What will it be like? 


As they paddle away from the lake’s shore, they marvel at the natural wonders that surround them. When beautiful music draws them to an island, they venture out of their kayak to find its source. 


But when the unexpected happens, will they make it back to shore?


Co-authored 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.

Available now from:


Barnes & Noble




Autographed copies available at Frugal Muse Books in Darien, IL!

About the Authors


Laura Smetana and Stirling Hebda are a mother and son team who created Little Squiggle's Lake Adventure after finding inspiration on their own lake adventure. When Laura was in fifth grade, she created her first Little Squiggle book. After reading it to Stirling for bedtime, he said, “We should bring Little Squiggle back, Mom!” And that’s what they did. This is their first book together.

Praise for Little Squiggle's Lake Adventure

“A quick and breezy read for young travelers and nature lovers, Little Squiggle's Lake Adventure... is a charming tale of exploration and friendship... With vivid watercolor illustrations and easy-to-follow language, this is an ideal bedtime story for those just beginning their reading journeys. ”

SPR, ★★★★

Little Squiggle's Lake Adventure is a delightful collaboration written by the mother-and-son team of Laura Smetana and Stirling Hebda… The images hint at Impressionist paintings. The effect is to make the trees and grass and the rocky shore feel like part of a dream world, a fantasy world, perfect for exploring.”

Readers’ Favorite, ★★★★★