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Do fairies really dance within fairy rings on moonlit nights? Amber, the mushroom, doesn’t seem to know. But she does know that she hates her ordinary-looking mushroom cap. She sets out to express her individuality but soon discovers much more about her fairy ring mushroom colony and about herself. The Mushroom’s Other Hat draws from legend to become a new fairytale that rejoices in individuality, as well as belonging.

For children aged 4 to 8. 

Kirkus Reviewed The Mushroom’s Other Hat: “The book’s message, about finding an inner gift, comes through strongly… Taiani’s painterly illustrations have a whimsical tone, perfect for the fairy-story setting…Young readers will identify with Amber’s desires in this tale and have fun imagining what she might create next.”  Kirkus Reviews

Onlinebookclub reviewer said:

The Mushroom’s Other Hat by Nancy-Jo Taiani is a children’s picture book about a mushroom named Amber. The rain has brought her and some other mushrooms out into the open for the first time. As Amber looks around the colony of mushrooms, she sees different shapes, colors, and sizes. After being called an “ordinary looking mushroom”, her feelings are hurt and she becomes self-conscious of her appearance. She sets out to find a new hat that will make her unique. Will she be able to find a hat that makes her beautiful? 

This children’s book contains an amazing message about being yourself. I can’t say much more about that message without ruining the end of the book, but I loved it. I would definitely encourage children to read this book solely based on what they would learn from it. In my opinion, the message is such an important part of children’s books, and this reviewer did a great job conveying hers!

I also really liked the illustrations for this book. They were gorgeous pictures with vivid details. I looked through the book a couple times just so that I could really take them all in. I think children will love to follow along in the book and look at all of the characters on each page. Another aspect that I enjoyed was the educational section about mushrooms at the end of the book. This is a great way for children to learn about mushrooms since they just finished a story about a whole colony of them. ” Onlinebookclub.org, https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=73401

My fellow author & friend, Hank Quense, interviewed me about my new book. Interview with Hank Quense

“The Mushroom’s Other Hat” is Now available at Amazon! 

If you are a mushroom lover, you’re surely aware of the diversity of mushrooms.

I enjoy seeing the different varieties that spring up in the woods, mostly after rain.

I’m currently working on a new/old story – “The Mushroom’s Other Hat.”  New because I’m updating the pictures and planning to publish.  Old because the story was conceived decades ago. 

mishmish-front-coverMishMish: Spy Cat is available on Amazon.com. A picture book for children, or anyone who has lived with a cat


believing artists’ only choices were to become bohemians or teachers, I chose to major in mathematics at college, attending art school only after graduation. I can’t remember when I began drawing. Yet, with parents who believed art could only be a hobby and I my naiveté in

My lifelong love of art evolved into acrylic and watercolor paintings as well as some sculpture. My work is representational and always inspired by the natural world. Except, perhaps for the many children’s wall murals painted for private clients. I love to paint on walls! Empty walls call to me!

With the support of the Montclair Write Group I’ve written a memoir, Healing Father John: A Journey of Contrariness, Connection and Change.  Joining my writing and painting together, I’ve illustrated books several for young children, A Night of Power: A Ramadan Story, MishMish: Spy Cat, and coming soon, The Mushroom’s Other Hat. 

MishMish: Spy Cat is alive on Amazon.com. Learn more about the book here.

Thank you for visiting.  I hope you’ll check out my Book pages and take a look at the Gallery.