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The Story

To fight fatigue as a night watchman, I’d bring a plywood board and tap shoes to work and dance between my hourly rounds. Of course, I couldn’t do this where there were all-night work crews. 


This activity gave me the plot for a story: A hidden camera captures a shy security guard tap-dancing on the job. The commissioner tells him, “Either dance at my party or explain yourself to your supervisor!” I turned the protagonist into a young boy and the setting into a school and wrote Stanley’s Secret.


Once again, Sylvie Frank struck gold when she enlisted Zachary Manbeck as the illustrator. Publishers Weekly wrote that his artwork “sizzles with energetically charged lines and chalky, saturated shades, portraying Stanley in vibrant orange hues.”


Stanley’s Secret is my second book, published with Simon & Schuster in 2023.


Reviews & Honors


“The text pays careful attention to the way Stanley addresses his nervousness  as he moves into his dream with grace.“  – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A vibrant story that encourages readers to follow their passions—and share them with the world.“
– Kirkus Reviews

“Sullivan suggests that Stanley’s success comes because he has been practicing tap dancing repeatedly for the love of it...A satisfying picture book.” – Booklist

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