Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Inspiration from Madeline L'Engle

From the official Madeline L'Engle website

With the new movie version of "A Wrinkle In Time" out in theaters, it seems like a good time to remember this bit of inspiration from the author Madeline L'Engle:
"You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children." –Madeleine L'Engle
Learn more about Madeline L'Engle and her books here.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Golden Kite Winner for Picture Book Illustration Kenard Pak tells us about "Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter"

I caught up with Golden Kite Award-winning author/illustrator Kenard Pak at the autograph party for #NY18SCBWI...

You can find out more about Kenard and their work here.

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

"Black Kids Don’t Want to Read About Harriet Tubman All the Time" - A Great Piece in the New York Times by Denene Millner

This opinion piece about diversity in kid lit is important reading. A highlight:
The typical children’s picture books featuring black characters focus on the degradation and endurance of our people. You can fill nearly half the bookshelves in the Schomburg with children’s books about the civil rights movement, slavery, basketball players and musicians, and various “firsts.” These stories consistently paint African-Americans as the aggrieved and the conquerors, the agitators and the superheroes who fought for their right to be recognized as full human beings.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate those kinds of books; our history deserves an airing with all children. But I’m not trying to have my kid float off into dreamland with visions of helping runaway slaves to freedom, or marching through a parade of barking dogs and fire hoses, or the subject matter of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” — yes, there is a children’s book devoted to this song protesting lynching.

Meanwhile, stories about the everyday beauty of being a little human being of color are scarce. Regardless of what the publishing industry seems to think, our babies don’t spend their days thinking about Harriet Tubman, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and black bodies swinging; they’re excited about what the tooth fairy will leave under their pillows, contemplating their first ride on the school bus, looking for dragons in their closets.
Read the full article here.

Illustrate and Write On,

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Inspiration from Mem Fox

“The fire of literacy is created by the emotional sparks between a child, a book, and the person reading. It isn’t achieved by the book alone, nor by the child alone, nor by the adult who’s reading aloud—it’s the relationship winding between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony.” –Mem Fox, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever

Find out more about best-selling children's book author Mem Fox here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Golden Kite Winner for YA Novel Elana K. Arnold tells us about "What Girls Are Made Of"

I caught up with Elana at the #NY18SCBWI Autograph party, to find out more about "What Girls Are Made Of" and congratulate her on winning the SCBWI Golden Kite Award!

You can find out more about Elana K. Arnold and "What Girls are Made Of" at Elana's website here.

Illustrate and Write On,

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Listen to SCBWI's newest podcast: A Conversation with Nancy Paulsen

Nancy Paulsen is the President and Publisher of Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers. The imprint publishes fifteen books a year and focuses on eye-opening, often funny picture books and middle grade fiction from diverse and distinct voices, especially stories that are inventive and emotionally satisfying. New York Times bestsellers she has edited include National Book Award and Newbery Honor Winner Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and Miss Maple’s Seeds by Eliza Wheeler. Other award-winning titles include Coretta Scott King Honor Winner Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson and E.B. Lewis; Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman and Leaves by David Ezra Stein.

In this two-part conversation with Theo Baker, Nancy discusses editing, her list, diversity, first chapters, the process of revising a middle grade novel, what goes into publishing a picture book, and so much more!

Listen to the episode trailer here.

Current SCBWI members can listen to the full podcast here (log in first!)

Illustrate and Write On,

Thursday, February 22, 2018

KidLitforKidsLives - a movement of letters from children's book creators to the students of "Parkland & Beyond"

There are over 35 letters so far at the KidLitforKidsLives website, and it's a rising up of support and encouragement from our community for the students fighting for gun control in the United States. As a sampling, here are two of the letters:

Letter from Supriya Kelkar
Letter from Nancy Castaldo

Most importantly, you can share your own letter with the students as well - link at the bottom of the kidlitforkidslives site.

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sid Fleischman Humor Award Winner Crystal Allen tells us about "The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: The Wall of Fame Game"

The Sid Fleischman Humor Award is an award for authors whose work exemplifies the excellence of writing in the genre of humor. The SCBWI established the award to honor humorous work, so often overlooked in children’s literature by other award committees.

I caught up with Crystal Allen at the #NY18SCBWI autograph party...

Find out more about Crystal and the rest of "The Magnificent Mya Tibbs" series at Crystal's website here.

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

PW profiles the first picture book to come from the We Need Diverse Books mentorship program: "The Field"

The point made in Claire Kirch's article, "It Takes a Village: NorthSouth Publishes WNDB Grant Recipient" should resonate loudly for us all:
"The picture book’s backstory to publication is one of serendipitous personal connections, demonstrating what most of those in the publishing industry have long known and what WNDB is successfully tapping into: this is an industry built upon relationships just as much as love for the written word."
The book is "The Field" by Baptiste Paul, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara.

As the book's editor at NorthSouth Beth Terrill put it,
"I hope this story encourages other writers of color to join the WNDB program."
From the PW article: "The Field tells the story of a girl and her younger brother, who rouse their Caribbean community—family, friends, even the local fruit vendor—to play a friendly game of soccer after clearing a field of the cows grazing there. While the book is primarily written in English, Creole words and phrases are sprinkled throughout the text, giving it an international flavor. Besides the English/Creole and German/Creole editions, a Spanish/Creole edition will be published this spring."

Cheers to debut author Baptiste Paul,  his wife Miranda who met Beth at the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles a few years ago and introduced the editor to her husband's work, debut illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara, Alcántara's agent Adriana Dominguez, Alcántara's We Need Diverse Books mentor Author-illustrator Carolyn Dees Flores, NorthSouth, and the whole WNDB team! Wow - it really does take a village!

Read the full article here.

Illustrate and Write On,

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Golden Kite Winner Jack Cheng Tell Us About His Middle Grade Novel, "See You In The Cosmos"

I caught up with Jack Cheng at the #NY18SCBWI Autography Party...

Thanks, Jack! And congratulations again!

Learn more about Jack and "See You In The Cosmos" here.

Illustrate and Write On,