Mining for Heart: “Heart in Action—Louder than Words”

With Father’s Day approaching, it seems fitting to celebrate a father who gave the gift of patience. “Heart in Action — Louder Than Words” Tad Lincoln was a boy of action. Lots of action. Endless Action. To the point he drove everyone around him crazy. Except his father. One father/son action had sparked my interest … More Mining for Heart: “Heart in Action—Louder than Words”

Mining for Heart: “Heart in Picture Books: A Treasure Map to Emotional Resonance” by Kim Tomsic

I’ve come to believe that the most important element in a picture book, or any story for that matter, is what I call “heart.” Digging it out can be agonizing. But if you’re lucky, it might float to the surface in a haunting question or pop out with a shiver of goosebumps. And then, of … More Mining for Heart: “Heart in Picture Books: A Treasure Map to Emotional Resonance” by Kim Tomsic

Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars

Popping in with a Perfect Picture Book Friday recommendation. This book is in my top 10 for 2020—a lyrical, gorgeous, important book about the power of music. Don’t miss it!  Title: Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars Written by:  Gary Golio Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis Nancy Paulsen Books/PRH 2020, biography … More Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars

Behind the Scenes: “The Urgency of Oral History” by Rich and Sandra Wallace

The Teachers March!: How Selma’s Teachers Changed History was one of the outstanding picture books of 2020 that kept popping up everywhere. Thanks to authors Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace, we have this dynamic telling of an overlooked event. Here, the authors share how meeting the right person at the right time made all … More Behind the Scenes: “The Urgency of Oral History” by Rich and Sandra Wallace

Behind the Scenes: “Best Practices for Reaching Out (or Not!) to Biography Subjects” by Emma Bland Smith

Inquiring minds want to know the answers to all these frequently asked questions! Thank you, Emma Bland Smith, for addressing these issues! Nonfiction writers, biography writers, parents, educators, librarians, and readers—dig in. I’ll bet you all find something of interest here.  Emma is offering a GIVEAWAY, too! Just leave a comment below for a chance … More Behind the Scenes: “Best Practices for Reaching Out (or Not!) to Biography Subjects” by Emma Bland Smith

Behind the Scenes: “Connecting the Past to the Present with Back Matter” by Colleen Paeff

When I saw the title of this book, I had to know more! A story about stinks? Right up my alley! Or should I say “Smelly” Kelly’s subway tunnel! 😁 Back matter is a chance for authors to present all sorts of ideas. Here, Colleen Paeff shares how she used back matter to connect the … More Behind the Scenes: “Connecting the Past to the Present with Back Matter” by Colleen Paeff

Behind the Scenes: “Kid Friendly Facts” by Chana Stiefel

Facts can be loads of fun. But often they’re dropped in as info dumps. And many times dates, places, sizes, costs and such don’t hold much meaning for kids. So what does an author do with all those fascinating facts? Chana Stiefel sorted through them and found a way to bring the ones vital to … More Behind the Scenes: “Kid Friendly Facts” by Chana Stiefel

Behind the Scenes: “Mining Your Mentor Texts” by Lindsey McDivitt

Mining is a perfect metaphor to talk about using mentor texts because mentor texts can offer gems of all sorts for a writer. Thanks to Lindsey McDivitt for drilling down into how she used mentor texts as aids for writing as she tackled a bio on Nelson Mandela.  AND thank you, Lindsey for offering a … More Behind the Scenes: “Mining Your Mentor Texts” by Lindsey McDivitt

Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball

I’m not into basketball, and I’ve never heard of Elgin Baylor, but after seeing this book on so many “BEST of 2020” lists, I took a look. Jen Bryant – stellar! Frank Morrison – amazing! Welcome to a new year and my first Perfect Picture Book Friday recommendation ABOVE THE RIM, winner of the 2021 … More Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball