What a special treat I have for you today! Where does writing begin? With a voice. With ideas. With lines or letters. AND usually, with an encourager. How many of us trace our love of writing back to a teacher or multiple teachers? I know I do! In the beginning of February, Tina Barrett sent … More Special Feature: “Where Writing Begins” with Tina Barrett, Kindergarten Teacher!
166 years ago today, Elizabeth Jennings boarded a streetcar in New York City. She was in a hurry to get to church. But, when the conductor ejected her because of her race, too-late-for-church took a backseat to too-late-for-equality. Seven months later, the young school teacher sat in a Brooklyn courtroom, waiting for the white judge … More 166 years ago today, Elizabeth Jennings boarded a streetcar…
My two 2020 picture books are both set in New York City, both feature transportation, and both highlight heroes. But the stories are very different. Lizzie Demands a Seat, released in January, is the story of how Elizabeth Jennings won the first courtroom victory against segregation on transportation in 1855. She was bold and brave, … More James “Smelly” Kelly, Everyday Hero
Here’s an essential picture book for everyone—black and brown and white, young and old, now and forever. A beautiful and powerful collection. Title: We Are the Change, Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders Written by: Harry Belafonte (introduction) Illustrated by: Selina Alko, Alina Chau, Lisa Congdon, Emily Hughes, Molly Idle, Juana Medina, Innosanto Nagara, … More We Are the Change
I’ve found that I really enjoy exploring structure as a writer. Readers experience all kinds of text structures, but they seldom have a chance to learn all the planning and puzzling involved in the process of writing. Here, author Keely Parrack gives us a peek behind the scenes at how MORNING, SUNSHINE came to be. … More Behind the Scenes: “Puzzling Out a Picture Book” with Keely Parrack
Celebrate Children’s Book Week with characters from the past! People like you and me, facing life’s challenges. In the midst of this pandemic, living our own piece of history, we can all benefit from learning how others persisted through difficult times. Pictured are six new picture books to inspire children. And there are many more! … More Children’s Book Week 2020!
Oh, such a special treat today! It just so happens that the Books Brothers are off of school and have time to share some of their thoughts about books. First I asked about any favorite picture books. Paxton, age 8, says that funny ones are his favorites. Some of the titles he’s read over and … More Introducing the Books Brothers!
You’ll have to wait until October 13 for the book, but since today is a special day—my dad’s 93rd birthday—it seems a perfect day to share the cover of “SMELLY” KELLY AND HIS SUPER SENSES: HOW JAMES KELLY’S NOSE SAVED THE NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY. Though my father doesn’t have an extraordinary nose, he’s a … More Cover Reveal! “Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses
Being the 1st is not enough.” I’ve heard these words from editors who probably receive way too many picture book manuscripts about someone who did something first. Authors scramble to uncover inventions and accomplishments, discoveries and honors, breakthroughs and court victories. Being first is commendable and implies individual greatness, but it’s not always interesting, engaging, … More Behind the Scenes: “Being the 1st Is Not Enough”
Time out from kid lit for a moment to share Teresa Funke’s “Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life” releasing Oct. 1. A compilation of her blog posts on the creative life, these short little readings offer up humor, inspiration, support, appreciation, and a myriad of thoughts on art and artists of all kinds. The … More Bursts of Brilliance