In anticipation of the publication of This House Once, I had the honor of chatting recently with two wonderful picturebook friends about my newest book. We talked about things like inspiration, making one's home an art-friendly environment, and if I weren't writing books, what would I be doing? You can read those interviews here:
Today I celebrate another book birthday!
At my fifth birthday party, there was a hole in the backyard. A really, really big, muddy hole...
Wishing all a peaceful and healthy New Year.
I've made no secret about how much I love Deborah Freedman's latest picture book Shy. In fact, I might be a little TOO excited about it: I've talked about it here on Let's Talk Picture Books, as well as on Instagram, Twitter, and everywhere else people will let me stand on a soap box and rave about it.
And now I get to share her process with you!!
You can read the rest of the interview here. Thanks, Mel!
Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty. “Jeremy lived on the top floor of a three-story apartment building… He never left. He never went outside.” Until one day, when he decides to draw a monster — which, humorously, threatens to take over Jeremy’s life. This is a deceptively simple book, in which the text and gently witty illustrations leave plenty of space for readers to discover an unspoken connection between shyness and imagination.
Amandina by Sergio Ruzzier. “Amandina was a wonderful little dog… But nobody knew that, because nobody knew Amandina.” Then one evening, this quiet actress, singer, and acrobat “promised herself that she would stop being so shy.” And that is when Amandina bravely attempts to connect through her art, and along the way, she helps us to understand how touching even one, small creature can open up a whole world.
Shy Charles by Rosemary Wells. Pity the poor child whose parents are as unsympathetic as Charles’s. Or admire Charles, who resolutely refuses to change in spite of them, and by the end of the book has taught the adults around him something that young readers have probably already intuited: he was strong all along.
The Boys by Jeff Newman. In this wordless book, a boy is too shy to approach kids playing ball in his new neighborhood. So instead, he sits down on a park bench with a bunch of old timers. He goes back day after day, humorously turning into one of them — trading his cap for slicked back hair and a derby hat, his shorts for plaid pants and bowtie, his baseball bat for a walking stick — until one day, when they aren’t there. Then, in a neat and sweet bit of role-reversal, the oldsters wisely teach one youngster how to be a proper whippersnapper. Simple, expressive, and subtly affecting.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo. One reading friend has suggested that the character Raymie Clarke might like my new book, SHY. Naturally, I'm ridiculously flattered by this suggestion, although I don't know how Raymie would feel about it. But I do know this: if given the chance, Shy would love her — and Kate DiCamillo — right back.
It has become my favorite way to launch a book: on September 27th, to celebrate the publication of my latest book, Shy, I skyped with several hundred children, from Connecticut to Alberta to Hawaii and states in between. Many, many thanks to the wonderful teachers and school librarians who participated and made these visits possible! I could not have asked for a better Book Birthday.
All The Wonders is a home for readers to discover new books and to experience the stories they love in wondrous ways...
You can listen to the podcast here.
Is anyone here shy? For several years, that is what I’ve asked children at the start of my school and library visits. A few hands might go up, nervously. A few other children look unsure...
Read more, in my September newsletter.
Karlin Grey, the debut author of Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still, writes a weekly blog about picturebook writers and their first books. Today, she interviews me about my first book, Scribble. You can read the whole interview here.
To go along with Karlin's interview, here are a few images — along with many thanks to Karlin for allowing me to revisit Scribble!Read More
To a Book Birthday Party!
My favorite Book Birthdays have been spent with readers, and the more, the better! That is why I am hoping that your classroom, library or homeschool group (of 10 or more) would like to help me celebrate the release of my next book, SHY, on Tuesday, September 27th, via Skype.
If you are interested in scheduling a 15-20 minute Skype — in which I’ll chat, read Shy, and answer questions — please fill out the form below...Read More
Confession: I am a compulsive list-maker. I love making to-do lists and find crossing items off with a fat, black marker ridiculously satisfying. But some lists have a way of growing and never shrinking, and my to-read list is the worst of those. So for that, I use Goodreads. It helps me keep my reading life organized in to-read, read, and a bunch of other lists of my choosing. I don’t rate new books there and have chosen not to add books that I really didn’t like or felt ‘meh’ about, but I do make occasional notes about books I’ve enjoyed, and I love seeing what others are reading and recommending.
Oh, and one more thing about Goodreads? GIVEAWAYS.
Do you do Goodreads?
Thank you, Kirkus, for SHY's first review!
Someone extremely shy finds a friend...
Freedman’s fine pencil lines, graceful animals, superb compositions, and spare text are virtuosic, but the backgrounds are the soul of Shy’s tale: breathtaking watercolor washes blend hues softly from one section of the natural color spectrum to another, opaquely connoting desert, mountains, skies, dawn, and night.
An exquisite treasure for bashful readers, animal lovers, and anyone who’s ever wanted a friend.
(Picture book. 3-7, adult)