Archive for the 'Etcetera' Category

Happy Birthday to Let’s Get Busy!

h1 Thursday, November 27th, 2014

This morning at 7-Imp, I’m doing something a little bit different. Matthew Winner, who founded and runs the Let’s Get Busy podcast, is celebrating his 100th episode. He’s been visiting a few blogs to talk about his work, and today he has a cup of cyber-coffee with me to answer some questions about the wonderful resource that his podcast has become.

Matthew is an elementary school librarian and also runs a blog called The Busy Librarian. Today we’re going to focus, though, on his informative podcast. (Lucky me, I even got to visit in August.) Those of you who read my May interview this year with author-illustrator Dan Santat may remember this moment:

I’ve recently become addicted to Matthew Winner’s Let’s Get Busy podcast, where he interviews authors and illustrators in children’s publishing. Everyone should check that podcast out. … I think in about a year, when everyone catches on, it will be one of the most important media sites in the children’s publishing field.

So, here’s Matthew. I thank him for visiting today and congratulate him on 100 episodes! Read the rest of this entry �

The Coretta Scott King Awards Book Fair

h1 Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Ever heard of the Coretta Scott King Awards Book Fair? I hadn’t either till I took my children to one of these fairs in Nashville a few months back.

Today at Kirkus, I talk to the Fair’s organizer, Collette Hopkins. She’s pictured above (second from the left) at this year’s Fair with Angelica Washington, author Sharon Draper, storyteller Mama Koku, and illustrator R. Gregory Christie. Collette talks about what the Fair is and how interested teachers and librarians can bring it to their city.

That link is here.

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Image used with permission of Collette Hopkins.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #398: Featuring Ninja Cat Vs. Angel Cat

h1 Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Hi, dear kickers. The illustrations I had planned to share today aren’t up, because I had some issues with the image files. Well, most of the images are fine, but two of them are not, so I’ll just wait. I’ll get that fixed soon (I hope) and post about the book another day.

But since posting without images is just not something I can tolerate here at 7-Imp, I’m sharing a piece of art my 10-year-old made. She and her sister are all the time drawing ninja cats, and this particular image cracks me up. It’s the age-old narrative of good vs. evil. This time it’s Ninja Cat vs. Angel Cat. Who will win?

Read the rest of this entry �

Blog Break

h1 Sunday, July 27th, 2014

P.S. This includes next Sunday! I’ll be back after that, so as for you kickers, I’ll see you in two weeks.

Wildness

h1 Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014



 

I don’t have art for you all today, but I will later this week.

This is just a quick post to, once again, point you all to the Wild Things! site. My co-author and I are still sharing stories over there, ones cut from the original manuscript of our book, and we will have a story-a-day until publication on August 5th. (We’re even going to have some fun with author videos after that.)

Yesterday, we had a short post about the precocious ones of children’s lit. (Can you guess what Maurice Sendak’s first illustrated title was? It may not be what you think.) That link is here.

Today, we have a short post on celebrity children’s books (which gets an entire chapter in our book). We have the nice folks at the Horn Book to thank for re-posting a piece Peter once wrote about the celebrity book trend. (And when I read the Twitter response mentioned in this post, I laughed so hard, my husband came in the room to ask me if I was okay.)

Later this week, we’ll look at some feuds, some early exits of children’s lit, a funky Buddha party, films and children’s books, and more. It’s all here.

Until Thursday …

Alabama-Bound . . .

h1 Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Just a quick note to say that this Thursday I’ll speak in Huntsville, Alabama, at the 2014 Annual Convention of the Alabama Library Association.

The following week, I’ll also speak at the Tennessee Library Association Annual Conference 2014, but I won’t have to travel far for that one. It’ll be in my own back yard, so to speak (Murfreesboro, Tennessee).

If any of my blog readers will be at either conference, by chance, please come say hi!

Until Thursday …

This, That, and the Other (the February 2014 edition)

h1 Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

I don’t often do this (it pains me to have a 7-Imp post with no art), but I have a few, quick newsy-type notes. I’ll use my rock-and-roll hands, like I did in the most recent This, This, and the Other post back in November, just to keep things interesting:

Today, I’m over at the blog of author-illustrator Brian Lies. It’s not often that I’m the interviewee, but he asked if I wanted to participate in a blog series about favorite characters in children’s lit, and I was totally game.

That link is here.

p.s. We will not discuss the fact that Brian recently visited a library in the county I live in, and I managed to miss it altogether. Not I-knew-about-it-but-couldn’t-go, but I-managed-to-miss-the-announcement-that-he’d-even-be-here. Still kicking myself over that.

I’m happy to have contributed to the Horn Book’s upcoming issue (March/April) all about illustration. Needless to say, I’m eager to read the issue cover-to-cover.

The piece about illustration that I wrote for them is also online now at their site.

Finally, a note for local friends: I’ll be doing story time this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Parnassus Books in Nashville. We’ll be celebrating Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss stories. I hear there will be cupcakes, and what a wonder are cupcakes.

Until tomorrow (when I will have art!) …

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Kadir Nelson

h1 Friday, January 24th, 2014


“Oh, I see. When I am lost, I climb a little higher so I can see all around.
Keep walking, Baby Bear. You are closer than you think. And sing a song—
it will make you feel better.

Thank you, dear Ram.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I wrote a little something in honor of the upcoming ALA Youth Media Awards. That link is here.

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Today at 7-Imp, I’ve got some spreads (sans text) from Kadir Nelson’s Baby Bear, which I wrote about last week.

Some of the colors in these spreads are a bit off, at least according to my computer, which bums me out. I wish I could ensure accurate color reproduction on everyone’s computers, but this is the best I can do.

Enjoy the art! Read the rest of this entry �

So, You Wanna Write a Picture Book?

h1 Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

I write here at 7-Imp (and elsewhere) about picture books. ‘Cause I love them so.

I’ve never, however, tried to write one myself (except that time in grad school when I took a course from Jack Gantos, and HOO BOY, was it one of the hardest things I’ve ever been asked to do, but I digress). Despite this fact, I get lots of queries from people who want to publish a picture book but don’t know where to begin.

And I’ve found myself telling these people lately about a new handbook from picture book author Linda Ashman (with whom I had a Kirkus chat this past May). It’s called The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books: Tools and Tips for Writing, Polishing and Selling Your Manuscript. If memory serves me right, she released it this past summer. I’m just now getting around to writing a post about it, though as I said, I’ve personally recommended it to several wannabe authors since then.

It’s an e-book, and you can even download the Table of Contents and Introduction here at Linda’s site. It is packed with the type of information those wanting to be published—or even thinking about writing a picture book—would need to know. In fact, I’m super happy that I can now direct folks to this guidebook, given that I do get asked often about how to get one’s foot in the door when it comes to publishing a picture book. There are nine chapters, which instruct readers—with accessibility and wit—in the ways of Prepping a Picture Book Manuscript for Submission. It’s a comprehensive and common-sense guide from someone who knows the ins-and-outs of picture book publishing and who speaks with wisdom. And occasionally throughout the handbook, Linda pauses to chat briefly with editors, agents, etc. in the field. (You know you wanna hear editors and agents weigh in with their responses to the following queries: “Please complete these sentences: I would love to publish more picture books like … and If I read another picture book manuscript submission about [fill in the blank], I will scream.” At least I found those responses really intriguing.) Read the rest of this entry �

This, That, and the Other

h1 Monday, November 4th, 2013

[Edited to Add, Tuesday morning — I meant to say one more thing, dear readers: I am PERPETUALLY behind on email. I get a lot of blog-related emails. I am months behind, but I am making chinks in the stone and slowly getting caught up. If you’ve emailed me about something and you’re thinking I’m rude and incommunicative … well, no, all my emails this morning, as I try to catch up, begin with “sorry it took me months to reply.” Is it weird to wish I had a 7-Imp Administrative Assistant? Anyway, I hope to get back to everyone soon.]

 
I don’t tend to do news’y-type posts here at 7-Imp, but it’s just time for a few announcements that I find worthwhile for one reason or another:

First, I just have to share this. My favorite musician, Sam Phillips, recently wrote this:

I’ve decided to make November “Art Month.” It seems like a more interesting way to kick off the holidays. Some say that food is the new rock n’ roll, so I say that art is the new food.

Amen.

Okay, the announcements. I decided to use rock-and-roll hands, instead of boring bullets:

I’m currently in the second year of my two-year term as a member of the ALSC Grant Administration Committee for the American Library Association. It’s truly inspiring to read about what many innovative and enthusiastic librarians across the country are doing. We were encouraged to remind librarians about these grants; as you’ll see, some deadlines have passed, but not all of them. Please spread the word, librarians, and consider applying (if eligible). There are some great opportunities here.

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Speaking of ALSC/ALA, I’m honored to be on the ballot for the Newbery 2016 committee, posted here.

Voting for ALSC members isn’t till Spring, but no matter the results, I am, as I said, honored to even be named there.

Read the rest of this entry �