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Creating Books

Writing a book for young people? Look here for information, advice, and inspiration.

Book & Me | Comic #3

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Book & Me | Comic #2

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Book & Me | Comic #1

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Apples to Elephants: Artists in Animation

Children’s book geekery comes in many forms. My own most recent example came while watching Disney’s The Little Mermaid with my daughter for the first time. After skipping all the scary sea-witch scenes (which incidentally makes for a remarkably short film), we were watching the credit sequence roll when suddenly I started jumping up and […]

A Second Look: The Planet of Junior Brown

Does one of the salient works of the black children’s lit breakthrough still hold its own? Is it still the knockout that I pronounced it, at Kirkus, in 1971? The Planet of Junior Brown was Virginia Hamilton’s fourth book — each of them different from the others, and from anything else around. Hamilton, an emerging […]

Five questions for Lizzie Skurnick

Since 2013, Lizzie Skurnick Books (LSB; an imprint of Ig Publishing) has been handpicking and reissuing “the very best in young adult literature, from the classics of the 1930s and 1940s to the social novels of the 1970s and 1980s.” The list gained a passel of built-in followers with the release of Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind-Family series, […]

Beyond the Magically (Dis)abled

This past May, Twitter broke out in a glorious maelstrom of activity around the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks that was thrilling to follow and — once I realized the plea wasn’t only for more books with central characters of color — even more thrilling to join. As the mother of a teenager with autism, the founder of […]

Does YA Mean Anything Anymore?: Genre in a Digitized World – The Zena Sutherland Lecture

When we look to the astonishing growth of children’s books — especially YA books — in the last twenty years, we like to credit individuals — J. K. Rowling, for instance. But while it’s a kind of national obligation in the United States to praise individuals over collectives, I want to argue tonight that making […]

Grand and Important: Books for Beginning Readers

I’m not a teacher, a day-care provider, a doctor, or an educational administrator. I have neither statistics nor formulas to deliver. I’m a parent. I’m a writer and illustrator. And I’m a reader. I have instinct and intuition — that’s it. Today, I’m going to try to answer a couple of questions. How does a […]

Review of Picture This

Picture This: Perception and Composition by Molly Bang; illus. by the author Intermediate     Bulfinch/Little     141 pp. 9/91     Paper ed. 0-8212-1855-7     $12.95 With a forward by Rudolf Arnheim. If I could buy only one book this year, this would be the one. If I could take only one book on a long cavation, this would be […]