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An Excerpt from "I Am Myrtilla's Daughter" — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

Like so many authors, I have had to deal with book banners, though on a relatively small scale. Last year my picture book A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart was challenged in Virginia by a parent whose child thought it was about skateboards. Spoiler alert...

Profile of 2023 CSK Illustrator Award winner Frank Morrison

Sonali Fry and Frank Morrison. Photo courtesy of Sonali Fry. Every time I speak with Frank Morrison, I learn a cool fact about him. For instance, during one conversation, he told me that when he was a child, his favorite pastime was drawing Quicky, the official Nestle’s Nesquik mascot. What...

Profile of 2023 Children's Literature Legacy Award winner James E. Ransome

Jonda C. McNair and James E. Ransome in 2001. Photo: James J. Bishop. One of the highlights of my time as a doctoral student was serving as a hostess for esteemed authors and illustrators when they came to town to participate in the now-defunct The Ohio State University Children’s Literature...

Profile of 2023 Caldecott Medal winner Doug Salati

Doug Salati. Photo: Erin V. Carr. To be perfectly honest, I don’t really know how he did it. For the past four years I’ve sat roughly six feet from Doug Salati, inadvertently (and sometimes intentionally) listening to and watching him work on Hot Dog, from its foggiest beginnings to its...

Profile of 2023 Newbery Medal and CSK Author Award winner Amina Luqman-Dawson

Amina in seventh grade. Photo courtesy of Amina Luqman-Dawson. Working with Amina Luqman-Dawson has been nothing short of joyous. Back before the incredible double whammy of the Coretta Scott King and Newbery awards, before Freewater became a New York Times and Indie bestseller, I knew from my very first editorial...

2023 CSK–Virginia Hamilton Award Acceptance by Claudette S. McLinn

Good Sunday morning! It is so good to be together with family, friends, and colleagues in Chicago. I am appreciative and honored to stand before you to respectfully accept the 2023 Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement as Practitioner. Past winners of this distinguished award include Dorothy L....

2023 Children's Literature Legacy Award Acceptance: Belonging by James E. Ransome

Photo: John Halpern. Thank you, American Library Association, for honoring my work with this incredible award. But, just to be clear, the Children’s Literature Legacy Award is for my previous body of work — correct? Because I’m not done yet! I have plans, ideas, and contracts, so, God willing, I...

2023 CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance by Frank Morrison

I try to work on books that impact me personally. I was fortunate enough to illustrate Carole Boston Weatherford’s eloquent words and interpretation of the hymns that have been sung in African American community churches for what seems like centuries. I do not claim to have the same poetic abilities...

2023 CSK Author Award Acceptance by Amina Luqman-Dawson

Clearly, I’m a very fortunate person. I’m blessed. I’ll never forget, and I’ll be forever grateful for, the phone call I received from the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury. As any writer in this room would understand, Freewater was like my baby. So, the moment you know your baby...
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