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<<July 2016>>
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1. Sid Fleischman Award: Molly Burnham for TEDDY MARS

The Sid Fleischman Humor Award this year goes to the wonderful Molly Burnham, who wrote TEDDY MARS: ALMOST A WORLD RECORD BREAKER.

The award, named for the beloved writer Sid Fleischman, is given to the year's best funny book. Sid was one of the founding members of the SCBWI. Lisa Yee won the award the first time it was given, and she presented the honor to Molly, a debut novelist.

"Are you freaking out? If you're not, there's something wrong with you," Lisa said to Molly. "There are 1,000 people staring at you. THAT'S 2,000 EYEBALLS."

TEDDY MARS is about  boy obsessed with breaking world records. He'll try anything to reach his goal. "Funny, charming, and with its share of pigeon-poop jokes, this is a must-read for anyone who's ever felt out of place."

"When I found out I won this award, I immediately felt I wasn't funny any more," Molly said. (Everyone laughed immediately, proving the Molly is bonkers.)

She cried when she found out she won the Sid Fleischman award. "It's been a faraway dream that I would someday be worthy of this award. This dream ... started when I was a little kid. It means so much, and I am—to borrow a word from Road Dahl—ridonkuloulsly blissful."

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2. Barney Saltzberg: Writing A Simple Picture Book Isn't Simple

Barney Saltzberg is an author/illustrator and musician, including the best-selling Touch and Feel Kisses series.

"Creating a simple picture book isn't simple, it's complicated."

Barney mentions that if you don't know Peggy Rathmann, you should. She once told him it takes 3 minutes to read a picture book that takes 3 years to create.

Kids always ask, "Is this a hard job?" And Barney tells them that he used to have all his hair.

Picture books may be short but they are one of the most difficult to master. They are works of art.

Barney recommends Ann Whitford Paul's WRITING PICTURE BOOKS.

Two of Barney's former students share their journeys of the many years it has taken them to bring a picture book to life. For one, it's taken 6 years to create a 100 word picture book. Not simple, it's complicated.

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3. Golden Kite for Picture Book Text – Jessixa Bagley

Jessixa Bagley is by far Seattle's favorite Jessixa, and she'll be yours, too. BOATS FOR PAPA is a beautiful, lyrical book and her fellow Seattleites are thrilled that she/it have received this fantastic award.

In her acceptance speech, Jessixa thanks SCBWI, her lovely agent, Alexandra Penfold, and her stellar editor, Neal Porter. Jessixa got teary as she thanked her artist/author husband, Aaron Bagley, who she says helped her find her voice.

Jessixa says, upon receiving the call from SCBWI that she'd won the Golden Kite for Picture Book Text, that her Illustrator Brain thought, "Text!? Did my illustrations suck?"

But luckily her Author Brain piped up and said, "Hey! This is great!"

Jessixa's always felt much more comfortable calling herself an artist, "Calling myself an author... Author almost seemed like a taboo word... It seems like a dream now to be up on this stage. I went from thinking I'd never be published, to being here. Writing picture books is the hardest thing I've ever done, but also the most rewarding."

I love Jessixa's inspiring, concluding thoughts to us: She says if we haven't found our voice yet, to not be scared, it's there. It might be really quiet, but the more you write, the louder it will become.

Congratulations, Jessixa!!!

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4. Editor's Panel: Three Books I Loved Publishing and Why: Kate Sullivan

Kate Sullivan is Senior Editor at Delacorte Press. Kate share her picks.

ASH by Malinda Lo


 RAPTURE PRACTICE by Aaron Hartzler

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5. The 2016 SCBWI Member of the Year is...

Florida RA Linda Bernfeld!

As Lin said of Linda, "She's launched more careers... than you could count."

The standing ovation for Linda

Congratulations, Linda!

A well-deserved honor

On a personal note, I'm so delighted for Linda, who gets the crown after me…

Okay, while it doesn't come with a Tiara, winning SCBWI Member of the Year is a huge honor, and I'm so happy for you -- Congratulations!

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6. Nonfiction social: the real story!

#LA16SCBWI nonfiction aficionados gathered in the ornately walled Athenian room to socialize, network, and talk trade. And this is just a few of them–more people flowed in after the photo was taken! What was the nitty-gritty? You'll just have to be there next year to find out.

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7. Editors' Panel: Three Books I Loved Publishing and Why - Sara Sargent & Reka Simonsen

Reka Simonsen, executive editor
at Atheneum Books for Young Readers

ENCHANTED AIR by Margarita Engle - This book shows how Engle became a writer and how she reconciled both sides of her cultural background to feel whole. "The writing is just gorgeous. It's moving. It makes me feel something. But it's very accessible and it's honest." Rena found Margarita in the slush pile years ago, and loved seeing how her writing developed.

"The best historical fiction feels relevant now." I think Jillian is really one of the best. She tells from both sides a story about colonialism and indigenous culture, and blends light and dark. The lightness in the book gives a way out of the darkness and she creates strong, well-drawn characters who are believable and understandable, even if you don't always like them. "Her writing just blows me away. She's another one of those people who's so smart you almost can't have a conversation with her without feeling a little overwhelmed."

GLASS SLIPPER GOLD SANDAL by Paul Fleischmann and Julie Paschkis
This has two things I love in one book: It's a multicultural approach to something familiar, and takes an incredible job with a story everyone knows, but also personalizes it for each culture. It shows readers there is more than one side of each story, and more than one way to tell a story. You can look at the world in many different ways. It also created amazing illustration opportunities.

Sara Sargent, executive editor at HarperCollins Children's Books

Sara chose three books to highlight. 

CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge - a mashup of Beauty and the Beast with classical mythology. The world is complex and Sara and Rosamund had different ideas about resolving these things. "Where we ended up was such the perfect marriage of my editorial guidance ... and staying true to what she really wanted to do with the book." 

She felt like it added something new to the canon of Beauty & the Beast retellings. 

"There are a lot of reasons people become YA editors... I really love romance." This book made Sara feel understood like no other book had. That's a key reason people read YA. "There was something about this book that I absolutely couldn't pass up." 

She had to pass on the book. She was a new editor in her first job, and she couldn't get the rest of the team behind it. Two years later, she was at a new job and asked the agent, John Cusack, to send the manuscript again. They loved it, and the book became a huge lead title on the Simon Pulse list. (The process was agony for the author.) 

"If you touch us in some way or inspire us, we don't forget about it, and we are the most die-hard champions of the things you write." 

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8. Golden Kite acceptance speeches: John Para

John Para accepted the Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration for “Marvelous Cornelius,” written by Phil Bildner (Chronicle Books)

He spoke about working as an illustrator for twenty-plus years without having any idea about the world of children’s books—this “huge and wonderful community of writers and illustrators.” 

John recalled how art called him since early childhood, drawing pictures in his bedroom for hours at a time. It was a calling that got stronger as he grew, a calling that led him to a career in illustration. 

He spoke energetically about the story of Marvelous Cornelius, leading the audience in an interactive call and response: “Whooo-whooo-whooo! Rat-a-tat-tat! 

John ended his speech with a Dr. King quote: “If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”


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9. Jenni Holm: It Takes a Family

Jennifer L. Holm is a New York Times best-selling author and recipient of three Newbery Honors.

Lin introduces one of her favorite authors, who excels with both novels and graphic novels (written with her brother Mathew).

When Jenni's ballerina dreams fell apart at a very young age, she decided she wanted to be writer.

Much of her writing has been inspired by her own family.

Jenni's dad was her inspiration for OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA after finding her great aunt's diary in her grandmother's attic.

But Jenni tells us, when you write a book about your dad's family, you did it wrong. You should have written one about your mom's first.

PENNY FROM HEAVEN was inspired by her mom's family.

Jenni's next book TURTLE IN PARADISE came out of writing PENNY FROM HEAVEN and was inspired by her son.

Jenni didn't want to forget her husband in all this inspiration. In BOSTON JANE, Jane falls in love with a sailor who has a scar on his cheek. This was the time she was falling in love with her husband. 

Jenni circles back to her physician father, who always talked about science, as the inspiration for THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH. 

SUNNY SIDE UP was inspired by her gramps, who is "still alive and kicking at 101."

FULL OF BEANS, Jenni's upcoming novel comes back to Key West (where TURTLE IN PARADISE is set) and it's a book her son asked her write.

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10. What would Shakespeare drive?

Imagine a Hollywood film about the Iraq War in which a scene at a clandestine Al-Qaeda compound featuring a cabal of insurgents abruptly cuts to a truck-stop off the New Jersey Turnpike. A group of disgruntled truckers huddle around their rigs cursing the price of gas. An uncannily similar coup de thèâtre occurs in an overlooked episode in 1 Henry IV.

The post What would Shakespeare drive? appeared first on OUPblog.

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11. Books For and About Diverse Kids: John Parra, Don Tate, Lisa Yee, Stacey Barney, and Pat Cummings

Right to Left: Pat Cummings, Stacey Barney, John Parra, Don Tate, and Lisa Yee

In this discussion-based breakout session, we have multiple perspectives from different parts of the children's literature community:

Pat Cummings, author/illustrator of over thirty-five books for young readers (and Board member of SCBWI, the Authors Guild, and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, among others.)

Stacey Barney, Senior Editor at Penguin/Putnam Books for Young Readers

John Parra, Golden-Kite winning illustrator.

Don Tate, author and illustrator, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award.

Lisa Yee, author of 16 books and winner of the very first Sid Fleischman Humor Award.

Some highlights:

Stacey Barney:
"Write organic stories." Sometimes she finds that it's almost as if writers are checking off boxes for diversity with their diverse cast of characters, but "character shouldn't feel like categories."

John Parra:
"Be respectful. Show it to others who are part of those communities. Make sure authentic is how it's portrayed."

Don Tate:
"Study. Research. Vet. ...Make sure you're not exploiting the topic."

Lisa Yee:
You can write outside your experience "but you have to get it right."

The panel are telling us fascinating stories, like Lisa sharing how her Millicent Min (in 2003) was the first middle grade book with a photo of an Asian American kid on the cover.

Don shares about doing a school visit when he was asked by a 5th grade class if he only illustrates Black people, and how he asked the two African American boys in the class if they felt like they've read books that represented them - and they said no. So he turned to the rest of the class and explained that he's made it his mission, he's built his whole career, to create positive portrayals of people that look like those two boys… and the whole class clapped.

Stacey tells us about teaching (elementary and preschool and high school), and reading picture books to the kids, and how she made an effort to choose picture books that reflected their experience. "Kids are kids."

Pat speaks of her school visits, and how kids pick up books out of curiosity. She shares how she was asked once by a British author why she only does books with Black characters. Pat countered, asking the British author why they only created books with British characters…

John speaks of how he sees diverse books being published, but the awards and reviews and the best lists of the year aren't that diverse. After they've published, how do they get recognized and supported?

They cover editorial staffing (and the importance of diversity in staffing across departments, including marketing, publicity and sales), being vetted by additional experts, and much, much more.

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12. डाइट – वजन नियंत्रित करने की टिप्स

 डाइट – वजन नियंत्रित करने की टिप्स  डाइट – वजन नियंत्रित करने की टिप्स How to Maintain our weight.. some helpful tips हम जिम जाकर या अन्य तरीके अपना कर अपना वजन कम तो कर लेते है पर उसे नियंत्रण में नही रख पाते और जिम छोडते ही या सैर करना छोडते ही दुबारा अपने […]

The post डाइट – वजन नियंत्रित करने की टिप्स appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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13. Sara Sargent: Cutting Edge Young Adult Fiction

Sara Sargent is an executive editor at HarperCollins Children's Books. She's published Deb Caletti, Jennifer Echols, Julie Cross, Aaron Karo and Martina Boone, and she acquires everything from picture books through young adult.

YA editors are wondering what's next when it comes to trends. Books that are hitting shelves today were acquired 12 to 24 months ago. It's true that you shouldn't write to trends. Today's trends will be over when your book comes out. Also, books that aren't written from the heart won't be as good.

"My list is only as good as the books you write."

Sara started at HC a year ago to develop books teens really want to read. She wanted to know what made teens tick, and what drives their purchasing habits. "What could I do to make sure the books I was publishing today reflected the teens of today?"

Publishers were publishing books for millennials and Gen Z—the one that follows millennials. Here's some marketing data:
  • First generation to be majority nonwhite
  • Average attention span is 8 seconds
  • They use on average five devices (phone, laptop, desktop, tv, table) 
  • More tolerable of gender diversity than previous generations
It's good to research teens to understand what they want. There are a number of things to research: their music, their pop culture interests, their ideas about sex and identity, what they worry about, what their school lives are like (among many other things). 

What makes her reject a manuscript?
One that feels like it's a book the authors are writing for the teens they were. You need to make it your business to know what would make a teen want to buy it. 

Immerse yourself in teen culture. Watch a lot of YouTube. See what kids are watching. Read advertising industry articles. Subscribe to the AdWeek emails—they have lots of interesting articles on the topics. Download apps. Books are competing with other media for attention, and it's important to know your competition. 

She creates separate social media accounts she uses to follow people. You can use it just for work to follow celebrities and such. See what they're talking about and how they're galvanizing their fans. 

"We need to cozy up to our audience. We need to understand and know them, and—dare I say—love them." 

What does cutting edge mean? 
Among other things: Something that pushes the envelope as a taboo, something that experiments with form, something that makes adults uncomfortable, one that turns traditional relationships upside-down, one that portrays a broader set of experiences. "Innovative and pioneering. Those are great words." 

Rethink storylines. Surprise her. "I know I'm reading something cutting edge when I can feel my brain carving a new path, rather than going on autopilot."

Something innovative builds on the pre-existing canon. "Read, read, and read some more." 

You want to find a new way to express something universal. 

Find her online at sarasargent.wordpress.com and on Twitter and Instagram as @Sara_Sargent.

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14. Illustrators! Share your #LA16SCBWI Conference Journal Images...

It's an open call. Are you an illustrator attending #LA16SCBWI?

If you'd like to share a photo of your conference notes/sketches, you can leave a link here in comments, or tag your image on either twitter or instagram with #LA16SCBWI.

We can't wait to see - and share - what inspires you, and how you express it!

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15. CBCA Shortlist: Finished Reading A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay

Wel, I've completed my read of this particular CBCA shortlist book.

Is it good? Yes. And even if it doesn't win this award, it has already won some others, including one for spec fic. I finished the last chapters quickly, which says something about the readability of the story, and the heroine was good, as was her foster sister and a boy she was friendly with(no romance) but ...

There were some questions left unanswered at the end. I can't go into detail here without spoilers. I described the story outline in my last post on this. It's a dystopia set in a small village where everyone has been trapped for several generations after a rockfall(known as The Rockfall) got them stuck in a valley surrounded by mountains. It has become the ritual to send very slim young girls from seven years upwards to mine mica in the narrow natural passages -men aren't allowed into the mountain or allowed to scoop anything out, because the only survivors of the disaster last time, just after the Rockfall, were women - seven of them, so there is a team of seven girls who are trained to go in and get the mica needed badly for heat and light -only seven at a time, because that's the ritual. And no scooping out anything but what the mountain will allow because that's what caused the Rockfall. I totally understand the point the author is making here.

As I said in my last post, there's no comment on how small the gene pool is in a place where there's only one village - no point in naming it when there aren't any others - although there is a bit on the careful harvests and how happy everyone is when they manage to catch a bird the villagers can share.

But I think the ending let it down. Not so much the discovery of the other people on the other side and that there might be a way to reach them - that's more or less indicated in the scenes from the POV  of a girl called Lia, so not a spoiler. Again, I can't tell you, because spoiler. But I was left saying, "Hang on, there's been this flashback going on through the book and it never quite told us what happened to two of the characters and suddenly we find out what happened to one of them, but not how." 

To be honest, of the four Older Readers books I've read so far, I like two equally best, The Flywheel and Cloudwish. Possibly Cloudwish a bit ahead... Freedom Ride was good for the history it brought to life, though there were some familiar tropes in it I've seen before. This novel is, so far, the one I like the least. And I'm a lover of speculative fiction. 


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16. Editor Panel – Neal Porter and Matt Ringler

Neal with Jessixa Bagley at her book launch
(photo stolen from Jessixa's Facebook)
Neal Porter of Neal Porter Books (an imprint of Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan) shares his three favorites:

GIANT SQUID by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann (out September 2016)


Matt with a band, not his boy band. Photo stolen from Matt's Twitter feed.

Matt Ringler of Scholastic has these three favorite books:

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17. Golden Kite acceptance speeches: Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle accepted the Golden Kite Award for nonfiction for her book, “Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir,” (Atheneum). 

She spoke about the challenges of writing a memoir, noting that memories swirl in time. “There is not a website for looking up your childhood,” she said

Margarita wrote “Enchanted Air” to offer hope to children of immigrants, and for her hope for better relations between the United States and Cuba.

Her plea for peace, she said, became a song of thanks when the book published on the same day the United States opened its doors to Cuba.


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18. Editor’s Panel: Three Books I Loved Publishing and Why: Stacey Barney

Two titles that Stacey loved publishing:

Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird

Kristin Levine

Heather Bouwman

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19. Golden Kite for Middle Grade/Young Reader: Kate Hannigan

This year's Golden Kite Award for Middle Grade/Young Readers is Kate Hannigan for THE DETECTIVE'S ASSISTANT.

"How many of you have received rejection notices?" Kate asks.

Hands shoot in the air.

Kate shares her 65 feet of rejection. With help, she rolls it out like a red carpet!

Look at that. That's how you get applause for rejection. 

Kate share that in 2004, a year into being involved with SCBWI, she started receiving notices about winning awards and receiving invitations to speak at school, when she hadn't yet published. People were confusing her, Kate Hannigan, with Katherine Hannigan. THE DETECTIVE'S ASSISTANT also came out within days of Katherine's latest book. Kate found she had to make her own mark and break through with her own voice. 

"I wrote and wrote like a pack of wolves was at my heels," Kate says.

Kate describes writing the book as "a giddy wind in a hair thrill."

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20. Editor’s Panel: Three Books I Loved Publishing and Why: Kat Brzozowski

Two titles that Kat loved publishing:

Fear Street series
R.L. Stein

When the Moon was Ours
Anna Marie McLemore

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21. The Emotional Wound Thesaurus Is Retiring Soon

Becca and I have been profiling Emotional Wounds for quite a while now, and it’s getting to the point where we need to retire this thesaurus and start a new one.

I know some of you might be upset. The Emotional Wound Thesaurus is truly one-of-a-kind, tackling a topic that is difficult to master in writing.

The good news is this: while we’re retiring the thesaurus, it’s for a good reason…so we can develop it further into a full-fledged book.

So, think of this thesaurus as merely being “on hold.” Down the road we’ll have a new resource for you that will be unlike anything else in your writing toolkit. 🙂

Before we wrap things up, we want to give everyone an opportunity to let us know what wounds they wish we would cover. This is your chance to let us know what wounds you want to see in the book!

Here’s another reason to leave us a wishlist of Emotional Wounds in the comment section:

Becca and I are going to create a short list from the ones left in the comment section and let you vote on the final entries we profile on the blog before we retire the thesaurus.

So, release the hounds! Er, the Emotional Wounds.

Tell us which wounds you would like to see us tackle, which wounds are difficult for you to portray on the page. Maybe we can help!





The post The Emotional Wound Thesaurus Is Retiring Soon appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®.

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22. Dreamworks Animation To Launch Around-The-Clock Arabic Channel in The Middle East

Around-the-clock Dreamworks Animation in Arabic is now a reality.

The post Dreamworks Animation To Launch Around-The-Clock Arabic Channel in The Middle East appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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23. The 2016 Golden Kite Award-Winner For Fiction: Neal Shusterman for Challenge Deep

Neal accepting his Golden Kite Award

Neal Shusterman is the New York Times best-selling author of the National Book Award-winning Challenger Deep; Bruiser, which was a Cooperative Children’s Book Center choice, a YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults pick, and on twelve state lists; The Schwa Was Here; and the Unwind dystology, among many other books. He lives in California with his four children. Visit: www.storyman.com

Neal's "Challenger Deep" is the winner of this year's 2016 Golden Kite Award for Fiction.

Neal tells us about where "Challenger Deep" came from. About his son's mental illness and struggle and ultimately rising above it. Not a story about his son, but inspired by thing things his son went through. He took the artwork his son had created while he was in the emotional depths, the mental depths, and built a story from that.

"Challenger Deep frightened me. ...I wanted it to be emotionally honest," and something that his son would be proud of. It took him four years to write. How he was so nervous about his editor's response, and how gratified he was by her response that it was "a masterpiece." And then he gets a great laugh when he says that praise was followed by a ten-page editorial letter!

"Challenger Deep is a call to action. To talk openly about mental illness."

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24. Jack Canfield 7-minute Videos to Help Writers


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25. Saho Fuji – The Picture Book Process: A Complete Overview

Saho Fujii shares some details about the picture book making process for illustrators. Here are some highlights:

Wild fact: She has two books coming out this fall that have been in production for five and ten years! She says these are exceptions, most books take a year or two.

At Little Brown, there are two book seasons, and each have pretty standard deadlines for art.

Spring books: Sketches are due: 4/1 and final art is due 8/1

Spring books: Sketches are due: 10/1 and final art due 2/1 of following year...

These are standard schedule dates in the LB contract an illustrator receives!

I might have to lie down.

Changes to the schedule can be made, but an illustrator must tell their editor/art director production team as soon as possible if they need more time.

Trim size is chosen, as are paper types (dependent on book age range and category) and pagination lengths.

Saho is looking for character and setting consistency at the sketch stage to be sure those are consistent in the final art.

Even at the sketch stage when there may be no color, Saho is aware of potential issues, for example, when working on Jerry Pinkney’s TORTOISE AND THE HARE, Jerry had mentioned he wanted the story set in the dessert. But the art team expressed concern the pages would be monochromatic, and that the main characters would blend into the background too much. So Jerry added colorful props and accessories to the tortoise and hare, as well as colorful, extra cast members to help vary the palette more.

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