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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Childrens publishing, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Matthew Winner – Librarian Interview

I have been mulling over how to expand my interviews, which I so enjoy doing, and have decided that while I want to continue with a focus on illustrators, I want to also incorporate chats with other members of the … Continue reading

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2. Keeping Up with Children’s Book Publishing

Note: This post is part of the Blogging A to Z Challenge for today’s letter “K.”

What do you do if you want to keep up with all that’s happening in the world of children’s publishing?

Children's Publishing

One way is to go online to Publisher’s Weekly and click on the “children’s” tab in the top menu bar.

Better yet, subscribe to their free e-newsletter, Children’s Bookshelf. You can do that here!

0 Comments on Keeping Up with Children’s Book Publishing as of 4/13/2015 1:34:00 PM
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3. Why is my Dummy still a Dummy?!

Writers and artists work so hard at conceiving, then executing wonderful stories and images for potential picture books, only to be left holding rejection letters and wondering “WHY NOT?”

I wish I had answers…it would make an agent’s job much easier!  But I do have some possible reasons to share with you today.  Number one, your manuscript (ms) and your images (dummy) need to be as ready for publication as possible.  Not just a ‘good idea.’  Those are everywhere.  Not just a few sketches, but a well thought out flow of visual story telling.  OK, now you are ready to be ‘snapped up.’

There are good market reasons that even the BEST stories might get missed or rejected by well meaning houses.  First of all keep in mind that picture books are VERY expensive to print!  When the economy is down or slow (!) it’s likely that houses might not do as many.  When the dollar is weak, as it is now, it’s more expensive to print even in China! Fewer books means more care in selection.

PREFERANCES also vary yearly and are very cyclical. “Spunky” over “quiet” etc.  What was ‘hot’ last year, might not be this year.  Your story might have been perfect for last year, but not this.  But remember it might be perfect 3 years from now again! This past year or two, more novels have been published than picture books.  They are all the rage, and without pictures, much cheaper to print. Yet picture book sales have held their own, proving that they ARE worth the expense in the long run.

Speaking of the long run, the Back List effects what they take on new.  Editors need to bring in books to ADD to the bottom line, and which promise to ADD to the strong Back List for the house.  Often they ‘borrow’ from that back list and redo books that are strong. This all means they won’t be able to publish all the new stories they might want to. I’ve noticed that this seems to be a trend these days (which is nice for illustrators!). They are constantly ‘balancing’ their lists as well as adding to the imprints list balance.  A Publisher may have 2-4 lists a year.  Each tries to add balance and income, minimize risk and loss.  The “P & L” (profit and loss) is ALL important these days! They project several years in advance! Your book might not pass that test. They want to add new writers and illustrators, but will they ‘last?’  Will they produce on-going to add value to the imprint? And of course, the bottom line: will they sell well?

Another trend I see is ‘in house’ ideas being developed, particularly for series ideas.  They go through the same scrutiny as other proposals, but that might make it harder for ‘outside’ ideas to be considered.  Often writers worry as well that their ‘ideas’ will be ‘borrowed.’  That is possible of course, but I find it rarely a problem in this honest, supportive industry. That does bring us to another LEGAL point that might mean they do NOT take on your dummy.  Many houses will not accept unsolicited  manuscripts.  One legal reason is that they might find themselves turning down an idea that is actually being developed in-house currently!  This can LOOK like a ‘stealing of ideas’, when it is pure coincidence.  If you look at new lists in stores, you will see how often this does happen even between houses!  Two ‘bird’ books, or three ‘princess’ books etc. that are too close in feel.  Trends happen and it’s like a wave at times!  So houses protect themselves by not taking on ‘outside’ ideas at all.  Therefore, your ‘perfect dummy’ won’t even be looked at by these publishers.

It’s a tight market these days, and the stakes are high. Do your best, understand it’s NOT personal, and keep trying! A good story, well done, will find a publisher at the right time.

and I had to share this ‘artist’s block’ image of my 21 month old granddaughter, Billie….. we all know the feeling! (thanks Christy!)

artist block


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4. ‘New box of crayons’ time…..

Oct Bk to Sch blast


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5. WELCOME HUMPHREY!: BK Launch!

We at CAT agency are so happy to help Launch the wonderfully friendly new series about the Hamster Humphrey and his Tiny Tales from Penguin Putnam!  See his first two books here, and a little video about how he is created by our artist PRISCILLA BURRIS         https://vimeo.com/104481200

Humphrey1 (3)

Humphrey2 (3)


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6. Traveling Bennies

One of the small pleasures I treat myself to is visiting the book stores of every town I visit in my travels if possible.  I figure I’m ‘working’, right?   I was able to visit two on the Outer Banks NC last weekend while visiting and saying goodbye to summer.

One is the sweetest tiny bookstore in Buxton NC…lower part of Outer Banks, very near the Hatteras Light House Point we love so much… good fishing normally and the best beaches! (skunked this year….)  Buxton book store2 (2)

and the second I revisited was the Corolla Light Bookstore in the northern part of the Outer Banks.  (Do visit the Sanderling Resort and Spa if ever near there!)

Corolla Light Book Store

They are so adorably old fashioned..and yet very modern and up to date too.  Just a pleasure all around and remind me how LUCKY I am to love reading as I do and have children’s books be my livelihood !  Work, Work, Work, …..


1 Comments on Traveling Bennies, last added: 10/19/2014
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7. LAUNCH: Maggie and Milo: frog hunters

Just in time for spring, a grandma (!) sends a surprise package of JUST what you need to Frog Hunt…so off go Maggie, a wee lively gal, and Milo, a huge loving dog!  Our Priscilla Burris brings the characters alive in her usual adorable and spunky way:  do check it out…. and it just begs for more adventures!  Kirkus Review loves it! as do others…. go Maggie and Milo!  and happy Spring finally to all….

A Maggi and Milo pic (3)cover, and below author reading to class….

milo author

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/juli-brenning/maggi-and-milo/

 

KIRKUS REVIEW

What do you need for a frog hunt? Big polka-dot boots, a book about frogs and one giant border collie best friend.

Maggi, a wisp of a girl with spindly legs and a large, wobbly head, is an excellent adventurer. She can’t wait to try out her new boots and search the pond for frogs. After a good night’s rest—and imparting forbiddingly specific instructions to her brother at the breakfast table (“Please keep the chitchat to a minimum. I’m in a hurry!”)—Maggi and her shaggy sidekick, Milo, are ready. However, after waiting “a million minutes” (or three) in the water, they haven’t found a single frog. With shoulders slumped and head bent low, Maggi declares frog hunting to be capital B-O-R-I-N-G. Until…Milo finds a frog! And another. And another. After 16 frogs total, Maggi and Milo rest. (Frog hunting is hard work.) As the sun sets and the palette changes to a dusky blue, the frogs quietly croak “good night” to their new friends. Debut author Brenning has created a charming duo; Milo’s steadfast loyalty (and joyful, lolling tongue, courtesy of Burris) fully balances Maggi’s quirky proclivities. A simple, everyday adventure is always better when shared with a friend.

Move over Ladybug Girl (2008), there’s a new spunky gal-and-canine twosome in town. (Picture book. 3-6)


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8. AND SPRING IS…..

Wanting to wish EVERYONE a very happy Spring/Easter week and weekend! Do believe it Spring is finally here…. in most places anyway.  (sorry Cleveland!)  Even The Cat has his ears on for the occasion!

easter blast


1 Comments on AND SPRING IS….., last added: 4/16/2014
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9. Pic Book Tips (borrowed but brilliant)….

I just read the end of the submission guidelines for an Australian/International Picture Book competition, and these TIPS were there.  Nothing new, but to read them all together is wonderful and possibly helpful to all.  Thank you Kathy Temean (Writing and Illustrating WordPress Blog- check out for contest guidelines).

and PRINT THESE….then place above your writing illustrating space… and remember!

PICTURE BOOK TIPS

Golden Rule: don’t use too much dialogue, text or description. Let the pictures do the talking—don’t say what the pictures can show. Cut and cull your text. Be ruthless! If your text is 400 words long, it should be vibrant and intensely edited.

Think carefully about rhythm and flow—this is one of the most common obstacles between a work-in-progress and a publisher-ready ms. Read the work out loud and listen to the way the words work together. ‘Hear’ the beat and flow as you read, and adjust words as necessary.

Don’t attempt rhyme. It is not popular with publishers but if you simply can’t resist, make sure it’s infallible. Two rhyming end-words do not a perfect rhyme make. Rhythm and beat is as important as word rhyme—in fact, even more so. Don’t create awkward sentences with odd word placement in order to make a rhyme; rewrite the entire stanza instead.

Look at your word usage and sentence structure. Is it dynamic and interesting? Does it pull the reader along and make them want to read more? or does the reader stumble or become confused? Does it delight? Does it sound good?

Never talk down to the reader. Use big words. Use unusual words. Use a unique voice. Don’t patronise and don’t explain. Never hammer readers with morals. If you simply must use them, thread them through the story in an imperceptible way.

Unless you want your book to appear like an information brochure, attempting to educate children on social, physical, emotional and mental issues and conditions needs to be done cryptically and cleverly. Add humour. Create an unexpected storyline that intimates things in a subtle way and you will have a winner with kids.

Think about the plot. A good story leads the reader through conflict to resolution in a Beginning Middle Ending way, or in a Cyclical way. Things HAPPEN. Showing someone going about their day and going to bed at night is not a story. It’s an account. Write a story, not an account.

Have a protagonist. Your protagonist, or main character, does not sit by and observe—they action, take part and instigate.

Think outside the square. Cover unusual topics, with untouched themes (avoid monsters, fairies, trucks, mud, grandma dying, rainbows, farmyard animals, dogs and other overdone topics). Use different writing voices and story structure. Do something DIFFERENT.

Think twice about supplying detailed illustration notes. Too many notes absolutely do hamper your text; rely on the reader’s ability to imagine what your words are showing. Only supply notes if the text is very cryptic and needs ‘explaining’, and even then—make notes extremely short.

Look objectively at your story. Is it clear and simple or cluttered and confused? Be wary of submitting something that is wrapped up in your own head and unable to be deciphered by someone else. This happens A LOT.

Have an ending. A PB ending needs to be shocking, surprising, funny, quirky or in some way resolving and/or related to the plot. Around sixty per cent of the ms endings we have seen are either non-existent, confusing or dull. Go out on a top note, not a kerplunk. A great ending demands a repeat reading—and that is exactly what you want.

Write your book for kids, not adults. If you hit the nail on the head for kids, most adults will love it, too.

Keep it simple.

REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE WRITING FOR!

picking books1

OK, this is my youngest granddaughter…a book lover already! Like my 8 year old granddaughter as well!


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10. Top Christian Book Award…art by our Kornacki!

Our very own Christine Kornacki has WON the Children’s AWARD

SPARKLE BOX!!!

cover Sparkle box KORNACKI

Announcing the 2014 Christian Book Award® Program Winners

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has announced the winners for the 2014 Christian Book Award® program. Presented annually to the finest in Christian publishing since 1978, the Christian Book Award® program honors titles in seven categories: Bibles, Bible Reference, Non-Fiction, Fiction, Children, Inspiration and New Author.

Five finalists are selected in each category following a stringent judging process by judging panels specially selected for each category. The top scoring book in each category is named the Christian Book Award® winner. The Christian Book of the Year™ is chosen among the finalists to represent Christian publishing’s highest quality and greatest impact for 2014.

The Christian Book Award® program winners and Christian Book of the Year™ were announced at the ECPA Awards Banquet on April 28, 2014 at the Focus on the Family Headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO.
2014 Finalists
Program Information

 

 


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11. Missing my mother…..

This day is always a special one for mothers and their children…just an easy opportunity to THANK a love one in any small kind way.  This is my first without my mother, and it is a mixed bunch of emotions I have to admit!  But mostly all very good and immensely grateful.  So I wanted to pass on this image of ANA OCHOA’S which does show the complexity of nature and expectations and dreams….something mothers live with and nurture.  Enjoy the day ALL!

mother's day-OCHOA


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12. NY Artist lunch…. and so much more

Time seems to be just running away this long awaited spring! Part of the race for CATugeau Agency was run in NYC recently…the first visitation trip Christy and I have done together.  Thank you to the wonderfully welcoming editors and AD’s at Penguin Group’s Grosset & Dunlap, Dial and Viking for letting us practice on you! :) I think Christy thinks this is all FUN! and I think I agree.

We started with a very special, fun lunch at Westville Hudson with our four NYC artists. They surprised Christy with a silver pin with two cats sitting together! So perfect and she wore it all day! Thank you CAT gals…

NYC artist partyleft to right: Melissa Iwai, Lisa Fields, Christy Tugeau Ewers (coral sweater), Chris Tugeau (me!), Heather Maione, Nina Mata

The next day we started BEA at the early Children’s Breakfast…always special and inspirational. Then we ‘walked the halls’ seeing publishing people from out of town, and literally bumping into others from ‘town.’  Always fun.  We loved seeing so many great children’s books displayed (though I might have picked up a couple of ‘advance’ adult books too!) We passed out lots of our BEA BOOK BRAG SHEET too.  Here it is for you to peruse as well. We’re very proud! Hope you’ll check them out at your local bookstore.

BEA

So now the follow-ups are done, and we’re settling back into the ‘day to day.’ Oh I almost forgot - Christy and 6 other of our artists have a new email Blast about ready for June’s “Adopt a CAT Month!” How perfect is that?  come back soon to see that one…. and of course, we wish all a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!                    image by Michelle Hazelwood

fathers day

 

 


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13. Launch and award …

I’m a bit late in congratulating our CAT artist Martha Aviles (in Mexico) for her SILVER MEDAL Honor from the SYDNEY TAYLOR BOOK AWARD  presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries.  This award for STONES FOR GRANDPA from KarBen/Lerner publishing, is in the younger readers category. CONGRATULATIONS all!

Stones Aviles

ALSO, Priscilla Burris illustrated a wonderful trade picture book that just launched…. EDGAR’S SECOND WORD written by Audrey Vernick from Clarion.  It’s so endearing and might help an older impatient sibling should you know one!  congratulations Priscilla!

edgar COVER (3).jpgBurris


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14. Summer stress ………..

Sunglasses Day (4).jpgBURRISby Priscilla Burris for June 27…

SUNGLASSES DAY!!!   ENJOY!


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15. a BIG HONOR!!!

we’ve shared with you before one of our artists Priscilla Burris’s wonderful truly heart felt young characters and their special worlds.  Well one of them Heidi Heckelbeck is a most popular little girl as it turns out!

Heidi won 1st place for fiction series at the New York Book Show!!!
They announced it last night at the event. Exciting!  WAY TUGEAU (ooops To Go!) Little Simon and Priscilla!  wow and wow!

HH3 (3)BURRIS


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16. BROOKLYN BOOK STORE EVENT FUN!

I just had to share this information for those of you anywhere around Brooklyn NY next month.  I think this event and the BATTLE OF THE ARTISTS sounds SO fun and a great time for all. VERY clever of the bookstore…might be something to try in your area!  Sure there are LOADS of talented children’s book artists in Brooklyn which helps! (and my daughter’s family I might mention, which as NOTHING to do with this event!)

April 11, 2013

Greenlight Bookstore celebrates Children’s Book Week May 13-19

Week of school visits topped off with bookstore party with Brooklyn

authors & illustrators

Greenlight Bookstore is proud to participate in the nearly

100-year-old tradition of Children’s Book Week, May 13-19, with a

week-long celebration of the children’s authors and illustrators of

Brooklyn.  Five local elementary schools have partnered with

Greenlight to host authors presenting books to their students – one on

each day of the week – and the week will culminate with a multi-author

book party at Greenlight on May 18.

Established in 1919, Children's Book Week is the longest-running

national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative

events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes —

wherever young readers and books connect.  Children's Book Week is

administered by the literacy organization Every Child A Reader, and

sponsored by The Children’s Book Council, the national nonprofit trade

association for children's book publishers.  Greenlight is

participating in Children’s Book Week for the first time this year.

“When we saw the incredible list of authors and illustrators who have

expressed willingness to participate in Children’s Book Week events in

our area, we just thought ‘We have to do something big!’” says

Greenlight Bookstore co-owner and events coordinator Jessica Stockton

Bagnulo. “There’s a tremendous amount of talent in Brooklyn, and we

got excited about bringing children’s book creators and readers

together. And this gives us a unique chance to partner with our local

schools, who bring books into students’ lives every day.”

The schools participating in Greenlight’s program of events include

both local Fort Greene schools and those in other Brooklyn

neighborhoods; some host author events regularly, while others rarely

have authors visit their students.  Greenlight worked with school

administrators to pair authors with the age groups and interests of

their students, and hopes the Children’s Book Week events will serve

as a model for bringing more authors to area schools in future.

For the Children’s Book Week Party on Saturday May 18, Greenlight will

offer 15% off on all children’s books all day long.  To highlight the

talents of multiple great children’s book illustrators, the store will

host two rounds of Artist Battles, at 11 AM and 3 PM.  Artists will

take turns creating drawings of subjects determined by the audience of

kids, showing off their different styles – the audience can pick their

favorites!  Afterward all illustrators will be available to sign books

and chat with young readers.  Greenlight will also offer bookmarks,

stickers, and other book-related giveaways to partygoers.

Participating authors include winners of the Ezra Jack Keats Award,

the New York Times Best Illustrated Award, ALA-ALSC Notables, the

Parents’ Choice Award, Newbery Honor Awards, Coretta Scott King Award

and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, as well as many New York Times

bestsellers.

Authors scheduled for school visits include Ambre Anderson

(Qualities), Michael Buckley (The Sisters Grimm, NERDS), Gilbert Ford

(12 Days of New York), Tad Hills (Duck & Goose, How Rocket Learned to

Read), Fiona Robinson (What Animals Really Like), Jacqueline Woodson

(Each Kindness), and Dan Yaccarino (Doug Unplugged).  Featured

illustrators for the bookstore party on May 18 include Selina Alko (B

is for Brooklyn), Sophie Blackall (Ivy & Bean, The Mighty Lalouche),

Melissa Guion (Baby Penguins Everywhere), Melissa Iwai (Hush, Little

Monster), Betsy Lewin (Click, Clack, Moo), George O’Connor (The

Olympians series), Sergio Ruzzier (Bear & Bee), and Paul O. Zelinsky

(Z is for Moose).

Greenlight Bookstore’s Children’s Book Week Schedule:

Monday May 13: Fiona Robinson and Jacqueline Woodson visit Arts and

Letters (Fort Greene)

Tuesday, May 14: Dan Yaccarino visits Greene Hill School (Fort Greene

/ Clinton Hill)

Wednesday, May 15: Michael Buckley and Ambre Anderson visit PS 11 /

Purvis J. Behan Elementary (Fort Greene)

Thursday, May 16: Tad Hills visits The Co-Op School’s Brevoort Place

Elementary School (Clinton Hill / Bedford Stuyvesant)

Friday, May 17: Gilbert Ford visits Leadership Prep Ocean Hill (East New York)

Saturday, May 18: Children’s Book Week party at Greenlight Bookstore!

11 AM Illustrator Art Battles:

Melissa Guion

Sergio Ruzzier

Sophie Blackall

Melissa Iwai **********husband Denis is wrote HUSH LITTLE MONSTER

3 PM Illustrator Art Battles:

Selina Alko

George O’Connor

Betsy Lewin

Paul O. Zelinsky

A book signing with all authors will follow each Battle.

For more information, contact:

Greenlight Bookstore

www.greenlightbookstore.com

Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, events coordinator / co-owner:

[email protected]

(718) 246-0200

Children’s Book Week

www.bookweekonline.com/

Nicole Deming, communications manager:

[email protected]

cover (3)HUSH LITTLE MONSTER IWAI


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17. “SPARE AND FRESH!”

Just in time for a fresh Spring renewing!  When I was in NYC last, on the second day of Spring, I met with editorial director Jeannette Larson of HMH trade, among others.  She uttered a phrase that has just stayed with me ever since and I had to share it with you all here:  the look being sought for is generally “spare and fresh!”  And I totally got that concept!   I’ve noticed this with almost all my visits with clients…especially for the very young, and picture books.  Not only do they need strong characters, and a layered story that will be revisited many times, but they want a clean, new, approachable look in the style of art.  Less saturation of color often, less texture (though that can play an interesting part in even a’ spare’ approach.)    Negative space (or “white space”) plays an important role…and must be respected.  Buyers want to see energy and a more spontaneous line generally…but not messy or careless.  Control is there, but comfortably and with sense of movement that fits the story illustrated.

There is much interest now again in the non fiction market due to the Standard Core for schools moving in this direction for all ages.  Realistic, historic artists may again see more work possible….but also more unique, FUN styles, and those with humor, might see increased interest as the non-fiction is approached in a more ……     (continue below Patrice Barton’s spring ‘Spare and Fresh’ visual……)  GinnyBarton…..accessible manner. But again the “spare and fresh” approach is a good montra….it allow the viewer to get ‘into’ the art, gleam much from it, and bring their own understanding and interpretation into the work viewed.  Less busy, but with all the important details…clear and understandable.  Rather like Spring itself….a fresh look at a world we thought we knew!


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18. “I’ve Noticed !”…industry news

It’s finally spring and so much seems to suddenly happen! or need doing! or change in some way!  Love it and hate it.. but it’s never boring and slow like winter can be.

Bologna was sort of the big start of it all.  Word from clients is that it was as wonderful as always. (I went in ’04…how time flies!)  Some changes were seen generally around the world.  Middle grade and realistic fiction is “hot.”  Lightly illustrated middle grade…often stand-alones again, and more contemporary in feel… are wanted.  Some lessening in YA paranormal/dystopian stories and more “fang-free fiction.”  (love that expression! contributed to John Adams, of Adams Lit.)   Lots of interest in traditional, beautifully illustrated picture books it appears. Yipee!

In PW I keep reading about the changes in patterns for the public’s way of buying and finding books. Less the library or book store help this past year, and more Amazon and from word of mouth.  However, in general, over a third of parents seem to feel their kids actually have a “stong attachment to print books.” (Feb 25th)  I do hope this is true.  We need both to balance various needs and uses.

The Common Core State Standards, which has turned more ‘non-fiction,’  is always a big influence on publishers of course as they and schools find ways to incorporate the new mandate. Should bring more work to the ‘realistic’ artists I’d think, and those who love research and history of all styles.  Writers and artists can help by offering games,  crafts and such into their sites perhaps.  Working out ways the schools can get links to their free downloads…. to take the information and interactiveness further.

I read a quote somewhere recently (I DO notice….)  but can’t place who said it….want to share as it is SO true always.  Publishers want “writing that sings – art that expands on words – stories that inform developmentally.”   THAT is the ‘common core.’

Library Girl for ipad.jpgBURRISPriscilla Burris

 

 


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19. Spring BRAIN FOG?

Stay doubt - Burris
It’s spring! Time of renewal and creativity everywhere. Then WHY am I in a ‘brain fog?
Well there are lots of reasons probably…from lack of sleep (!?), to allergies, to ‘it’s still cold in VA!’ to …who knows! I just read a fun newsletter piece about just this from Simone Kaplan… check her out at [email protected] . Loved her honesty in admitting she has ‘brain fog’ too, so here I am joining her honesty.

And it’s good to admit it when it hits. Use it! Take a break and step back from your projects…writing, illustrating, personal, whatever! If you are having trouble being clear, focused, concise and creatively fresh, don’t try so hard! Step away from the project if possible…maybe for a few weeks or more, and take a new look later. We only want to send out OUR BEST always. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. You can also ruin a good reputation by passing on unfinished or inferior work. Sometimes a deadline requires a ‘finish’…then you have to gut it out. But a step back of a few hours…take a walk, work out in gym or garden… might make all the difference in clearing the brain fog and letting the creativity break through! When are we and our work ‘finished?’ Well probably when the book is published! or the conference talk given! or time has run OUT! But we hope to feel that it’s THE BEST we can do with the situation… the plot is tight, the characters are real and credible and YOURS ALONE, and you’ve added something evocative and provocative to the world. Big order…not really. It’s just breaking through ‘the fog’ and seeing the day and its unique promise! enjoy the possibilities!…..

Image from Priscilla Burris who keeps clear always!


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20. classic..”TRUCK STOP” launch….

A wonderful truck book for boys and girls is being released this week…DO take a look and enjoy.  I’ve ‘borrowed’ the blurb from Melissa Iwai’s blog here…about the book and author and, for some, a surprising fact about the collaboration process.  Congratulations Melissa and Anne ….it’s a most fun result of a growing friendship!

Coming soon May 2013!

I’m thrilled to announce the release of TRUCK STOP, written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by moi!!  The official Viking pub date is this Thursday, but we are kicking off our blog tour today.  TRUCK STOP is a fun picture book for young kids that celebrates all the different trucks and their drivers who gather for breakfast every day at the young narrator’s family’s truck stop diner.

When I first was offered the manuscript in 2011, I was so excited to see it was written by Anne.  I’ve been a big fan for a long time.  She`s written over 100 children’s books for all ages, on topics ranging from boats, history, mythology, to the first day of school, bugs, to the seasons.  Go check out her collection of books here!  Needless to say, I didn’t need much time to think it over and said “yes” to my editor immediately.

Most people don’t realize it, but usually the author and illustrator don’t meet or collaborate at all on the book.  Exceptions are made, of course, if they are married, related, or perhaps have worked together in the past.  So it was such a pleasure last week when I finally had the opportunity to meet Anne in person.  We had been corresponding via Facebook  for the past year after I turned the artwork in (yes, it takes a year for a book to be printed!)


6 Comments on classic..”TRUCK STOP” launch…., last added: 5/21/2013
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21. Career Day question!

career day 1

Last Friday I had the opportunity to do a CAREER DAY talk…well 6, 15 min talks… to 6 groups of about 25 first and second graders at one of my grandson’s schools here in Williamsburg VA(Matoaka Elementary). (that’s my Coady with dark hair in left corner.) It was a hoot to do, and I was so impressed with how interested they were!  Could they, at this tender age, be interested in the difference between a ‘job’ and a ‘career?’  and my industry particularly? They seemed to get it!  wow….

One question has haunted me since.  A cute little 2nd grader asked me just at the end “why do we have to have books?”    GULP

Now in the minute I had left to answer that on going industry question, I couldn’t even ask what she meant by that. Was she asking why Books rather than iPad’s etc? or why we have to make, distribute and sell Books of any kind…and why do they ‘have’ to read them?  I had to answer fast as the exit bell rang…. and jumped in with - ”both books and electronics are equally as viable and wonderful and fun! But do you prefer to cuddle up in bed with your iPad? or a book?”  the class yelled out “BOOKS!”

I don’t know if I assumed her question correctly, thus the ‘haunting’.  What a question!  I suspect we might have a future editor or maybe techie there!  Now you think on that question too…. love to hear what you might have answered in a quick half a minute. ;)

And now as to OUR “Career Days” at BEA… I’m missing it this year due to conflicts but I’ll be watching, reading and listening to any and all coming out about that weekend.  If YOU are there, please write my email ([email protected]) and share!  I’ll write about it….


3 Comments on Career Day question!, last added: 5/20/2013
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22. Just follow THE RULES…..

borrowed from PW on-line…. this an announcement of our artist Priscilla Burris and her work on THE RULES BOOK~ for Little Simon,  fast and furious and oh so adorable.  Great story all around…and the PERFECT illustrator!

Just about done so watch for it in late FALL????  kudos Little Simon and Priscilla!

 

 

Home > Children’s > Book News

Lost and Bound: A Misplaced Notebook Finds a Publisher

By Sue Corbett |
May 23, 2013

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Cousins Isabella Thorsden (l.), and Isabelle Busath.

 

Earlier this year, Lisa Rao, an editor at Simon & Schuster, saw a segment on Good Morning America moments before she walked into an editorial meeting.

 

“I had my iPad and pulled up the clip and told them, ‘You have to watch this,’ ” Rao recalled about a story that involved a Walmart employee in suburban Sacramento, Calif., who found a spiral-bound notebook that contained 157 rules handwritten in a childlike scrawl. The book had nothing in it to identify the owner; Raymond Flores, a Walmart associate charged with corralling shopping carts, had found it in the parking lot. But he flipped through it and decided it could not have been discarded intentionally after reading rule no. 154: “Protect this rule book.”

So Flores, 20, posted a photo of the book on his Facebook page, hoping to reunite book and author. No luck. Then he contacted the local Fox TV affiliate. That story got picked up nationally.

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By the time Rao and the rest of the S&S editorial team watched the GMA report, one thing was abundantly clear. “Our publisher, Valerie [Garfield], said immediately: ‘We must find the owner!’ ” And when Rao did, she offered the – co-authors, it turns out – a contract. And this October Simon & Schuster will publish Isabelle and Isabella’s Book of Rules, a jacketed hardcover in a “gifty” trim size, written by Isabelle Busath, age 10, and Isabella Thordsen, age 8, with illustrations by Priscilla Burris.

 

“The minute I saw the handwriting and heard all the hysterical and the sweet rules these two had written, I knew I wanted to publish it,” Rao said. “ ‘Don’t bite the dentist?’ How could you not want to publish that?”

Isabelle and Isabella created the rule book last Christmas break as an attempt to teach their younger siblings the ropes. “They had been coloring with crayons and one of the younger kids wrote on Isabelle, so one of the rules became ‘Don’t color on PEOPLE,’ ” Rao noted. “They had the sweetest of intentions.”

 

The text will be recreated pages from the girls’ journal in their own handwriting and original spelling. “We felt like it made it even more sincere if we kept their misspellings,” Rao said. “One of the rules is something like, ‘If you want something, don’t wine.’ Who would want to take that out?” Rao did edit out a few duplicates. The girls had taken turns making entries and both thought “Don’t waste paper” was a good rule to live by.

 

Once reunited with their book, the cousins immediately added rules they had thought of since they’d lost it. Rao says the published book will contain about 200 rules. Will one of the new ones be, “Let your mom check Facebook whenever she wants?” (Stories about Flores’s quest to find the book’s owner eventually appeared in Isabelle’s mother’s Facebook feed, which is how the book finally found its way back to its authors.) Or “Don’t trust the rule book with just anybody?” (After her pen exploded, Isabelle gave the book to a friend to hold while she went to wash her hands. The friend accidentally dropped it getting into the car in the Walmart parking lot.)

Maybe it will even include the one rule the girls let somebody else write in their book – their new hero, Raymond Flores. His rule was simple: “Stay in school.”

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3 Comments on Just follow THE RULES….., last added: 6/14/2013
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23. Why Children’s Books Matter….

While in NYC recently I made a point to visit between the Lions = the New York Public Library on Fifth Ave. to see the new wonderful show THE ABC of IT: Why Children’s Books Matter, curated by Leonard S. Marcus.  DO GO! It’ll run till March 23, 2014.

library ABC

abc of it

Traveling around and through the various clever labyrinths of experiences in books is truly a journey back to your childhood.  I felt in awe to be honest.  I think we do form true bonds to our favorite stories and illustrations as children ourselves, and several of those bonds were there for me … in the original!

alice

oz

I loved the visual look into how children’s books impacted our culture through the ages as well.  Many stories have become and “inspired films, plays and fashions.”  The reminder of this is itself inspiring.  We see this more and more today I think.  Story telling has always been so very important in society, and maybe never more today when they come at us in so many forms.  Children learn who they and we are through these stories. A journey back and forward, like Alice Big and Small, is a kick of a trip.  ENJOY!

goodnight moon  Carle color

monster hole

 

 


1 Comments on Why Children’s Books Matter…., last added: 10/8/2013
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24. thank you…..

….from Priscilla Burris and all the artists of the CATugeau Artist Agency!

veterans day BURRIS


1 Comments on thank you….., last added: 11/11/2013
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25. I’ve noticed…..Balance Finding!

With the country in what feels like such IMbalance these days, it was actually a treat to read in PW this week (Nov 18)  about the slowdown in the sales of e-books!  Earlier they’d reported a decline of sales with established publishers the last 5 months!  E-books had seen only growth up till now.  The slowdown is good because it feels like a balance is being found… better predictability (thus better publishing plans) for publishers, bookstores, and e-book sellers.  Most who didn’t panic felt this would happen. It’s a matter of time and finding the balance of different formats, and what that will mean to all in the industry when sales in all formats stabilize.  It’s a hybrid market and healthy for all I’m sure. Reminds me of TV and movies back when. Some books sell better with e-book, and others are always going to be better in print.  Pricing continues to be challenging, but that too will find it’s balance point eventually. It’s really still all about getting CONTENT in all formats available to the readers who want it.  And doing it in a way that all can stay in business! That sounds like good news to me.


1 Comments on I’ve noticed…..Balance Finding!, last added: 11/25/2013
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