• Pre-Order

    Karen Yin’s Splendid & Spectacular Story, SO NOT GHOUL

    Karen Yin is absolutely amazing. She is the founder of many fabulous writer resources. Karen has created Conscious Style Guide, Editors of Color, Diverse Picture Books, and AP vs. Chicago. Her debut picture book, Whole Whale is a wonderful story about animals working together and making room in their world for something huge. “Whole Whale” is one of my favorite books on my bookshelf right now. I don’t want to miss out on Karen’s fabulous new book,  SO NOT GHOUL Illustrated by the wonderful Bonnie Lui. I can’t wait to get this absolutely gorgeous book onto my bookshelf. (I will probably also read it to my kids.)

    This absolutely gorgeous book will arrive on AUGUST 2, 2022!

    About So Not Ghoul:

    On her first day haunting a new school, all Mimi has to wear are old Chinese gowns from her great-great-great-great-great-ghost-grandmother. She wants to look horrifying and rattle chains with the cool American ghouls at school, but her ghost ancestors insist she dress and behave like a good Chinese ghost. Desperate to fit in and find a middle haunting ground between her cultures, she plans a ghastly new look. But she questions whether her haunt couture is a fabulous fright or a grave mistake when her family finds out, and another ghoul at school appropriates her Chinese fashion.

    This ghoulishly playful ghost story offers a boo-tiful reminder that while sometimes school and family can make you feel invisible, bicultural pride never goes out of style.


    I just ordered my copy, now it’s time for you to preorder yours!

    Preorder at any of the links below:


    Barnes & Noble


    Preorder a signed copy of So Not Ghoul: https://www.vromansbookstore.com/book/9781645675570

    It’s an absolutely amazing picture book that you’ll treasure for years to come!

    Follow Karen & Bonnie:

    Karen’s Website: https://karenyin.com/

    Bonnie’s Website: bonnielui.com 

    Karen’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenYin

    Bonnie’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/superbonart

    Karen’s Other Twitter accounts:





    Comments Off on Karen Yin’s Splendid & Spectacular Story, SO NOT GHOUL
  • Uncategorized

    Amazing Cover Reveal: Gilly’s Monster Trap by Cyndi Marko & Giveaway

    You may know the fabulous Cyndi Marko from the KUNG POW CHICKEN series. If you haven’t read the series check it out, it’s a real treat! Cyndi is an award winning author illustrator and has created many books including the Kung Pow Chicken series and THIS LITTLE PIGGY: AN OWNER’S MANUAL, the recently released SLOTH SLEUTH #1 of the detective series and her upcoming books: BOO! HISS!, and GILLY’S MONSTER TRAP 

    Cyndi creates fabulous stories and fun illustrations for her books. Unlike many illustrators today, Cyndi uses traditional mediums in her illustration. She uses watercolor and ink in her paintings. Cyndi started off wanting to create picture books, but her books worked better as chapter books and older stories. GILLY’S MONSTER TRAP is Cyndi’s picture book debut and I’m just so happy that her picture book dream is finally fulfilled. It makes me so happy to present to you a cover reveal for her all new GILLY’S MONSTER TRAP book! Also check the end of this post for a giveaway!

    Before the cover reveal here is a little about GILLY’S MONSTER TRAP:

    Gilly loves to flap her flippers in Lighthouse Bay. 

    Until…a mysterious monster starts menacing the market! 

    It swipes Gilly’s flippers, snatches fish, and nabs nets. So Gilly hatches a plan: she is going to catch the sneaky rotten monster! 

    With the help of her sidekick Finnegan, and the townspeople, she builds a trap.

    But when things go awry, Gilly discovers she and the monster may have been after the same thing all along: a friend.




    Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B3Y8NMS1

    Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Gillys-Monster-Trap-Cyndi-Marko/dp/166590755X/

    Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gillys-monster-trap-cyndi-marko/1141651842?ean=9781665907552

    Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781665907552

    Simon & Schuster: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Gillys-Monster-Trap/Cyndi-Marko/9781665907552


    On Sale: 04/18/23

    Imprint:  Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster

    Editor: Catherine Laudone

    AD/Designer: Tom Daly

    Medium: Watercolor and Ink


    What an amazing cover! Thank you so much, Cyndi, for letting me share this amazing cover with the world. https://www.cyndimarko.com/


    You can win a copy of Cyndi Marko’s Sloth Sleuth!

    To Enter:

    Comment on this post and let us know how excited you are for Gilly’s Monster Trap!

    For another entry follow @CynMarko on twitter and comment with your monster trap idea on my twitter post here: https://twitter.com/DaniDuck/status/1537579533414453248

    Deadline Midnight 06/30 PDT.

    Sorry, giveaway is limited to people in the US and Canada.

  • Books,  Pre-Order,  Writing

    Pre-Order the Amazing Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation!

    I am lucky today. I get to interview the amazing Sylvia Liu today! I’ve known Sylvia for some time now and am so excited to get her new book Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation. I just preordered it (check out the pre-order swag at the bottom of this post! Sylvia is a co-founder of Kidlit 411 an excellent resource for children’s writers and illustrators! 

    Besides being a writer Sylvia also is an amazing artist. She creates such beautiful and fun illustrations. She had art in the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art New Waves 2012 exhibit; and art and infographics in Huffington Post, Oceana, and World Wildlife Fund! Sylvia is represented by the great Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency! 


    Dani:  Is it easier or harder for you to write a novel than a picture book and does the genre affect the difficulty?

    Sylvia: Picture books and novels are very different beasts, but both are hard in their own ways! Writing picture books is like writing a poem, where every word matters, plus you also have to have great characters and a story, all in a few hundred words.  

    Sylvia Liu headshot 2021 © K. Woodard Photography

    Writing novels is like putting together a complex 3D puzzle with moving parts. For me, genre doesn’t affect the difficulty as much as the theme, plot, and audience. For example, my middle grade contemporary, Manatee’s Best Friend, has a more straightforward plot and is geared for the middle of middle grade, while my sci-fi, Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation, has a twisty plot and is geared to upper middle grade. For those reasons, Hana Hsu was more difficult to write.


    Dani: Do you have any fun rituals around writing?


    Sylvia: I’m a very visual person, so when I plot my books, I like to draw graphs and put sticky notes on a poster board. This is my plot chart for Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation (don’t look too closely, or you might see some spoilers!). I listed all the chapters/main scenes on outside of the arc and included themes or internal character arcs on the inside. 

    Dani: What inspired you to write Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation?

    Sylvia: I love science fiction in all media, and the cyberpunk subgenre in particular, so when I started writing middle grade, that was the type of story I was drawn to. The idea of a girl finding out about a corporate conspiracy against her classmates whose brains are about to be connected to the multiweb, came from reading about companies like Cambridge Analytica using people’s online data to manipulate us. 



    Dani:  What kind of research did you have to do for this story, or was most of it based on already learned experiences and ideas?


    Sylvia: After I came up with the premise, I did some research about the science of connecting brains to the Internet and came across some studies on mice. It wasn’t until after my story was under contract that the news about a certain billionaire’s efforts to do the same came to light. As I built the world, I would find cool research that supported my ideas (like bioluminescent trees). I also consulted with my sister to understand genetic editing.



    Dani:  What’s next for you?


    Sylvia: I’m working on a Chinese myth-based fantasy that I’m excited about!

    PRE-ORDER BY JUNE 21, AND GET A SIGNED BOOK,* BOOKMARK, POSTCARD, CARD, AND CRAB + BIRD BOT STICKERS! *signed book if bought from Prince Books; signed bookplate if bought elsewhere.

    Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation Pre-order Campaign 


    Sylvia Liu has a preorder a campaign going on right now. Get the awesome swag in the image above!


    BONUS: 20 lucky pre-orders will get a stunning 10×8 inch fine art print by Kathryn Ault Noble. You must submit proof of purchase (or proof of library purchase request) to be eligible for this gift.    


    Get a Signed Bookhttps://bit.ly/HanaPBks and get swag plus a signed book!

    Pre-order Campaign: http://www.enjoyingplanetearth.com/pre-order-campaign.html (go here to get your swag after buying the book!)


    Order from the Publisher or Anywhere Else Here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/669649/hana-hsu-and-the-ghost-crab-nation-by-sylvia-liu/ (You’ll get a book plate with the swag!)

    Comments Off on Pre-Order the Amazing Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation!
  • Art,  Resources,  Writing

    Life Changing LGBTQIA2s+ Kidlit Mentorships Now Open!

    An absolutely wonderful opportunity has arrived for LGBTQIA2s+ kidlit creators. Applications for the Queer Kidlit Mentorships is now open until June 15th. This opportunity is for both writers and illustrators! The amazing Jeanette Bradley has gathered 14 awesome Mentor volunteers for this event! You can apply here: https://queerkidlit.weebly.com/mentors-2022.html This event is brought to you by #QueerKidlit chat Wednesday nights on Twitter at 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET and organized by Jeanette Bradley


    We have: Adib Khorram, Aida Salazar, AJ Irving, Alex Gino, Chris Tebbetts, Elizabeth Lilly, Jenn Reese, Kaylani Juanita, Keisha Morris, Lee Wind, Megan Dowd Lambert, Rebecca Kim Wells, Rob Sanders and Robin Stevenson! Bios for each of the mentors is here: https://queerkidlit.weebly.com/mentors-2022.html The artwork for our logo was created by the fabulous Anne Appert


    The mentorships are for pre-published writers and illustrators. There are no fees in applying to or receiving a Queer Kidlit mentorship. Sign up here before June 15th: https://queerkidlit.weebly.com/mentorships.html


     If you were mentored in 2021 we ask that you don’t apply again until 2023 (if you applied and didn’t get a mentorship, please apply again). Queer Kidlit chats are run by @KatjaBookDragon, @KiannaShore, yours truly and various kidlit creatives!

    Comments Off on Life Changing LGBTQIA2s+ Kidlit Mentorships Now Open!
  • Art,  Course,  Education,  Writing

    Amazing Kidlit Graphic Novel Master Course

    I want to introduce you to a wonderful new course from the Children’s Book Academy! This course is for anyone interested in writing and/or illustrating graphic novels. Classes start May 9th! I absolutely love Mira Reisberg and her classes. I will be taking this course, and I would love if you could join me! You can sign up for the course here: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/2022graphicnovels.html There will be submission opportunities following the course they are called Golden Tickets, and just take a peak and see all the fantastic people waiting to see your work!

    Also there will be a Clip Studio class that comes with the class. It will be available soon! I’m an instructor for the Clip Studio course and hope that it will help you with your graphic novels. If you don’t have Clip Studio yet — look it up. When it goes on sale it’s very inexpensive! 

    If you just want to learn more about graphic novels there will be an absolutely free Masterclass on April 24th at 4pm PT. Sign up is here:  https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/free-graphic-novel-masterclass.html

    Until April 10th there are scholarships available for this course! The Larissa Marantz Merit and Need Based Scholarships are for underrepresented writers and illustrators who want to take Mastering Graphic Novels. BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Disabled, Low-Income and more can apply for these scholarships. Please apply, especially if you are a BIPOC because Mira wants to make sure that most (if not all) of these go to BIPOC! https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/larissa-marantz-merit–need-scholarship.html 

    If you have any questions about Mastering Graphic Novels or for the scholarships, please let me know! 

    Comments Off on Amazing Kidlit Graphic Novel Master Course
  • Art,  courses

    Wonderful Kidlit Illustration Course

    I wanted to let you know about a a fabulous illustration class I took a few years ago. Make Your Marks and Splashes with Mark Mitchell is a great way to get started in Illustration. I’ve been so busy that I know I’m posting this late. Go here to join this great course: https://illustratechildrensbooks.com/ms-spring-2022/

    In this course you will learn all of the basics for illustration along with lots of advanced techniques as well. No matter where you are in your illustration career you will benefit from Mark’s class!

    I feel like explaining this course is a little strange, because it’s very intense and involved. Having said that it also was very laid back and fun. Yes, both at the exact same time! Probably because the course material is easy to get into even though there is a lot to learn. Plus the whole class is a low stress environment, which helps me out a lot!

    There are a ton of videos to watch for class. Having taken university courses, I’d say this is like a whole degree’s worth of art classes in one course! If you missed out on university art courses, don’t worry! You’ll get caught up on it all here! 

    Probably the most exciting part of this class is meeting with Mark your classmates online for the huddles! Mark is an excellent teacher who will help guide you every step of the way through illustrating. 

    Sign up here, but hurry as classes start on the 24th! https://illustratechildrensbooks.com/ms-spring-2022/

  • Resources,  Updates,  Writing

    Kidlit Resources Update: Scholarships, Internships and Calls for Writers!

    I had an issue with my website and haven’t been able to update. Apparently it was a problem I caused for myself!  I’m back and I have more resources. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post/update more often now! To find the list of events and resources I’ve compiled so far go here: https://www.daniduck.com/kidlit-events-and-resources/


    Deadline March 13: There are a bunch of scholarships available from the Highlights foundation. There are so many I won’t list them all, but check it out: https://www.highlightsfoundation.org/scholarships/

    Deadline March 14: Owl Kids Call for Writers who are Canadians/Permanent Residents of Canada. 8 Week program for writers who have been underrepresented in North America. Must not have been published previously with Owl Kids: https://neighbourhoodartsnetwork.org/news-and-events/call-for-writers-owlkids

    Deadline April 30th: WNDB Publishing Internship Grant https://diversebooks.org/programs/internship-grants/

    If you didn’t see this Sami Ellis created a Master list of Mentorship Programs: https://twitter.com/themoosef/status/1494015788910620673?s=21 You should be able to view this list without having a Twitter account.

    Comments Off on Kidlit Resources Update: Scholarships, Internships and Calls for Writers!
  • Art,  Writing

    New Kidlit Resources

    I meant to update sooner, but I was having trouble with the WordPress editors I use. I think blogging is okay, but updating the resource page was a pain! Here are some new events and resources to help you out. If you have a resource you want to share please contact me here: https://www.daniduck.com/contact/ I’m especially looking for resources for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Disabled,  people from underrepresented religion/cultures ect. 

    Here are the updated resources I’ve collected since my last post. You can see them all here: https://www.daniduck.com/kidlit-events-and-resources/ There are a few here. There are some things that I know about that I’ll be able to announce soon!

    Feb 12 – Registration opens for the Indiana Graphic Novel Conference Opens: https://indiana.scbwi.org/events/graphic-novel-101/ (June 9th event)

    Charlesbridge is looking for Editors and BIPOC Creators (authors and Illustrators): Charlesbridge editors are offering free, 30-minute sessions to participants who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) to discuss their manuscripts. During these sessions, the editor will offer specific constructive feedback on manuscripts, cover letters, and the submissions process, as well as guidance about the publishing industry if requested. These sessions are designed to help you refine your manuscript and prepare for submission to publishing houses or agents. https://www.charlesbridge.com/pages/connections

    Cake Creative is looking for writers. WFH – They help writers develop their writing and you write their stories: https://cakecreativekitchen.com/contact-us

  • Art,  Education

    100 Black Mentorships with Larissa Marantz

    I want to offer 100 scholarships to Black Art Students!

    When I had started this post a few days ago Larissa Marantz had a goal to mentor 100 Black students in honor of Black History Month. As I’m writing this now on the 6th, Larissa has already achieved her goal! It’s not really enough because that’s just one month’s worth of scholarships, so let’s try to to get more than just 100 scholarships for Larissa. These Open Studio Sessions are absolutely wonderful! You can donate here: https://larissamarantz.com/sponsor-a-student.html This is Larissa’s original tweet so you can be sure to follow her on social media: https://twitter.com/LarissaMarantz/status/1489032777584373760?s=20&t=0_mSL3ZotGwDv_vMp3Mm3Q

    Maybe you’re saying well I’m Black, where do I sign up for these mentorships? Just go here: https://larissamarantz.com/scholarship-application.html It’s a quick and painless application and filling it out can change your life! Larissa mentors illustrators (I believe mostly kidlit illustrators), animators, comic/graphic novel people and those working on developing a portfolio! My fingers are crossed for you to get a scholarship!

    Help Make Black History sponsor a Black art student.#blackhistorymonth

    These mentorships are absolutely priceless! You can see more about what Larissa offers here: https://larissamarantz.com/oc-art-studios.html I have learned so much by signing up for her classes. Larissa gives one on one feedback, and is very knowledgeable. These Open Studio Sessions are a safe space and I do not say that lightly. Larissa has this magical way of making people feel good about themselves, while gently pointing out the right direction for their art. I’m one of those people who can’t make it every week to her sessions, but I find if I can make it to one session out of the month it’s well worth the cost.

    Please join me in donating to Larissa’s scholarships here: https://larissamarantz.com/sponsor-a-student.html

    Join the Open Studio Sessions: https://larissamarantz.com/store/p43/OC_Art_Studios_Open_Studio_Session.html

    Apply for a scholarship: https://larissamarantz.com/scholarship-application.html

    Open Studio Sessions image.

    All images in this post are the work of Larissa Marantz. All of the images in this post were used with her permission.

    Comments Off on 100 Black Mentorships with Larissa Marantz
  • Art,  Updates,  Writing

    My Writing & Illustration Goals for 2022

    It’s 2022, and I haven’t blogged in a long period of time!  What better time to start blogging than when I make a goal list for the year? No, seriously, tell me so I get it right the next time I take a break from my blog. If you know me, you know that I don’t like making resolutions. To me resolutions feel too much like a pass/fail situation. I do like to make a lot of lofty goals that I know I wont achieve them all.


    1. Finish sketching my PB & GN dummy. Normally, I wouldn’t make a dummy for a graphic novel, but this particular graphic novel is picture book length so it makes sense.

    2. Finish a draft of my MG kitty novel. Cats are in most of my stories. While this is a specific novel it’s could be almost any MG book I write

    3. Draft 2 GN scripts. This is the minimum amount of GN scripts I want to write this year. I’m sure I will get more ideas, but I want to draft two this year.

    4. Put together a new graphic novel package for one of the new scripts.

    5. Submit my polished work to agents.

    6. Write 12 picture book manuscripts. I’d like to draft at least 12 decent picture book manuscripts. I’m in the 12×12 and I’d like to win this year! https://www.12x12challenge.com/

    7. Make sure I make use of critique groups and other resources.

    8. Interview authors & Illustrators and post about BIPOC, Disabled and LGBTQIA+ books.

    9. Keep up with my list of resources on my blog.

    10. Blog at least once a month about the books I’ve read and other updates! 

    11. Edit at least one of my novels for submission.


    I think that’s a good list of things. I doubt if I’ll get to them all, but it’s good to have a list of goals up. What are your goals for this year?