• 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.

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  • 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?

  • Art,  courses,  Events,  Writing

    Upcoming Kidlit Events and Classes

    I’ve been meaning for some time to update this blog with upcoming kidlit events. These events will mostly be focused on BIPOC, Disabled, LGBTQIA+ ect. resources. I will try to update this as much as possible, but only will post updates once or twice a month on the blog. I have added a resource tab on my website. You can also see the list of resources here: https://www.daniduck.com/kidlit-events-and-resources/

     

    January

    Author Mentor Match for MG- Adult novels: https://authormentormatch.com/ Jan 12-14

    Windows and Mirrors Scholarship for New England SCBWI Annual Conference. Submission window Jan 1- 31st https://newengland.scbwi.org/new-england-scbwi-scholarships/nescbwi-windows-mirrors-scholarship/

    DV Con – From the creators of #DVPit. This free conference is for self identifying marginalized book creators. Excellent conference! January 22 – 23 https://www.dvpit.com/register-2022

     

    February

    Annick Press Mentorship – The deadline for the first round of submissions is February 8, 2021

    https://www.annickpress.com/Submission-Guidelines/Annick-Press-Mentorship-Program

     

    May

    Mastering Graphic Novels Live is happening in May 2022 for the Children’s Book Academy. There are scholarships for all of the big courses. Mira Reisberg rarely gets enough BIPOC applying. Sign up for the newsletter to be informed of scholarships and other events the CBA has to offer: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/2022graphicnovels.html

     

    Unannouced/Ongoing

    The Queer Kidlit Chat Mentorship for LGBTQIA+ people will be happening again this year! There will be an announcement on #QueerKidlit chat when this happens.

    A list of calls for submissions sorted by month: https://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/p/calls-for-submissions.html

     

    Year Round

     

    Classes

    OC Art Studios – Open Studio sessions where Larissa will critique illustration work (I highly recommend these). https://larissamarantz.com/oc-art-studios.html Larissa offers scholarships to her classes for Black and AAPI students.

     

    Chats

    Queer Kidlit Chat – On Twitter #Queerkidlit chat is Wednesday nights at 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET. LGBTQIA+ people and allies welcome!

    Kidlit Art Chat – On Twitter #KidlitArt chat is Thusday nights at 6:00pm PT/ 9:00pm ET. A fantastic chat for kidlit illustrators!

     

    Other Websites: 

    The Brown Bookshelf – A website dedicated to create awareness for Black stories:  https://thebrownbookshelf.com/

    Editors of Color – A website to hire BIPOC editors. Search for an editor in a huge number of categories or post a job. BIPOC can join the database. https://editorsofcolor.com/

    Diverse Picture Books – A list of picture books created by diverse authors/illustrators https://bookshop.org/shop/diversepicturebooks

     Kidlit 411 – a website dedicated to kidlit. Events, classes and tons of resources: http://www.kidlit411.com/

     

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  • Books

    2020 New Titles – August 7

    Lilly Belle: A Damsel Not in Distress by Joanna Pastro, Illustrated by Jhon Ortiz

    When faced with the danger of giants, ogres, and witches, other damsels might quake with fear . . . but not LillyBelle!

    At the School for Damsels, LillyBelle enjoys many damsel-in-training classes, like cake baking and vocal training, but the rule that a damsel must be in distress . . . not so much. When she’s captured by one villain after another, LillyBelle will need to use her charm and her wit to save herself and prove once and for all that damsels don’t have to be in distress–all in time for tea!

     

    Buy the Book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/635797/lillybelle-by-joana-pastro-illustrated-by-jhon-ortiz/

    Joanna’s Website: http://www.joanapastro.com/

    Jhon’s Website: http://www.jhonortizart.com/

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Lani: The Girl Without Fear by Dan Cole

    In a world controlled by fear, Lani is unique: a teenage girl who feels no fear, and often gets herself into dangerous situations because of it. Lani feels stifled by her overprotective and terrified parents, and after learning about family in a distant city, Lani plans to leave. Her faithful Minotaur bodyguard, Brutus, helps her escape the Great City of Ghal. In the Wilds, Lani learns much about love, herself, and her world. Mostly through a young woman named Kas who shows her what it’s like to live in the wilds and to feel something for another person. Death follows Lani though. Leaving Ghal wasn’t only to find family, but out of necessity after Lani hurt another student at her school. Fear Mongers, or Mongers for short, sent by her parents dog her steps and leave a trail of death searching for her. Lani must learn that although her lack of fear is quite the power in this world, it can be a burden.Especially to those important to her. Marauding robots, dangerous monsters, animal and human amalgamations known as Primals, and learning about her world makes Lani’s journey across the Flatlands a dangerous adventure. Lani also meets a mysterious warrior known as the Wanderer, who teachers her and her friends about the past, and about herself. After suffering great loss, and learning great truths, Lani’s plans have to change, and death creeps ever closer.

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/Lani-Girl-Without-Dan-Cole/dp/B087L6SF5J/

    Dan’s Website: https://www.dancoleauthor.com/

    Audrey Orr and the Robot Rage by Jenny Moore

    When Audrey Orr’s mum wins a luxury cruise to Norway, Audrey thinks she’s won the jackpot — until she realises it’s during term-time. With her no-nonsense headteacher, Mr Stickler, on her case, she has to resort to something a bit unusual: a robot clone! But can she trust Awesome the clone to stay home and pretend to be her or will Awesome turn out to be a bit… Awful?

    Buy the Book: https://www.bookdepository.com/Audrey-Orr-Robot-Rage-Jenny-Moore/9781848866362

    Jenny’s Website: https://jennifermoore.wordpress.com/ 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Girl Who Stole the Stars by Corrina Campbell

    Corrina Campbell is the third Little Door Debut to be published by Little Door Books. She is a highly talented new author/ illustrator with a wonderfully quirky style, bringing to life her colourful world. This is a perfect alternative seasonal tale about friendship, love and happiness, and doing the right thing. Everybody loves the stars but have you ever loved them enough to steal them? Not just one or two, but all of them? When a little girl decides she wants a real star of her own she can’t resist taking them all. What she doesn’t realise is that taking the stars will have disastrous consequences for her and millions of other children around the world. But what will it take for her to give them back?

    Buy the Book: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-girl-who-stole-the-stars/corrina-campbell/corrina-campbell/9781999955670

    Corrina’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/corrinacampbell 

    Sunny By Celia Krampien

    Most people would say there is nothing good about trudging to school on a rainy day.

    Most people would say that being carried away by the wind and dropped into the middle of a tumultuous sea is a very bad sort of situation.

    No, most people wouldn’t like that at all.

    But Sunny isn’t most people. Sunny likes to look on the bright side. And when things get exceedingly bleak?

    Well, isn’t that what friends are for?

    Buy the Book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250316608

    Celia’s Website: http://www.celiakrampien.com/

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Grama's Hug by Amy Nielander
    

    May and Grama are a team. They do everything together, from inventing creative projects to going birdwatching to preparing for the annual space fair. And they never, ever say goodbye without a hug. May’s love of science takes her far as her inventions win year after year, helped by Grama’s support, effort, and love. She travels to space camp and eventually beyond, earning her spot as the first kid astronaut to journey into space. As May prepares for her mission to explore the cosmos, she seems ready to go without looking back, making Grama worried that she will leave without a hug.

    This picture book explores the importance of treasuring even the smallest moments with people you love with heartwarming illustrations, expressive characters, and delightful touches of whimsy.

    Buy the Book: https://www.amynielander.com/index#/gramas-hug

    Amy’s Website: https://www.amynielander.com/

     

    The Ugly Doodles by Valeria Wicker


    After an inspiring visit to the local art museum, Raven Rembrandt is eager to create her own beautiful masterpieces. But the only thing she can seem to draw are ugly doodles—and they won’t go away, no matter how hard she tries to discard them! After a few increasingly inventive attempts to get rid of them, Raven realizes that the only way to learn to love her art is to just create.

    Buy the Book: https://www.jimmypatterson.org/titles/valeria-wicker/the-ugly-doodles/9780316456265/

    Valeria’s Website: http://www.valeriawicker.com/

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Third Sun by Victoria J. Price

    After the death of her sister, eighteen-year-old Fia Aldridge knows one thing for certain: she doesn’t belong anywhere. But then she tumbles into the parallel world of Ohinyan—a world where angels and witches walk amongst mankind.

    An ancient darkness is taking advantage of the dying sun, and Ohinyan needs Fia’s help. She soon learns that her arrival is not entirely by accident and that Alexander, leader of angels, is not the guardian she thought he was.

    Torn between their feelings and their duties, together they must find a way to return Fia to London before the darkness consumes her and she is trapped in Ohinyan forever.

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0837XVS7W

    Victoria’s Website: https://victoriajprice.com/

     

     

    The Last Witness by Claire McFall

    Heather agrees to go camping with Dougie and his friends because she’s desperate to get closer to him, and a secluded beach sounds like the perfect place. But the trip takes a sinister turn that brings Heather’s plans to a violent end.

    One by one, the group begins to vanish.

    A year later, Heather knows she’s just lucky to be alive. And now, people are asking for answers, or else she will be the one to take the blame. But the truth about what happened on that trip is far more terrifying than anyone knows…

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y5NMLCK/

    Claire’s Website: http://www.clairemcfall.co.uk/

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Broken (The Stolen Series) by Marlena Frank

    A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory, but at what price? Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Stolen-Marlena-Frank/dp/B086P4C8PG/

    Marlena’s Website: https://marlenafrank.com/

     

     

    Comments Off on 2020 New Titles – August 7
  • Books

    2020 New Titles – July 23rd

    I am only featuring 3 authors today because 2 of these authors have released so many books this year! Congratulations to all of you plus the illustrators as well!

    Such A Library!: A Yiddish Folktale Re-Imagined by Jill Ross Nadler, Illustrated by Esther Van Den Berg

    An old Yiddish folktale in a modern-day library… with a magical librarian! Stevie craves quiet until Miss Understood, a magical librarian, wreaks havoc in this modern-day twist on an old Yiddish folktale.

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/Such-Library-Yiddish-Folktale-Re-Imagined/dp/195136502X/

    Jill’s Website: https://jillrossnadler.com/

    Illustrator’s Portfolio: https://www.plumpuddingillustration.com/work/?page=1&artist=174&name=&cat=1&id=137

     

     

     

     

    Layla and the Bots: Happy Paws by Vicky Fang. Illustrated by Christine Nishiyama

    Layla and the Bots are in an awesome rock band! They also use problem-solving and creativity to build cool inventions. When a local amusement park is in danger of shutting down, Layla knows just how to bring in the crowds… build an amusement park for DOGS! But will cool doggie rides like the Rub-a-Dub Mud Slide and the Tummy Rubbing Machine be enough to keep the park open? With full-color artwork on every page and speech bubbles throughout, this early chapter book series brings kid-friendly STEAM topics to young readers!

    This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

    Layla and the Bots: Built for Speed by Vicky Fang. Illustrated by Christine Nishiyama

    Blossom Valley is hosting a go-kart race! The go-karts are provided for all the kids in town. Layla and the Bots can’t wait for race day! But one racer, Tina, needs their help. She needs a new cart that uses hand-controls and other cool features. Layla and the Bots know just what to do… they will build her a brand-new cart that’s even faster than her wheelchair! But will Tina’s go-kart have enough speed to win the race? With full-color artwork on every page and speech bubbles throughout, this early chapter book series brings kid-friendly STEAM topics to young readers!

    Buy The Books: https://vickyfang.com/books/layla/#happy-paws

    Vicky’s Website: vickyfang.com/books

    Christine’s Website: https://might-could.com/about/

    INVENT-A-PET By Vicky Fang, Illustrated by Tidawan Thaipinnarog

    Katie is an ordinary girl who longs for an extraordinary pet—something more spectacular than a simple goldfish. Then one day Katie comes home to find a gift from her mother: a mysterious machine designed to help her create that one-of-a-kind creature. Each time she feeds different items into the machine, out comes a marvelously colorful new animal—like a purple monkey, rainbow-spotted horse, and green bunny! But none of them is just right. Through trial and error, Katie figures out the formula for her absolutely perfect SURPRISE pet.

    Buy The Book: https://vickyfang.com/books/invent-a-pet/

    Tidawan’s Website: No website yet!

     

     

    I CAN CODE: IF/THEN and

    I CAN CODE: AND/OR

    Written by Fang, Illustrated by Jade Orlando

    Written by an expert, I Can Code: IF/THEN uses simple text, colorful illustrations, and interactive flaps to help little ones discover the building blocks of coding all around them! As they follow along with an adorable story about cause and effect, they’ll explore fundamental concepts like conditions, rules, and logic―and have fun doing it.

    Educators are saying every child needs to know the basics of coding―and this book will get them started as early as possible!

    Buy the Books: https://vickyfang.com/books/i-can-code/#if-then

    Jade’s Website: https://www.jadefrolics.com/childrens

     

    How to Meet a Mermaid by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Simona Sanfilippo

    Legend has it that the only way to meet a mermaid is to know where to look and how to craft a beautiful gift that shows her you care. If you’re lucky, she may even take you on an adventure to explore the ocean!

    Mermaids are rarely seen, and even more rarely met. But, if you gather some natural craft supplies–seashells, grass, pieces of coral, driftwood, and sea glass–you might just get to befriend one!

    If you look closely, you just might discover a mermaid out in the waves at the edge of the shore. And if you do, you’ll need to be ready! By being observant, resourceful, and friendly, you can make a beautiful crown from natural beach materials that will show your new mermaid friend you truly care, and then you’ll be taken on an incredible adventure through the ocean’s depths, past ancient shipwrecks, and across the waves. You just might get to experience what it’s like to be a mermaid yourself, too!

    Sue Fliess’s poetic read-aloud text and Simona Sanfilippo’s vibrant, whimsical illustrations will provide much fun for young readers eager to meet their own mermaids! Also included are guides for teachers and parents about how to engage children in building mermaid crowns themselves and how to interest them in the natural world, the history of mermaids, and the many cultures that have believed in them.

    Buy the Book: https://www.suefliess.com/how-to-meet-a-mermaid

    Sue’s Website: https://www.suefliess.com/

    Simona’s Website: http://www.tissi.altervista.org/

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    How to Find a Unicorn by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Simona Sanfilippo

    Legend has it that the only way to find a unicorn is to know where to look and how to craft a beautiful gift that shows her you are a friend. If you’re lucky, she may even take you for a ride!

    Unicorns are excellent judges of character. So, gather some natural craft supplies like daisies, sugar cubes, ivy, ferns, apples, grass, and straw, and get ready to find a magical new friend!

    If your heart is pure, you just might discover a unicorn out in the mystical forests of the mountains. And if you do, you’ll need to be ready! By being resourceful, careful, and kind, you can make beautiful riding gear from nature that will show your unicorn friend you truly care, and then you’ll be taken on an incredible ride through sunny meadows, over sparkling oceans, and along the brilliant arcs of rainbows!

    Sue Fliess’s poetic read-aloud text and Simona Sanfilippo’s vibrant, whimsical illustrations will provide much fun for young readers eager to find their own unicorn friend! Also included are guides for teachers and parents about how to engage children in building unicorn-riding gear themselves and how to interest them in the natural world, the history of unicorns, and the many cultures that believed in them.

    Buy the Book: https://www.suefliess.com/how-to-find-a-unicorn
    Flash and Gleam: Light in Our World by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Khoa Le

    The soft glow of a candle, the blink of a firefly, a burst of fireworks―light is everywhere in our world! Rhyming text and luminous illustrations follow four children as they experience many different forms of light.

    Buy the Book: https://www.suefliess.com/flash-and-gleam-light-in-our-world

    Khoa’s Website: http://khoale.daportfolio.com/

    The Princess and the Petri Dish by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Petros Bouloubasis

    Pippa isn’t your usual princess. She prefers petri dishes to perfecting her curtsying. And when she realizes that she doesn’t like peas, she gets a sweet idea that consumes her and almost the whole kingdom.

    Buy the Book: https://www.suefliess.com/princess-and-the-petri-dish

    Petros’ Website: http://www.petrosbouloubasis.com/

    Comments Off on 2020 New Titles – July 23rd
  • Books,  Spring into Writing

    2020 Book Releases – June 30th

    I’m reading so many good books right now. How about you? I’m still working on getting through the pile of books on my TBR list. It’s always hard having a TBR is hard, because so many other books get in the way. A lot of my TBR pile can be seen here: https://www.daniduck.com/black-lives-matter/ I’ve read quite a few already!

    These are all kidlit books. Next week will be all adult (and possibly YA) books.

    New Children's Books

     

     

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    Emergency Kittens and Who is Jackie Chan? by Jody Jensen Shaffer, Emergency Kittens illustrated by Dave Mottram

    Jody’s Website: https://jodyjensenshaffer.com/

    Dave’s Website: http://www.davemottram.com/

    Buy Emergency Kittens: https://jodyjensenshaffer.com/books/emergency-kittens/

    Buy Who is Jackie Chan?: https://jodyjensenshaffer.com/books/who-is-jackie-chan/

     

     

     

    King of the Swamp by Catherine Emett and Ben Mantle

    Catherine’s Website: https://catherineemmett.co.uk/

    Ben’s Website: https://www.benmantle.co.uk/

    Buy King of The Swamp: https://www.waterstones.com/book/king-of-the-swamp/catherine-emmett/ben-mantle/9781471181696

     

     

     

    Surgery on Sunday by Kat Harrison and Shane Crampton

    Kat’s Website: https://www.katwritesforyou.com/

    Shane’s Website: https://www.shanecrampton.co.uk/

    Buy Surgery on Sunday: https://www.katwritesforyou.com/book.html

     

     

     

    A Whale of a Mistake by Ioana Hobai

    Ioana’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/ioanahobai

    Buy A Whale of a Mistake: https://bookshop.org/books/a-whale-of-a-mistake/9781624149276

     

     

     

    The Starkeeper by Faith Pray

    Faith’s Website: https://www.faithpraybooks.com/

    Buy The Starkeeper: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/604696/the-starkeeper-by-faith-pray/

     

     

    The Whatifs by Emily Kilgore, Illustrated by Zoe Persicoe

    Emily’s Website: https://www.emilykilgore.com/

    Zoe’s Website: http://www.zoepersico.com/

    Buy The Whatifs: https://bookshop.org/books/the-whatifs/9781499810295

     

     

     

    Frederico and the Wolf by Rebbeca J. Gomez Illustrated by Elisa Chavarri

    Rebbeca’s Website: http://www.rebeccajgomez.com/

    Elisa’s Website: http://www.elisachavarri.com/

    Buy Frederico and the Wolf: https://www.hmhbooks.com/shop/books/Federico-and-the-Wolf/9781328567789

     

     

     

    Another Dreadful Fairy Book by John Etter

    John Etter’s Website: https://jonetter.com/

    Buy Another Dreadful Fairy Book: https://www.amazon.com/Another-Dreadful-Fairy-Those-Books-ebook/dp/B082BKBQXZ/

     

    Comments Off on 2020 Book Releases – June 30th
  • Books,  Uncategorized,  Writing

    2020 Book Releases!

    I had so wanted to do a Black only book release post today to support Black Lives Matter.  Unfortunately, I didn’t responses to my Tweets yet (I’m still going to try). It’s expected because it took me some time to get responses to my author posts. If you are Black you can still comment here and hopefully I can get several people for a dedicated post.  https://twitter.com/DaniDuck/status/1267504987367587847

    Even if I’ve already posted your work please feel free to submit you book again for a second post! 

    I do have some Black authors below, and am also including other POC to the list. I may have missed a few people, so feel free to let me know if I missed you!

    ———-

    Books for Grown-Ups

    Dragonborn by Whitney Rines

    Five Amaranthine coveting godhood commit horrific actions against mortals and the world they share and are granted twisted versions of their desire.
    Dragonborn follows the story of Fayet and his own journey to humanity, by watching mortals over time. He eventually falls for a mortal woman named Ayshir and assuming a mortal shell builds a family and home with her.

    However, the events preceding their union and the ones that that follow after, slowly bring a darkness that threatens to destroy his family.

     

    Website: https://www.whitneyrines.com/

    Buy Dragonborn and preview Whitney’s Other Books: https://www.whitneyrines.com/publications

     

     

    This is My America by Kim Johnson

    Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time—her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?

    Preorder the Book: 

    https://www.getunderlined.com/books/608329/this-is-my-america-by-kim-johnson/

    Kim’s Website: https://www.kcjohnsonwrites.com/

     

     

    I Should Have Worn A Curtain by Samyra Alexander

    This quick read follows one woman’s struggle to accept her childhood trauma, face her relationship with food with honesty and bravery, and overcome an illness that has kept her silent too long.

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088KBYT6C

    Folow Samyra: https://twitter.com/SamyraTell

     

     

     

     

    Fears and Love by Halima ADISA

    Get the Book: https://twitter.com/leemah_deesah/status/1256860072401006593

    Follow Leema: https://twitter.com/leemah_deesah

     

     

     

     

    Island Seas by V.E. WilchCombe

    Can 12yr old Michael Jones survive the night alone on Lightning Cay? It belongs to them, everyone knows this! Island myths and legends come to life in my new fantasy novella.

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084LL15MD

    V.E. Wilchcombe’s Website: https://starbeam88.wixsite.com/mysite-4

     

     

     

    Calculated Murder by H.G Ahedi

    In New York, Roumoult Cranston is infamously known for his keen interest in bizarre cases. So, when Garner Moss, a millionaire playboy is murdered by rich ex model, he is not intrigued. Fate intervenes when Roumoult becomes a prime suspect who was not only at the crime scene but also benefits from the dead man’s will.

    With only seven suspects, including Roumoult, who killed Garner Moss might be a simple question to answer, but why? When motives like jealously, revenge, lust, money, power do not apply, the quest to answer this question will open a Pandora box because, in the case of the Calculated Murder, the living and the dead tread on dangerous terrain.

    Buy the Book: amazon.com/H.G-Ahedi/e/B0

     

    H.G’s Ahedi’s Website: https://harbeerahedi.wordpress.com/hedi

     

    Older by Emily Schaubeck

    A collection of poetry and prose for the lost and broken hearted. As everyone is on their journey to healing as I am.

    Buy The Book: https://www.amazon.com/Older-Emily-Schaubeck/dp/1082090662

     


    Kidlit Books

    Not Your American Girl by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang

    Lauren and her best friend, Tara, have always done absolutely everything together. So when they don’t have any classes together in sixth grade, it’s disastrous. The solution? Trying out for the school play. Lauren, who loves to sing, wonders if maybe, just maybe, she will be the star instead of Tara this time.

    But when the show is cast, Lauren lands in the ensemble, while Tara scores the lead role. Their teacher explains: Lauren just doesn’t look the part of the all-American girl. What audience would believe that she, half-Jewish, half-Chinese Lauren, was the everygirl star from Pleasant Valley, USA?

    From amidst the ensemble, Lauren tries to support her best friend. But when she can’t bring herself to sing anymore, her spot in the play and her friendship are in jeopardy. With the help of a button-making business, the music of Patsy Cline, and her two bickering grandmothers, can Lauren find her voice again?

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VVTB9Q2

    Madelyn’s Website: http://www.madelynrosenberg.com/

    Wendy’s Website: http://wendyshang.com

     

    The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

    Nishat doesn’t want to lose her family, but she also doesn’t want to hide who she is, and it only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. In a fight to prove who is the best, their lives become more tangled, but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush, especially since Flávia seems to like her back.

    As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.

    Buy The Book & Adiba’s Website: https://adibajaigirdar.com/the-henna-wars

    Adiba’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/adiba_j

     

    The Ocean Calls by Tina Cho Illustrated by Jess X. Snow

    Dayeon wants to be a haenyeo just like Grandma. The haenyeo dive off the coast of Jeju Island to pluck treasures from the sea–generations of Korean women have done so for centuries. To Dayeon, the haenyeo are as strong and graceful as mermaids. To give her strength, Dayeon eats Grandma’s abalone porridge. She practices holding her breath while they do the dishes. And when Grandma suits up for her next dive, Dayeon grabs her suit, flippers, and goggles. A scary memory of the sea keeps Dayeon clinging to the shore, but with Grandma’s guidance, Dayeon comes to appreciate the ocean’s many gifts.

    Buy The Book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/609075/the-ocean-calls-by-tina-cho-illustrated-by-jess-x-snow/

    Tina’s Website: https://www.tinamcho.com/

    Jess’ Website: http://www.jessxsnow.com/

     

  • Art,  Books,  Spring into Writing

    Superhero on the Side: Cyndi Marko

    Cyndi Marko puts the POW in Kung Pow Chicken — The book series, not the food (maybe also the food). She is a writer and illustrator. She started off her career hoping to sell picture books. Things don’t always happen the way we plan, but Cyndi did end up selling books. Just not the picture books she had planned. 

    Cyndi has now created a wonderful collection of superhero chicken books called Kung Pow Chicken. This was my son’s first chapter book. I read them to him when he was in kindergarten. It’s still on the top of my list for fun chapter book series! Cyndi’s new book Kung Pow Chicken: Jurassic Peck comes out in September.  The Kung Pow Chicken Collection can be now bought as a 4 in 1 book!

    Check out Cyndi’s Website here: https://www.cyndimarko.com/

    ————

    The Kung Pow Chicken Collection Cover!

    Dani: Besides writing and illustration, What is your superpower?

    Cyndi: Well, I’m actually pretty put out that I can’t fly or shoot lasers from my eyeballs, but I am a fairly decent cook. I love to put on loud music and just lose myself in the kitchen, and I always sing while I cook.

    Bread made by Cyndi!

    Cooking is a creative outlet for me separate from book work stuff. I’m particularly good at creating dishes from whatever’s on hand when there’s almost no food left in the house because I haven’t gone grocery shopping (which I hate doing), and I’m also good at recreating dishes I’ve had at restaurants. I hardly ever use recipes (except for when baking because science) and prefer to just go by instinct as I’m cooking. (Pro tip: there’s no such thing as too much garlic!)

    I love to bake as well, and have been making sourdough from my own starter for about a year now. I think I most enjoy making soups (I save bones and make my own stock) and baking fancy cookies at Christmas time. I think this love of cooking comes through in my books because I almost always find a way to incorporate food into my stories. There are candy corn cupcakes in KUNG POW CHICKEN and stale jelly donuts in THIS LITTLE PIGGY.

     

    Dani: How has your process changed since you first started creating books?

    Cyndi: I’m much faster now, for one thing. It used to take me months to make a sketch dummy for a picture book, and writing was like pulling teeth. But now I can sketch a dummy for a picture book in about a week, and a book like KUNG POW CHICKEN in about two weeks.

    The biggest difference is scale, I think. I used to sketch at full size and it led me to be a perfectionist. Over the years my sketches got progressively smaller. Now I sketch at thumbnail size and then enlarge when I scan. I can then edit the composition in PhotoShop, and print off and trace using my lightbox when I go to final art.

    As for writing, I’m much more likely to start with a loose outline before jumping into a first draft, which has totally helped my productivity. Also, I found a writing partner who writes and illustrates the same types of books as I do and getting feedback from a peer has been invaluable. (Hi, Troy!)

     

    Dani What’s it like writing your 5th book in a series? Is it hard keeping a series fresh so far into the series?

    Cyndi: It had been about five years since KUNG POW CHICKEN 4, so it was interesting to jump back in with book 5 (JURASSIC PECK). I had to reread the previous books to make sure I got all the details right. It surprised me how little I remembered writing the words or painting the art!

    But I had SO much fun working on book 5. We had more time in the schedule for each step of the book, and I found I was faster and more experienced. KPC 5 also has dinosaurs, and I have always wanted to do a book with dinosaurs so I was pretty much geeking out the entire time. I really love the end result and I hope we get to do many more KPC books. I don’t think I’ll ever run out of adventures for those plucky little chickens!

    Kung Pow Chicken: Jurassic Peck Cover. Coming in September!

     

    Dani: What is your favorite way to relax?

    Cyndi: Reading a book while having a glass of wine and eating Sour Patch Kids (pairs nicely with merlot) or spending time with friends. During social distancing I’ve found ways to spend time with friends online: playing tabletop games on Roll20 or watching a series or movie at the same time and chatting about it over messenger.

     

    Dani What are you working on now?

    Cyndi: So many things!

    Not Kung Pow, but still amazing! This Little Piggy: An Owner's Manual. Cover

    First there’s SLOTH SLEUTH, a graphic novel series about a sloth named Paz who solves mysteries on the fantastical island of Winklefuss. The first two books will come out in 2021 and 2022, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I’ve also got BOO! HISS! (Aladdin, 2021), about a ghost and a snake who are roommates in a haunted (by them) house.

    I also have a couple dozen (I’m not kidding) WIPs—works in progress for the layperson—on the go. I’m working on picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, middle grade novels, and maybe a humorous coffee table book for grown-ups. I am sometimes overwhelmed by so many ideas that I am dying to work on that I end up working on none of them and just drink too much coffee and share too many memes. But I am determined to prioritize!

    The covers to all four of the published Kung Pow Chicken books.
  • Spring into Writing,  Uncategorized,  Writing

    Rainbow Connection Robin Stevenson — Plus a Winner!

    While writing this intro for Robin Stevenson I can’t help but hear the song, “Rainbow Connection” in my head. It’s not just because I’m listening to the song while I’m writing. Robin just gives me all the warm feeling I get when I hear the song. 

    I wish that I had Robin’s books when I was a kid. I also wish that my parents and the world would have been supportive in me reading such books. It’s wonderful knowing that not alone in this world. I love that feeling and I know that Robin’s books will help our and future generations feel this way as well! 

    Robin’s Website: https://robinstevenson.com/

    ———–

    Photo of Robin Stevenson

    Hello! Hope you are all doing okay and finding support and ways to cope during this strange pandemic spring. Despite having lots of time due to cancelled tours, launches and events, I’ve been finding writing rather difficult lately…so I was glad to get an email from Dani asking me if I would share something about why I love writing about LGBTQ+ characters and themes in my books. 

    Pride The Celebration and the Struggle - Cover

    Over the last few years, I seem to have become known for writing LGBTQ+ books. My first non-fiction book, PRIDE: CELEBRATING DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY (https://robinstevenson.com/books/pride-celebrating-diversity-and-community/), came out in 2016 and was a Stonewall Honor book. Many of my novels include LGBTQ+ characters and several, including INFERNO (https://robinstevenson.com/books/inferno/) and UNDER THREAT (https://robinstevenson.com/books/under-threat-2/), have been selected for the ALA Rainbow List. My board book PRIDE COLORS (https://robinstevenson.com/books/pride-colors/) is currently a Lambda Literary Award finalist, my picture book GHOST’S JOURNEY: A REFUGEE STORY (https://robinstevenson.com/books/ghosts-journey-a-refugee-story/) tells the story of two gay men and their cat, and this spring I launched a second, expanded edition of my original Pride book: It is called PRIDE: THE CELEBRATION AND THE STRUGGLE (https://robinstevenson.com/books/pride-the-celebration-and-the-struggle/). 

    (I was also going to launch my latest– and very queer– YA novel, WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE (https://robinstevenson.com/books/when-you-get-the-chance/) , co-written with Tom Ryan, but due to the pandemic it will now be delayed until spring 2021).

    So…why LGBTQ+ books? Well, when I wrote my first novel fifteen years ago, I drew heavily on my own experiences and memories of being a queer teen. Of course, that was a long time ago—I was in high school in the 1980s. It wasn’t a great time for queer teens: we didn’t talk about LGBTQ+ identities, we didn’t have books about LGBTQ+ characters, and many of us didn’t even have the language that might have made it so much easier to talk about these subjects, to understand our own identities, and to find community. 

    So my first novel, OUT OF ORDER (https://robinstevenson.com/books/out-of-order/), came from that place and those memories. It is about a bisexual teen, Sophie, who is just beginning to figure out who she is and how she wants to be in the world. After it was published in 2007, I began hearing from readers who related so strongly to Sophie—and I began realizing how important this kind of representation was. The following year, my novel BIG GUY (https://robinstevenson.com/books/big-guy/) came out. It was about a gay teen boy, and again I received emails from readers to whom this novel really mattered. One young gay man told me that he read it over and over– and that it helped him to understand and accept himself.

    Cover of When You Get the Chance

    And of course, it isn’t just important for LGBTQIA+ kids and teens to see LGBTQ+ characters in books: I think all children, parents and teachers need these books. For young people who don’t know a lot about LGBTQ+ people, books can help them learn, have empathy, and hopefully care more about issues of human rights. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are still common, and they hurt people—and I think books can be an important part of working to change that.

    Although I started out writing for teens, I have begun writing LGBTQ+ books for much younger kids as well. Things are getting better but when I visit schools and talk to students, I still meet many who are afraid that if they come out as gay, or bi, or lesbian, or trans, that their parents won’t support them, or will be angry or disappointed. So I think kids need to hear from the people that love them that it is okay for them to be themselves and to love who they love. Our teens and our older kids need to hear that, of course—but there is no age that is too young to begin giving your kids that message. So I wrote my board book, PRIDE COLORS (https://robinstevenson.com/books/pride-colors/), for the very youngest kids–babies and toddlers. I hope it gives parents an easy way to tell their children that it is okay for them to be who they are, love who they love, and that they will always be accepted and adored.

    Cover of Pride Colors
    Cover of Ghost's Journey: A Refugee Story

    My picture book, GHOST’S JOURNEY: A REFUGEE STORY (https://robinstevenson.com/books/ghosts-journey-a-refugee-story/) , is for slightly older kids. It tells the story of two gay men, Rainer and Eka, who fled Indonesia and came to Canada as refugees—along with their cat, Ghost. It is based on a true story and the illustrations are created from Rainer’s photographs. I wrote it to raise awareness of the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people around the world, and my hope is that it can be used in classrooms as a gentle introduction to human rights issues. All my royalties from this book go to support LGBTQ+ refugees—I am hoping it will raise funds as well as awareness! 

    Writing about LGBTQ+ history and rights has strengthened my own connections to the queer community. It has led to so many conversations with queer young people, peers and elders; taught me more about my community’s past and its ongoing struggles; made me part of a wonderfully supportive group of queer writers; and connected me with other LGBTQ+ people around the world. And of course, all of that makes it even more likely that my future books will include LGBTQ+ characters…because my writing reflects the world I live in. 


    I am curious about the stories and books that will come out of this current period in our lives. How will the pandemic and all we are experiencing filter into our writing? For myself, I am returning to a long neglected and half written mystery novel this week and am hoping that the words will start to flow again…wish me luck! For those of you that are also finding writing challenging this spring, I hope you will be gentle with yourselves and do what you need to do to cope. The words will come eventually. They always do.

    ———–

    Follow Robin:

    Website: https://robinstevenson.com/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/robin_stevenson

    Books: https://robinstevenson.com/books/

     

     

    @%@%@%@%@%@%@%@%@%

    WINNER:

    The winner of the $25 gift card is Tonnye Williams Fletcher!

     

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