Soft House by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin

Soft House by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin (Candlewick, 2005). What to do on a rainy day? Nothing sounds fun. But then Alison Isabelle knows just the thing. With the help of Mr. Cat, the siblings build a soft house out of blankets and cushions, crawl in with a flashlight, and enjoy Mama’s peanut-buter-crunch-and-chocolate-chip cookies. “The best.” A tender, brother-sister daily life story, told with simple grace and appropriately soft, cozy illustrations. Ages 4-up. Read the thirty-year story behind the book from Jane Yolen.

My Thoughts

I used to play “soft house” myself, though I didn’t call it by that name, with Kathryn. She was three years younger and my next-door neighbor when I lived in Grandview, Missouri. Today, Kathryn owns a Montessori school on an island in Seattle, and I still regard her as my unofficial baby sister. Thank you, Jane and Wendy, for bringing back memories of a safe and gentle time.

Cynsational Events

Unfortunately, my husband Greg Leitich Smith and I will be unable to speak at the Houston SCBWI meeting on Monday, August 1 as scheduled. I have laryngitis (again) and an acute sore throat (still). My doctor assures me that my vocal cords will heal if I can only manage to be quiet for the next few days.

In addition, Greg’s August 27 signing at Barnes and Noble Round Rock is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Cynsational Links

Interview with Susan Taylor Brown from the “Secrets Of Success” column on author Ellen Jackson’s Web site. Susan is “the author of several books for children, including Oliver’s Must-Do List (Boyd’s Mills Press, October 2005), Can I Pray With My Eyes Open? (Hyperion, 1999), the forthcoming easy reader Smalls Sails To Freedom (Millbrook, 2006), and the middle grade verse novel Hugging the Rock (Tricycle Press, 2006).”

Jane Yolen: Grande Dame of Children’s Literature by Judy Polan of The Jewish Ledger. July 29, 2005.

Trade Book Markets Workshop: author Anastasia Suen teaches students how to sell their manuscripts to the trade market. See also her Educational Book Markets Workshop. Note: Anastasia’s blog was briefly canceled, but now it’s back.