Happy Holidays

Many blessings of the holiday season to all my Cynsational readers!

My husband, Greg Leitich Smith, and I plan to stay in Austin and have a quiet holiday at home. We’re having chicken-and-lobster cooked together for dinner on Christmas Eve and turkey on Christmas Day. Our guests this coming week include my cousin Elizabeth, who’ll be arriving from New York City where she works as a teacher. I dedicated my first novel, Rain Is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001), to Elizabeth.

I also look forward to my 38th birthday on New Year’s Eve. When I was a little girl, I thought that the whole world was celebrating me that night.

Guess who was an only child?

Cynsational News & Links

Congratulations to illustrator Don Tate, whose picture book manuscript was an honor winner of the Lee & Low New Voices Award Honor winner!

Best Children’s Books of 2005 from Kirkus Reviews (PDF file). Highlights include: Me, All Alone, At the End of the World by M.T. Anderson, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (Candlewick, 2005)(author interview) and The Real Revolution: The Global Story of American Independence by Marc Aronson (Clarion, 2005)(author interview).

Madame Esmé’s 2005 Recommendations for New and Exciting Children’s Literature from Planet Esmé. Highlights include: Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by John Manders (Candlewick)(author-illustrator interview); Bubba and Beau, Best Friends by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Arthur Howard (Harcourt)(author interview); Ready Or Not, Dawdle Duckling by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Margaret Spengler (Dial)(author interview); The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Ruth Jeyaveeran (Lee and Low)(author interview); Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles (Harcourt); Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson (Harcourt)(author interview), and Beyond the Great Mountains: A Visual Poem About China by Ed Young (Chronicle)(author-illustrator interview). See also Esmé’s Holiday Picture Book Picks!