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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich Smith, Gayleen Rabakukk, Stephani EatonSuma Subramaniam, Bree Bender and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Spotlight Image: Shaped By Her Hands: Potter Maria Martinez by Anna Harber Freeman and Barbara Gonzales, illustrated by Aphelandra (Albert Whitman & Company, 2021).

Author/Illustrator Insights

“Ambitious Girl” Reminds Kids: Your Dreams Are Not a Drawback by Michel Martin from NPR.

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Guest Interview: Kate Hosford & Sandra Nickel Discuss The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe

By Kate Hosford

A little over four years ago, my husband Chris and I were reading the Sunday New York Times, when he noticed a tribute to the astronomer Vera Rubin, who had died the day before. He suggested that I write a picture book about her. Although I was fascinated by Vera, I had a feeling that the perfect author for this project was my friend, Sandra Nickel,

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Awesome Authors: Patricia Newman on Inspiring & Empowering Young Readers to Protect the Environment

By Linda Joy Singleton

I was sitting next to Patricia Newman in the airport when she got the call notifying her that her book, Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem (Millbrook Press, 2017), had been awarded a Sibert Honor. So exciting! And I’m excited and honored to introduce Cynsations readers to Patricia and her latest book,

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Native Voices: Author & Illustrator Interview: Monique Gray Smith & Nicole Neidhardt

By Kim Rogers

Today, we’re chatting with Monique Gray Smith (of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish decent), author of When We are Kind (Orca Book Publishers, 2020) and Nicole Neidhardt (Navajo) who is the book’s illustrator.

From promotional copy:

When We Are Kind celebrates simple acts of everyday kindness and encourages children to explore how they feel when they initiate and receive acts of kindness in their lives.

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In Memory: Irving Toddy

By Bree Bender

Award-winning artist and children’s book illustrator Irving James Toddy died Nov. 25, 2020. He was 69 years old.

Obituary: Irving James Toddy from The Navajo Times. Peek: “Irving was born Feb. 4, 1951, in Ganado, Arizona, into the Bit’ahnii (Folded Arms People Clan), born for Red Streak Across Forehead (Zuni). He passed away Nov. 25, 2020, in Farmington.

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In Memory: Marianne Carus

By Bree Bender

Cricket Media editor-in-chief and founder, Marianne Carus died March 3 at age 92.

Obituary: Marianne Carus by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “The Caruses began to field requests from teachers for additional high-caliber literature, but in an even shorter format. Marianne’s research for such content sparked the idea for launching a children’s literary magazine to publish the work of contemporary writers,

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Guest Post: Janet Wong & Sylvia Vardell Take Us Behind the Scenes of their New Poetry Anthology

By Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell

Janet: More than a year ago, back in February 2020 (although it seems like 2010…) we had an open call for poems for HOP TO IT: Poems to Get You Moving (Pomelo Books, 2020). Our plan was to curate an anthology of 75 poems that encourage movement—short poems to help “get the wiggles out.”

We first thought about doing a movement-themed book at the end of 2015,

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Cynsations Intern: Bree Bender on a Life of Writing

By Bree Bender

I’ve heard it said that writers don’t choose writing. It chooses us. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a writer. So, in a sense, I believe that statement is true. It’s just something I was born with, something that is so deeply a part of me, I don’t know where it ends and I begin. I think that’s the beauty of it.

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