cynsations

Cynsational News

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

Spotlight Image: Zonia’s Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal (Candlewick Press, 2021).

Author/Illustrator Insights

A Hero Like Thurgood: Author Guest Post by Kekla Magoon from Harper Stacks. Peek: “Considering the human behind the hero…makes it seem much more possible that anyone can be part of creating change.

Continue Reading Cynsational News »

Author Interview: Kat Cho & The Asian Author Alliance

By Suma Subramaniam

Kat Cho is the founder of Asian Author Alliance—a group to celebrate Asian Kidlit and the diversity of stories that originate from the Asian Continent.

When did you first become interested in going into writing and publishing? What sparked your interest?

I always loved to write stories ever since I was really young, but I didn’t write to pursue publication until a few years ago.

Continue Reading Author Interview: Kat Cho & The Asian Author Alliance »

Sally J. Pla Discusses the Importance of Honest Depictions of Autism & Mental Health

By Rebecca Kirshenbaum

As the parent of children on the autism spectrum and who also struggle with anxiety, I am a big fan of Sally J. Pla‘s books and their representations of neurodiversity. Her most recent middle grade novel Stanley Will Probably Be Fine illustrated by Steve Wolfhard (HarperCollins, 2018), and her debut The Someday Birds, illustrated by Julie McLaughlin (HarperCollins,

Continue Reading Sally J. Pla Discusses the Importance of Honest Depictions of Autism & Mental Health »

Guest Post: Kelly Jensen Discusses How Much-Needed Anthologies Fill Gaps in Youth Literature

By Kelly Jensen

It was mid-2014 when I got a rush of frantic messages on Twitter from a number of authors telling me to be in touch with Elise Howard at Algonquin Young Readers (AYR). She really wanted to talk with me.

One talk quickly led to a group call with Krestyna Lypen, editor at AYR, and in January 2015, I sold my first in a trio of nonfiction anthologies to Krestyna and Elise.

Continue Reading Guest Post: Kelly Jensen Discusses How Much-Needed Anthologies Fill Gaps in Youth Literature »

New Visions: Author-Illustrator Isabella Kung Discusses her Journey to Publication

 

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am so pleased to welcome author-illustrator Isabella Kung to discuss her journey to publication and to share her inspiration for her debut picture book No Fuzzball! (Scholastic, 2020).

What first inspired you to illustrate for young readers?

I always loved reading children’s books and the love only grew as I aged.

Continue Reading New Visions: Author-Illustrator Isabella Kung Discusses her Journey to Publication »

Heart and Spirit: An Interview with Ami Polonsky

By Carol Coven Grannick

My chronicles explore the heart and spirit of writers, the emotional and psychological issues and strengths that stir our creativity and are stirred by our work and the obstacles that impact our processes.

What strengths does each writer have that create and maintain emotional resilience?

How does an author’s or illustrator’s own internal process and state of mind intertwine with the narrative arc of her work?

Continue Reading Heart and Spirit: An Interview with Ami Polonsky »

Author Interview: Sue Ganz-Schmitt on Vulnerability in Picture Books

By Gail Vannelli

Picture book author Sue Ganz-Schmitt had two new picture book releases last fall, and both contained storylines that embrace differences and fostered inclusion.

In That Monster on the Block, illustrated by Luke Flowers (Two Lions, 2020), which won the 2020 Northern Book Lights Award for Humor, Monster learns that his new neighbor is not a greedy goblin,

Continue Reading Author Interview: Sue Ganz-Schmitt on Vulnerability in Picture Books »

Guest Post: Salima Alikhan & Editor Sarah Brian Discuss Collaboration

By Salima Alikhan

My most recent release, Soraya and the Mermaid, illustrated by Jen Naalchigar and Atieh Sohrabi (Reycraft, 2020), is the first in a series. The second book, Soraya and the Dragon, releases this spring.

Working on a series means constant collaboration and communication with an editor. I am so thankful that my editor, Sarah Jane Brian,

Continue Reading Guest Post: Salima Alikhan & Editor Sarah Brian Discuss Collaboration »

New Voices: Roseanne A. Brown & Diana Ma on Creating Characters That Mirrored Themselves

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I’m excited to introduce our readers to Roseanne A. Brown, author of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (Balzar + Bray, 2020), and Diana Ma, author of Heiress Apparently (Abrams, 2020). While these two YA debut novels may seem different in genre and tone, their authors both realized the goal of creating characters that validated themselves.

Continue Reading New Voices: Roseanne A. Brown & Diana Ma on Creating Characters That Mirrored Themselves »