cynsations

In Memory: Karen Blumenthal

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Our deepest sympathies to the friends, family, colleagues and readers of fellow Texas author Karen Blumenthal.

From Karen’s website bio:

“As a long-time journalist, Karen writes nonfiction for young people with the belief that nonfiction brings context to a complicated world.

“She is particularly fascinated by social change, how it happens and why.”

Obituaries

Former WSJ Bureau Chief and Columnist Karen Blumenthal Dies at 61 from The Wall Street Journal.

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In Memory: Thomas Low, Co-Founder of Lee & Low Books

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Our deepest sympathies to the friends, family, colleagues and readers of Thomas Low, co-founder of Lee & Low Books.

Obituary: Thomas Low by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek:

“Tom Low had been a successful businessman in New York heading his own temporary personnel agency when he changed course and teamed up with fellow Chinese-American businessman Philip Lee to co-found Lee &

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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich SmithGayleen RabukukkStephani Eaton, and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Ashley Bryan Revisits His World War II Letters and Sketches to Create Infinite Hope by Mark Athitakis from Kirkus Reviews. Peek: “Drawing was a way of surviving because war was so dreadful….[O]ptimism is conveyed in the colorful paintings…Bryan produced using his sketchbooks as inspiration.

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New Voices: Aya Khalil & Anna Crowley Redding on How Journalism Careers Informed Their Work

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today I am happy to welcome debut picture book authors Aya Khalil and Anna Crowley Redding to Cynsations. Both have journalism backgrounds and discuss how that career helped them as a writer for children.

Aya Khalil

What were the best and worst moments of your publishing journey?

One of the best moments was reconnecting with my teacher (after 20 years) who inspired The Arabic Quilt (illustrated by Anait Semirdzhyan,

Continue Reading New Voices: Aya Khalil & Anna Crowley Redding on How Journalism Careers Informed Their Work »

Author Interview: Jennifer Li Shotz Talks About her New Rescue Dog Series

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I’m thrilled to welcome Jennifer Li Shotz to Cynsations today to talk about her new series of books featuring rescue dogs. Don’t we all love a good dog story?

Congratulations on your new rescue dog series American Dog (HMH Books). What can you tell us about the inspiration behind these stories?

Thank you!

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Native Voices: Author & Illustrator Interview: Carole Lindstrom & Michaela Goade

By Kim Rogers

Today, we’re chatting with Carole Lindstrom (Anishinaabe/Métis) author of We are Water Protectors (Roaring Brook, 2020) and Michaela Goade (Tlingit), who is the book’s illustrator. I met Carole and Michaela at Kweli in New York City in 2018.

Carole is also the author of Girl’s Dance, Boys Fiddle, illustrated by Kimberly McKay,

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YA Book Giveaways! Tantalize & Feral Series

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

It’s time for summer reading!

For over a decade, I had the pleasure of creating the award-winning Tantalize series and spin-off Feral trilogy for YA lit fans of horror, humor and romance.

This month, I’m pleased to host a book giveaway, sponsored by Candlewick Press, of two complete sets of each of these prose novels in paperback.

Continue Reading YA Book Giveaways! Tantalize & Feral Series »

Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich SmithGayleen RabukukkStephani Eaton, and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

Author Interview: Up Close and Personal with Tonya Bolden by Mrs. G from Here Wee Read. Peek: “[M]y first love is writing for children. History is my passion…[I]f we hook our young people on history—if we make history come alive for them—we really put them on the path of lifelong learning,

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Guest Interview: Author Lindsay Leslie Interviews Illustrator Ellen Rooney

By Lindsay Leslie

Illustrators. To me, very much a writer, they are magical. They take the visions in our heads and make them real.

Or, they take the visions in our heads and say, “Well, those visions are pretty cool, but check this out.”

And, Surprise! They bring a book’s words to life in a way you never would have imagined. I’m in awe.

Continue Reading Guest Interview: Author Lindsay Leslie Interviews Illustrator Ellen Rooney »

In Memory: Robert Kimmel Smith

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Robert Kimmel Smith, award-winning children’s author, died April 18 in Manhattan, New York of natural causes. He was 89. Since 2015, Smith had been living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Obituary: Robert Kimmel Smith by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “…known for such popular middle grade novels as Chocolate Fever (1972) and The War with Grandpa (1984) died April 18 at his home….”

Smith was born on July 31,

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