cynsations

Author Interview: Martha Brockenbrough on Real-Life Inspirations for Stories

By Gail Vannelli

If you love old dogs and small kids, Martha Brockenbrough’s newly published picture book This Old Dog, illustrated by Gabriel Alborozo (Levine Querido, 2020) will capture your attention and your heart as you experience a friendship blooming between “old dog” and “his girl.” The story is remarkably well written, using one-syllable words that children—and dogs—can understand.

A nominee of the 2021 Pacific Northwest Book Awards,

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New Voices: Kelly J. Baptist & Jess Rinker on the People Who’ve Influenced Their Writing

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

A big welcome to middle-grade debut authors, Kelly J. Baptist and Jess Rinker. Both authors share with us how the people around them influence their writing as well as moments along their journeys to publication.

Kelly Baptist 

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

I think it was when I was reading Laura Numeroff’s If You Give A Mouse A Cookie,

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New Cynsations Reporter Rebecca Kirshenbaum

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am pleased to introduce Cynsations readers to our newest reporter, Rebecca Kirshenbaum, pictured above with one of her sons. She will cover books by neurodiverse authors reflecting neurodiverse characters as well as their work more globally.

Welcome to Cynsations! Could you tell us about your vision for covering books written by neurodiverse authors here at the blog? Why did you decide to take on this role in the conversation of books?

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In Memory: Sam McBratney

By Suma Subramaniam

Sam McBratney, author of nearly 70 books for children and young adults, died Sept. 18 at his home in County Antrum, Northern Ireland. He was seventy-seven.

Sam McBratney is best known as the author of the best-selling children’s book Guess How Much I Love You illustrated by Anita Jeram (Candlewick, 1994), which has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide,

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New Voices: Adiba Jaigirdar & Kim Johnson on Their Journeys to Publication

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Today Cynsations celebrates the debuts of YA authors Adiba Jaigirdar and Kim Johnson. They discuss their journey to publication—the inspiration, the challenges, and the accomplishments. Both authors drew from their own experiences and identities to create their compelling stories.

Adiba Jaigirdar

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

I was really inspired to write The Henna Wars (Page Street,

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Guest Post: Emma Kress on Hope

By Emma Kress

2020. What. A. Year. And, um, as you may have noticed, it ain’t over yet.

So what is it that drags us from our beds each day? Sure, for many of us it’s our insistent children. But besides them? Hope.

This year, we’ve seen the footprints of hope everywhere: billboards thanking medical workers, corporations promoting #BlackLivesMatter, Italian citizens stepping to their balconies to sing,

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Awesome Authors: Danna Smith on How Poetry Inspires Picture Books

By Linda Joy Singleton

As a talented author and poet, how does your love of poetry influence your picture books?

Poetry is where I got my start. I have loved words from the moment I meet them and found it was great fun to twist them around and make them sing! I wrote my first poem when I was eight years old and continued to and through adulthood.

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New Voices: Tziporah Cohen & Donna Barba Higuera on Writing Their Own Experiences

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I’m so excited to welcome debut middle-grade authors Tziporah Cohen and Donna Barba Higuera to Cynsations today. Both authors share with us the joys and challenges of writing to their own experiences.

Congratulations on your debuts!

Tziporah Cohen

What first inspired you to write for young readers?

I sort of fell into it,

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