Heart and Spirit: Lisa Fipps Discusses Her Debut Middle-Grade Novel in Verse

By Carol Coven Grannick

Starfish by Lisa Fipps (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2021) unfolds as eleven-year-old Ellie, who has been fat-shamed and bullied since childhood, begins to break away from “Fat Girl Rules” she’s been told are foundational to her life. Ellie’s loving friendships, close relationship with her father, and a growing positive connection with a fabulous therapist, accompany her on her painful journey. Ellie is perceptive about herself and others,

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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?

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Cynsations Winter Hiatus

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Happy Holidays, Cynsational readers!

Effective immediately, this blog is on hiatus. We’ll return after the ALA Midwinter Conference with more inspiration, insights, and information on children’s-YA writing, illustration, literature and publishing. In the meantime, you’re welcome keep up on all those topics with me on FacebookInstagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

That said,

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Cynsational Summer Hiatus

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

Thank you to everyone who joined us over the 2019-2020 academic year!

We dearly appreciate the authors, illustrators, gatekeepers and industry pros who shared their insights and inspirations. We’re so grateful to our readers, signal boosters, and of course our wonderful reporters⁠—Angela Cerrito

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Heart and Spirit: An Interview with Lisa Jenn Bigelow

By Carol Coven Grannick

As an author, poet, and chronicler—and clinical social worker—my writing tends to explore social-emotional learning (SEL). While I deeply value the STEM and STEAM frameworks (and poetry and stories!) my own commitment and abilities lean toward creating work that handles issues that promote and build on SEL, without which STEM and STEAM learning cannot thrive.

I love exploring writers’ and illustrators’ inner lives—what builds and maintains emotional resilience?

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Heart & Spirit Author Interview: Eileen Meyer on Persistence

By Carol Coven Grannick

I’m an author and poet and recently retired clinical social worker who loves to explore the writer’s emotional and spiritual journey, and more recently, how that journey intertwines with our characters’ journeys.

I’ve long been particularly interested in the many facets of emotional resilience—the behaviors and beliefs that fuel and flow from it, such as optimism, gratitude, hope, joy, persistence, and productivity.

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Cynsational News

By Cynthia Leitich Smith, Gayleen Rabukukk, Stephani Eaton and Gail Vannelli for Cynsations

Author/Illustrator Insights

A Sailor Meets A Fisherman In 1534: It’s An ‘Encounter,’ Not A Discovery by Samantha Balaban from NPR. Peek: “[Brittany] Luby says. ‘I really just wanted to showcase that Indigenous presence and cultural vitality.’ The book is illustrated by Michaela Goade,

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