Native Voices: Author Dawn Quigley on Humor, Chapter Books & Decolonizing Grading

By Kim Rogers

Today, we are thrilled to have Dawn Quigley join us on Cynsations. Dawn is a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe, ND and the author of the hilarious chapter book series published with Heartdrum/HarperCollins (May 11, 2021). The first book in the series is Jo Jo Makoons: The Used to Be Best Friend. She is also on faculty for the upcoming We Need Diverse Books Online Children’s and YA Native Writing Intensive.

Continue Reading Native Voices: Author Dawn Quigley on Humor, Chapter Books & Decolonizing Grading »

Guest Post: Chris Barton & Jennifer Ziegler on the “This One’s Dedicated to…” Video Series

By Chris Barton and Jennifer Ziegler

Time is everything.

We know that’s not quite how the old saying goes. But time — the scarcity of it, the abundance of it, the passage of it, how we choose to fill ours or ask others to spend theirs — has shaped all aspects of our new kidkit video series, “This One’s Dedicated to…”

For “This One’s Dedicated to…,” we chat briefly with our fellow children’s authors (such as Karina Yan Glaser,

Continue Reading Guest Post: Chris Barton & Jennifer Ziegler on the “This One’s Dedicated to…” Video Series »

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,

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

Guest Interview: Kathi Appelt & Cynthia Leitich Smith on Rebirth in the Neversea

By Kathi Appelt

This interview includes plot spoilers for Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Heartdrum, June 1, 2021). You may want to bookmark and return to it after reading the story.

Cover art by Floyd Cooper (Muscogee); from the promotional copy:

Lily and Wendy have been best friends since they became stepsisters.

Continue Reading Guest Interview: Kathi Appelt & Cynthia Leitich Smith on Rebirth in the Neversea »

Authors Interview: Aslan Tudor & Kelly Tudor on Young Water Protectors & Young Native Activist

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

At age 8, Aslan Tudor arrived in North Dakota to help stop a pipeline. Aslan and Kelly’s book, Young Water Protectors (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018), is about his experiences in the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock.

From the promotional copy:

“Learn about what exactly happened there, and why. Be inspired by Aslan’s story of the daily life of Standing Rock’s young water protectors.

Continue Reading Authors Interview: Aslan Tudor & Kelly Tudor on Young Water Protectors & Young Native Activist »

Cynsational Return: Happy New Year 2021!

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Happy New Year and welcome back to Cynsations!

We love bringing you upbeat and useful information and inspiration about the children’s-YA literature community, writing, illustration, and publishing. And we are particularly excited about what we have lined up for you in the coming months.

As always, we will highlight new voices in picture books, chapter books, middle grade and YA,

Continue Reading Cynsational Return: Happy New Year 2021! »

Interview: Elisa Boxer on Writing, Voting & the Importance of Each Voice

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am so pleased to welcome Elisa Boxer, author of The Voice That Won The Vote: How One Woman’s Words Made History, illustrated by Vivien Mildenberger (Sleeping Bear, 2020). Today Elisa shares her thoughts on writing for children and the importance of each voice.

What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

As a journalist,

Continue Reading Interview: Elisa Boxer on Writing, Voting & the Importance of Each Voice »

Updating & Re-Envisioning: Jingle Dancer, Indian Shoes, and Rain Is Not My Indian Name

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

What an honor it’s been to revisit my first few books and to re-envision them for today’s young readers:

Continue Reading Updating & Re-Envisioning: Jingle Dancer, Indian Shoes, and Rain Is Not My Indian Name »

Cynsations Return & Author Update: Cynthia Leitich Smith on Author Events, Balance, Social Media & What She’d Change About Publishing

Thank you, Cynsations readers, for joining us in the 16th year of this blog! We are so grateful to you all for reading, sharing and supporting our efforts. You’re the whole reason we’re doing this.

Thanks also to those of you who submitted questions for Cynthia over our winter hiatus. Full disclosure: Some of the wording was changed to fit the style of this blog. E.g., no profanity, even when  used in enthusiastic praise.

Continue Reading Cynsations Return & Author Update: Cynthia Leitich Smith on Author Events, Balance, Social Media & What She’d Change About Publishing »

Editor Interview: Louise May on I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome Lee & Low editor Louise May to Cynsations to share her insights into poetry anthologies, working with Lee Bennett Hopkins, and I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage, edited by Lee (Lee & Low, 2019).

Congratulations on I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage! The book has received excellent reviews.

Continue Reading Editor Interview: Louise May on I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage »