New Voices: Kaylee Morrison and Nancy Smith on Joshua and The Biggest Fish

New Voices: Kaylee Morrison and Nancy Smith on Joshua and The Biggest Fish

Nancy stands behind co-author & grandkid, Kaylee.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

What an honor and joy it is to welcome debut children’s authors, Kaylee Morrison and Nancy Smith, who’re also citizens of Muscogee Nation!

Their picture book is Joshua and The Biggest Fish (Doodle and Peck Publishing,

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New Voice: Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow on Mommy’s Khimar

New Voice: Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow on Mommy’s Khimar

By Traci Sorell

I’m delighted to share my interview with Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, a fellow Epic Eighteen debut author of Mommy’s Khimar, illustrated by Ebony Glenn (Salaam Reads, 2018)).

This cheerful and empowering story which centers on a young Muslim, African American girl who loves wearing her mommy’s khimar (headscarf) received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly.

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Guest Post: N.H. Senzai on Writing About War for Middle Grade & Escape From Aleppo

Guest Post: N.H. Senzai on Writing About War for Middle Grade & Escape From Aleppo

By N.H. Senzai

The reason I love writing for the middle grade audience is because at this age kids can still suspend belief and journey with you through a story as long as you create believable plots, authentic characters and dialogue that rings true.

However, you need to hook them in quickly,

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New Voice: Patricia Valdez on Joan Proctor, Dragon Doctor

New Voice: Patricia Valdez on Joan Proctor, Dragon Doctor

By Traci Sorell

I love a good picture book biography and read so many in elementary school, especially those featuring women.

So when I learned Patricia Valdez’s debut picture book would feature the work of Joan Proctor, a zoologist researching amphibians in the early twentieth century, I knew there’d be a great story there.

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New Voice: Interview & Giveaway: Daria Peoples-Riley on This Is It, Illustration & Diversity

New Voice: Interview & Giveaway: Daria Peoples-Riley on This Is It, Illustration & Diversity

By Traci Sorell

To say that I’m thrilled to feature Daria Peoples-Riley, fellow Epic Eighteen member, today on Cynsations is an understatement.

This Is It (Greenwillow, 2018), her debut picture book as an author-illustrator, follows a young girl of color getting ready for a ballet audition.

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Video: Rudine Sims Bishop on Mirrors, Windows & Sliding Glass Doors

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

In this video from Reading Rockets, Rudine Sims Bishop, professor emerita from Ohio State University, speaks on Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Doors as metaphors for diversity in children’s-YA literature.

See also Rudine Sims Bishop: In Appreciation by Sam Bloom from Reading While White and Mirrors,

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