New Voices: Remy Lai & Cory Leonardo Reflect on their Middle Grade Debuts

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Remy Lai, author and illustrator of Pie in the Sky (Henry Holt, 2019) and Cory Leonardo, author of The Simple Art of Flying (Aladdin, 2019) reflect on the debuts of their middle-grade novels. For both, finding fellow writers as mentors or critique partners along the journey proved invaluable.

Remy Lai

What first inspired you to illustrate for young readers?

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Cynsations Intern: Stephani Eaton on The Joy of Writing

Stephani Eaton, photo by Tanya Odom

By Stephani Eaton

When I was in second grade, I wrote a poem about an impending storm that pleased my dad so much that he hung it in his office. It stayed there for years.

I recently asked if he remembered what it said and he rattled off: “This dark and rainy noon will soon pass the sunset of time.”

I had to laugh at the melodrama of my seven-year-old self.

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In Memory: Ann Durell

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Ann Durell (McCrory) “was a distinguished editor and publisher of children’s books and a Vice President of E.P. Dutton until her retirement in 1987.”

She died in her Manhattan home on May 6 at age 87.

From The New York Times, “Ann worked with many noted authors including Maurice Sendak, Ellen Raskin,

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Guest Post: M.T. Anderson on the Premier of “The Great Gilly Hopkins” Film

By M.T. Anderson

The Vermont children’s book community had an incredible treat on Oct. 7 at the Stowe Cinema 3Plex in Stowe, Vermont:

We all descended on a movie theater in Stowe where Katherine Paterson had opted to hold the premiere of the film adaptation of her National Book Award-winning middle-grade masterpiece, “The Great Gilly Hopkins” from Lionsgate. It was a formal champagne and popcorn kind of event.

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Cynsational News, Links, and Return

Congratulations to the winners of the 2006 Cybils! I’d like to send out a special cheer to previously featured winners: author Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long for An Egg Is Quiet (Chronicle)(author and illustrator interview); author-illustrator Melanie Watt for Scaredy Squirrel (Kids Can); and David Levithan (along with his co-author Rachel Cohn) for Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Knopf)(author interview).

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