Survivors: Kelly Starling Lyons on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s Author

By Traci Sorell

I love books that celebrate multigenerational family gatherings and connections between family members of all ages. Going Down Home With Daddy (Peachtree, 2019) combines rich language by Kelly Starling Lyons and spectacular illustrations by Daniel Minter.

When you sit with the book, you easily see why it garnered starred reviews, effusive praise and made The Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott list.

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Native Voices: Kevin Noble Maillard on Writing Fry Bread

By Kim Rogers

Today, I’m excited to welcome Kevin Noble Maillard to Cynsations. Kevin is a professor of law at Syracuse University, a journalist, and a member of the Seminole Nation. His debut picture book Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story is illustrated by Pura Belpré-award winner and Caldecott Honor-recipient Juana Martinez-Neal (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, Oct. 2019 ).

What was your initial inspiration for writing Fry Bread?

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Author Interview: Cate Berry on Making Connections

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we’re chatting with Austin author and Vermont College MFA alumnx Cate Berry about her new picture book Chicken Break, illustrated by Charlotte Alder (Feiwel & Friends, 2019) and her creative marketing efforts to promote the book.

Congratulations on the release of Chicken Break! It’s an adorable bedtime counting book. Before we talk about all your eggscelent marketing efforts,

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Author Interview: Nikki Grimes on The Power of Words

By Traci Sorell

Memoir is one of my favorite genres to read. When Nikki Grimes shared some poems from hers last summer, I knew I must read Ordinary Hazards (Boyds Mills & Kane, 2019), the entire book.

Written in verse, her words captivated me much as the act of writing did her at an early age. The acclaim she’s already received in starred reviews and from fellow powerhouse creators speaks to the truth telling found within its pages.

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Native Vision: Weshoyot Alvitre on Illustrating At The Mountain’s Base

By Kim Rogers

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Weshoyot Alvitre to Cynsations.

At the Mountain’s Base (Kokila, 2019) is illustrated by Weshoyot and written by Cherokee author Traci Sorell.

Weshoyot is Tongva (Los Angeles Basin) and is well established within the Indigenous art community.

A comic book artist and illustrator, she has contributed to numerous Eisner award-winning books,

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New Cynsations Reporter Linda Joy Singleton

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Linda Joy Singlton joins the Cynsations team as an at-large reporter covering children’s-YA writing, illustration, publishing and other book news from the world of children’s literature.

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

Cynsations has been so supportive of my books over many years,

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Native Voice: Traci Sorell on At the Mountain’s Base & Indian No More

By Kim Rogers

For my first interview with Cynsations, I welcome author Traci Sorell! First off, so:ti:c?a to you and Cynthia Leitich Smith for this opportunity. I am thrilled and honored to join Cynsations as a reporter covering Native books for children and teens.

Traci, your debut picture book, We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge,

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Author & Editor Interview: Caroline Starr Rose & Wendy McClure

 

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Books have power. They can make us laugh, cry or keep us up late into the night when we just have to find out what happens. Books can also inspire action or influence other authors, even many years later. In 1873, when Jules Verne published Around the World in 80 Days, it’s unlikely he had even an inkling of the chain reaction his novel would ignite.

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Author-Illustrator Interview: Evan Turk

By Traci Sorell

Getting a sneak peek at a beautiful picture book before it’s printed always brings me joy. When the book combines poetry and breathtaking images, my joy increases and my heart sings.

That’s what happened when I saw Evan Turk’s You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks (Atheneum, 2019).

I’m in complete agreement with its five starred reviews from Booklist,

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Heart and Spirit: Interview with Author K.A. Holt

By Carol Coven Grannick

As a poet and children’s author as well as clinical social worker, I’m particularly interested in the emotional resilience that I believe is foundational to a writing life. I’m interested in what I consider the many facets of emotional resilience, the behaviors that fuel and flow from it—positive emotions such as hope and joy, persistence, and productivity.

I don’t like the phrase I see sometimes describing emotional resilience as having a “thick skin.”

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