New Visions: Qing Zhuang Shares Her Motivation to Illustrate Books for Kids

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

I am happy to welcome debut illustrator Qing Zhuang to Cynsations today to talk about her journey and what motivates her to create books for kids.

What first inspired you to write/illustrate for young readers?

Books were my best friends. Growing up, I had a lot of things I wanted to say but couldn’t do so directly, partially due to language,

Continue Reading New Visions: Qing Zhuang Shares Her Motivation to Illustrate Books for Kids »

Native Voices: Author & Illustrator Interview: Carole Lindstrom & Michaela Goade

By Kim Rogers

Today, we’re chatting with Carole Lindstrom (Anishinaabe/Métis) author of We are Water Protectors (Roaring Brook, 2020) and Michaela Goade (Tlingit), who is the book’s illustrator. I met Carole and Michaela at Kweli in New York City in 2018.

Carole is also the author of Girl’s Dance, Boys Fiddle, illustrated by Kimberly McKay,

Continue Reading Native Voices: Author & Illustrator Interview: Carole Lindstrom & Michaela Goade »

Author Interview: Supriya Kelkar on Writing Personal Stories

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m excited to welcome author Supriya Kelkar to Cynsations.

Her debut middle grade historical novel, Ahimsa (Tu Books, 2017) received starred reviews and made the Amelia Bloomer Top Ten list from the American Library Association.

Her picture book, The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh, illustrated by Alea Marley (Sterling, 2019), was named to the ALA’s Notable List for 2020 and her newest title,

Continue Reading Author Interview: Supriya Kelkar on Writing Personal Stories »

Illustrator Interview: Ellen Beier on a New Beginning for an Acclaimed Picture Book

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Back in 2011, Cynsations shared Ellen Beier‘s research and illustration process working on a historical picture book manuscript. Since then, the book’s journey has taken a few interesting twists and turns.

Readers fascinated by Lindsey Lane‘s Cynsations series on Books Going Out of Print may be especially intrigued by this new stage of the book’s journey.

Continue Reading Illustrator Interview: Ellen Beier on a New Beginning for an Acclaimed Picture Book »

Author Interview: Mina Javaherbin on Writing Family & Faith

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Mina Javaherbin‘s latest picture book, My Grandma and Me, illustrated by Lindsey Yankey (Candlewick, 2019) explores the tender relationship between a young girl and her grandmother.

I’m excited to share insights and inspiration about her writing process with Cynsations readers!

Congratulations on My Grandma and Me! It’s a beautiful book and feels a bit more personal than your previous books.

Continue Reading Author Interview: Mina Javaherbin on Writing Family & Faith »

New Voices: Lyla Lee & Susan Hansen on Writing the Stories Only You Can Write

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today I’m interviewing two Texas authors whose childhood experiences inspired them to be writers and shapes the stories they’re writing today.

Susan Hansen is the author of From Behind All the Veils: The Story of Táhirih, illustrated by Susan Reed (George Ronald Books, 2019).

For Lyla Lee, 2020 is a double debut year with the Mindy Kim chapter book series,

Continue Reading New Voices: Lyla Lee & Susan Hansen on Writing the Stories Only You Can Write »

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.

Continue Reading Heart & Spirit Author Interview: Eileen Meyer on Persistence »

Career Achievers: 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.

Continue Reading Career Achievers: Kelly Starling Lyons on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s Author »

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?

Continue Reading Native Voices: Kevin Noble Maillard on Writing Fry Bread »

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,

Continue Reading Author Interview: Cate Berry on Making Connections »