Saturday, July 8, 2017

New book Coming from "Goodnight Moon" author, Margaret Wise Brown


In October, 2017, there will be Good Day, Good Night, a previously unpublished book by Margaret Wise Brown.

It consists of two fragments written in 1950 and put away after Brown’s sudden death two years later, then combined by an editor a few years ago.  HarperCollins Children’s Books will publish it with original art by the author-illustrator, Loren Long.
 
Good Day, Good Night is not a sequel to Goodnight Moon, which did not sell well during Brown’s lifetime, finding its extraordinary success only years later.

 While Goodnight Moon takes place inside a house on a single evening, the new story follows its young-bunny protagonist as he wakes up, goes outside and greets numerous things, then heads back home and bids it all good night.
 
Good Day, Good Night began in a 1950 letter from Brown to one of her editors that Amy Gary, who wrote a biography of Brown, came across several years ago at the Westerly library. In it, Brown describes plans for a book in which, Ms. Gary said, “the child goes to sleep with the same things they wake up with.” Reading the letter, she continued, enabled her to see the connection between what had seemed to be two separate manuscripts — one about waking and one about going to sleep — in the trunk.
Margaret Wise Brown
 
Putting the two parts together required her to do some editing, Ms. Gary said, while keeping in mind Brown’s possible intentions and “trying to remain as true as we could to what she wanted it to be.” As for the title, “I worked with Margaret’s notes and the manuscript to develop” it, she said.
 
What will you think of the new book, Dear Reader?  Will it live up to Goodnight Moon?  Only time and the reader will judge that.  A few moons from now will more than tell the story!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Dear Reader, Love, Author Blog Post

I have posted my letter to the Dear Reader, Love, Author Blog.  Hope you enjoy it!
 
Dear Reader, 
 
Have you ever walked along a beach somewhere on this glorious planet and found instant inspiration, an epiphany of sorts?  Well, that is exactly what happened to me one glorious December day seven years ago on Clearwater Beach, Florida.  Right out of the blue, as it were.  Here’s what happened:  Strolling along on wet sand, I came across the outline of a heart.  But what was written inside stopped mine. Only one word. Bella. It became completely clear that I write a book about a beach girl called Bella. And from that bolt of insight, Bella was born.
 
As sometimes happens, an almost simultaneous incident occurred; this time a terrible one: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. The entire world was inundated with wrenching photos of once blue water slicked over by deadly oil, birds drenched and weighted down with the deadly stuff, and BP executives spewing invectives about how it was not their fault. And something snapped in me.  I sat down and wrote One Pelican at a Time: A Story of the Gulf Oil Spill.  Not only was Bella the protagonist.  Her best friend Britt joined her in the effort.  And that book began the Bella and Britt beach series. 
 
My newest offering, Mystery at Manatee Key, is the fourth in the series and features Britt front and center.  It is she alone who must rescue Bella and the ranger from a ring of manatee smugglers.  By now, the series reader is familiar with the ranger, who is warm-hearted and loves all things beachy.  Dwayne Smarr is the bad guy and Britt’s nemesis throughout much of the book.  He is so bad that he’s fun to love to hate.  With kids, black and white rules, and Dwayne has no shades of gray!
 
Throughout the series, I have tried to infuse a love of and respect for nature and Mother Earth, the only home we humans have at this point in our galaxy.  Without being preachy, it is my hope that in reading the books, children will find a fun story, interesting facts, and a love of learning interwoven throughout the pages.  If all that occurs, I’ve been a successful author and have done my intended job.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Celebrate Children's Book Week May 1-7


Children’s Book Week began in 1913. Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children’s books. He proposed creating a Children’s Book Week, which would be supported by all interested groups: publishers, booksellers, and librarians.

Mathiews enlisted two important allies: Frederic G. Melcher, editor of Publishers Weekly who believed that “a great nation is a reading nation,” and Anne Carroll Moore, the Superintendent of Children’s Works at the New York Public Library and a major figure in the library world. With the help of Melcher and Moore, in 1916, the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association sponsored a Good Book Week with the Boy Scouts of America.

In 1944, the newly-established Children’s Book Council assumed responsibility for administering Children’s Book Week. In 2008, Children’s Book Week moved from November to May. At that time, the administration of Children’s Book Week, including planning official events and creating original materials, was transferred to Every Child a Reader, CBC’s charitable arm.

This year, the 98th celebration of Children’s Book Week, will feature an increased number of events, reformatted Children’s Choice Book Awards, an enhanced online presence, and additional promotional materials available to participating bookstores, schools, and libraries.

Celebrate this special week by reading a new or favorite book to your young readers.  When this is done, everybody wins!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Roald Dahl's "Billy and the Minpins" to Have New Illustrations


Re-titled to reflect Roald Dahl’s original name for the book, Billy and the Minpins (1991) is the first time Quentin Blake has illustrated a new Roald Dahl hero in nearly 20 years.  This new title celebrates Billy as the quintessential Roald Dahl child hero.
 
Billy and the Minpins is the story of heroic Billy who saves the Minpins, tiny tree-dwelling people whose children are the size of matchsticks, from the fearsome Gruncher.
 
It explores themes seen in many of Roald Dahl’s other much-loved children’s novels including; small people living in a big world; the glory of flight; confronting demons; and, most importantly, the child hero. In Billy and the Minpins, readers will experience again the magical collaboration between Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake through a brand-new interpretation of Roald’s parting gift.
 
The Minpins was originally illustrated by Patrick Benson. This edition is still in print today and will sit alongside the new black-and-white edition, Billy and the Minpins.
 
Quentin Blake said:
 
I was delighted to be asked to illustrate Roald’s Billy and the Minpins; it feels like the cornerstone in our long collaboration together. As Roald's parting gift, Patrick Benson's illustrations in the original edition were perfectly suited to the lyrical feel of The Minpins. I have always greatly admired Patrick's artwork and am so pleased both books will sit alongside each other, reaching fans of all ages. This new edition has nearly fifty pages of black-and-white drawings, which means I can enjoy myself tremendously going into all the details of Billy’s exploits and adventures with the Minpins in the mysterious forest!
 
So, for all you Roald Dahl fans out there, look for this new-illustrated book.  Have fun!

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Mark Twain Bedtime Story to be Published Soon


A bedtime story Mark Twain told his daughters in 1879 — never published before — will be released this fall as a children’s book.

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine is an 11-chapter, 152-page illustrated storybook “for all ages” with a first printing of 250,000 copies. The “unfinished” story is being completed by author Philip Stead and illustrator Erin Stead and will be published Sept. 26 by Doubleday Books for Young Readers, the publisher announced Friday.

The basis for the book is 16 pages of handwritten notes Twain made after he told his young daughters a fairy tale one night while the family was staying in Paris.

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, according to the publisher, “follows a young boy who eats the flower sprouted by a magical seed and gains the ability to talk to animals. From there, the boy and his new animal friends go off on a wild adventure to rescue a kidnapped prince.”

The fragmented tale by the author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn  was discovered in 2011 by visiting scholar John Bird at the Mark Twain Papers & Project at the University of California, Berkley.

Philip and Erin Stead, who are married, won the 2011 Caldecott Medal for their children's book A Sick Day for Amos McGee.

They have framed the Prince tale as “told to me by my friend, Mr. Mark Twain,” and include occasional interruptions by an imagined meeting over tea between Philip and Twain, according to a news release.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A New Children's Book About Transgenderism Will Be Taught in U.K. Primary Schools


A taxpayer-funded book about transgenderism is about to be introduced in schools in the United Kingdom to children as young as seven, provoking significant controversy. The book — Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity? — focuses on a 12-year-old who is transitioning from a girl to a boy through drugs. Critics contend the book not only will confuse its young audiences but advocates medical interventions that are harmful.

The book begins:

My name is Kit and I’m 12 years old. I live in a house with my mum and dad, and our dog, Pickle. When I was born, the doctors told my mum and dad that they had a baby girl, and so for the first few years of my life that’s how my parents raised me. This is called being assigned female at birth. I wasn’t ever very happy that way.

Kit begins to use puberty-blocking drugs to undergo a sex change in the book and “stop my body developing in ways that make me unhappy.”

According to the book’s publisher, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, the book’s intent is to “explain medical transitioning for children aged seven and above.”

The book’s author, CJ Atkinson, told The Guardian that Kit’s transition includes wearing boys’ clothes, using male pronouns, and changing the birth certificate to read Christopher instead of Kit.

This is a brave book that is helping change minds and hearts about transgender children.  It is my hope that you will support this book and its message.