Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 23, 2014

Two Lee & Low Kudos

kingforadayKING FOR A DAY, written by Rukhsana Khan, illustrated by Christiane Krömer

In 2011, I met Rukhsana at the SCBWI National Conference in Los Angeles. She accepted the Golden Kite Award for her picture book BIG RED LOLLIPOP, which was chosen for best picture book text. Her talk was both funny and inspiring, so I tracked her down and asked if she would write a blog post to share with my followers about writing books about other cultures and whether it was okay for someone to write about a culture they were not from. You can click here to read Writing Muslim.

So I was thrilled when Rukhsana new book came out this month and she remembered me by sending a copy of her wonderful new picture book KING FOR A DAY.

What impressed me about the book is that it not only introduces children to Basant, the centuries old Hindu Celebration that has crossed religious and cultural boundaries to mark the end of cool weather and the beginning of the warm weather in Pakistan, but the story itself holds universal themes of being kind to others, generosity, determination, and good  triumphing over evil. All this with a positive disabled main character for more inspiration.

This lively, contemporary story introduces readers to a centuries-old kite festival, Basant, and the traditional sport of kite fighting. Although confined to a wheelchair, Malik, a spirited, determined young boy, captures the most kites, including those of the bully next door, during the annual spring kite-flying festival of Basant and becomes “King” of the festival for the day.

In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews said, “This story soars.” Read more on Amazon.

Announcing our 2013 New Voices Award Winner

New Voices Award sealNow in its fourteenth year, our New Voices Award is given to an unpublished author of color for a picture book manuscript. We’re excited to announce the winner of this year’s New Voices Award: Sylvia Liu of Virginia Beach, Virginia for her story, A Morning with Gong Gong. Congratulations, Sylvia!

Liu’s charming and humorous story, A Morning with Gong Gong, portrays an energetic young girl named Mei Mei, as she spends time with her grandfather. When Mei Mei sees her grandfather, Gong Gong, practicing t’ai chi in the garden, she is eager to join in. He tries to teach her the slow and graceful moves, and Mei Mei, in turn, tries to teach Gong Gong some of the yoga poses she has learned in school. Although they both struggle with these new activities, Mei Mei and Gong Gong realize that it’s the time they spend together that is important.

Sylvia-Liu-profile200Sylvia Liu is an author and illustrator who was born in the United States to Chinese immigrant parents. Her family moved to Venezuela when she was five years old, and Liu returned to the United States to attend college. She graduated from Harvard Law School and spent a decade as a public interest environmental lawyer, all the while working on her writing and illustration. Liu draws inspiration for her stories from her family, her environmental experiences, and her diverse background. You can learn more about her at her website.

Liu will receive a prize of $1,000 and a publication contract with LEE & LOW BOOKS. Here’s the announcement:

Congratulations! Couldn’t be happier than I am for both of you.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Congratulations Sylvia! It’s so exciting to read about your new book. I wish you much success in the future.


  2. Having read and enjoyed some of Sylvia’s ms I am thrilled to see her success. Hands in the air. Woot!


  3. Congratulations, Sylvia. Way to go!


  4. Thank you, Kathy, for including this news, and thanks to everyone for being so supportive. I am so thrilled and honored.


  5. Congratulations Sylvia! Great news! Thank you Kathy for sharing.


  6. Yay, Sylvia!!! It’s an awesome story and you deserved the win!


  7. So thrilled for you!


  8. thanks for these great articles! getting the Kite story soon!


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