Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 6, 2022

Book Giveaway: SAKAMOTO’S SWIM CLUB by Julie Abery

Julie Abery has written a new picture book, SAKAMOTO’S SWIM CLUB, illustrated Chris Sasaki and published by Kids Can Press. They have agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

Just leave a comment, reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know how you shared the good news. If you follow my blog and have it delivered daily, let me know in the comments so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Julie and Chris.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The inspirational and little-known story of a dedicated teacher who coached Hawaiian swimmers all the way to the Olympics, beautifully told in simple rhyme. When the children of workers on a 1930s Maui sugar plantation were chased away from playing in the nearby irrigation ditches, local science teacher Soichi Sakamoto had an idea. He offered to take responsibility for the children — and then he began training them how to swim. Using his science background, Sakamoto devised his own innovative coaching techniques: he developed a strict practice regime for the kids, building their strength and endurance by using the ditch water’s natural current. The children worked hard under the dedicated Sakamoto’s guidance, and their skills improved. They formed a swim club and began to dominate in swimming events around the world. And then one day, the proud Sakamoto saw an impossible dream come true — Olympic gold!

In a unique approach that makes for a moving read-aloud, Julie Abery uses limited rhyming text to tell the little-known story of Coach Sakamoto and the Three-Year Swim Club. The stunning art of award-winning and highly acclaimed Chris Sasaki perfectly complements the lyrical storytelling. This inspiring picture book offers excellent lessons in perseverance, believing in yourself and not letting others define you, while wonderfully capturing how one person can make a huge difference in the lives of others. In highlighting the team’s “bright and loud” presence at events, with their Hawaiian dress and ukulele, it also encourages children to take pride in their heritage and view it as a strength. An author’s note with photos and more information tell the fuller story of Soichi Sakamoto and his Three-Year Swim Club.

BOOK JOURNEY:

Coach Sakamoto’s story came to my attention in 2017 as I searched for an idea to work on during a month-long nonfiction writing workshop. Olympic stories were on my radar and when I read about Soichi Sakamoto and his swim team in Maui in the 1930s, I knew I wanted to tell the story.

I found a wealth of newspaper clippings to mine for facts, with many articles written by Coach Sakamoto and his swimmers. I was also fortunate to connect with Coach Keith at the Hawaii Swim Club, who worked alongside Coach Sakamoto.

Sakamoto taught sixth grade science. He became a swim coach to support the children of the sugar plantation workers, who often got into trouble for swimming in the irrigation ditches. He asked the plantation owners’ permission to use a section of the ditch to teach them to swim, even though he wasn’t a strong swimmer himself, and so began the Olympic dream.

When I started drafting the story I intended to write it in prose, but before long, spare rhyming verse ideas began to emerge in my text:

On Maui, also known as the Valley Isle, streams rush down lush mountain slopes. In the 1930s, water tumbled to the valley and flowed into irrigation ditches that nourished the island’s sugar plantations.

As the sugar cane industry on the islands had grown, so an influx of migrants had arrived. They toiled dawn to dusk, often leaving their children to fend for themselves.

I loved the rhythmic verse. Reading it aloud I heard the consistent strokes of a swimmer, their breathing pattern, and the rhythm of cutting cane. It felt like a perfect way to tell the story and so, with my ‘voice’ set, I wrote the story.

With such a pared-back text, the story needed a very detailed author’s note, which acts as another chapter to the book. It fills in more story details, clarifies time passing, the meaning of the Three-Year Swim Club, Pearl Harbor, the war, and fighting for your country. Finally, the editor and I were thrilled to acquire a black and white photograph of the team courtesy of the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum to complete the book.

As a teacher myself, I was deeply moved by Sakamoto’s unfailing commitment to the children he coached, and his life-long passion to give them the opportunity to be the best they could be – many of his swimmers went on to be accepted by US universities on sports scholarships. He shaped the lives of so many in such a positive way.

I hope that readers young and old will be inspired by this story of perseverance and dedication. Sakamoto and his swimmers kept their dreams alive, despite the huge setbacks, and achieved what nobody thought possible.

JULIE’S BIO:

Author Julie Abery is a former preschool teacher who shaped her career reading picture books to children from around the world. She has a passion for using rhyme, rhythm, and repetition to encourage language acquisition, and combines nonfiction with rhyming verse to tell inspirational stories.

Originally from England, she now calls Switzerland home.

Julie’s books include the Little Animal Friends board book series, Yusra Swims, The Old Man and the Penguin: A True Story of True Friendship and her latest release, Sakamoto’s Swim Club: How a Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory.

For more, visit Julie at:

Website: https://littleredstoryshed.wordpress.com/

Twitter @juliedawnabery

Facebook @julieabery

Instagram @juliedawnabery

CHRIS SASAKI’S BIO:

Chris Sasaki is an animation art director, illustrator, and writer living in Oakland, California. He’s worked at Pixar Animation Studios and has designed characters for Monsters University (2013)  Inside Out (2015), Coco (2017), and Onward (2020). He also served as production designer on the Oscar nominated shorts, Sanjay’s Super Team (2015) and Weekends (2017). Some of his other past clients include LAIKA Entertainment, Blue Sky Studios, Disney Television Animation, DreamWorks, Jim Henson Studios, and Tonko House.

In 2016, Chris made his first venture into books with a short story collection for young adults entitled GHOST (Illustratus / Chronicle Books).  He also illustrated Home is a Window (Holiday House), and Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist (Penguin Random House), which received the 2019 Dilys Evans Founders Award from the Society of Illustrators. His work has been featured at Gallery Nucleus, Cartoon Brew, the New York Times, and Red Cap Greeting Cards.

Literary representation by Kirsten Hall of Catbird Agency.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christopher_sasaki/

Julie, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I love stories that provide inspiration about little known people that make a big difference in children’s lives. It is so heartwarming to hear how this one man shared his skills with underprivileged children, worked with them everyday and showed them the way to dominating swimming events around the world. I think you should pursue a movie contract and bring this story to the big screen. Chris did a gorgeous job with the illustrations. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 5, 2022

Book Winners – Kudos – Industry Changes

BOOK WINNERS:

Angie Quantrell won WHEELS OF CHANGE by Darlene Beck Jacobson

 Annie Lynn Bird won THIS IS YOUR WORLD: The Story of Bob Ross by Sophia Gholz

Kim A Larson won Chameleon Can Be! by Carolina Farías

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KUDOS:

Another kudo for Julie Abery‘s Sakamoto’s Swim Club It’s a Cybils finalist.

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INDUSTRY CHANGES:

RANDOM HOUSE CHILDRENS:

Mary Man-Kong has been promoted to senior executive editor.

Lauren Clauss has been promoted to editor.

Jenna Lettice and Tricia Lin have been promoted to editor.

Jasmine Hodge has been promoted to assistant editor.

KT LITERARY: 

Kari Sutherland has joined as agent specializing in middle grade and young adult fiction. She was previously with Bradford Literary

SOURCEBOOKS:

Steph Gafron has been promoted to associate art director.

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OPPORTUNITY:

All expense paid tuition to the Winter Conference for any SCBWI member experiencing financial hardship.

SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE: January 15th. Submit HERE.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES 

All applicants must be current SCBWI members.

Please post the following information in the submission form:

1.) A statement (250 words max) about why you want to attend the conference

2.) A one-sentence logline describing your current project

Questions? Please email Sarah Diamond at sarahdiamond@scbwi.org.

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Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 4, 2022

Book Giveaway: LOOKING FOR SMILE by Ellen Tarlow

Ellen Tarlow has another new picture book, LOOKING FOR SMILE, illustrated by Lauren Stringer and publish by Beach Lane Books. They have agreed to give a copy of each book to the one lucky winner in the US.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Ellen and Lauren.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

In this sweet and gentle picture book, Bear wakes one day to find his Smile gone and enlists his friends to help him find it.

Bear and Smile are always together. They wake up together, swim by the waterfall together, and eat honey together. But one day, Bear wakes up and Smile is nowhere to be found. With the help of his woodland friends, will Bear be able to find his Smile again?

This tender and special debut picture book explores sadness with a light touch and shows that sometimes a good friend can make all the difference.

BOOK JOURNEY:

LOOKING FOR SMILE tells the story of Bear and Smile who are always together—they wake up together, they splash in waterfalls together, they eat honey together. Then one morning Smile doesn’t come. And without his Smile, Bear feels alone for the first time ever.

The roots of the story go back to a day when I was five years old and just like Bear, I woke up and found my smile gone. While the particulars are (obviously) very different, the feeling of confusion about being in a world that looked and felt different than it ever had before is very much the same.

This experience stuck with me and I had been trying to write about it off and on for many years. A couple of years ago, I was working on a manuscript about a character who had lost their smile– but I felt like I couldn’t get beyond the surface of the experience.

Then one morning, I got the idea of personifying smile. I quickly wrote the sentence: Bear and Smile were always together. That became the first line of the book. I wrote about 75% of the book in one sitting that day. Somehow making Smile a character allowed me to write about Bear before Smile went away which made the loss feel more real. Also, I think the character of Smile gave the story a lift, Smile is fun and a bit of a puzzle and prevented it all from being too sad.

After that burst, I put the story aside for a few months. I’m not sure why other than a natural tendency not to finish things. But also I wanted to get the ending just right. I wanted to make it real and meaningful to kids. I’m not sure when the idea of Bear just sitting and singing with his friend Bird came to me but it seemed like the simplest and truest of all the ways to get Smile back and it was the only version I wrote out.

A few weeks after I finished the manuscript, a former teacher, Dianne White, wrote to say I should attend a picture book intensive at the Writing Barn in Austin, Texas. The weekend featured agent, Rubin Pfeffer, S&S/ Beach Lane editor, Allyn Johnston, and author/illustrator, Lauren Stringer. I had never travelled for anything like that before but for some reason this time I did. To make a short story shorter, Rubin read “Looking for Smile” for my critique and shared it with Allyn and Lauren. By the time I met with him, he said he wanted to represent me. Later that day, all three called me over to a picnic table and told me that Allyn wanted to publish the book and Lauren wanted to illustrate it. (I wobbled my way back to my room and barely slept for the rest of the weekend. )

I couldn’t have been luckier. Allyn is such a caring and brilliant editor and Lauren’s illustrations are just so beautiful and tell the story with such depth of feeling. Here are a few illustrations I particularly love:

The fact that we all spent that first weekend together in Texas felt like a special bond and the creation of the book was a real team experience. LOOKING FOR SMILE came out in Fall 2020. It has been a fun journey (despite the pandemic). As a postscript, it is now more than 2 years since the Writing Barn weekend. Since then Rubin has sold 4 more of my picture books and an early reader series to Allyn Johnston /Beach Lane. They will come out over the next few years. My next book, Becoming Blue, illustrated by Julien Chung, will be published by Beach Lane Books and comes out in 2022.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog!

ELLEN’S BIO:

Ellen Tarlow writes stories for very young children. Her published children’s books include PINWHEEL DAYS, MOLE CATCHES THE SKY, and most recently, LOOKING FOR SMILE, illustrated by Lauren Stringer and published by Beach Lane Books.

For many years, she worked as an editor of early childhood classroom materials. In that job, she got to write hundreds of stories for young children. Now that she is working less, she is excited to focus on her own stories. After spending her entire adult life in New York City, she just moved to the Hudson Valley with her husband David, a painter. She has four new picture books and an early reader series coming out with Beach Lane Books over the next few years. You can learn more about her at: www.ellentarlow.com.

LAUREN’S BIO:

Lauren Stringer is a visual artist, a writer and illustrator of picture books, a set designer, and a public speaker. She was born in Great Falls, Montana, but grew up on the beaches of southern California, the woods outside of Pittsburgh, PA, and the redwoods of northern California.  After graduating with degrees in art and art history, she moved to the east coast, where she lived for a brief time in Washington, DC and Boston, before settling in NYC.

Her picture books: Winter is the Warmest Season, When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky, and Yellow Time. My story, The Dark Was Done will be published as a picture book in Fall 2022. She has  illustrated many award-winning picture books including Scarecrow and Snow written by Cynthia Rylant, Tell Me About Your Day Today written by Mem Fox, Mud, Red Rubber Boot Day and Deer Dancer written by Mary Lyn Ray, Fold Me a Poem written by Kristine O’Connell George, The Princess and Her Panther written by Wendy Orr, and the nonfiction picture books, Our Family Tree, An Evolution Story, written by Lisa Westberg Peters and The Shape of the World, A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright, written by K.L. Going. Her newest illustrated picture book, Looking for Smile, written by Ellen Tarlow, was published in Fall 2020. Lauren was awarded the McKnight Fellowship for Artists in 1991 and the McKnight Fellowship for Writers in 2012 and 2020. Her illustrations for Castles, Caves and Honeycombs won the SCBWI Golden Kite Honor Award in 2002. Her paintings and illustrations have been exhibited in museums and galleries all over the country, including The Bronx Museum in NY, the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND, the Society of Illustrators in New York, and the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, TX. I have  presented nationally and internationally at schools, libraries and conferences.

Lauren now lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and shares her home, located on Dakota land, with her writer-composer-painter husband and a very old cat. Whenever possible, she travels to visit her daughter, a dance artist living in Morocco, and to Canada to visit her son, a composer and circus artist. When she was very young her favorite books were Millions of Cats by Wanda Gág, Veronica by Roger Duvoisin, and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. At the age of six she decided to become an artist.

Ellen, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I love that the theme of this book is the importance of having a good friend, since that is something that follows all of us throughout life. Lauren’s illustrations are wonderful. They are a perfect fit with your story. Good  luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 3, 2022

SCBWI ZOOM WINTER CONFERENCE

Conference Highlights Include:

Keynote Addresses from Iconic Creators of Children’s Books

Vanessa Brantley-Newton headshot
Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Stephanie Garber headshot
Stephanie Garber
Brian Selznick headshot
Brian Selznick
Kelly Yang headshot
Kelly Yang
Paula Yoo headshot
Paula Yoo

Industry Panel

Recipe for Success in 2022 from an Editor’s Point of View

Michelle Frey headshot
Michelle Frey
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Farrin Jacobs headshot
Farrin Jacobs
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Emma Ledbetter headshot
Emma Ledbetter
Abrams Books for Young Readers
Denene Millner headshot
Denene Millner
Denene Millner Books/Simon and Schuster
Cynthia Leitich Smith headshot
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Heartdrum / Harper-Collins

Industry Panel

Recipe for Success in 2022 from an Art Director’s Point of View

Erica De Chavez headshot
Erica De Chavez
HarperCollins
Maria Elias headshot
Maria Elias
Penguin Random House
Kristen Nobles headshot
Kristen Nobles
Charlesbridge
Lesley Worrell headshot
Lesley Worrell
Tor/Forge Books
Cecilia Yung headshot
Cecilia Yung
Penguin Books for Young Readers

Industry Panel

Recipe for Success in 2022 from an Agent’s Point of View

Chad Beckerman headshot
Chad Beckerman
The CAT Agency
Jemisco Chambers-Black headshot
Jemisco Chambers-Black
Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Samantha Fabien headshot
Samantha Fabien
Root Literary Agency
Thao Le headshot
Thao Le
Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
James McGowan headshot
James McGowan
BookEnds Literary Agency

PLUS:

  • The opportunity to sell your book in our online conference bookstore
  • An orientation for first-time attendees
  • Online peer critiques and socials

Registration Prices:

SCBWI Members: $150

Nonmembers: $250

Includes all keynotes, panels, special sessions for illustrators, and socials (excludes the Portfolio Showcase, and the Up Close With Publishing Professionals breakout sessions)

Event Extras:

You must be registered for the full conference to attend.

Portfolio Showcase: $75

SCBWI Members Only – More Info

Up Close With Publishing Professionals Breakout Sessions: $150

SCBWI Members Only – More Info

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Talk Tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 2, 2022

Favorite Winter Illustrations

Love it or hate it, snow is a major part of winter for many people.

Here are 15 interesting facts about snow.

PABLO BALLESTEROS: Featured on Illustrator Saturday on January 9th 2021.

SNOWFLAKES AREN’T THE ONLY FORM OF SNOW.

Snow can also precipitate as graupel or sleet. Not to be confused with hail, graupel (or snow pellets) are opaque ice particles that form in the atmosphere as ice crystals fall through freezing cloud droplets—meaning cloud particles that are colder than the freezing point of water but remain liquid. The cloud droplets group together to form a soft, lumpy mass. Sleet, on the other hand, consists of drops of rain that freeze into small, translucent balls of ice as they fall from the sky.

JACLYN SINQUETT: Featured on Illustrator Saturday on January 16th 2021.

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK TRIED TO MAKE SNOW ILLEGAL.

America’s snowiest major city has an impressive arsenal of plows, but in 1992 it tried a new trick to control white stuff. The city’s Common Council passed a decree that any more snow before Christmas Eve was illegal. As it turns out, Mother Nature is a scofflaw—it snowed just two days later.

LAURA FREEMAN: Featured on Illustrator Saturday on February 6th 2021.

IT’S A MYTH THAT NO TWO SNOWFLAKES ARE EXACTLY THE SAME.

In 1988, a scientist found two identical snow crystals. They came from a storm in Wisconsin.

TOMMY DOYLE: Featured on Illustrator Saturday on February 13th 2021.

THE LARGEST SNOWFLAKE MIGHT HAVE BEEN 15 INCHES WIDE.

According to some sources, the largest snowflakes ever observed fell during a snowstorm in January 1887 at Montana’s Fort Keogh. While witnesses said the flakes were “larger than milk pans,” these claims have not been substantiated.

PADDY DONNELLY: Featured on Illustrator Saturday February 20th 2021.

SNOW IS TRANSLUCENT, NOT WHITE.

Snow, like the ice particles it’s made up of, is actually colorless. It’s translucent, which means that light does not pass through it easily (like it would transparent glass), but is rather reflected. It’s the light reflected off a snowflake’s faceted surface that creates its white appearance.

But why white? The reason we see objects as colors is because some wavelengths of light are absorbed while others are reflected (remember, light is a spectrum of colors). The object takes on whatever color light is reflected. For example, the sky is blue because the blue wavelengths are reflected while the other colors are absorbed. Since snow is made up of so many tiny surfaces, the light that hits it is scattered in many directions and will actually bounce around from one surface to the next as it’s reflected. This means no wavelength is absorbed or reflected with any consistency, so the white light bounces back as the color white.

CYNTHIA CLIFF: Featured on Illustrator Saturday – February 27th 2021.

AND, IN FACT, IT DOESN’T ALWAYS APPEAR WHITE.

Deep snow can often appear blue. This is because layers of snow can create a filter for the light, causing more red light to be absorbed than blue light. The result is that deeper snow appears blue—think about how your snowy footprints compare to the surrounding landscape.

Snow can also sometimes appear pink. Snow in high alpine areas and the coastal polar regions contains cryophilic fresh-water algae that have a red pigment that tints the surrounding snow.

LUCKY PLATT: Featured on Illustrator Saturday – March 6th 2021

EACH WINTER IN THE U.S., AT LEAST 1 SEPTILLION ICE CRYSTALS FALL FROM THE SKY.

That’s 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000—24 zeros!

DAVID HOHN: Featured on Illustrator Saturday – March 13th 2021.

THE MOST SNOW TO FALL IN A 24-HOUR PERIOD IN THE UNITED STATES IS 75.8 INCHES.

In 1921, over six feet of snow fell between April 14 at 2:30 p.m. and April 15 at 2:30 p.m. in Silver Lake, Colorado.

KIRBI FAGAN: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY on March 20th 2021.

COLORADO ALSO HOLDS THE RECORD FOR THE MOST SNOW TO FALL IN A SINGLE CALENDAR DAY.

On December 4, 1913, 63 inches of snow fell on Georgetown, Colorado.

RACHEL SANSON: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY on April 3rd 2021.

SNOW HAS NEVER BEEN REPORTED IN KEY WEST.

The coldest temperature on record for the Florida city (reached on January 13, 1981, and January 12, 1886) is 41 degrees Fahrenheit.

NADJA SARELL: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY om May 8th 2021.

NOT EVERY BIG SNOWSTORM IS A BLIZZARD.

In order to be classified as a blizzard, a snowstorm must meet a very specific set of qualifications. Winds must blow at least 35 miles per hour and the snowfall must reduce visibility to less than 0.25 miles for a period of at least three hours.

Other common types of snowstorms include a snow squall (an intense snowfall accompanied by strong winds that only lasts a short time) and a snowburst (a brief, intense snowfall that results in rapid accumulation of snow).

ELISA PAGANELLI: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY on May 15th 2021

IGLOOS CAN BE MORE THAN 100 DEGREES WARMER INSIDE THAN OUTSIDE.

And they’re warmed entirely by body heat. Since fresh, compacted snow is approximately 90 to 95 percent trapped air (meaning it can’t move and transfer heat) it’s a great insulator. Many animals, such as bears, dig deep holes in the snow to hibernate through the winter.

SALLY WALKER: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY on May 29th 2021.

NOVA SCOTIA HOLDS THE RECORD FOR THE MOST SNOW ANGELS EVER MADE SIMULTANEOUSLY IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS.

In 2011, 22,022 Nova Scotia residents in 130 separate locations all plopped down in the snow to make snow angels.

ANA LATESE: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY on June 19th 2021.

NORTH DAKOTA HOLDS THE RECORD FOR MOST SNOW ANGELS MADE SIMULTANEOUSLY IN ONE PLACE.

Back in 2007 it was 8962 people in North Dakota who plopped down in the snow to waggle their arms and legs to make snow angels.

LEE WHITE: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY on July 10th 2021.

FEELING MORE DEVILISH? THE LARGEST SNOWBALL FIGHT ON RECORD TOOK PLACE IN SEATTLE.

Exactly 5834 snow fighters came together to exchange frozen barrages to create the largest snowball fight in the world on January 12, 2013.

KEN DALEY: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY on August 14th 2021.

Deepest snow in the UK

The deepest snow ever recorded in an inhabited area of the UK was near Ruthin in North Wales during the severe winter of 1946-47. A series of cold spells brought large drifts of snow across the UK, causing transport problems and fuel shortages.

During March 1947 a snow depth of 1.65 metres was recorded.

MATT SCHU: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY on August 21st 2021.

It doesn’t have to be freezing to snow

Generally, the air temperature does need to be at or below freezing for snow to fall. However, if rain falls continuously through air with a temperature as high as 6 °C, it may cause the air temperature to fall low enough for the rain to turn to snow. This is because rain that persists for some time will gradually cool the air that surrounds it.

SHAUNA LYNN PANCZYSZYN: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY on September 18th 2021.

The speed of snow

Most snow falls at a speed of between 1 – 4 mph dependent upon the individual snowflake’s mass and surface area, as well as the environmental conditions surrounding its descent.

Snowflakes which collect supercooled water as they fall can fall at up to 9 mph, but snowflakes, as most people recognise them, will tend to float down at around 1.5 mph taking about an hour to reach the ground.

GEORGE SWEETLAND: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY October 2nd 2021.

Photographing snowflakes

The first person to capture a photograph of a snowflake was a farmer from the small town of Jericho in Vermont, US. After years of experimenting with connecting microscopes to a bellows camera, in 1885 Wilson Bentley succeeding in capturing the first ever snowflake photograph.

During his lifetime he photographed more than 5,000 snowflakes and even released a book packed with 2,400 images.

TAIA MORLEY: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY on October 9th 2021.

Words for snow

Recent studies suggest that the Inuit do have many more words for snow than in English. The dialect spoken in Nunavik, Canada, for example, has at least 53 separate words including ‘pukak‘ to refer to crystal-like snow that looks like salt; ‘matsaaruti‘ meaning wet snow to ice a sleigh’s runners; and ‘qanik’ to refer to falling snow.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow claim that the Scots language has 421 terms related to the white stuff, including ‘skelf’ (a large snowflake), ‘spitters’ (small drops of driving snow) and ‘unbrak’ (the beginning of a thaw).

BECCA STEDTLANDER: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY October 23rd 2021.

Fear of snow

Originating from the Greek chion meaning snow, and phobos for fear, the word Chionophobia is used to describe the condition of being afraid of snow.

It is often thought that the fear stems from childhood events, such as a sledging accident or being hit by a snowball, and symptoms include cold sweats and panic attacks.

KAREN BUNTING: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY on November 13th 2021.

Chances of a white Christmas?

Whilst the vision of a Christmas Day surrounded by snow fills Christmas cards, movies and songs, snow is actually much more likely in January and February than in December.

In the UK, snow or sleet falls on an average of 3.9 days in December, compared to 5.3 days in January, 5.6 days in February and 4.2 days in March. There has been a widespread covering of snow (over 40 % of weather stations reporting snow) only four times in the last 51 years.

KIMBERLEY BARNES: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY on November 20th 2021.

Snow affects sound

Freshly fallen snow absorbs sound waves, giving everything a seemingly hushed, quieter ambience after a flurry. But if the snow then melts and refreezes, the ice can reflect sound waves making sound travel further and clearer.

EMILIE BOON: Featured on Illustrator Saturday on November 27th 2021.

Monkeys love it

Don’t think for a second we are the only mammals to enjoy a good snowball fight. Japanese macaques, also know as ‘snow monkeys’ have been observed making and playing with balls of snow. Young macaques appear to enjoy stealing each others snowballs, then battling to retrieve them.

JOY LAFORME: Featured on Illustrator Saturday on December 4th 2021.

Too much snow isn’t good for you

Spend too much time on the slopes and you could suffer from piblokto or ‘Arctic hysteria’, a disorder affecting Inuit people living within the Arctic circle. Symptoms include meaningless verbal repetition or performing irrational or dangerous acts, followed by amnesia of the event. Vitamin A toxicity is thought to be one source of the disorder, though in recent years researchers have questioned whether the illness, thought to be based on as little as eight cases, actually exists at all.

MACKENZIE HALEY: Featured on Illustrator Saturday

A yodel won’t cause an avalanche

There are a number of factors that can trigger an avalanche, but noise isn’t one of them. Weight is a much more important contributor. A sudden deluge of snow, an increase in wind speed or even the over-zealous footstep of a skier can trigger a sudden, deadly, cascade. But a loud burst of terrible singing, that won’t have much of an effect.

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Hope you enjoyed these wintry illustrations and the 2020 winter.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 1, 2022

Happy New Year

If Santa is the most common symbol associated with Christmas, then Baby New Year is the symbol most commonly associated with….you guessed it, New Year’s! Baby New Year is often seen in a diaper, black top hat, and a sash showing the numbers of the new year. Myth states that he matures into an old man during the year.

AMALIA HOFFMAN: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY.

The first New Year’s celebration dates back 4,000 years. Julius Caesar, the emperor of Rome, was the first to declare Jan. 1 a national holiday. He named the month after Janus, the Roman god of doors and gates. Janus had two faces, one looking forward and one looking back. Caesar felt that a month named after this god would be fitting.

ANA OCHOA: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Years Day to bring them good luck. This dates back to medieval times.


WENDY WEHMAN: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

The earliest New Year celebrations were in Mesopotamia and date back to 2000 B.C.

MIRA MILOSLAVOVA: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

According to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day more than any other holiday. Don’t think your old car is safe, either. In 2011, the 1994 Honda Accord was the most stolen car. To discourage car theft, make sure your car is in a populated area and always take your keys.

MICHELLE KOGAN:  www.michellekogan.com

 

If you are in the area for New Year’s be sure to check out this event. Bundle up and head for center city Philadelphia to watch the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia. This is a centuries old Philly tradition normally has over 10,000 participants step through City Hall and perform in unique costumes. The parade dates back to mid-17th-century, incorporating elements from Irish, German, English, Swedish and other European heritages. The parade itself is divided into five divisions: a comic division, wench brigades, fancy division, string bands, and fancy bridges.

Please note: The outdoor portion of Philadelphia’s famous and sometimes inflammatory New Year’s Day parade featuring the Mummers has been pushed to Sunday because of rain in the forecast. The indoor portion of the events, including performances at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, will still continue as planned on Saturday, officials said. City officials also announced the New Year’s Day fireworks planned for Penn’s Landing at 6 p.m. are canceled because of the weather forecast.

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Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy, and successful 2022. Looking forward to hearing about your books and successes so I can share them with everyone. Please contact me if you have a book coming out that you would like me to feature. If you are an illustrator, remember I’m always looking for talented children’s illustrator to feature on Illustrator Saturday. 

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 31, 2021

Happy New Year’s Eve

Forty-five percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.

Do You? Want to Share?

ANA LATESE: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

IT’S TIME TO GET THIS PARTY STARTED

LAUREN FREEMAN: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

Many people ring in New Year’s by popping open a bottle of champagne. Americans drink close to 360 million glasses of sparkling wine during this time. The bubbly stuff dates back to the 17th century, when the cork was invented.

BETHANY CRANDALL: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

COURTNEY DAWSON: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

CYNTHIA CLIFF: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

FANNY LIEM: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

ISOBEL LUNDIE: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

JOY LAFORME: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

KEN DALEY: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

KIMBERLY BARNS: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

KIRBI FAGAN: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

LISA FIELDS: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

Kissing is involved at midnight!

MATT SCHU: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

NADJA SARELL: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

RACHEL SANSON: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

SHAMAR KNIGHT JUSTICE: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

BECCA STADTLANDER: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY

The first New Year’s celebration dates back 4,000 years. Julius Caesar, the emperor of Rome, was the first to declare Jan. 1 a national holiday. He named the month after Janus, the Roman god of doors and gates. Janus had two faces, one looking forward and one looking back. Caesar felt that a month named after this god would be fitting.

VALERIA ABATZOGLU: Featured on Illustrator Saturday. 

ANDRE CEOLIN: Featured on Illustrator Saturday. 

JESSICA COURTNEY TICKLE: Featured on Illustrator Saturday

LENA RALSTON: Featured on Illustrator Saturday. 

About 1 million people gather in New York City’s Times Square to watch the ball drop. The Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop came about because of a ban on fireworks. The first ball in 1907 was 700 pounds and was lit with 100 25-watt lights. The current ball puts the old one to shame (thanks to technology). Today, it is covered in 2,688 crystals, is lit by 32,000 LED lights, weighs 11,875 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter.

ANDY IPAKTCHI: www.illustratrice.com

STAY HOME AND HUG SOMEONE.

DANIELA VOLPARI: FEATURED ON ILLUSTRATOR SATURDAY.

JESSICA COURTNEY TICKLE: Featured on Illustrator Saturday

MICHELLE KOGAN:  www.michellekogan.com

Remember the last scene in When Harry Met Sally, when Harry references a song after he and Sally kiss? It was Auld Lang Syne, a song traditionally sung at the end of New Year’s parties. Poet Robert Burns wrote it in 1788. Though most people do not know the words to Auld Lang Syne, the overall message is that people have to remember their loved ones, dead or alive, and keep them close in their hearts.

DON’T MISS LISTENING TO AULD LANG SYNE EXPLAINED

Celebrate!

Sophie slings confetti, Bobby bangs a bell.

Sister Sue is slipping through and laughing, feeling swell!

Grandpa’s starting jigging, Bernie beats a drum,

Sing and shout and dance about, the magic hour has come.

Voila!  A fancy feast appears, and Grandma’s standing near.

Hugs and Happy Holidays — a brand new year is here.

by Carol Murray

JESSICA COURTNEY TICKLE: Featured on Illustrator Saturday

Robert Burns – Auld Lang Syne – As sung by Dougie MacLean on the album Tribute

HAPPY NEW YEAR – ENJOY RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR – STAY HEALTHY AND SAFE!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 30, 2021

BOOK GIVEAWAY: PINWHEEL DAYS by Ellen Tarlow

Ellen Tarlow has two new picture books, PINWHEEL DAYS and FRIENDS AT NIGHT, illustrated by Gretal Parker and publish by Starbright Books. They have agreed to give a copy of each book to the one lucky winner in the US.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Ellen and Gretel.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Oh no! Has Pinwheel broken Owl’s tree? Pinwheel and Squirrel can’t stop bunches of small, colorful bits from falling! Perhaps Owl can shed some light on the conundrum. . . . Later, Pinwheel has the most wonderful dream ever and wants to replicate it. But his daytime nap means spending less time with his friends. Join Pinwheel and his friends for two tranquil stories in this new Level 3 Star Readers edition of Friends at Night. Engaging plots and age-appropriate vocabulary will help young readers take a step forward with their literacy skills.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Pinwheel the donkey loves peanut butter sandwiches and playing hide-and-seek. But most of all, he loves his friends. This collection of four stories presents a great lesson in friendship and kindness. Laugh with Pinwheel as he shouts to his own echo until he realizes the voice talking back is really his friend Squirrel. Count falling leaves and name their colors with Owl. Immerse yourself and your child in Pinwheel’s world with this lovely collection of adorable short stories.

BOOK JOURNEY:

I am so pleased that Pinwheel Days (and now its companion volume, Friends at Night) is finding a new life with the Star Reader editions.

My journey with the character of Pinwheel began 30 years ago with a photograph of a baby donkey my father had taken on a trip to Mexico. I couldn’t get that little donkey out of my head and named him Pinwheel. Pinwheel began his literary life in a middle grade novel (unfinished) and then a picture book draft which stayed in the drawer. As much as I loved the character, I couldn’t find the way to write about him. So I let him rest.

A few years passed and I woke up one morning and wrote a story, which is now the last story of the four stories, called Pinwheel’s Dream. The story was written somewhat in the manner of the Frog and Toad books I had always loved. The short simple sentences, plentiful dialogue, and bite sized stories somehow allowed his innocent and open personality to shine. And Pinwheel as an easy-to-read character was born.

I wrote the remaining three stories rather quickly, the stories flowed in a way that had eluded me in the Pinwheel novel and picture book. I built the stories to end up with Pinwheel’s Dream which I had written first. I introduced Squirrel, Rabbit and Owl, Pinwheel’s friends in each of the stories preceding it. And soon I had a manuscript in hand.

This was in 2005. There happened to be an SCBWI presentation on early readers in New York and I went. At the presentation, I learned that early readers were rarely picked up as individual manuscripts, more often commissioned as part of series. I came away feeling rather hopeless that the little donkey I had grown so fond of would ever see the light of day.

But rather than putting him in the drawer again, I gave the manuscript to a children’s book writer friend, Miriam Cohen, who then passed it onto Deborah Shine of Starbright Books. She felt that a smaller publisher would not have the same limitations about publishing an early reader that was not part of a larger series. And lo and behold they wanted to publish it.

The stories of course truly found life with the wonderful illustrations by Gretel Parker, an English illustrator who I found through a card. Because I worked in educational publishing creating picture books, Starbright Books allowed me to be very involved in designing the book. Gretel Parker and I sent pages with sketches and layouts back and forth from her cottage in England to my apartment in New York City. (This was in the days of email but just before there were PDF attachments.) It was a very exciting and rewarding process. As you can see, Gretels illustrations are both joyful and contemplative. Also, I wanted the characters to feel like sentient beings and yet still be cuddly. And miraculously they are! (In fact, Gretel now makes enchanting needle felt animals from her cottage in Shropshire.

The original Pinwheel Days came out in 2006. It remains one of my favorite pieces of writing. I am glad more children will get to know Pinwheel and friends in the new Star Readers editions!

ELLEN’S BIO:

Ellen Tarlow writes stories for very young children. Her published children’s books include PINWHEEL DAYS, FRIENDS AT NIGHT, MOLE CATCHES THE SKY, and LOOKING FOR SMILE.

Among other honors, LOOKING FOR SMILE was named one of Kirkus’s Best Books and one of Bank Street College’s Best Books for 2020. For many years, she worked as an editor of early childhood classroom materials. In that job, she got to write hundreds of stories for young children. Now that she is working less, she is excited to focus on her own stories. After spending her entire adult life in New York City, she just moved to the Hudson Valley with her husband David, a painter. She has four new picture books and a new early reader series coming out with Beach Lane Books over the next few years.

GRETEL’S BIO:

In 2011, I worked with Templar Publishing UK to produce two early reading pop up books, combining my artwork with my needle felted characters.

I am a professional artist and designer living in a little cream cottage in rural Shropshire, England. Previously a children’s illustrator, I became a full time needle felt artist in 2008 when I also opened my Etsy shop. I’ve sold my work to collectors all over the world and expanded into selling my own kits and high quality supplies. I believe that supplies should be presented beautifully, to enhance the creative experience.
I am now selling all of my creative work in this shop, so if you are looking for quirky, affordable art and cards, please browse the shop sections.
If you like my needle felt designs, you will love my book ‘Little Needle Felt Animals, published in the UK by Harper Collins and in the USA by Harper books – you will find it on Amazon and in most major book stores.

I have written over 60 patterns to date and have been featured in many well known craft magazines, including ‘Mollie Makes’ where my work has been the cover project on three issues. To read more about me and to check for UK needle felt workshops please visit my website
http://www.gretelparker.com

 

Ellen, thank you for sharing your books and journeys with us. This is the first time I have featured Star Bright Books on Writing and Illustrating. It’s nice to show off their newly launched early readers program, Star Readers™, designed to help children take a guided approach to reading independence and success. Star Readers, has five unique reading levels to help youngsters gain confidence and develop essential skills in vocabulary, speech, pronunciation, and critical thinking. They can be read at any pace, and in any order, to meet the individual needs of each reader. I am excited for you, Donkey, Pinwheel and his merry friends being part of Star Bright Books inaugural Star Readers™ kick off. Gretel did a wonderful job creating the illustrations to help you tell the stories. Good luck with the books!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 29, 2021

Book Winners – Kudos – Non-fiction Contest

 BOOK WINNERS:

Judy Sobanski won ELLA AND THE MONKEY AT SEA by Emilie Boon

Barbara Senenman won CLEO’S BIG IDEAS by Jan Milusich

Antoinette Truglio Martin won WISHES DARES AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY by Darlene Beck-Jacobson 

Winners, please send me your addresses.

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KUDO’S:

David Harrison‘s I WANT AN APPLE, HOW MY BODY WORKS, was named by American Scientist STEM Books for Young Readers. 

Julie Abery‘s Sakamoto’s Swim Club is among the 2021 ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice Books for Youth list!

Children’s Book Author Kimberly Wilson has signed a contract for two of her books: A PENNY’S WORTH and A DOLLAR’S GRAND DREAM with Page Street Kids, 2022 & 2023, She is Rep’d by Victoria Selvaggio at Storm Literary.

Susan Campbell Bartoletti‘s Growing up in Coal Country has turned twenty-five years old, is still in print and earning its way.

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OPPORTUNITY:

WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST

ENTRY FEE: $12 ENTRY FEE. (OPTIONAL $13 CRITIQUE FEE)

DEADLINE: January 31, 2022.

Seeking creative nonfiction essays on any topic (200-1,000 words) and in any style-from personal essay and memoir to lyric essay and hybrid, and more. The mission of this contest is to reward bravery in real-life storytelling and create an understanding of our world through thoughtful, engaging narratives. Open internationally. Limit 300 entries.

20 PRIZES!

FIRST PLACE:

SECOND PLACE:

THIRD PLACE:

7 RUNNERS UP:

10 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

https://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/contest.php#EssayContest

More Details:

https://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/downloads/contests/WOWCreativeNonfictionEssayContestTermsFAQs.pdf

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 28, 2021

Book Giveaway: SOMEDAY WE WILL by Pam Webb

Pam Web has a new picture book, SOMEDAY WE WILL, illustrated by Wendy Leach and publish by Beaming Books. Pam has agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Pam and Wendy.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

For grandparents and grandchildren separated by miles, the wait until the next delightful visit can seem endless. In Someday We Will, kids and grandparents mark the time by dreaming of all the wonderful things they’ll do together someday, from bicycling down a hill to whiling away the hours on a beach. Before they know it, someday is here!

With lyrical text by Pam Webb and the winsome illustration style of Wendy Leach, Someday We Will is the perfect gift for grandparents and grandchildren who look at the calendar with impatience and longing for the next fun-filled time with their loved ones.

BOOK JOURNEY:

My granddaughter inspired the text of Someday We Will. Delighted as I was with her as a baby, I anticipated all the wonderful activities we would share as she grew older. I began a rhyming list in my head, adding to it over the years and when she was around eight I wrote them down as we accomplished them. Another couple of years went by before I polished them into a picture book manuscript and shared it with my writing group. With their encouragement I revised the text and decided it was time to begin submitting the manuscript to publishers.

Beaming Books had just recently advertised a call out for family-oriented stories so I went with them. Two weeks later I was surprised to receive an email of acceptance. Being more used to the standard “thank you, but our list is full message” from other projects, I shared the news with my husband and immediately contacted Beaming Books. Under the guidance of my editor, the manuscript transformed from a rhyming text to one with more lyrical imagery, a change that I ultimately embraced (though I felt a bit devastated when he first said, “Love the story, now let’s work on less rhyming).

They asked my input on illustration styles and suggestions for each layout, which I appreciated. The initial publication release was due in fall 2019 to coincide with Grandparents Day, then changed to April 2020 to fit in with Mother’s Day. As it is known, the world basically shut down that month, meaning the usual public promotions of bookstores, libraries, school visits was now unavailable.

 

Promoting the book meant extra effort in learning social media platforms and finding creative ways of getting the public aware of my book. As venues begin opening back up I look forward to promoting in person. This last summer I was able to open the first library story hour in over a year with a reading in the library’s new garden area. The book’s message of “Someday We Will” definitely applies in my hopes of promoting more personally in the future.

PAM’S BIO:

Long-time member of SCBWI, Pam Webb has been published in numerous national publications including Highlights for Children, Boys’ Life, and School Library Journal. Book publications includes Boyds Mills Press anthologies, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Someday We Will, a picture book for grandparents and grandchildren.

Writing interests are varied and range from picture book to middle grade to YA, and even adult. Her day job is a rarity in that she gets paid for doing what she really enjoys–teaching literature and creative writing to young adults.

WENDY’S BIO:

Wendy Leach Graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Art from the University of Missouri. She was honored in 2017 to be one of the Society of Children’s book writers and illustrators featured artist.

She graduated with a BFA in painting from the University of Missouri. While earning her degree she worked in the children’s department of the local Barnes and Noble where her love for picture book illustration began. Wendy lives with her extremely silly family in Overland Park Kansas. You can see more of her work by visiting her website artofwendyleach.com

Thank you Pam for sharing your book and journey with us. Grandparents will love getting this book for their grandchildren. There are so many family that are separated by miles and this book will help them see other children are looking forward to seeing their grandparents again and having fun with them. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

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