Tag Archives: children’s books

Parenting in Harmony

8 Sep

school harmony mural honor circle

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.”—Sitting Bull (one of the quotes on the Honor Circle in the courtyard of our new middle school)

This summer I started reading a favorite series from my childhood to my daughter, the Little House books. She knew we had Native American ancestry far back in our blood, so lines like “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” were challenging to navigate, to say the least, as were the books’ assumptions about settlement rights. (The children’s picture book The Buffalo Are Back provided a lot of great social and environmental context, which helped.)

Ultimately though, reading the Little House books has been a good thing for us to do together. It’s created a lot of dialogue about our ever-changing country, race issues, our ongoing cultural stew, what we’ve done right, and areas where we still have a long way to go.

With those conversations fresh in my mind, along with our country’s percolating nationality issues, we found ourselves at the ribbon cutting of her future middle school this week. The event featured a tribal blessing Continue reading

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Resources for Aspiring Authors

4 Feb

SCBWI Writer Kindness QuoteEver since I published my children’s book, would-be writers have been coming out of the woodwork asking for advice. And I couldn’t be happier to help. I want to see more dreams take flight!

That’s why I’ve created a new Writing & Publishing page under “The Archive” section (to the right, up top), to share resources for aspiring authors. Here you’ll find a long list of tips and ideas I’ve accumulated over the course of my publishing adventures. As I encounter more, I’ll keep adding to it, too.

I also highly recommend Continue reading

Inspiring Minds: Ed Emberley

30 May

EdEmberley

I first heard about Ed Emberley at a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference.

Ed has been making kids’ books since 1961, when his first book was declared an ALA winner. Since then, he’s illustrated more than 50 (!) children’s books, including Caldecott winners.

But that wasn’t what caught my attention about Ed. Continue reading

Kids’ Books

16 May

Szaba Book PileIn honor of Children’s Book Week, here are 87 great kids’ books. (That should help keep your minions busy this summer.)

Bookmark it, load up your library queue, or head to your local bookstore to pick up a few for someone special.

Most of these are for younger kids, but if you scroll down to the bottom, you’ll find 15 or so for older kids, too (or simply for kids at heart).

Obviously, this isn’t an end-all-be-all list. There are simply too many great ones to ever catalog them all.

How many have you read? Bring back any memories? What would you add? I’d love to hear your responses in the comments!

Recommended Kids’ Books

Wombat Stew
Naughty Bus
In a Blue Room
The Story of Ferdinand
A Long Way Away
Superhero Employment Agency
Ed Emberley’s  “Make a World” Drawing Book  Continue reading

Inspiring Minds: Jamie Lee Curtis

14 Nov
Jamie Lee Curtis

My favorite holiday movie. Recognize it?

Sue had a thing for Jamie Lee Curtis. She respected her, related to her. And the more I learn about Jamie (and myself), I do, too.

It started with this, a magazine spread where Jamie insisted on two pictures: one glammed up and airbrushed, one stripped down and real. It was Jamie’s idea, not her publicist’s or the magazine’s. Sue saved it and made sure to show it to every women in her life. She never missed on opportunity to remind us of the unique beauty we each possess, both in the pretty moments and the gritty, real ones.

Jamie Lee Curtis True Thighs More Magazine

Jamie Lee Curtis in MORE’s September 2002 issue.
Photo by Andrew Eccles

Sue reveled in her age and individualism. That’s not too say she didn’t have her vanity, but her vanity was about projecting the full beauty of Sue, mind and attitude included, all of which was no one’s ideal but her own. And when you have that kind of confidence, people see even your flaws as part of your beauty. I always marveled about that in Sue. Even at her sickest, I never once heard her ask someone not to take her picture or claim that she looked awful. As a woman, trust me, that’s a feat.

Continue reading

Shelf-Worthy Children’s Books

2 Apr

Do you have shelf after shelf of kids books at home, many of which leave you wondering, “How in the hell did these even get published?”

I ask myself that about three times a day, especially given the meaningful gem currently imprisoned on my computer. But I’ll save you that rant.

Continue reading

Children’s Books About Death

5 Mar

Okay, I admit. This is kind of a weighty thing to throw out there. But as I’ve mentioned before, I’m working on a book for kids who won’t have a chance to personally know an integral family member who’s died. It’s an issue that, sadly, will affect a lot of kids (my daughter included). Yet children’s books about death don’t address this emotionally charged issue for a large percentage of our young population.

Sure, there are a decent amount of children’s books about death and mourning, but nearly all of those help a child cope with missing a person they knew and loved.

I’ve only found one kids’ book about a child growing up wanting to learn more about a deceased loved one. It’s a book published just last year by President Barak Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng.

Continue reading