Book Release: OUT OF SCHOOL AND INTO NATURE (+Book Giveaway!)

Today I’m excited to introduce Anna Comstock, the pioneering scientist featured in my newest book — OUT OF SCHOOL AND INTO NATURE (Illus. by Jessica Lanan.) Anna was an important role model who boldly changed the “rules” of her day by proving that women could be researchers, scientists, and even …

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THE MUSIC IN GEORGE’S HEAD Release! (+ Giveaways)

Big news! My new picture book, THE MUSIC IN GEORGE’S HEAD: GEORGE GERSHWIN CREATES RHAPSODY IN BLUE, releases from Calkins Creek today. George Gershwin’s birthday is also this month (Sept. 26), so I’m glad you stopped by to celebrate this incredible composer/pianist. You can also find out where the idea for this story came from, …

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Illustrating THE INVENTOR’S SECRET—A Book Give-Away!!!!! And Suzanne’s Winners Announced!

Charlesbridge Publishing contacted me in June, of 2013 to ask if I would illustrate a non-fiction picture book written by our very own, spectacular, Suzanne Slade. The book is titled, THE INVENTOR’S SECRET, WHAT THOMAS EDISON TOLD HENRY FORD. In this 48 page non-fiction picture book, Suzanne shares the story of Thomas Edison’s successes and Henry …

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The Secret is Out: The Inventor’s Secret releases today (plus a unique give-away!)

Okay, so what are the odds? I post once a month on Picture Book Builders, and this month my turn fell on September 8, the release date of my newest book, The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford.  (By the way, my son calculated the odds of this …

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Building a Book — To the Printer We Go!

For this Picture Book Builders post, I thought it would be fun to take a look at how picture books are actually “built,” or printed and bound. I’ve wondered about this process for years (and have been asked about it many times during school visits) so I was excited when I …

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Thinking About the Common Core

On a recent school visit, a Media Specialist asked how I thought the Common Core State Standards have affected children’s authors. Mmmmm … interesting question. As most everyone knows, the Common Core State Standards emphasize the importance of students reading nonfiction books (called “informational text,” which includes biographies and autobiographies, …

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The Dazzling, Amazing 104-Page Picture Book!

My last post discussed ideas to shorten the text of a picture book manuscript. But today I’m thinking about longer picture books–particularly recent nonfiction biographies which go beyond the regular 32-page format. For example, my new picture book FRIENDS FOR FREEDOM was expanded to 40 pages, and two of my upcoming pictures books are slated for 40 and 48 pages.
It seems they’re not that unusual. More and more nonfiction picture books are bumped into the 40s, often due to back matter pages which might include a myriad of items such as a bibliography, timeline, source notes, and other notes.

And then there’s JOSEPHINE: THE DAZZLING LIFE OF JOSEPHINE BAKER by Patricia Hruby Powell, a picture book biography that clocks in at 104 pages. Now that’s a BUMP! If you’ve read this award-winning book, you know the text is energetic, emotional, and exquisite. And Christian Robinson’s illustrations are outstanding.

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FEATHERS: A Picture Book That Really Flies!

Hi! I’m excited to be joining the merry band of picture book writers and illustrators on Picture Book Builders. Writing nonfiction is my thing, so I’ll be chatting about inspiring nonfiction picture books in my posts. And here we go! Last week I was excited to find the new picture …

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