The Brown Bookshelf 28 Days Later Campaign Day 27 Vanessa Brantley-Newton

https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000004950929

Over the past 13 years, award-winner Vanessa Brantley-Newton has illustrated (or illustrated and authored) approximately 80 books for children, including titles such as Every Little Thing, We Shall Overcome, Mary Had a Little Glam, and The Hula Hoopin’ Queen. Her most recent release is The Youngest Marcher (written by Cynthia Levinson, Simon & Schuster, 1/2017) and later […]

via Day 27: Vanessa Brantley-Newton —

Chat With Emerging Writer Yamile Saied Mendez

Many aspiring writers look to MFA programs as the surest path to refining their writing skills. Yamile Saied Méndez, a native of Argentina who resides in Utah, is a recent graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing program (VCFA). We were delighted to chat with her about her experiences. LKL: Let’s […]

via Latinxs and the MFA: A Chat with Emerging Writer Yamile Saied Méndez — Latinxs in Kid Lit

Book Review: The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lillian Rivera

Reviewed by Elena Foulis DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK: Things/People Margot Hates: Mami, for destroying her social life Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal The supermarket Everyone else After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, […]

via Book Review: The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera — Latinxs in Kid Lit

TBT from The Brown Bookshelf

In 2012, we featured artist Elizabeth Zunon and her acclaimed second picture book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. A Junior Library selection, that title won accolades and raves about her style. Since then, Liz has created many treasures including Don’t Call Me Grandma by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and The Legendary Miss Lena Horne […]

via Throwback Thursday: Elizabeth Zunon —

Day 26: Eloise Greenfield

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I knew that Eloise Greenfield loved me. As a child, I pored over HONEY, I LOVE over and over again, and could hear the words of her poems just as if she were right next to me, speaking to me, chatting with my mother and grandmother, reminding me that I was special, powerful, beautiful, and fully LOVED.

We featured Ms. Greenfield back in 2008; she was born in 1929, in segregated North Carolina. She studied piano as a child, trained as a teacher and worked in civil service at the U.S. Patent Office. She had her first poem published in the Hartford Times in 1962 and her first book (a biography of Rosa Parks) was published in 1972. Her bio notes that she’s won the Coretta Scott King Award for Africa Dream, and a CSK Honor for The Great Migration: Journey to the North (which was also an…

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Day 26: Jacqueline Woodson

jackiejpegI remember the first time I read Jacqueline Woodson’s Visiting Day. Early in my publishing journey, I was exploring the magic of picture books when I spotted one with a black father and daughter embracing on the cover. James Ransome’s beautiful illustration and the title called to me, saying, “This is something special.” The opening  delivered on that promise: “Only on Visiting Day is there chicken frying in the kitchen at 6 a.m. and Grandma, humming soft and low, smiling her secret just-for-Daddy-and-me smile . . . ”

I was there.

Jackie’s words transported me into the world of a little girl who loved and missed her father. I felt her longing, her anticipation. I rode the bus with her and Grandma to visitingdayvisit Daddy. Then I learned he was away because he was “doing a little time.” The page became blurry as I blinked away tears. This. Was. A…

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Day 25: Rosa Guy

Most people have never heard of Rosa Guy (rhymes with “key”), but she has been influential in developing the careers of many writers despite her relative obscurity. Guy was born in Trinidad & Tobago and raised in Harlem from age 7. After the death of her father, and because her older sister was ill, Guy left school at age 14 to take on factory work. She studied acting at the American Negro Theater in the 1940s before she turned to writing.

In 1950, she was one of the founders (the only woman) of the Harlem Writer’s Guild. Their mission to develop works by writers of the African diaspora helped literary greats including Ossie Davis, Audre Lorde, Maya Angelou, Sidney Poitier, and Walter Dean Myers. In 1977, the group was honored by the United Nations Society of Writers, and by 1986, founder John Oliver Killens estimated that their members “had produced…

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Day 24: Andrea Davis Pinkney

Andrea Davis Pinkney is a superstar in the publishing industry. Thank you for sharing her story.

adp-photoIn the 1990s, I was new to the art and business of writing. I dappled in adult magazine articles, then articles for young readers. I discovered early readers and found editors who thought they were worthy of publication. Then, I decided to write something else, something different, but I couldn’t put my finger on it or the words on paper even if I knew what I wanted to write. Not until I discovered picture book biographies. Not until I discovered Andrea Davis Pinkney’s BILL PICKET: RODEO – RIDIN’ COWBOY at my local library.

I live in Oklahoma and knew about bulldogging Bill Pickett and the 101 Ranch. I never saw his story presented quite like hers. Reading it gave me permission to try something new with fun words like yip-yapping. It showed me how to tell a fascinating story with words and pictures. Pinkney’s book opened a world of…

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