Posts Written OnJanuary 2016

Diversity in KidLit 2012 Source: First Book, Art: Tina Kugler

In this last year especially, there’s been more discussion about the need for multiculturalism and diversity on the kids’ bookshelf than ever before (finally!) Although a lot of peers echo the sense that the time has come, sometimes I encounter people who ask why such a push is necessary. The kinds of questions I hear are: Isn’t reading at its core about a reader identifying with characters by transcending differences? Do stories need to be mirrors, do readers really need to have themselves reflected in stories? Aren’t we then saying that a reader can’t identify with a character who is…

I Wanna Be a Real Book!

As I slowly teach myself to #CelebrateEverything, when I find myself reaching a writing milestone, I look for ways to mark and celebrate my place on the writing journey. In 2014, although I had drafted many picture books and had started many manuscripts, I had yet to complete a novel-length story. For me, it was a personal goal to complete a YA-length first draft and when I did, I took it to an office supply store and had it comb-bound into a notebook of sorts. I deliberately bound this first draft in landscape mode to allow myself a wide margin.…