Where to Find those 10,000 Books

Where to Find those 10,000 Books

So at some point in Outliers, I guess Malcolm Gladwell said a few things about putting 10,000 hours into something you want to do well. And possibly there is debate about not only what he said, but about whether he was right. Whatever Gladwell actually said, how many times have you heard other writers, publishers, agents, […]

Review: Just Right – Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

Review: Just Right – Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

I have a bit of an infatuation with nonfiction picture books. Yes, I love them, but infatuation implies a sense of distance, of something out of reach. At this point, writing a nonfiction picture book feels out of my reach. In a good way–yes, someday I might write one–but for now I get to experience that […]

Review: The Remember Balloons

Review: The Remember Balloons

I don’t remember why I put The Remember Balloons on my to-read list. I’m very glad I did, though. The book, written by Jessie Oliveros and illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte, is a lovely story that does an absolutely beautiful job depicting the magic relationship that can exist between a child and their grandparent, what it looks like […]

Better Questions This Time Around

Better Questions This Time Around

I’ve pretty much spent the last year in picture-book revision mode–before the Big Sur workshop to get ready and after the workshop to integrate the feedback I got.  I’m sending these stories through my new critique group and then using their comments for yet more revision. But, as I submit to the group and wait […]

Keith Negley’s MARY WEARS WHAT SHE WANTS

Keith Negley’s MARY WEARS WHAT SHE WANTS

I love good nonfiction picture books, but I don’t purchase a lot of them–I’m writing fiction, and so most of my book budget goes toward good examples of that genre. Every now and then, though, I come across a nonfiction book I can’t leave at the store. Keith Negley’s Mary Wears What She Wants was […]

Finding Balance (In Picture Books)

Finding Balance (In Picture Books)

Rhyming in a picture book is one thing–and, so far anyway, it’s definitely one thing I can’t do. (If you want to read a few books by authors who can, I suggest pretty much anything by Sue Fliess; Interstellar Cinderella, written by Deborah Underwood; and Cheerful Chick, written by Martha Brokenbrough,) There’s also rhythm which, I think, is made […]

Fall Writing Plans

For a while now, I haven’t put any real schedules on my writing. I had been in a bit of a slump for a year or so, and I was changing jobs, and…well, life. But the slump seems to have shifted away for now, and the new job came with new hours, which unexpectedly got […]

In Which Pooh Has Fun with Picture Books

In Which Pooh Has Fun with Picture Books

Okay, not Pooh, me. I’m having fun with picture books right now. I’m not sure if I’m actually on a roll, or if I lucked out and landed on a couple of older ideas that suddenly turned into something, or if it’s in good part because I’ve been working with a wonderful editor. Whatever the […]

Julia’s House of Lost Creatures: The Art of the Unexplained

Every time I hit the library, I try to bring home a stack of picture books. I have probably reached my 10,000 hours of reading kids’ novels, but I don’t think I’m there yet on the picture book. Plus, hey, I love them. Yesterday, in my stack was a copy of Ben Hatke’s Julia’s House […]

In Which I Look Into the PiBoIdMo List and Find it…Not ALL Heffalumps and Woozles

It’s mid-January, which means 2012 is well on its way. Which means, yes, that I should be doing something with that list of ideas I came up with last November, in Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo. How easy would it be for me to let this all go? Oh, too, too easy. So… This weekend, I went […]