Tag Archives: children’s books

News About Wisconsin’s Writers of Children’s Literature

Picture-book author Miranda Paul says the Library of Congress Young Reader’s Center has posted the video of the Booktalking session she did in Washington D.C. for Earth Day 2015. (Link: https://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=7058).
Also, Miranda’s new book Whose Hands Are These
came out last month. Her launch party will be at Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee on Sunday, March 13 at 3:00 p.m. All are all invited to come, and feel free to invite friends or family.
Children’s writer JoAnn Early Macken will be among poets reading on Tuesday, March 8 from 6:30-8 p.m. at  Mount Mary University’s  Writers on Writing series. The event will take place in  Helfaer Hall (located in Caroline Hall). More details here: http://mtmary.edu/news-events/events/writers-on-writing.html.
Author and literary agent Sheri Bestor’s picture book Good Trick, Walking Stick!
has been released by Sleeping Bear Press.
Picture book maven Janet Halfmann (I’ve lost count of the many fabulous books she’s had published!) has a new book, Grandma is a Slowpoke,
Grandma Is a Slowpoke
published by Star Bright Books, which came out last month.

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A Couple of Book Launches Coming Up

Here are announcements from Wisconsin’s children’s authors about launches for their new  books:
Pat Schmatz
My book birthday for Lizard Radio is September 8, and the launch party will be at Addendum Books in St. Paul on September 18. Here’s the FB link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/414449535412991/  
See Pat’s website at http://www.patschmatz.com/ for information about this and Pat’s other books.
 Debbie Hembrook and Kate Heling
CLOTHESLINE CLUES TO SPORTS PEOPLE PLAY is the companion book to CLOTHESLINE CLUES TO JOBS PEOPLE DOWe will be having a launch party on September 4th 6:30 – 8:00 at Martha Merrell’s Books in Waukesha, WI.
Here’s where to learn more about Debbie and Kate’s “Clothesline Clues” and other books at http://www.helinghembrook.com/Books/index.html.
 The Council for Wisconsin Writers at www.wiswriters.org  is a non-profit, tax-exempt, membership organization dedicated to promoting local, state, and national awareness of Wisconsin’s great literary heritage and to encourage excellence among today’s Wisconsin writers.

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Children’s Book Group Seeks Diversity

The Wisconsin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is marking the one-year anniversary of the creation of its Diversity Committee with the first formal program devoted to diversity. A Diversity Intensive will be held on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, prior to WISCBWI’s annual Fall Conference that weekend at the Olympia Center in Oconomowoc.

“Seven Essentials of Writing and Illustrating for a Diverse Audience” presented by Tu Books Editor Stacy Whitman is the introductory 9-10 a.m. session. That session is mandatory for everyone wanting to attend one of two breakout sessions. Illustrator/author Dan Santat will address “Art School In Two Hours” from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

“Usually the best way to improve as an artist is to be smarter with design,” says Santat, whose Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend won this year’s Caldecott Medal and who has a long list of awards for the many books he has written and/or illustrated. He calls this session “A crash course into color theory, symbology, composition, creating art with a narrative, typography, and marketing.”

During approximately the same time slot (10:30 a.m.-noon) author Eleanora Tate will present “Tate’s Great Black, White, Brown, Red and Wheelchair-bound Yellow Brick Road to Reading and Writing” from 10:30 a.m.-noon. “In recent years, numerous literary, educational and scholarly groups and organizations have developed “Best” lists of what they deem to be outstanding children’s, young adults’ and diverse books. Unfortunately, these lists don’t seem to please everyone, including me, when my books are not on them. In this workshop, I’ll discuss my own Tate’s Greats list of “Best” books and my criteria for why they made MY list. I’ll also offer Tate’s Great Eight Tips for writing appealing children’s books.

Says Committee Co-Chair Pat Schmatz, author of Lizard RadioBluefishMousetrapsCircle of Truth and Mrs. Estronsky and the U.F.O. about the program:  “Who’s it for? Humans who want to write and/or illustrate for younger humans.”

Committee Member Jamie A. Swenson, author of Boom! Boom! Boom!If You Were A Dog and Big Rig says: “You may be sitting there wondering if diversity affects you and your writing/illustrating. I believe it does – and if you’re feeling unsure of how to approach the topic – please consider attending this intensive. Our faculty is stellar; our community is strong. Why shouldn’t WI help lead the way to more diverse stories? We have certainly been leaders in many other areas, why not this one too?”

The cost varies from $20 for SCBWI members attending the conference to attend session one only, to $115 for non-SCBWI members to attend both sessions, but not attend the weekend conference.


For more information about the session or how to register, please contact Pat Schmatz at schmatz5@gmail.com.

For information about the Council for Wisconsin Writers, please visit the CWW website at www.wiswriters.com.




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Green Bay Children’s Author Features Diversity

Miranda Paul has already made a name for herself in the world of children’s book publishing. Her One Plastic Bag, published in February, was named a Junior Library Guild Selection and received great reviews by Kirkus Review, The Horn Book, School Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly. She’s the Executive VP of Outreach for We Need Diverse Books™ (www.diversebooks.org), administrator of RateYourStory.org, a site for aspiring writers, was the cover story of Women Magazine‘s January issue, and is the new co-Regional Adviser of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Wisconsin chapter.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 9.07.22 AM

Now comes word that The School Library Journal has put Miranda’s new book, Water is Water, on its Summer Prediction for Caldecott/Newbery- award list.

These two picture books help children understand environment issues facing the world.

Learn more about Wisconsin writers at the Council for Wisconsin Writers website www.wiswriters.org. Membership information is at http://www.wiswriters.org/join.htm.

The Council receives no state or other public funding, but relies on private contributions and member fees to carry out its mission.


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Animals Teach in CWW Honor Book

Among the many truly superb writers in Wisconsin are those whose works were recognized by receiving honor mentions in the Council for Wisconsin Writers 2014 contests.

Below is publisher Blue Apple’s summary of Toffte/Wright Childrens Literature honorable mention winner Animal Teacher by Janet Halffmann. Below that is the cover and first four pages of the book, which also is an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2014 Gold Seal Best Book Award winner:

How Do Animals Learn To Swim, Fish, Box, Or Build?

In the forest, in the pond, in caves, prairies, and jungles, in all the world’s outdoor “classrooms,” baby animals are…learning! They are taking lessons on how to be an expert swimmer, alarm-sounder, racer-chaser, or hide-and-seeker. They don’t have books, or desks, or computers. But they do have teachers!
With clear, graceful prose and striking illustrations,  Animal Teachers showcases the teacher-student dynamic between adult and young animals as they are taught crucial skills needed to handle daily challenges.
An entertaining combination of science and storytelling, this instructive title presents skills that a dozen different young animals have to learn.
Will the animals earn an “A”for their efforts? No!
But a banana or a good hiding place might be even better!

More information about Janet, Animal Teachers and her other books is at http://www.janethalfmann.com/









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