Monday, January 10, 2011

Favorite 2011 Picture Book So Far & Young Writers Workshop

Clever, retro, gorgeous.
Congratulations to Philip and Erin Stead for winning the Caldecott Medal for A Sick Day for Amos McGee! While those at ALA are cheering for the winners in balmy San Diego, I'm getting on my scarf and boots so that I can climb to the highest snowy peak and shout out praises for a delightful new winter read.

Veteran children's author Susan Blackaby was shown snippets of illustrator Carmen Segovia's work and given a challenge: could she make a story using Carmen's characters?

Yes. Oh, yes indeed, she could.

Blackaby rose to the challenge and together she and Segovia created the most exquisite picture book I've seen in years: Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox (Sterling, 2011). In engaging yet economical text, Blackaby gave spark to Brownie groundhog, who comes out of hibernation way too early, only to encounter a fox who means to eat him. The classic trickster tale is given an electric jolt with Blackaby's dry wit and comic sensibilities, and Segovia's elegant art evokes the best of the two-color gems from the '60s.

My advice? Do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy. Then read it with a cup of cocoa and cinnamon toast. And if you like what you read, bring your kids to Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing at 4:30 this Friday. Susan and YA author Emily Whitman will be holding a free Young Writers Workshop, focusing on poetry, for 10-18 year-olds who love to write.

Written by Heather Vogel Frederick
Also, Susan Blackaby's official Brownie Groundhog unveiling will be held at 11am on January 22 at A Children's Place Bookstore. She'll be teaming up with Heather Vogel Frederick, who will share her new picture book, Babyberry Pie (Harcourt, 2010) in an event they've dubbed 'Elevenses with the Authors'. Bring your kids and join them for a sugar blast when they troop across the street to the Eclectic Kitchen for a post-reading nosh: cinnamon treats and berry tarts all around!

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