Last November, shortly after receiving the paperback version of the Jane Addams award-winning The Mangrove Tree, Susan Roth received an unexpected email. It was from Fathima Toprawalla, who has been a director of a Montessori preschool in Calgary, Canada for the last six years. Last year Fathima decided to create a brand-new preschool with the intention that each student would be able to grow a plant or tree of his or her own. And her special wish was to name her new school The Mangrove Tree Preschool, for the book that she found inspirational for herself as well as for her young students.
At Lee & Low Books, our mission is to publish multicultural books that are “about everyone, for everyone.” We’ve published stories for nearly 30 years that highlight people of different backgrounds, cultures, and abilities, and we make a special effort to work with authors and illustrators of color.
With the increase in diverse books being published, one question that comes up a lot when we’re talking to people is “How do I choose good multicultural books?” It is important to choose not just diverse books, but books that are culturally authentic, engaging, and free from problematic stereotypes.
At Lee & Low Books we are always interested in biographies of unsung heroes. Stories of lesser-known individuals who used their talents and overcame obstacles to achieve their dreams and serve their society fill our shelves of published titles. Each year our New Voices Award judges consider dozens of biographical submissions on the lookout for a winning combination of compelling characters and well-researched storytelling. But how do these components come together to create a manuscript? How does a writer condense someone’s entire life into a picture book? Does the writer or editor decide what information goes in the story and back matter? What is back matter, anyway? To answer these questions, and for an inside look at the editorial process, we interviewed Andrea Loney, author of the 2014 New Voices Award-winning biography Take A Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! and Jessica Echeverria, our Senior Editor who helped turn Andrea’s manuscript into an absorbing debut!
In this guest post, originally posted on author Donna Janell Bowman’s blog and reposted here with permission, Donna Janell Bowman shares her beliefs about the extraordinary skills of Jim Key, a horse who learned how to read, write, and do math.
Between the news, the changing administration, and the constant fight for rights and equality, we know that we’ll experience some trying times ahead. But if nothing else, protests across the country and the world indicate that people will fight for their basic human rights and the human rights of others. To stay inspired, we’ve gathered five of our favorite reads from around the web.
With Susan L. Roth’s signature collage illustrations and Cindy Trumbore and Roth’s detailed narrative, it’s clear that Roth and Trumbore’s styles are a perfect match. Their award-winning books, The Mangrove Tree, Parrots Over Puerto Rico, and Prairie Dog Song are a testament to their effortless collaboration style and their shared passion for conservation. In this interview, Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore discuss their writing process, their stylistic differences, and working together to create the perfect story.
With all that has been going on in the news, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all things that are out of our control. While we can’t always escape from our newsfeed, we can resolve to do as much as we can to make sure that our basic human rights aren’t taken away. With that being said, we’ve gathered five of our favorite reads that have filled us with hope for the upcoming months. Continue reading
January 16th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and to celebrate, we’ve gathered six books that highlight the works and accomplishments of civil rights activists and African American pioneers.
Can you believe it’s almost November? The autumn season is officially underway which means the holidays are right around the corner! Plan out your month with these book recommendations and resources to get you ready for the holiday season!
Thanks to movements such as We Need Diverse Books, #1000BlackGirlBooks, and vocal authors, writers, and readers, the conversation regarding diversity in children’s books has gained more traction. Studies such as the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s Publishing Statistics on Children’s Books and our Diversity Baseline Survey have helped to supplement these conversations, highlighting the need for more representation in children’s literature. We’re starting to see more stories that represent people from different backgrounds and different ways of life, and stories with protagonists and heroes that finally look like us. Here at LEE & LOW BOOKS, our mission is to publish children’s books about everyone and for everyone. So today, LEE & LOW staff share the impact and importance of diversity and what diversity truly means to them.