Category Archives: Interviews with Authors and Illustrators

Watch the Webinar: Black Lives Matter in the Classroom

We had the largest virtual turnout ever for last week’s webinar, “Black Lives Matter in the Classroom: A Conversation with Experts” with Laleña Garcia and Caryn Davidson, author and illustrator of What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book, and Jesse Hagopian and Denisha Jones, co-authors of Black Lives Matter at SchoolAnd as promised, the recording is finally here! If you missed it live (or just want to watch again), you can access the webinar below, or here on YouTube. Keep reading for links to resources and booklists shared during the webinar.

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The Story Behind What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book

Laleña Garcia has taught in New York City early childhood education programs for more than twenty years. What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book grew out of her work with Black Lives Matter in Schools, a teachers’ organization striving for racial equity in education. In this post, she shares more about how and why she developed this special project.

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Free Upcoming Webinar: Black Lives Matter in the Classroom

Learn about how to bring the Black Lives Matter movement into your school, classroom, library or home in this powerful discussion on Wednesday, January 20th at 4:00 PM ET.

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“We are one human family”: An interview with author Jan Reynolds

JAN REYNOLDS is an award-winning author and photographer Jan Reynoldswhose work has appeared in numerous publications, including National GeographicThe New York Times, and Outside magazine. Her nonfiction books for young readers include Celebrate! Connections Among CulturesCycle of Rice, Cycle of Life; and Only the Mountains Do Not Move.  She also holds the world record for women’s high altitude skiing, was part of the first expedition to circumnavigate Mount Everest, and performed a solo crossing of the Himalayas.

Jan’s newest picture book, The Lion Queens of Indiafollows a group of female park rangers in Gir, India who are tasked with protecting the endangered Asiatic lion. In this interview, we talk with Jan about writing the book and her life traveling the globe in search of stories and connections. Continue reading

Watch the Webinar: A Discussion of Contemporary Native Children’s Literature

We had a great virtual turnout for last week’s webinar, “A Discussion of Contemporary Native Children’s Literature” with authors Traci Sorell (Indian No More) and Carla Messinger (When the Shadbush Blooms). If you missed it live (or just want to watch again), you can access the webinar below, or here on YouTube. Keep reading for links to resources and booklists shared during the webinar.

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Illustrator Archana Sreenivasan Takes Us Behind the Art of Seven Golden Rings

Released last month, Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math by Rajani LaRocca and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan tells the story of an Indian boy who untangles a mathematical conundrum to win a place at the Rajah’s court. In this blog post, illustrator Archana Sreeenivasan takes us behind the scenes of her creative process. 

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Free Upcoming Webinar: A Discussion of Contemporary Native Children’s Literature

For many years, Native people have been silenced, their stories set aside, hidden, or drowned out. That’s why it’s especially critical to read stories about Native characters, told in Native voices. What’s equally important is to showcase contemporary Native texts centering Native people in the here and now.

Join us for a webinar on Thursday, November 12 at 4:00 PM ET as we discuss high-quality, #ownvoices and contemporary Native literature, classroom applications, and ways to make sure that you are teaching about modern Native history authentically and accurately in your relevant setting.

Authors Traci Sorell (Indian No More), and Carla Messinger (When the Shadbush Blooms), will share their insights, experiences and knowledge about their writing processes, tips and strategies for selecting quality Native literature, and applicable classroom activities.

Whether you are an educator, librarian, or parent, this webinar will provide you with tangible steps for analyzing and selecting contemporary Native children’s literature for your relevant setting.

Date: Thursday, November 12, 2020
Time: 4:00 PM ET
Duration: 1 hour
How to Join: Register here.

Registration is free, but space is limited so register today! If you can’t join live, you can still register to receive a link to the recording after the webinar takes place.

Hope to see you there!

An Interview with Julieta from Julieta and the Diamond Enigma (plus…recipes for blueberry pancakes and elotes!)

In this interview with the sweet and spunky Julieta from Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendáriz, the nine-year-old titular character talks about her love of elotes and blueberry pancakes (with recipes to share!), her favorite art piece in the Louvre, and her excitement for the reopening of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

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Upcoming September Tea Time Talks: Meet Our Editors and Authors

Tea Time Talks

Curious about the ins-and-outs of the editorial process? Join us for our September Tea Time Talks  between our authors and editors!

In these short, casual conversations, get a behind-the-scenes look at our publishing process as our Lee & Low editors share a (virtual) cup of tea with their authors. Hear them describe the initial inspiration and the development process, discuss questions that came up during the editing, and reflect on decisions they made.

Join us live, or register for a link to watch the recordings later!

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Interview: Author Sherry Thomas on Mulan and Writing The Magnolia Sword

magnolia swordReleased last week, The Magnolia Sword is the first young adult novel to reimagine the ballad of Mulan. We interviewed bestselling author Sherry Thomas on what piqued her interest in writing about Mulan and the different iterations of the beloved woman warrior in pop culture.

What was your approach when researching for The Magnolia Sword? What resources or organizations did you turn to while writing the story? 

Sherry Thomas: I consulted everything from reddit threads to academic publications, along with various sources in the Chinese language, including my personal copy of Chinese Idiomatic Expressions Dictionary.

Northern Wei, the time period typically agreed on for the setting of the Ballad of Mulan, is not a major dynasty. So I would get whole books on food, clothing, etc. in ancient China and be able to use only a few pages. (Thank goodness for interlibrary loans!)

Another important source of research is actually Google Earth, which allows me to investigate the actual shape and elevation of the terrain that I would put my character into, and see photos people have taken of the general area. Continue reading