Category Archives: Interviews with Authors and Illustrators

“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

Interview: Author Bethany Hegedus on Writing Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya AngelouReleased in time for the 50th anniversary of the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is one of our newest titles Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou by author Bethany Hegedus and illustrated by Tonya Engel. In this interview, author Bethany Hegedus talks about her newest title Rise!, how she felt to receive a foreword from Dr. Maya Angelou’s grandson Colin Johnson, and her writing and research process.

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An Interview with the Laceras, Creators of Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies!

From the TV show The Walking Dead to YA books Warm Bodies and Rot and Ruin, zombies are a huge part of pop culture. Lee & Low is excited to add to the zombie narrative with our upcoming picture book, Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies!, by debut husband and wife team Megan and Jorge Lacera!

lacera interview

 

Coming April 2019 in both English and Spanish, Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! is about Mo Romero, a zombie who loves nothing more than growing, cooking, and eating vegetables. The problem? Mo’s parents insist that their niño eat only zombie cuisine, like arm-panadas and finger foods. They tell Mo over and over that zombies don’t eat veggies. But Mo can’t imagine a lifetime of just eating zombie food and giving up his veggies. As he questions his own zombie identity, Mo tries his best to convince his parents to give peas a chance. We chatted with Megan and Jorge about creating their first picture book together and where they got their inspiration from.

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Interview: Karen Leggett Abouraya and Susan L. Roth on Malala Yousafzai and Other Women Who Inspire Them

Released this past January in both English and Spanish, Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words is the picture book biography of the amazing Nobel Peace Prize winner and brave, outspoken girl who continues to fight for the millions of children worldwide who are not able to go to school. In this interview for Women’s History Month, we chatted with author Karen Leggett Abouraya and illustrator Susan L.  Roth about their inspiration for the book and the women they look up to:

malala yousafzai covers

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