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:
In this age of rigor, text complexity, and higher standards for younger and younger readers—why do wordless picture books continue to be so popular?
Wordless, or minimal-text, picture books:
- enable children to explore the art of storytelling and world-building
- are a wonderful medium for expression and creative thought
- are a natural introduction to inferencing, a metacognitive skill that is often taught in the later grades
- help readers practice reading facial cues and studying visual context clues for vocabulary and plot development
- engage visual learners or visually-motivated readers
- alleviate struggling readers who may feel overwhelmed by dense text and long print sections
- offer a launch pad to a lifelong love of other visually-rich formats, including comics and graphic novels
Why choose a wordless, or minimal-text, picture book for your next storytime?
Today we are pleased to share this guest post from Librarian and Diversity Coordinator Laura Reiko Simeon on using picture books to support social and emotional learning (SEL). Welcome, Laura!
One day a new sixth grader walked into my school library, wandered over and gazed longingly at the picture book shelves, and then told me sadly that at her old school her teacher told her she wasn’t allowed to read them because they were below her reading level. I bit back my initial uncensored opinion of said teacher and mildly replied that the wonderful thing about picture books was that you could enjoy them at any age–and that no one here would stop her from borrowing whatever she liked!
This story connects to a project I developed that is currently in its seventh year. It’s taken various forms and spanned various grade levels from K-4 to K-8, but the goals have remained the same: Continue reading
Summer is officially here, which means the Lee & Low Books award season is upon us! The New Voices Award submissions window opened on May 1st and the contest is now in its eighteenth year! If you’re an unpublished children’s book writer interested in having your picture book manuscript considered for publication, you may be wondering how to make your submission standout from the competition. Whether it’s your first time submitting or your fourteenth, this blog post will help you craft a strong cover letter and manuscript that will help your submission rise to the top of the sea of entries.
Introducing your submission with a professional and thorough cover letter is a great way to make your submission stand out. The best cover letters provide the writer’s contact information (including email address and phone number), and answer all of the criteria listed in the New Voices Award submission guidelines. At Lee & Low we are very interested in the writers who participate in our contest. We use the information provided in their cover letters to learn more about who is interested in our company, where they are from, and what communities they represent. This information helps us determine how our contest has grown over the years and highlights which demographics we need to improve our outreach toward. When writers provide these details and discuss the inspirations behind their stories in their cover letter, it helps our judging committee get a better sense of who each writer is and connect them with their manuscript. Continue reading
June is Pride Month! Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Riots, which happened June 1969, and was a starting point for the Gay Rights movement. The Stonewall Inn, where the riots took place, in New York City recently gained landmark status.
To celebrate, we’ve put together a list of fifteen books that celebrate different gender identities, sexual orientations, families, and ways to be!
A heads up to our blog readers that we have two great sales happening now to celebrate Black History Month!
We’re offering 25% off two Black History Month collections on leeandlow.com through the end of the month. Kick-start your Black History book collection or mix things up with great books that can be used all year long.
This year marks our 14th annual New Voices Award writing contest. Every year, LEE & LOW BOOKS gives the New Voices Award to a debut author of color for a picture book manuscript.
Did you know that last year, children’s books written by authors of color made up less than seven percent of the total number of books published? As a multicultural publisher, we’re dedicated to increasing those numbers. The New Voices Award is one way we can help new authors of color break into publishing.
In this new blog series, we thought it’d be fun to bring together some past New Voices Award winners on the blog to see how they got their start as authors, what inspires them, and where they are now.
Q: How did you start writing picture books?
Linda Boyden, The Blue Roses