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BookTalk

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Authors answer questions about how they became writers and where their ideas come from, and relate their experiences during the writing and editing stages.



The reading experience often begins before you open the cover of a book, and doesn't end when you close it. In our BookTalk interviews, the authors and illustrators of our award-winning fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books share their world with you. Authors answer questions about how they became writers and where their ideas come from, and relate their experiences during the writing and editing stages. Illustrators discuss their creative processes, research, and commitment to authenticity. Both authors and illustrators stress the importance of diversity in stories and images, which helps children see themselves in the pages of a book. In conjunction with our collection of articles in the Editor's Desk, BookTalk invites you to learn about the creative process from published authors and illustrators, who offer advice and inspiration, plus share their hopes for what readers will take with them after their stories end.

If you would like to be notified by email when a new BookTalk is added to our Web site, please subscribe to our monthly E-News.


BookTalk spot art NEW! Author Monica Brown, Illustrator Sara Palacios, and the Fabulous, One-of-a-Kind Marisol McDonald!
In this BookTalk, author Monica Brown and illustrator Sara Palacios share their thoughts and inspirations on creating a bicultural character and why they love being a part of children's books.

BookTalk spot art NEW! Soaring Behind the Scenes of Parrots Over Puerto Rico with Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
In this BookTalk, Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore discuss parrots, their adventures in Puerto Rico, and the creative process behind their latest book.

BookTalk spot art NEW! Author/illustrator Lulu Delacre on World Travels, Writing, and Illustrating
In this BookTalk, Lulu Delacre talks about traveling the world, art, and what it takes to be an author and illustrator.

BookTalk spot art NEW! Author Pamela M. Tuck and illustrator Eric Velasquez on As Fast As Words Could Fly and Typewriters versus Computers
In this BookTalk, author Pamela M. Tuck and illustrator Eric Velasquez share their thoughts on the inspiration behind As Fast As Words Could Fly, the art of writing and illustrating, and of course, typewriters.

BookTalk spot art NEW! What Would Shana Mlawski Do With Three Wishes? 5 Questions for the debut author
Debut author Shana Mlawski answers 5 questions about Hammer of Witches, including how working with middle and high school students impacted her storytelling and what she'd do with three wishes.

BookTalk spot art NEW! Making Nonfiction Creative: Andrea Cheng on Etched in Clay
In this BookTalk, author and illustrator Andrea Cheng shares her thoughts on what it was like to write Etched in Clay, different types of art, and improving her Spanish.

BookTalk spot art NEW! "Paartiee all day. Paartiee all night": Frané Lessac and Mark Greenwood on Why They Love the Caribbean
In this BookTalk, Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac, husband and wife team behind Drummer Boy of John John, tell us what fascinates them about the Caribbean and what they hoped to capture in their picture book.

BookTalk spot art How does Christy Hale 'dream up'?
Author/illustrator Christy Hale answers 5 questions about Dreaming Up, including what her inspiration was and what she thinks about going green.

BookTalk spot art Guadalupe Garcia McCall on La Llorona, lechuzas, and other things that go bump in the night
Author Guadalupe Garcia McCall discusses Mexican folklore, her favorite part about writing Summer of the Mariposas and what people in Texas are secretly afraid of.

BookTalk spot art Talking About Writing and Baseball with Bill Wise
Author Bill Wise discusses William Hoy, baseball and the research that went into Silent Star.

BookTalk spot art Discussing Writing Techniques and Research Methods with Don Tate and R. Gregory Christie
The duo behind It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw discuss storytelling techniques as well as the methods they used to research Bill Traylor.

BookTalk spot art Discussing Soybeans and More With Ginnie and Beth Lo
The sisters behind Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic discuss soybeans and the childhood memories and ideas involved in their book.

BookTalk spot art Discussing Mythology and Writing YA with Bryce Moore
Bryce Moore, author of Vodník, discusses Slovak myths and writing for teen readers.

BookTalk spot art It Jes' Happened Book Trailer
Book trailer for the nonfiction picture book, It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw (Lee & Low Books, 2012). Book written by Don Tate, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.

BookTalk spot art Ted and Betsy Lewin discuss their book Puffling Patrol
Ted and Betsy Lewin discuss their book Puffling Patrol, child activism, and what it’s like to be a husband and wife creative team.

BookTalk spot art Meet Cat Girl
Meet Nat Ng, "Cat Girl" from Cat Girl's Day Off, and learn about the other characters in Kimberly Pauley's latest YA adventure.

BookTalk spot art Karen Sandler Talks About her book, Tankborn
Karen Sandler answers questions about the writing of Tankborn in this video interview.

BookTalk spot art It Jes' Happened Book Teaser
Book teaser for the nonfiction picture book, It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw (Lee & Low Books, 2012). Book written by Don Tate, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.

BookTalk spot art Discussing the Definition of Courage with Marcia Vaughan and Ron Mazellan
Author Marcia Vaughan and illustrator Ron Mazellan discuss their book Irena's Jars of Secrets, the process of creating historical fiction, and what it means to be courageous.

BookTalk spot art Discussing Slavery and Mother-Son Relationships with Glenda Armand
Glenda Armand, author of Love Twelve Miles Long, discusses talking about slavery with children today and the importance of the relationship between a mother and child.

BookTalk spot art Lee & Low Staff Members Walk 12 miles
Jason Low, Hannah Ehrlich, Lucy Amon, and John Man walk twelve miles to try to understand the feat accomplished in Love Twelve Miles Long.

BookTalk spot art Discussing Cultural Anthropology and Photography with Jan Reynolds
Jan Reynolds, author and photographer of Only the Mountains Do Not Move: A Maasai Story of Culture and Conservation, discusses living among the Maasai and professional photography.

BookTalk spot art Tibetan Medicine and the Creative Process with Naomi C. Rose
Naomi C. Rose, author and illustrator of Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure, discusses Tibetan medicine and the power of community.

BookTalk spot art Interview with Wolf Mark author Joseph Bruchac
Author Joseph Bruchac discusses his paranormal YA thriller, Wolf Mark.

BookTalk spot art Discussing Japanese Culture and Aliens from Space with Greg R. Fishbone
Greg R. Fishbone, author of Galaxy Games: The Challengers, discusses Japanese culture and the appeal of aliens for middle-grade readers and older.

BookTalk spot art Discussing Genetic Engineering and Caste Systems with Karen Sandler
Karen Sandler discusses questions of genetic engineering, the challenge of world building, and what inspired her to write Tankborn.

BookTalk spot art Discussing Legends and Spy Intrigue with Joseph Bruchac
Joseph Bruchac, the author of Wolf Mark, discuss the influence of legend on culture, spies, and werewolves.

BookTalk spot art Fictionalizing a Life Story with Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Poet Guadalupe Garcia McCall discusses her first novel in verse, Under the Mesquite.

BookTalk spot art Talking about the Environment with Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
Co-author and illustrator Susan L. Roth and co-author Cindy Trumbore’s discuss their book The Mangrove Tree and the impact one person can have on our global community.

BookTalk spot art Discussing the Power of the Moon with Marilyn Singer and Julia Cairns
Marilyn Singer and Julia Cairns, the author and illustrator of A Full Moon Is Rising, discuss the process of creating a book of poetry and the importance of recognizing similarities and differences among cultures.

BookTalk spot art Discussing Culture and Food with F. Zia and Ken Min
F. Zia and Ken Min discuss the challenges and benefits of sharing traditions with other generations, the process of creating their first picture book, Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji, and share tips for making delicious roti of your own.

BookTalk spot art Holiday Survey 2010
Every year we ask our authors and illustrators to tell us how they spend the holiday season, from a New Year's Coin to Santa in shorts.

BookTalk spot art Writing about Sports with Crystal Hubbard
Crystal Hubbard discusses what makes sports so compelling, the activism of Arthur Ashe—the first African American to win a Grand Slam tournament and the subject of her book Game, Set, Match, Champion Arthur Ashe—and what we can all learn from his example.

BookTalk spot art Family and Cape Verdean Culture
Seaside Dream tells the story of a young Cape Verdean girl celebrating her grandmother's birthday. Here, New Voices Award Honor-winning author Janet Costa Bates talks about her inspiration and her own experiences in the Cape Verdean American Community.

BookTalk spot art Research, Writing, and Photography with George Ancona
¡Olé! Flamenco explores the history and practice of Flamenco, an art form that incorporates dance and music. Here, author/photographer George Ancona talks about his process of creating photoessays and his love for flamenco.

BookTalk spot art From the Evening News to Graphic Novel
In Yummy, a fictional boy living in Chicago's Southside tries to make sense of the life and death of Yummy, a real-life boy caught up in gang life. Here, author G. Neri and illustrator Randy DuBurke talk about Yummy's story and about how they created their graphic novel.

BookTalk spot art A Trip to Israel with Trish Marx and Cindy Karp
Author Trish Marx and photographer Cindy Karp traveled to Israel to meet the children at Menashe Summer Peace Camp. The experiences of Alya, an Israeli Palestinian girl, and Yuval, an Israeli Jewish boy, became the book Sharing Our Homeland. In this BookTalk, the creators talk about how the book came to happen, their time in Israel, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

BookTalk spot art Amazing Stories
Seven poets whose work appears in Amazing Faces share the stories behind their poems.

BookTalk spot art Exploring Bangladesh with Ann Malaspina and Doug Chayka
Yasmin's Hammer tells the story of a young girl in Bangladesh who works in a brickyard but longs to go to school. In this BookTalk, author Ann Malaspina and illustrator Doug Chayka talk about school, child labor, and the creation of Yasmin's Hammer

BookTalk spot art Summer Reading Survey 2010
Our newest authors and illustrators share their memories of summer reading to inspire kids to cool down with a good book on a hot summer day.

BookTalk spot art Biography and the Environment with Jen Cullerton Johnson and Sonia Lynn Sadler
Author Jen Cullerton Johnson and illustrator Sonia Lynn Sadler discuss the environment, traveling, and Wangari Maathai, the subject of their book Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace.

BookTalk spot art Poetry and Diversity with Lee Bennett Hopkins and Chris Soentpiet
Lee Bennett Hopkins, poet and anthologist, and Chris Soentpiet, illustrator, share their thoughts on poetry, diversity, and the challenges and rewards of creating their new book, Amazing Faces.

BookTalk spot art Homelessness, Childhood Issues, and Getting Published with Laura E. Williams and Craig Orback
"I write children's books because reading was so important to me as a child and I've never forgotten their magic, and I teach children because I want to give them some of that magic."

BookTalk spot art Talking about Family with Andrea Cheng
"Recently, I have had several students from Asia, Africa, and Latin America who have been separated from their children. Only One Year comes from their stories."

BookTalk spot art Holiday Survey 2009
Every year we ask our authors and illustrators to tell us how they spend the holiday season, from laying a trap for Santa to peach crumble and mac'n'cheese.

BookTalk spot art Building The East-West House with Christy Hale
Author/illustrator Christy Hale discusses the motivation and process behind her book, The East-West House: Noguchi's Childhood in Japan.

BookTalk spot art Inside the Artists' Studio with Ted & Betsy Lewin
Author/illustrators Ted and Betsy Lewin invite us inside their Brooklyn studio to talk about their new book, Balarama: A Royal Elephant

BookTalk spot art Exploring Kenya with Lynne Barasch
Author/illustrator Lynne Barasch talks about writing and illustrating and shares what she learned in Kenya and while researching First Come the Zebra.

BookTalk spot art An Artist's Process
Illustrator Bill Farnsworth demonstrates his method for creating the art in Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer.

BookTalk spot art Summer Reading Survey 2009
Our newest authors and illustrators share their memories of summer reading to inspire kids to cool down with a good book on a hot summer day.

BookTalk spot art Being a Film Pioneer is Not An Easy Role to Play. Starring Anna May Wong.
Author Paula Yoo talks about her new book Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story and how Anna May's pioneering hard work and persistence paid off and paved the way for better roles for women and actors of color in film today.

BookTalk spot art Talking About Sustainability with Jan Reynolds
For many years, author, photographer, and adventurer Jan Reynolds has traveled the world, living and working among indigenous peoples. Her new book, Cycle of Rice, Cycle of Life introduces Balinese rice farming, a traditional, sustainable method of growing and harvesting rice that works with nature, not against it.

BookTalk spot art Capturing Bob Marley in Poetry and Art
We spoke to author Tony Medina and illustrator Jesse Joshua Watson about the creation of I and I Bob Marley, and what makes Bob Marley such an intriguing subject for young readers.

BookTalk spot art Eloise Greenfield on Paul Robeson's continuing legacy
Eloise Greenfield, author of Paul Robeson discusses how Paul Robeson's accomplishments will inspire a new generation of readers who may never have heard his name.

BookTalk spot art How Can We Make Boys Love Reading?
Four authors and two illustrators, all male, weigh in on how they came to love books themselves, what they tell boys who don’t read, and what they think should be done about the reading crisis among boys.

BookTalk spot art 2008 Holiday Survey
Every year we ask our authors and illustrators to tell us how they spend the holiday season. From bowling on Thanksgiving to eating fried chicken in Japan, sample the many ways people celebrate. Respondents include Joseph Bruchac, Ted and Betsy Lewin, and many others.

BookTalk spot art Crystall Hubbard on Race and Sports
Crystal Hubbard, author of The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby, discusses the achievements of Jimmy Winkfield and other jockeys of color, what we can all learn from Jimmy Winkfield's life, and why sports are important.

BookTalk spot art NEW! A Video Discussion of Bird
In this podcast from Just One More Book, two readers discuss Bird, its art, and their childrens' reactions to the book.

BookTalk spot art Bringing a book to life with Nicole Tadgell
Blogger Lori Calabrese’s great interview with LEE & LOW illustrator Nicole Tadgell explores the process behind her new book No Mush Today.

BookTalk spot art The African American experience with ZETTA ELLIOTT
Zetta Elliott, New Voice Award Honor recipient for Bird, talks about the writing experience and how Bird was shaped by African American literature and tradition and by the lives of children today.

BookTalk spot art ALICE SCHERTLE, author of We
In this video interview, Alice Schertle talks about how We grew out of her childhood dreams of being a writer and of being an archeologist.

BookTalk spot art LULU DELACRE, author of Alicia Afterimage
In this video interview, Lulu Delacre talks about why she decided to write and publish Alicia Afterimage after her daughter's death and what she learned about her daughter in the process.

BookTalk spot art MARK WESTON and KATIE YAMASAKI, creators of HONDA: The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars
"Honda's story is one of rags to riches—from sweeping a garage where he was not even allowed to touch the cars to starting one of the greatest car-making companies in the world."

BookTalk spot art JOSEPH BRUCHAC, author of Buffalo Song
"When I'm doing the research for a new project, it's like being on a journey."

BookTalk spot art NEW! TED & BETSY LEWIN, creators of Horse Song
"We try not only to show the action visually, but to make the reader hear, smell, and feel what's happening."

BookTalk spot art NEW! TRISH MARX and ELLEN B. SENISI creators of STEEL DRUMMING AT THE APOLLO: THE ROAD TO SUPER TOP
"Doesn't everyone want to be a rock star?"

BookTalk spot art UPDATED! ILLUSTRATOR SURVEY
Six of our talented illustrators share their perspectives on what it takes to make it in the world of children's book illustration.

BookTalk spot art UPDATED! G. NERI author of CHESS RUMBLE
“I had no idea this story was in me; but once I started, it took off on its own and I just ran to keep up."

BookTalk spot art HOLIDAY SPECIAL
The holidays represent a time for sharing and personal reflection. Forty-two of our authors and illustrators tell us how they celebrate the holidays in their own special ways.

BookTalk spot art PAT MORA author of YUM! ¡MMMM! ¡QUÉ RICO!
“I hope that readers will smile when they read the haiku and that they will want to write their own haiku. Readers who like facts will enjoy the details about each of the fourteen foods.”

BookTalk spot art EDITH HOPE FINE and JUDITH PINKERTON JOSEPHSON authors of ARMANDO AND THE BLUE TARP SCHOOL
The authors agree that their goal was to “highlight David Lynch’s work by compressing actual events and layering a plot that would rivet young readers.”

BookTalk spot art Summer Reading Special
When We Were Young: Children's Book Authors & Illustrators Share Memories of Reading

BookTalk spot art BILL WISE and BILL FARNSWORTH author and illustrator of LOUIS SOCKALEXIS: NATIVE AMERICAN BASEBALL
“I hope readers come to realize that Sockalexis was both an extraordinary athlete and an extraordinary person. His story deserves to be known. Louis Sockalexis was truly an American hero.”

BookTalk spot art GEORGE ANCONA author and photographer of CAPOEIRA: GAME! DANCE! MARTIAL ART!
“Capoeira is amazing. Each group or academy becomes a family, and each person is celebrated for his or her individuality.”

BookTalk spot art LYNNE BARASCH author and illustrator of HIROMI'S HANDS
“Hiromi’s story reflects the warmth of family that is important to all children. It also shows how dreams can be realized by even the youngest child. It only takes perseverance and purpose.”

BookTalk spot art KATHLEEN BENSON co-author of JOHN LEWIS IN THE LEAD: A STORY OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
“I was fascinated by Lewis's lifelong determination to fight for what was right.”

BookTalk spot art DEMI author and illustrator of SU DONGPO: CHINESE GENIUS
“Perhaps Su Dongpo's greatest legacy was the example he set with his indomitable spirit.”

BookTalk spot art S. D. NELSON author/illustrator of QUIET HERO: THE IRA HAYES STORY
“I was surprised to learn that Ira was so shy, that most people did not even know what his voice sounded like.”

BookTalk spot art KEN MOCHIZUKI author of BE WATER, MY FRIEND: THE EARLY YEARS OF BRUCE LEE
“When I saw a photo of Bruce Lee sitting on the floor reading a book in front of the shelves of his library, I knew I wanted to do this book. Readers needed to know this side of Bruce Lee!”

BookTalk spot art PATRICIA A. KEELER and JÚLIO T. LEITÃO co-authors and illustrator of DRUMBEAT IN OUR FEET
“Traditional African dance is an ancient treasure, and children should know the joy of singing African songs and performing African dances.”

BookTalk spot art JAN REYNOLDS author and photographer of CELEBRATE! CONNECTIONS AMONG CULTURES
“Sharing with all these different groups of people allowed me the privilege of feeling—not just seeing—how similar we all are on a very intimate level, as one human family. I cry at weddings in every culture!”

BookTalk spot art MICHELLE LORD AND FELICIA HOSHINO author and illustrator of LITTLE SAP AND MONSIEUR RODIN
“I hope children of all ages will be inspired to seek out the arts by visiting local museums, seeing live performances, or even better, traveling the world and immersing themselves in different cultures.”

BookTalk spot art ELOISE GREENFIELD author of WHEN THE HORSES RIDE BY
“I hope that reading these poems will make readers aware of their own inner strength and help them to cope with any problem that may arise.”

BookTalk spot art GAYLIA TAYLOR author of GEORGE CRUM AND THE SARATOGA CHIP
“In the beginning I was more interested in the potato chip, but as George came alive, it was the man himself who made a connection with me.”

BookTalk spot art THE PARK SISTERS authors of THE HAVE A GOOD DAY CAFE
“Ingenuity, hard work, and embracing more than one culture is a wonderful way to make a dream come true.”

BookTalk spot art JOHN COY author of AROUND THE WORLD
“I love the movement and fluidity of basketball. I love the pushing and shoving underneath, and the dance for position. I love listening to the talk on the court and the wide mix of ages and backgrounds of the players. When you play, what matters is keeping the court...and everybody is chasing that flow as the game unfolds.”

BookTalk spot art ED YOUNG illustrator of SHANGHAI MESSENGER
"I tried to convey the feeling of Shanghai, the way it sounds and feels to me."

BookTalk spot art UMA KRISHNASWAMI author of THE HAPPIEST TREE: A YOGA STORY
"You become your best self from the inside out. Growing in the same way that trees do."

BookTalk spot art LYNN RUBRIGHT author of MAMA'S WINDOW
"I mainly want readers to enjoy the book. I love that delicious feeling deep inside that nudges me to steal a few minutes, or an hour, every day to sink into a good book. That’s what I hope for most of all — that readers will find Mama a good read."

BookTalk spot art MARY WILLIAMS author of BROTHERS IN HOPE: THE STORY OF THE LOST BOYS OF SUDAN
"They could be the the most angry, bitter people that you ever saw. But they aren't. They are so motivated and eager to get jobs and go to school. I just knew I had to help them."

BookTalk spot art PAULA YOO author of SIXTEEN YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDS:THE SAMMY LEE STORY
"I want readers of all ages to realize that persistence and hard work are key to making your dreams come true."

BookTalk spot art FRANCISCO ALARCÓN author of POEMS TO DREAM TOGETHER/POEMAS PARA SOÑAR JUNTOS
"I believe that dreams are an essential component to our life as humans."

BookTalk spot art TRISH MARX author of EVERGLADES FOREVER
"We all need stories in our lives, and when I write a book, I want to tell a good story. There is no better story than the Everglades."

BookTalk spot art GEORGE FORD illustrator of RAY CHARLES
"Since there were no childhood photographs of Ray Charles available, I remember reaching deep inside myself to conceive the image of Ray as a blind child in painful circumstances."

BookTalk spot art W. NIKOLA-LISA author of MY TEACHER CAN TEACH...ANYONE!
W. NIKOLA-LISA author of MY TEACHER CAN TEACH...ANYONE! "Teaching is in my blood," Nikola-Lisa says. "My wife always says that out of everything I do, teaching is what inspires me the most, gives me the most energy. So My Teacher Can Teach... Anyone! is a celebration of both teachers and kids, but also a tribute to all the teachers in the world who have devoted themselves to public service, because that's what teaching is."

BookTalk spot art NATASHA ANASTASIA TARPLEY author of DESTINY'S GIFT
"People always ask me how I became a writer," says Tarpley. "I wish that I had some crazy, magical story to tell them about how I inherited Shakespeare's quill or my great-great-great-great-grandmother's diary, and how these carefully preserved artifacts transported me to a mystical realm where stories hang on trees like sweet ripe fruit, and all I had to do to receive my writing powers was eat my fill. But the plain truth of the matter is, I simply fell in love with words."

BookTalk spot art EDNAH NEW RIDER WEBER AND RICHELA RENKUN author and photographer of RATTLESNAKE MESA
"I think that these stories are incredibly important because they give an intimate look into a part of American history that so little is known about."

BookTalk spot art CONNIE ANN KIRK and CHRISTY HALE creators of SKY DANCERS
"I think that the book works on several levels, as historical fiction about the Mohawks and the roles they played in building New York City skyscrapers, and also as a family story about John Cloud and his relationship with his male relatives, in particular his father, uncle, and grandfather. I like how John Cloud does not assume that he will become a steelworker like his father, grandfather, and uncle even though he admires his father greatly. John Cloud has an independent mind and is open to possibilities."

BookTalk spot art NEW VOICES AWARD AUTHOR CHAT
"Like most published authors, I was desperate to break through the publishing conundrum," says author Linda Boyden. "Agents don't want you unless you're published, and publishers don't want you unless you're agented. But LEE & LOW offered a golden opportunity." LEE & LOW talks with New Voices Award authors about publishing their first books for children.

BookTalk spot art DEBBIE TAYLOR author of SWEET MUSIC IN HARLEM
Taylor had only just begun to learn about jazz when she began writing Sweet Music in Harlem. "One of the things that surprised me most was learning that jazz was improvised," says the author. "That means every time a jazz artist plays a song, it can sound different!"

BookTalk spot art LYNNE BARASCH author/illustrator of KNOCKIN' ON WOOD
"In the process of writing the writer lives with his or her characters, whether real or fictional," says author/illustrator Lynne Barasch. "Peg Leg Bates was my companion during the four months I spent writing Knockin' On Wood."

BookTalk spot art LULU DELACRE editor/illustrator of ARRORRÓ MI NIÑO
"I feel very strongly that as Latinas raise our children in the U.S. within two cultures, we must keep our traditions and folklore alive and pass them on to our young. It is the way to give children roots, especially as they learn to cherish the language and culture of the U.S.A."

BookTalk spot art ROBERT CASILLA illustrator of FIRST DAY IN GRAPES
"Stories that help kids become familiar with kids of other cultures or others in different situations are books that I like to illustrate. I appreciate the way the author put the main character in situations that kids deal with daily in real life and how the boy used his wits to get out of tough situations."

BookTalk spot art MARCIA VAUGHAN author of UP THE LEARNING TREE
"I was reading Tikki Tikki tembo to a second grade class, making some changes to the story, when KABAM! A voice in my head said 'Marcia, stop changing other people's books and write your own.' That's just what I did."

BookTalk spot art KATHLEEN D. LINDSEY author of SWEET POTATO PIE
"When I was 4 years old," says the author, "my Mom would give me old junk mail to keep me quiet, especially in church. I would scribble on every inch of those papers, pretending I was a great writer. Then I had to read it to someone that had time to listen. That was the hard part!"

BookTalk spot art PATRICIA SMITH author of JANNA AND THE KINGS
"Writing was the key to all magic," says Smith. "It was all the colors on the canvas, every note ever sung, every word ever spoken or written in any language. And it was all free, just waiting to be crafted, taught, to be celebrated. I never considered living my life any other way."

BookTalk spot art D. H. FIGUEREDO author of THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO
"I’m a child of the Cuban Revolution," says Figueredo. "A lot of the conflict occurred in Santiago de Cuba where my grandmother lived, and since we visited her for the holidays and I would spend my summers with her, I saw some events and heard about others."

BookTalk spot art PATRICIA HUBBELL author of BLACK ALL AROUND!
I got started writing by sitting up in a tree, looking out over the meadow and reservoir across from my home, thinking about what I saw.

BookTalk spot art BERNARD WOLF author/photographer of COMING TO AMERICA: A Muslim Family's Story
Bernard Wolf has had his camera aimed at the world for many years. The result? In 2003, Wolf’s twentieth book for children, Coming to America, was released.

BookTalk spot art DAVID DIAZ illustrator of THE POT THAT JUAN BUILT
While few artists remember the precise moment when they decided to make art their career, David Diaz is an exception.

BookTalk spot art NANCY ANDREWS-GOEBEL author of THE POT THAT JUAN BUILT
Nancy Andrews-Goebel met Juan Quezada, the premier potter of the land, and was immediately fascinated by his work and inspired by his spirit.

BookTalk spot art THERESE ON LOUIE author of RAYMOND'S PERFECT PRESENT
LEE & LOW'S NEW VOICES HONOR AWARD winner talks about the story behind Raymond's Perfect Present.

BookTalk spot art LINDA BOYDEN author of THE BLUE ROSES
LEE & LOW'S first New Voices Award winner talks about the story behind The Blue Roses.

BookTalk spot art TONY MEDINA author of CHRISTMAS MAKES ME THINK
The inspiration behind the book and the holiday.

BookTalk spot art THE PARK SISTERS authors of WHERE ON EARTH IS MY BAGEL?
Frances and Ginger Park talk about their shared love for books, bagels, and chocolate.

BookTalk spot art HECTOR VIVEROS LEE author of I HAD A HIPPOPOTAMUS
The role of fantasy.

BookTalk spot art ADJOA J. BURROWES author/illustrator of GRANDMA'S PURPLE FLOWERS
Adjoa J. Burrowes tells us about the people and events behind her book Grandma's Purple Flowers.

BookTalk spot art JOSEPH BRUCHAC author of CRAZY HORSE'S VISION
An interview conducted by Eliza T. Dresang for the Cooperative Children's Book Council (CCBC). Reprinted with permission.

BookTalk spot art CREATIVITY SURVEY
The creative mind revealed. Our authors talk about how they keep the creative juices flowing.

BookTalk spot art CREATIVITY SURVEY (Part 2)
More secrets revealed. Jeannine Atkins, Bettye Stroud, Susan Keeter and Maria Diaz Strom get creative!

BookTalk spot art CREATIVITY SURVEY (Part 3)
Pat Mora, Anastasia Suen and Chih-Wei Chang put their heads together and talk the talk.

BookTalk spot art CREATIVITY SURVEY (Part 4)
Ken Mochizuki and Matthew Gollub give us their take on creativity.

BookTalk spot art STEPHANIE STUVE-BODEEN author of ELIZABETI'S DOLL
Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen set out to join the Peace Corps, as an ambitious, young American willing to give something of herself, in order to bring about change in a developing nation.

BookTalk spot art KAZUKO G. STONE illustrator of COOL MELONS– TURN TO FROGS!
An excellent article reprinted by permission from the nice folks at CREATIVE CLASSROOM magazine.

BookTalk spot art MATTHEW GOLLUB author and Haiku translator of COOL MELONS- TURN TO FROGS!
Traditional haiku depicts a single moment in nature. It is usually based on a discovery or an observation. Reprinted by permission from Creative Classroom magazine.

BookTalk spot art WILLIAM MILLER on Writing as Exploration
If you are just beginning to write for children, you should write about what matters to you as an individual. Tell stories that matter to you and the children you want as an audience. Tell stories you wish you had read as a child.

BookTalk spot art DOM & KEUNHEE LEE illustrators of JOURNEY HOME
It is important for young children to realize that they have no boundaries when it comes to art. It is also good for students to be able to concentrate on their thoughts and talk with their minds. We encourage our students to keep journals of their artwork.

BookTalk spot art PAT MORA on DÍA DE LOS NIÑOS/DÍA DE LOS LIBROS
"One in five children in this country comes from a home in which a language other than English is the home language. By honoring these languages, we celebrate our linguistic and cultural wealth."

BookTalk spot art DAVIDA ADEDJOUMA Editor, THE PALM OF MY HEART, Contributing Poet, IN DADDY'S ARMS I AM TALL
"...after writing & writing & revising then...writing again, there comes that special moment when the sound & rhythm & texture of words become uniquely yours. Your voice."

BookTalk spot art LORETTA LOPEZ From Young Reader to Author & Illustrator
"I've wanted to be a children's book author and illustrator since I was in the third grade, when I read the original Bambi by Felix Salten. I was so deeply moved that I cried for about four hours, and then spent the next three years drawing little deer."

BookTalk spot art JAVAKA STEPTOE on illustrating IN DADDY'S ARMS I AM TALL
"I've thought about illustrating children's books all my life. Being the son of John Steptoe, people always asked if I was planning to follow in my father's footsteps. Sometimes I would say yes, sometimes I would say no. But I realized though I might walk a similar path, I will always be making my own footsteps."

BookTalk spot art KEN MOCHIZUKI on writing PASSAGE TO FREEDOM
"The more involved I became in Hiroki Sugihara's story of his father's remarkable act of humanity, the more convinced I was that the narrative needed to be in the first person–but with Hiroki telling the story in retrospect, in the tone of one who knows now what he didn't understand then."

BookTalk spot art R. GREGORY CHRISTIE on illustrating THE PALM OF MY HEART
"I paint fairly quickly, but my biggest challenge with this first book was to find my mark – to do that first image as a foundation and then build from there. The first piece has to feel good, and usually it's the piece I feel most connected to; it's my messenger."



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