The year 2018 has been a challenging one for me. I’ve had not one, not two, but three family members face serious medical/health issues. Life has tested me, for sure, and I cannot wait for 2019 and the hope for less stressful, happier, healthier times.
That said, my life is settling back to normal now, except for one thing–I had to have hand surgery earlier this month! When I’m all healed, I’ll have a brand new “bionic” thumb! But for now, I’m in a hand splint and typing one-handed (non-dominant hand). It’s a bit frustrating at times (and yes, I’m aware of dictation software–just haven’t found one I like) but despite my temporary disability (“temporary” meaning 6 months), I wanted to share some news.
Simon & Schuster is releasing a Spanish edition of MAMA LOVES YOU SO! The new edition, CUÁNTO MAMÁ TE QUIERE will be released NEXT WEEK, on August 28! Same gorgeous artwork by Simone Shin but translated into Spanish!
Well, I’m a day late in announcing the release of my latest book, JACK AND JILL AND T-BALL BILL (Random House Step-Into-Reading). It’s not that I’m not thrilled with this adorable easy reader (illustrated by Sue DiCicco). The problem is that for the past few months I’ve been pulled away from my writing because of a family medical emergency (hence, the lack of blog posts, too). So much so that I’ve cleared my schedule through summer’s end. So, lately I’m a bit behind on everything!
BUT…I do want to share here the great news about “T-Ball Bill” as I affectionately call my new book. In case you’re wondering, it’s a rhyming Step 1 (K-1) reader about Bill, a fun-loving dog, who interrupts a t-ball game by stealing the ball for his own game of Keep-Away. It’s only after Jill comes up with a clever solution to outsmart Bill that they get the ball back and the game resumes!
My hope is that dog-loving, t-ball-loving, book-loving young readers will snatch this one up and want to read it again and again, helping them on the road to becoming lifelong readers.
The wonderful Jean Ann Williams, author of YA novel Just Claire and Road Trip of Delusion, asked to interview me for her blog Real Stories for Real Girls. Jean Ann and I were once in an online writing group, way back in our early careers. It was fun to chat with her again and get caught up! Click here for the interview. Enjoy!
…for holiday gifts! For those of you still looking for great books for babies and young children, please check out my SCBWI Bookstop pages. (this is the last post I’ll make about them, I promise!)
For babies, toddlers and moms, a board book that expresses a mother’s love for her child that’s as grand as nature itself, MAMA LOVES YOU SO.
For preschoolers and K-1 kids who love nature science, visit this beautiful garden, MY BUSY GREEN GARDEN.
Being a children’s author, I’ve always known about the power a story can have on a child. Whether it be a picture book story putting a child on the path of lifelong reading or a young adult novel that reassures a teen he’s not alone in his personal struggles, children’s stories are powerful and empowering. But until I “met” Maria, a student in one of my online writing courses, I hadn’t realized just how extensive this power can be.
Maria lives with her family in Damascus, Syria. Rocket explosions and the violence of war are part of her everyday life, as is the struggle for things we in U.S. often take for granted– food, clean water, electricity, and the internet. But amidst all the uncertainty, Maria finds comfort in stories. More specifically, she uses stories to provide her young son with an escape from his daily reality.
Like Scheherazade of storytelling lore, every night Maria tells her son a new story. “In darkness, we spoon every night on the same pillow and I start whispering the story words inside his ear, and that’s when the magic starts. My son’s soul and mind leave his body secure in my arms and travel to the story world like a hypnotized schizophrenic and never comes back until he hears ‘happily ever after.’” Amazingly, she makes up her stories each night, sometimes continuing them over to the next. But every night, there is a story. A story that her young son relies upon, as much as the food or water he requires for nourishment.
Story empowers Maria’s son, showing him a safer, brighter, happier life. It transforms him to a place where he can escape the harsh reality of life in Syria, giving him hope for his own “happily ever after.”
An insightful interview from children’s publishing guru Margery Cuyler on Tara Lazar’s blog today!
Source: Bonaparte Falls Apart, but Margery Cuyler Keeps it Together (plus a giveaway!)
Check this out! The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators starts its annual member BookStop blast. Members created posters for their books (published in 2017) to be shared with librarians, educators, writers, readers, basically anyone who interested in children’s books!
You can find my two latest titles, MAMA LOVES YOU SO, and MY BUSY GREEN GARDEN, by clicking on “T” (for traditionally published) and scrolling down to my last name. I even made a partial reading video of MAMA. If you’re so inclined, please “LIKE” my pages, so I’ll know if anyone is enjoying them.
And please, browse all the other fabulous titles! Such bookish eye candy! Just click HERE.