Tag Archives: writers

Doggone Feet! is a Doggone Joy to Read . . .

Doggone Feet! is a Doggone Joy to Read . . .

Doggone Feet! by Leslie Helakoski

I’m happy dancing with “doggone” abandon for a good friend–and a great writer–Leslie Helakoski. Her latest book DOGGONE FEET! (Boyds Mills Press, 2013)  has made its appearance this month. DOGGONE FEET! is not only written by Leslie, but also illustrated by her. It narrates the tale of a growing family from the point of view of the family dog, whose domain is under the table at mealtimes. The perspective of the art is fun with dancy lines, deep pastels and all the messiness of a loving and happy family. For any family who ever loved a dog . . .

Now . . . enjoy this interview with Leslie. And don’t forget to get a look at the book trailer here (or below), or to read Leslie’s post on making the trailer which is posted at Darcy Pattison’s site, Fiction Notes.

Enjoy . . . Doggone it!

          paw prints 1

 Shutta

 

filmstrip   Doggone Feet! Book Trailer

LelSonya photo

DOGGONE FEET! by Leslie Helakoski

Published 2013 by: Boyds Mills Press

 

1.    I love the family portrayed in DOGGONE FEET! And I really enjoyed getting the dog’s perspective on the world. Is this book at all autobiographical? Of course! I grew up with dogs and cats under our family table along with a raccoon or two. But this story comes mostly from my current family dog who especially liked sitting under the chairs belonging to my kids when they were young eaters.

2.    You are also an illustrator (FAIR COW, 2010). I’m curious . . . do you submit your manuscripts as text only, or  also with a dummy? And then, how does the decision get made to have you, or someone else, illustrate?
I submit text with an illlustration or two if I want to illustrate. (Dummies are a ton of work and since the AD usually wants to have input anyway, could mean starting over from scratch once she’s on board.) My agent usually asks the editor to consider me as artist so that it is not an all or nothing proposal. If an editor likes the mss. but not the art (which has happened many times) then she will suggest we go with someone else for the art. I’ve tried to change the editor’s mind in some cases but usually go along with what she suggests. In the case of Fair Cow, an editor I was working with did not want me to illustrate. I felt I was capable of doing a good job with it and ended up going with a smaller press that would allow me to illustrate.

3.     Since you’re a visual artist . . . when you get an idea for a book does it come first to your mind in pictures or in text/dialogue?  Which way do you start? With sketches? Or with words? When I get a good idea that I think will work as a book, it usually comes with a visual. That is part of how I know it is a good idea. But I don’t sketch right away. I always write first–finding a way to say what I want with words can take awhile. I like to write with that visual image in mind to guide me. For Fair Cow, I had an visual with a cow sitting under an aqua hair dryer in my head. For Doggone Feet! I imagined sitting on the floor under a table and looking at all the legs and feet.

4.     Have you ever written a book that right from the beginning you knew should be illustrated by someone else?  Right from the beginning, I thought that I would NOT illustrate Doggone Feet! I was thinking that illustrating it would entail lots of proper perspective and that it would take me many long painful hours to get just right. It would not have been  fun. So my agent sent the text out without any art. We got back several responses from editors saying they thought this would be difficult to illustrate and that it would be limiting visually. I didn’t agree, I could imagine how it would look–I just didn’t want to create the art. I was complaining about this with a couple of illustrator friends and they encouraged me to do it myself and reminded me that the perspective could be wonky. That freed me up and as soon as
we submitted the text with a couple of pieces of art, it was picked up.

5.    For you, what’s the best part of being an author? An illustrator?  My favorite part of writing is when a vague story idea merges with a fun way to put down the words. That excitement will keep me working many hours tweaking to get the words just right. My favorite part of illustrating is when I find an original way to show something and the design works on the page. My favorite part of creating a book is when a child responds to the story. Priceless!

6.     Now for the really important (fun) questions:  What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever found under a table?  My 6 year-old daughter cutting her hair.

7.     Suppose you wake early and upon opening your refrigerator discover a very tiny pair of shoes within. What would be your thoughts? I have actually found tiny shoes in the fridge before. They belonged to the doll lounging on a cabbage leaf.

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Rocked It in Austin!

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Rocked It in Austin!

I had a great time in Austin last weekend at the 2013 Austin-SCBWI conference. Wonderful conference, welcoming folks, and great food! Also, I absolutely loved getting to meet the hugely talented E. B. Lewis, Neal Porter, Erzsi Deak, Tamra Tuller, Cynthia Levinson, Rubin Pfeffer and others who co-presented. The highlight of the Friday night reception was Patrice Barton getting her Crystal Kite award for the illustrations in MINE! So happy for her!  Patty is such a warm, generous person—and very very talented!  Here are a few pics to share with ya’all!  Thanks to Cyn, Mark Mitchell, and others for these wonderful photos. (And for those of you who did not get a copy of my handouts the link is here to Austin SCBWI 2013 Handout.)

Enjoy!

Shutta

Shutta & Patrice Barton

Shutta & Patrice Barton

Greg & Cyn Leitich Smith

Greg & Cyn Leitich Smith

Fraternal Order of the Armadillistrators 2013

Fraternal Order of the Armadillistrators 2013 and the new R.A. of Austin

Shutta and E. B. Lewis

Shutta and E. B. Lewis

E. B. Lewis painting at Austin SCBWI

E. B. Lewis painting at Austin SCBWI

Neal Porter, Editor, Roaring Brook

Neal Porter, Editor, Roaring Brook

First Pages Panel (Tamra Tuller, E. B. Lewis, Erzsi Deak, Rubin Pfeffer, John Cusick, Kathy Landwher)

First Pages Panel (Agents & Editors: Tamra Tuller, E. B. Lewis, Erzsi Deak, Rubin Pfeffer, John Cusick, Kathy Landwehr)

2013 Children’s Book Award Winners (American Library Association)

2013 Children’s Book Award Winners (American Library Association)

Well the verdict is in!  The winners of the major U.S. children’s book awards, and other awards–care of the American Library Association–have been announced.

I can’t wait to dive into some of these I missed. Enjoy!

Shutta

bigstock_Star_Team_998279

1.) John NEWBERY Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s
literature:

“The One and Only Ivan,” written by Katherine Applegate, is the 2013 Newbery
Medal winner. The book is published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a
division of HarperCollins Publishers.
Three Newbery Honor Books also were named: “Splendors and Glooms” by Laura
Amy Schlitz and published by Candlewick Press; “Bomb: The Race to Build–and
Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon” by Steve Sheinkin and published by
Flash Point, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press; and “Three Times Lucky” by
Sheila Turnage and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of
Penguin Young Readers Group.

2.) Randolph CALDECOTT Medal for the most distinguished American picture
book for children:
“This Is Not My Hat,” illustrated and written by Jon Klassen, is the 2013
Caldecott Medal winner. The book is published by Candlewick Press.
Five Caldecott Honor Books also were named: “Creepy Carrots!” illustrated by
Peter Brown, written by Aaron Reynolds and published by Simon & Schuster
Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s
Publishing Division; “Extra Yarn,” illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by
Mac Barnett and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publishers; “Green,” illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and
published by Neal Porter Books, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press; “One Cool
Friend,” illustrated by David Small, written by Toni Buzzeo and published by
Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group;
“Sleep Like a Tiger,” illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Mary
Logue and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

3.) CORETTA SCOTT KING (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American
author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:
“Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America,” written by Andrea Davis
Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney is the King Author Book winner.
The book is published by Disney/Jump at the Sun Books, an imprint of Disney
Book Group.
Two King Author Honor Books were selected: “Each Kindness” by Jacqueline
Woodson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, a
division of Penguin Young Readers Group; and “No Crystal Stair: A
Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller”
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and published
by Carolrhoda Lab, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner
Publishing Group, Inc.
Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:
“I, Too, Am America,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, is the King Illustrator
Book winner. The book is written by Langston Hughes and published by Simon &
Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s
Publishing Division.
Three King Illustrator Honor Books were selected: “H. O. R. S. E.,”
illustrated and written by Christopher Myers, and published by Egmont USA;
“Ellen’s Broom,” illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling
Lyons and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young
Readers Group; and “I Have a Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr.” illustrated by
Kadir Nelson, written by Martin Luther King, Jr. and published by Schwartz &
Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of
Random House, Inc.

4.) Michael L. PRINTZ Award for excellence in literature written for young
adults:
“In Darkness,” written by Nick Lake, is the 2013 Printz Award winner. The
book is published by Bloomsbury Books for Young Readers.
Four Printz Honor Books also were named: “Aristotle and Dante Discover the
Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, published by Simon &
Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s
Publishing Division; “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein, published by
Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group; “Dodger” by Terry Pratchett,
published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins
Publishers; “The White Bicycle” by Beverley Brenna, published by Red Deer
Press.

5.) SCHNEIDER FAMILY Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression
of the disability experience:
“Back to Front and Upside Down!” written and illustrated by Claire Alexander
and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B.
Eerdmans Publishing Co., wins the award for children ages 0 to 10.
“A Dog Called Homeless” written by Sarah Lean and published by Katherine
Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is the winner of the
middle-school (ages 11-13) award.
The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is “Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am,”
written by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis and published by Simon & Schuster
Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s
Publishing Division.

6.) ALEX Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:
“Caring is Creepy,” by David Zimmerman, published by Soho Press, Inc.
“Girlchild,” by Tupelo Hassman, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
“Juvenile in Justice,” by Richard Ross, published by Richard Ross
“Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore,” by Robin Sloan, published by Farrar,
Straus and Giroux.
“My Friend Dahmer,” by Derf Backderf, published by Abrams ComicArts, an
imprint of Abrams.
“One Shot at Forever,” by Chris Ballard, published by Hyperion.
“Pure,” by Julianna Baggott, published by Grand Central Publishing, a
division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
“The Round House,” by Louise Erdrich, published by Harper, an imprint of
HarperCollins Publishers .
“Tell the Wolves I’m Home,” by Carol Rifka Brunt, published by Dial Press,
an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House,
Inc.
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette?,” by Maria Semple, published by Little, Brown
and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

7.) ANDREW CARNEGIE Medal for excellence in children’s video:
Katja Torneman, producer of “Anna, Emma and the Condors,” is the Carnegie
Medal winner.
8.) LAURA INGALLS WILDER Award honors an author or illustrator whose books,
published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a
substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. The 2013
winner is Katherine Paterson. Paterson was born in China in 1932 to
missionary parents and grew up in the American South, moving eighteen times
before she was 18. After graduating from King College in Bristol, Tennessee,
she herself became a missionary in Japan. She returned to the U.S. to attend
the Union Theological Seminary in New York, where she met and married John
Paterson, a Presbyterian minister. Her first book, “The Sign of the
Chrysanthemum,” was published in 1973. Katherine Paterson currently lives in
Barre, Vermont.

9.) Coretta Scott King-VIRGINIA HAMILTON AWARD for Lifetime Achievement:
Demetria Tucker is the 2013 recipient. Tucker has served as youth services
coordinator within the Roanoke (Va.) Public Library System and library media
specialist at the Forest Park Elementary School, where she was selected 2007
Teacher of the Year. As family and youth services librarian for the Pearl
Bailey Library, a branch of the Newport News (Va.) Public Library System,
Tucker now coordinates a youth leadership program, a teen urban literature
club and many other programs that support the youth of her community.

10.) MARGARET A. EDWARDS AWARD for lifetime achievement in writing for young
adults:
Tamora Pierce is the 2013 Edwards Award winner. Pierce was born in rural
Western Pennsylvania in 1954. She knew from a young age she liked stories
and writing, and in 1983, she published her first book, Song of the Lioness.
She continues to write and even record her own audiobooks. She currently
lives with her husband (spouse-creature) and a myriad of animals in
Syracuse, New York.

11.) MAY HILL ARBUTHNOT HONOT Lecture Award recognizing an author, critic,
librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, who then presents
a lecture at a winning host site.
Andrea Davis Pinkney will deliver the 2014 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.
Andrea Davis Pinkney is a New York Times best-selling writer of more than 20
books for children and young adults including picture books, novels and
nonfiction. During the course of her career, Pinkney has launched many
high-profile publishing and entertainment entities, including Hyperion Books
for Children/Disney Publishing’s Jump at the Sun imprint, the first African
American children’s book imprint at a major publishing company.

12.) MILDRED L. BATCHELDER AWARD for an outstanding children’s book
originally published in a language other than English in a country other
than the United States and subsequently translated into English for
publication in the United States:
“My Family for the War” is the 2013 Batchelder Award winner. Originally
published in Germany in 2007 as “Liverpool Street,” the book was written by
Anne C. Voorhoeve, translated by Tammi Reichel and published by Dial Books,
an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Two Batchelder Honor Books also were selected:
“A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return,” written and illustrated
by Zeina Abirached, translated by Edward Gauvin and published by Graphic
Universe, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.
“Son of a Gun,” written and translated by Anne de Graaf, and published by
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.

13.) ODYSSEY AWARD for best audiobook produced for children and/or young
adults, available in English in the United States:
“The Fault in Our Stars,” produced by Brilliance Audio, is the 2013 Odyssey
Award winner. The book is written by John Green and narrated by Kate Rudd.
Three Odyssey Honor Audiobooks also were selected:
“Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian,” produced by Listening Library, written
by Eoin Colfer and narrated by Nathaniel Parker;
“Ghost Knight,” produced by Listening Library, written by Cornelia Funke and
narrated by Elliot Hill.
“Monstrous Beauty,” produced by Macmillian Audio, written by Elizabeth Fama
and narrated by Katherine Kellgren.

14.) PURA BELPRE’
(Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose
children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural
experience:
“Martín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert,” illustrated by David Diaz, is
the Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The book was written by Gary D.
Schmidt and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt Publishing Company.
No Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were selected this year.
Pura Belpré (Author) Award:
“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,” written by
Benjamin Alire Sáenz, is the Belpré Author Award winner. The book is
published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon &
Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.
One Belpré Author Honor Book was named: “The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano”
by Sonia Manzano, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic.

15.) Robert F. SIBERT INFORMATIONAL BOOK Award for most distinguished
informational book for children:
“Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon,”
written by Steve Sheinkin, is the Sibert Award winner. The book is published
by Flash Point, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press.
Three Sibert Honor Books were named:
“Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin,” written and
illustrated by Robert Byrd and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a
division of Penguin Young Readers Group;
“Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95,” written by
Phillip M. Hoose and published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young
Readers;
“Titanic: Voices from the Disaster,” written by Deborah Hopkinson and
published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

16.) STONEWALL Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young
Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and
young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender experience:
“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,” written by
Benjamin Alire Sáenz and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young
Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, is
the Stonewall Award winner.
Four Stonewall Honor Books were selected:
“Drama,” written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier and published by
Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.;
“Gone, Gone, Gone,” written by Hannah Moskowitz and published by Simon
Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division;
“October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard,” written by Lesléa Newman
and published by Candlewick Press;
“Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie,”
written by S. J. Adams and published by Flux, an imprint of Llewellyn
Worldwide Ltd.

17.) THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL Award for the most distinguished beginning reader
book:
“Up, Tall and High!” written and illustrated by Ethan Long is the Seuss
Award winner. The book is published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of
Penguin Young Readers Group.
Three Geisel Honor Books were named:
“Let’s Go for a Drive!” written and illustrated by Mo Willems, and
published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group
“Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” by Eric Litwin, created and
illustrated by James Dean and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a
division of HarperCollins Publishers;
“Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover,” written and illustrated by Cece Bell and
published by Candlewick Press.

18.) WILLIAM C. MORRIS Award for a debut book published by a first-time
author writing for teens:
“Seraphina,” written by Rachel Hartman, is the 2013 Morris Award winner.
The book is published by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random
House, Inc.
Four other books were finalists for the award:
“Wonder Show,” written by Hannah Barnaby, published by Houghton Mifflin, an
imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers;
“Love and Other Perishable Items,” written by Laura Buzo, published by
Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of
Random House, Inc.;
“After the Snow,” written by S. D. Crockett, published by Feiwel and
Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group;
“The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” written by emily m. danforth, published
by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

19.) YALSA Award for EXCELLENCE IN NON-FICTION for Young Adults:
“Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon,”
written by Steve Sheinkin, is the 2013 Excellence winner. The book is
published by Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan
Children’s Publishing Group.
Four other books were finalists for the award:
“Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different,” written by Karen Blumenthal,
published by Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing
Group;
“Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95,” written by
Phillip Hoose, published by Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan
Children’s Publishing Group;
“Titanic: Voices from the Disaster,” written by Deborah Hopkinson, published
by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic;
“We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March,” written by Cynthia
Levinson, published by Peachtree Publishers.