Focusing on one word throughout the year to help you make choices and decisions takes a different approach than setting unrealistic or unreachable goals.
It brings a healthier approach to living your life differently versus trying to live a different life.
I love this idea, but I can't choose just one word. However, my three words are all sort of related:
Play. (Because I want to spend every moment I have actually playing with my 19 month old on his level.)
Focus. (Because I realize I need to prioritize in order to get things done.)
And Know Why. (Because I can't do it all so I need to keep a narrow focus on priorities and know why I'm doing it all... For what purpose.)
So instead of making a resolution that you may or may not end up keeping, what one word (or three words) would you choose for this upcoming year?
There's nothing like celebrating great books from friends and former students. Wahoo!! So here goes starting with former students with many congratulations for all.
So delighted to see April Chu get the recognition that she deserves. I also love saying "I told you so!". Both of these are awesome books.
Also thrilled to see Miranda Paul doing so brilliantly winning awards and accolades as well! Didn't need to say "I told you so!" to Miranda. She'd already been published before she came to us. Miranda teaches our awesome Get Your Grammar Groove course, which is about so much more than grammar and contributes to The Craft and Business of Writing Picture Books as well as the Blogateers blog!
Yay to the wonderful Jannie Ho, who was already published when she came to us but who has now generously contributed to our Craft and Business of Illustrating Children's Books Course. Pauline T'so was published ages ago but just had Whispers of the Wolf come out, which she both wrote and Illustrated beautifully. She really is a master of light and shadow. Lea Lyon is another wonderful former student creating books that that have depth and meaning to help make a better world.
And then there's fabulous Deborah Underwood who was a student ages ago had THREE books come out this year. All very fun and super smart. Way to go Deborah!! Finally, I want to share about two former students whose books were published in 2014 but who won major awards in 2015!
So many wonderful books came out this year. In my next post, I plan on sharing more fabulous books from friends and course contributors!! Being an author or illustrator is generally not a lucrative business. So, please buy these books if you can.
I'd love to hear what you think of these along with your suggestions of favorite books from 2015 as well!
How Writing Affects the Brain
A few other interesting articles...
7 Ways Writing By Hand Can Save Your Brain
Creative Writing and Your Brain
Putting Feelings Into Words
With the advent of Common Core, there's been a new and refreshing openness to biographies. Contemporary biographies usually focus on a specific incident in the subject's life and employ plot devices of three attempts and failures before achieving their goal. Older biographies tended to be much drier with a straightforward "and then and then" march from childhood to death with the subject's accomplishments thrown in the middle somewhere.
Jeanette Winters has written and illustrated many contemporary biographies and in today's example, you'll see why she's so good at them. This one was published by Schwartz and Wade, who do beautiful books.
It is not often a person sticks to a dream from childhood to adult, however, Jane Goodall, always the observer, knew this was the life for her. The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps, takes the reader on Jane’s amazing life journey from watching chickens as a five year old to watching chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania The story, told with simple, quiet, engaging text, and quotes from Jane’s autobiography, Africa in My Blood and My Life with the Chimpanzees, is a perfect fit with the soothing-colored acrylics. Both the words and the illustrations open up as Jane realizes Africa is her home and watching is her life, “This is where I belong. This is what I came into this world to do”.
The story starts with a few spreads detailing her childhood as a curious child who loved to learn by watching things, and like Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, Jeanette visually paces the pages with borders containing her life until she goes to Africa, where the pages become 3/4 full then totally full with no borders as the text awakens with the sounds and sights of the rain forest. The charming, simple scenes, like the amusing, sleeping chimps to the playful antics at the waterfall, bring the reader into Jane’s caring world.
Another super smart thing that Jeanette Winters does in this story, is that she doesn't just focus on the chimps in general, but one in particular, David Greybeard, who becomes her special friend or companion, something that children can relate to. While Jane's life was not an easy one and she had a difficult job to do in bringing awareness to the plight of the chimpanzees, the author/illustrator does a great job in making the information accessible, aesthetic and inspiring. I'm going to share a few spreads from the book but I'm not going to give the wonderful ending away as I think this is a great mentor text for anyone open to writing beautiful and important biographies and I'm hoping that you'll help support the creator :)
Mira Reisberg has helped MANY authors and illustrators get published. She has worn just about every hat in the industry including art director, editor, illustrator/author, and literary agent. Mira holds a PhD in Education and Cultural Studies with a focus on children's literature. Most of all she loves nurturing her own and others creativity.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome multi-published former student Shirin Shamsi who will be focusing on Muslim and cultural kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break