hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: Cheryl Willis Hudson

Cheryl Willis Hudson is the editorial director of Just Us Books, Inc., an independent children’s press co-founded with her husband Wade Hudson. Just Us Books focuses on the Black experience for children. Cheryl also oversees editorial operations at Marimba Books, a sister-multicultural publishing imprint owned with her husband and two children, Katura and Stephan. Cheryl is the author of over two dozen books for young people.

 

☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: For mornings my fav is Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee with a splash of Amaretto cream…yum, yum, yum! You can’t beat this drink for kick-starting the day. After 3 pm I love Red Zinger or Camomile tea, sipped hot with honey from my Grandmother Viola’s fancy teacup. This reminds me of both my grandmothers who introduced me to the idea of having “high tea” in the afternoon.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Songs I Love to Sing by Cheryl Willis Hudson, illustrated by Laura Freeman (Marimba Books, 2015); Hands Can by Cheryl Willis Hudson, illustrated by John-Francis Bourke (Candlewick, 2013), and My Friend Maya Loves to Dance by Cheryl Willis Hudson, illustrated by Eric Velasquez (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2010).

☕ COMING SOON FROM JUST US BOOKS/MARIMBA BOOKS:

  • AFRO-BETS Book of Shapes (to be re-issued by Just Us Books, Fall 2016)
  • AFRO-BETS Book of Colors (to be re-issued by Just Us Books, Fall 2016)
  • I’m a Big Brother Now by Katura J. Hudson, illustrated by Sylvia Walker (Marimba Books, a new picture book for Fall 2016)
  • Book of Black Heroes: Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson (Just Us Books, a new book of biographies for Fall 2016)
  • Sights I Love to See by Cheryl Willis Hudson, illustrated by Laura Freeman (Marimba Books, Spring 2017)

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK: Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard, illustrated by James Ransome (HMH, 1995). I love the focus on family memories that are demonstrated so lovingly in this picture book. I grew up in the Tidewater region of Virginia where crabbing is a popular summer pastime and eating crabs (by the bushel) is part of an annual family reunion tradition. My grandmother Viola Brown made her own beautiful Sunday hats and also cooked wonderful crabcakes. Although they are never as delicious as my grandmother’s, I can’t resist ordering crabcakes whenever they appear on a restaurant menu. Aunt Flossie’s Hats always reminds me of my own happy childhood.

 

☕ Visit Cheryl Willis Hudson’s Official Website.

☕ Check out the Just Us Books Website to see all the wonderful books available from this publisher.

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Don’t miss Cheryl’s must-read guest post at The Brown Bookshelf (part of their 28 Days Later showcase for 2016). She discusses her passion for children’s books, her personal publishing journey, as well as how and why she and her husband Wade established Just Us Books in 1988.


Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: Minh Lê

I am the author of Let Me Finish!, a debut picture book illustrated by Isabel Roxas (Disney-Hyperion). As a member of the Niblings, I write about children’s literature at Bottom Shelf Books and have written for a variety of publications, including the New York Times and the Huffington Post. Outside of spending time with my beautiful wife and sons, my favorite place to be is in the middle of a good book.

 

☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: This drink doesn’t have an official name, but in our house we call it Magic Ginger Tea. My family (especially my grandmother in Vietnam) swears by the awesome power of ginger, so whenever anyone is sick we make a big mug with a freshly squeezed lemon, a dollop of honey, and a ton of ginger. Guaranteed to make you feel better in no time.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESS: Let Me Finish! (illustrated by the fabulous Isabel Roxas and published by Disney-Hyperion) is out this month (June 7th)!

 

When our young hero settles in to read, the last thing he wants is for some noisy animals to ruin the ending of the story.

But ruin it they do.

And as it turns out, the boy is quickly approaching a surprise ending of his own! Maybe he should have listened to the animals after all. . . .

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK: Not sure I can pick a favorite book about food, but from an early age Where the Wild Things Are definitely showed me the magic of a bowl of hot soup.

☕ Visit Minh Lê’s Official Website. You can also find him at his blog Bottom Shelf Books, at The Niblings Facebook Page, and on Twitter: @bottomshelfbks.

☕ HOTTEA IN THE FLESH: I’ll be at ALA in June and then NerdCamp in July so if you happen to be at either event, please come find me!

☕ ☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Check out this Kidlit411 Author Spotlight where Minh discusses the inspiration for Let Me Finish! and offers advice for beginning picture book writers.

☕☕☕  CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Enjoy these spreads from Let Me Finish! (Art copyright © 2016 Isabel Roxas):

 

 

 

☕☕☕☕ STILL CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Minh is the special guest on Book Riot’s Dear Book Nerd podcast with Rita Meade!

 

 


Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: April Chu

April Chu began her career as an architect with a degree from the University of California, Berkeley, but decided to return to her true passion of illustrating and storytelling. She has since collaborated with authors to create picture books which have received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly along with rave reviews in The New York Times. April currently lives and works in Oakland, California.

 

☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: I can’t start my day without a cup of fresh brewed coffee mixed with a big splash of half and half. With a 7 month old, a full night’s rest is rare and I need my jolt of caffeine in the morning to get myself going. I buy my coffee beans from Peerless Coffee Company. Their roasting facility is located just down the street from my house, which is both convenient and aromatic.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: In a Village by the Sea written by Muon Van (Creston Books, May 2015), Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine written by Laurie Wallmark (Creston Books, October 2015). Forthcoming books: Kate Warne, America’s First Woman Detective, written by Marissa Moss (Creston Books, Spring 2017), Down by the River written by Andy Weiner (Abrams, Spring 2018).

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOKS: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, which is my daughter’s favorite as well, and Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola because who wouldn’t want a magic pasta pot? As a kid, I remember being slightly jealous of Big Anthony because he got to eat all those noodles!

☕ Visit April Chu’s Official Website.

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Check out these gorgeous illustrations from In a Village by the Sea (click to enlarge).

☕☕☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Check out this recent interview, “On Illustration, Art, and Picture Book Success,” at Darlene Beck-Jacobson’s blog. BTW, In a Village By the Sea just won the Northern California Book Award!! Congrats to April and Muon Van!


Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: Lisa Schroeder

Once upon a time Lisa Schroeder wanted to join Encyclopedia Brown on his fun adventures. Since that didn’t work out, she decided to be an author instead. Lisa has written over a dozen books for kids and teens including IT’S RAINING CUPCAKES and MY SECRET GUIDE TO PARIS. She’s a native Oregonian and lives with her family outside of Portland.

 

☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: Tea, tea, glorious tea. Tea for you and tea for me! My favorite decaf is Teatulia’s Lemongrass tea. That’s often what I drink in the afternoons. In the mornings, I switch it up with various kinds. But no Earl Grey. Ewwww. I occasionally splurge on a soy chai latte, but never drink coffee because it gives me a headache.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: The Girl in the Tower, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli (Henry Holt, March 2016), Sealed with a Secret (Scholastic, May 10, 2016), and My Secret Guide to Paris (Scholastic paperback edition, March 2016).

 

 

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK: All Four Stars by Tara Dairman (J.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2014).

☕ Visit Lisa Schroeder’s Official Website

☕ ☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Check out this cool trailer for The Girl in the Tower:

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☕☕☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Love this photo of Lisa at Alice’s Tea Cup in NYC, where she ate the most delicious scone of her entire life! A look of sheer bliss on her face. *sigh*

 

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☕ ☕ ☕ ☕ STILL THIRSTY: Check out Lisa’s Charmed Life Series!!

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Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: Brian Won

Brian Won wore many hats as a busboy, shoe salesman, library shelver, art director, and designer before making children’s books. His debut children’s book, Hooray for Hat!, is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

 

☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: Coffee black, no cream no sugar. Any brand, even gas station coffee is fine by me.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Outer Space, Bedtime Race written by Rob Sanders (Random House, 2015), How to Tell a Story written by Daniel Nayeri (Workman, 2014), and Hooray for Hat! (HMH, 2014). Forthcoming: Secret Agent Man Goes Shopping for Shoes written by Tim Wynne-Jones (Candlewick, June 14, 2016), and Hooray for Today! (HMH, September 6, 2016).

 

 

 

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK: Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig (HarperCollins, 1998).

☕ Visit Brian Won’s Official Website.

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Check out the trailer for Outer Space, Bedtime Race!

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☕☕☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Adorable book trailer for Hooray for Hat!

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☕☕☕☕ STILL THIRSTY: How to Tell a Story trailer 🙂

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Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.