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: Maria Gianferrari (+ a giveaway!)

Maria is a picture book reading/writing, tea-drinking, dog-loving, Becca-walking, birdwatching resident of Virginia, though her heart still lives in New England.

 

☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: I cannot live without my loose-leaf German tea, Nizze Sahne Tee! Nizze = Nice as in France and Sahne means cream. It’s an aromatic black tea flavored with cornflowers and safflowers, so there are hints of blue and orange. I first discovered it on a trip to Berlin in 2000. Now I order it by the kilo. And this is my favorite tea mug, purchased at Woolworth’s in Berlin, Germany, a remembrance of our time living there
2004-2005 for my husband Niko’s sabbatical.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: My debut fiction picture book, Penny & Jelly: The School Show, illustrated by Thyra Heder, was published by HMH in July 2015; a companion book, Penny & Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars will be released in mid-June 2016. I also have a debut nonfiction picture book, Coyote Moon, with illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline, releasing on July 19, 2016 (Roaring Brook). In October 2016, Aladdin will publish another fiction picture book, Officer Katz & Houndini: A Tale of Two Tails, illustrated by Danny Chatzikonstantinou.

☕ FORTHCOMING IN 2017 AND BEYOND: Roaring Brook Press will also publish Hello Goodbye Dog, illustrated by Patrice Barton (2017); Highway Hawks, illustrated by Brian Floca (2018), and they recently acquired a second book with Bagram Ibatoulline, A Home for Bobcat. I also have a concept book called Terrific Tongues forthcoming from Boyds Mills Press as well as a haiku story about Great Horned Owls, Whooo-Ku, which will be published by GP Putnam’s Sons.

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOKS: Some recent foodie picture books that I loved are Pat Zietlow Miller’s Sharing the Bread as well as Mara Rockliff’s Gingerbread for Liberty. Some middle grade titles include Sarah Weeks’ Pie —you will become obsessed with pie-making after you read it; A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff, and Kat Yeh’s The Truth About Twinkie Pie —full of heart, though the twinkie pies themselves are not my cup of tea😉. And though I haven’t yet gotten to them, I’ve heard wonderful things about Tara Dairman’s Gladys Gatsby books: All Four Stars, The Stars of Summer, and Stars So Sweet.

☕ Visit Maria Gianferrari’s Official Website and her Facebook Author Page. Don’t miss Penny and Jelly’s Website and Instagram!

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Check out the Penny and Jelly Talent Show Kit!

☕☕☕ STILL THIRSTY: Smack your lips for this adorable Penny and Jelly Literary Lunch prepared by Nina at Mamabelly’s Lunches with Love.

☕☕☕☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Cool spreads from the forthcoming Officer Katz & Houndini: A Tale of Two Tails!

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📕 SPECIAL BOOK GIVEAWAY! 📙 

Maria has generously offered a brand new signed copy of Penny and Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars for one lucky Alphabet Soup reader!

In this picture-book companion to Penny & Jelly: The School Show, Penny is invited to a slumber-under-the-stars sleepover! But there’s one small detail that derails the dynamic kid-dog duo: no pets allowed. Penny and Jelly have to think quick—if the real Jelly can’t go, then maybe a pretend Jelly can! A paper Jelly? Too rough. A yarn Jelly? Too soft. Jelly after Jelly just doesn’t work. But with a little creativity and a lot of heart, Penny figures out how to go to the sleepover—and bring Jelly along with her.

For a chance to win, simply leave a comment at this post no later than midnight (EDT) June 9, 2016. You may also enter by sending an email with Penny and Jelly-2 in the subject line to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot)com. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only, please. Good Luck!

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And there’s more! Check out these dates for the Official Penny & Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars Blog Tour, beginning next Thursday, with more chances to win a book!

June 9:  Pragmatic Mom + Three Book Giveaway

June 10: Mamabelly’s Lunches with Love

June 13: Little Crooked Cottage + Homemade City

June 14: Kid Lit Frenzy

June 15: Miss Marple’s Musings

June 16: Bildebok

June 17: Writing for Kids (While Raising Them) + Three Book Giveaway

Extra Features:

June 24: Picture Book Builders

 


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

[lipsmacking review] The Hole Story of the Doughnut by Pat Miller and Vincent X. Kirsch

Let’s talk doughnuts. Which do you fancy– cake or raised? Powdered, cinnamon sugar, glazed, chocolate dipped, or frosted?

Though in the past I’ve dallied with lemon-filled, jelly, maple glazed, vanilla iced with sprinkles, and even (gasp!) gotten a bit risqué with a warm cruller or two, my true loyalty lies with the plain glazed ring doughnut, the fresher and softer the better. I live for that moment when you take that first luscious bite and the glaze cracks a bit, sometimes sticking to the edges of your mouth. Mmmmmm!

Tastiest endpapers ever!

Now, tell me. For all the times you’ve eaten a ring-shaped doughnut, have you ever wondered who invented the hole? Thanks to The Hole Story of the Doughnut by Pat Miller and Vincent X. Kirsch, we surprisingly learn that a teenager with a knack for creative problem solving was actually responsible, and that his “aha” moment took place on the high seas!

Continue reading

hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: Jeremy Tankard

South African born, American and Canadian raised, Jeremy Tankard is the authorstrator™ of the best-selling GRUMPY BIRD books. He is also the illustrator of IT’S A TIGER! by David Larochelle; PIGGY BUNNY by Rachel Vail; HERE COMES DESTRUCTOSAURUS! by Aaron Reynolds; and MELVIS AND ELVIS by Dennis Lee. A reluctant reader for the first half of his life, he is sometimes surprised to find himself authoring books for a living. (Pictured here with his favorite mug — octopus design by A. Williams.)

 

☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: Chamomile tea. It’s classic. It’s healthy. It’s tasty. It’s my favourite drink while unwinding in the evening.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Grumpy Bird (Scholastic board book edition, March 2016), Melvis and Elvis written by Dennis Lee (HarperCollins, 2015), and Here Comes Destructosaurus written by Aaron Reynolds (Chronicle Books, 2014). Forthcoming: Hungry Bird (Scholastic Press, September 2016).

 

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK: I can’t think of any particularly food themed books off the top of my head. But in MY BOOK ABOUT ME [a fill-in-the-blanks baby book by me at age 4 with some help from my “friends” Dr. Seuss and Roy McKie], I list my favourite food as Pronutro, a South African cereal of sorts. It also says I like ice cream and apples and cherries. And then it says, “And please don’t give me any vegetables. I can’t stand it.” This book also claims that “I eat like a boy.” Of course this book also claims my nose looks like this… which is a blatant lie as you can see from that photo of me, so I’m not sure if this food information can be trusted. I love apple pie.

☕ HOTTEA IN THE FLESH: I will be launching HUNGRY BIRD at the upcoming Telling Tales Festival in Rockton, Ontario, on September 18, 2016.

☕ Visit Jeremy Tankard’s Official Website.

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Sophia Yang reads Grumpy Bird!

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☕☕☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Mr. Cornelius’s favorite illo from Boo Hoo Bird. Cookies!

☕☕☕☕ STILL THIRSTY: Betsy Bird reads Jeremy’s classic Me Hungry! Remember this one?:)

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