Member News — February 2021

Member News is a monthly feature on the EasternPennPoints blog. We want to celebrate our Eastern PA SCBWI members’ good news and help spread the word far and wide. Send us your children’s book–related news—book deals, releases, awards, author or illustrator events (signings, launch parties, appearances), etc. If you’d like your news to be included in next month’s column, please email Laura Parnum at epa-ra2@scbwi.org before March 20 or fill out our “Good News Survey.”

Here’s some exciting news from our members this month:

Author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow recently announced that her book Hold Them Close has been acquired by Luana Horry at HarperCollins with illustrations by Patrick Dougher. This ode to Black children encourages them to hold on tight to their proud history, loved ones, and moments of joy in the face of racialized violence and oppression. Publication is set for fall 2022.


A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity by Nicole Valentine has been nominated for the PA Young Readers Choice Award. The award is sponsored by the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association. The purpose of the award is to promote the reading of quality books by young people in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to promote teacher and librarian involvement in children’s and young adult literature, and to honor authors whose works have been recognized by the students of Pennsylvania.


Author Annette Whipple released two books recently. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide (Chicago Review Press, August 2020) encourages children to engage in pioneer activities while thinking deeper about the Ingalls and Wilder families as portrayed in the nine Little House books. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion provides brief introductions to each Little House book, chapter-by-chapter story guides, and “Fact or Fiction” sidebars, plus 75 activities, crafts, and recipes that encourage kids to “Live Like Laura” using easy-to-find supplies. Thoughtful questions help the reader develop appreciation and understanding of Wilder’s stories. Every aspiring adventurer will enjoy this walk alongside Laura from the big woods to the golden years.

Annette’s latest release, Whoo Knew? The Truth About Owls (Reycraft Books, September 2020), is a question-and-answer picture book. Each page spread focuses on one Q&A. In addition to the main text and lots of stunning photographs, each page spread includes a visit from an illustrated owl whooo shares from his perspective—often with a bit of sass.


If you have good news to share, please send it to epa-ra2@scbwi.org to be included in next month’s Member News column or fill out our “Good News Survey.”

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8 Responses to Member News — February 2021

  1. Nadine Poper says:

    I can attest that Annette’s Whoo Knew? is stunningly gorgeous! Librarians everywhere need to add this book to their nonfiction section. It is on my next Titlewave order.

  2. Terri Epstein says:

    Congrats to Annette on the Laura Ingalls Wilder companion. I can’t wait to buy it, along with Little House in the Big Woods, for my little “honorary” granddaughter. Actually, she calls me her “Fairy Bookmother.”

    These were my favorite books growing up. Truly my gateway to bibliophilia. She lives in Idaho and these books are just perfect. She’s a little young yet, but with the Companion to go with it, a perfect way to start her out. The whole family will dive into the activities!! They just lead a nature based, back to the land kind of life!! This is PERFECT!! Thank you and again, CONGRATS!!

    Terri Epstein Lumberville, PA

  3. Congratulations, Annette, Nicole and Jamilah!

  4. Wow! Hold Them Close sounds like an incredible and inspiring book.

    Congratulations to Nicole Valentine on her nomination for the PA Young Readers Choice Award.

    Thank you so much for including my recent books here!

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