Member News — April 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 before May 20, or fill out our “Good News Survey.”

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

SCBWI’s April Recommended Reading List featured several author from our Eastern PA region. Each month, SCBWI features books written and illustrated by our members, and every month highlights a new theme that will foster discussions, activities, and enjoyment. The theme for April was “Celebrate the Earth.” Books featured from our members included High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs by Lisa Kahn Schnell; The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide by Annette Whipple; Lela and the Butterflies by Sherri Maret; Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli; and Sadie’s Snowy Tu B’Shevat illustrated by Julie Fortenberry.

Congratulations to Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and Lindsay Bandy. Their books Your Name Is a Song and Nemesis and the Swan have advanced to round two of voting for the Atlantic Region Crystal Kite Award. The annual Crystal Kite Award is a peer-given award to recognize great books from fifteen SCBWI regional divisions around the world. The last day for SCBWI members to vote is today, April 30. The winners will be announced in May.

Hallee Adelman released two books in her Way Past series this month: Way Past Sad and Way Past Jealous (Albert Whitman & Co; both released on April 1 and illustrated by Karen Wall). In Way Past Sad, James is sad. Way past sad. His best friend, Sanj, is moving away. James feels all alone, and even hugs from Mom don’t take away all his sad. But it helps to talk about it. Nothing can change the fact that Sanj is moving, but will James and Sanj always be sad? Or is there a way to get past it? In Way Past Jealous, Yaz is jealous. Way past jealous. Yaz loves to draw, but no one ever notices her pictures. Everyone loves Debby’s drawings, and one even got put up on the classroom wall with a star on it. Now Yaz’s jealousy is making her think ugly things, and even act mean! How can she get past jealous?

Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow announced a book contract with HarperCollins for Hold Them Close, which will be illustrated 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.

The Secret Life of the Sloth illustrated by Kate Garchinsky

The Secret Life of the Sloth by Laurence Pringle, illustrated by Kate Garchinsky, was released from Boyds Mills Press on April 20. Meet Perezoso, a brown-throated three-fingered sloth who lives in a rainforest habitat. Young readers will be fascinated as they learn all about her life—how she searches for food, keeps herself safe from prey, and gives birth to a baby. Kate’s gorgeous, realistic illustrations celebrate these intriguing creatures, and the story is filled with important facts and terms. The back matter at the conclusion of the book provides more in-depth information, a glossary, and further resources. Check out the book trailer here:

Kate was also featured in the February 2021 issue of Newtown Square Friends & Neighbors. Check it out:

Whooo Knew? The Truth About Owls by Annette Whipple

Whooo Knew? The Truth About Owls (Reycraft Books, 2020) by Annette Whipple was nominated for a 2021-2022 Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award in the primary division. The Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award is run by the Keystone State Literary Association KSLA, a vibrant community of educators and others interested in promoting literacy and literacy education in Pennsylvania.

On March 31, 2021 Annie Lynn released an SEL (Social Emotional Learning) song, co-written with Rocky Mountains SCBWI author Jolene Gutiérrez, which was featured on author Lydia Lukidis’s blog, Blissfully Bookish. Jolene and Annie “won each other” in the Fall Writing Frenzy, run by Lydia and agent Kaitlyn Sanchez. The song was written to go with Jolene’s book Mac and Cheese and the Personal Space Invader (Spork, August 2020; illustrated by Heather Bell). It was also written loosely enough to pair with any book about body autonomy and physical boundaries. The name of the song is “Space Creator.” Here is a link to the lyrics video:

Miosotis Flores Never Forgets by Hilda Eunice Burgos

Author Hilda Eunice Burgos recently revealed the cover for her upcoming middle grade novel, Miosotis Flores Never Forgets (Tu Books; release date: October 5, 2021). The beautiful cover was illustrated by Lissy Marlin. In this novel, Miosotis Flores is excited about three things: fostering rescue dogs, goofy horror movies, and her sister Amarilis’s upcoming wedding. But Miosotis soon notices Amarilis behaving strangely—wearing thick clothing in springtime, dropping her friends in favor of her fiancé, even avoiding Miosotis and the rest of their family. When she finally discovers her sister’s secret, Miosotis faces some difficult choices. What do you do if someone is in danger, but doesn’t want your help? When should you ask for support, and when should you try to handle things on your own? And what ultimately matters most—what Miosotis wants, or what’s right for the ones she loves? Miosotis Flores Never Forgets is currently available for preorder.

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

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6 Responses to Member News — April 2021

  1. Way Past Sad, Way Past Jealous what great book concepts and illustrations, need to go get these! Reminds me of Animals with Insecurities.

  2. WOW! So much good news from EPA members! Congratulations to you all!!!

  3. Wendy says:

    That’s a great month of good news! Congratulations, everyone!

  4. I love reading all of this incredible news for SCBWI EPA! Congratulations all! I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  5. So excited for everyone’s great news! Very proud to be a part of SCBWI EPA community! Congrantulations!!

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