Member News—July 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 August 20, or fill out our “Good News Survey.”

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

Abdul’s Story by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Cover Reveal and Preorder Announcement

Author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow recently revealed the cover of her upcoming picture book, Abdul’s Story (illustrated by Tiffany Rose, with art direction by Tom Daly), on Tara Lazar’s blog, Writing for Kids (While Raising Them). In this picture book, Abdul loves to tell stories. But writing them down is hard. His letters refuse to stay straight and face the right way. And despite all his attempts, his papers often wind up with more eraser smudges than actual words. Abdul decides his stories just aren’t meant to be written down . . . until a special visitor comes to class and shows Abdul that even the best writers—and superheroes—make mistakes. Abdul’s Story is available for preorder and will release March 29, 2022 from Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Woof! The Truth About Dogs by Annette Whipple

Book Release

Author Annette Whipple released her latest picture book, Woof! The Truth About Dogs, on June 30 (Reycraft Books). How do dogs communicate? Why do dogs sniff butts? Are dogs just tame wolves? These and other questions are answered, along with some extra information provided by the dogs themselves in this second book in THE TRUTH ABOUT series.

Book Deal Announcements

We are excited to announce two book deals for author Alyssa Reynoso-Morris. Her debut picture book, Platanos Are Love, about a young girl who learns the cultural significance of plantains while cooking alongside her abuela, will be released in spring 2023 from Atheneum. The book will be illustrated by Mariah Rahman. In addition, Alyssa’s second picture book, The Bronx Is My Home has been acquired by Little Brown/Ottaviano. This picture book, which will be illustrated by Kim Holt, features a family’s weekend adventure in their native borough, with destinations including Orchard Beach, Grand Concourse, Yankee Stadium, the High Bridge, and Aurthur Avenue. The book is also slated for 2023.

Grandpa & Jake by Julie Fortenberry

Cover Reveal and Preorder Announcement

We are delighted to reveal the cover of author-illustrator Julie Fortenberry’s upcoming new picture book, Grandpa & Jake, which is now available for preorder. In this heartwarming intergenerational story, Grandpa Bear and his grandson Jake walk through the busy town. Grandpa shares the favorite places he and his own grandpa went together . . . and little Jake keeps guessing where they are going. The movies? The baseball park? The beach? “Not this time,” says Grandpa, and has Jake close his eyes before going into . . . the library! Grandpa & Jake will release on March 29, 2022 from Viking Books for Young Readers.

Blog Announcement

Tony FredericksEasternPennPoints’s monthly columnist (“Write Angles”), was recently invited by the editors of Psychology Today to write a recurring blog (“Creative Insights”) on the nature and nurture of creativity ( The column examines why creativity is often a challenge and how certain strategies can change readers’ lives as well as their thinking. New articles will be posted frequently throughout the year.

Grandma Lisa’s Humming, Buzzing, Chirping Garden
by Lisa Doseff

Book Release

Author Lisa Doseff’s picture book, Grandma Lisa’s Humming, Buzzing, Chirping Garden (Pollination Press; illustrated by Duncan Robertson) was released on July 27. Join Grandma Lisa as she enlists the enthusiastic help of her grandchildren in transforming her yard into an attractive garden for wildlife. Along the way she explains why planting native species is so important and allays the children’s fear of insects by lovingly showing them how these critters are so essential to our world. Told in rhyme, children will enjoy learning about important concepts such as host plants, compost, food webs, and so much more.

SCBWI’s Recommended Reading List—July 2021

SCBWI’s July Recommended Reading List features several creators 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. July’s list celebrates books written and/or illustrated by our members who have published without the help of a traditional publisher. Books featured from our members included Becoming Jesse by Patsie McCandless, Risking Exposure by Jeanne Moran, Whiz Tanner and the Uncommitted Crime illustrated by Alexander T. Lee, The Cicadas are Coming: Invasion of the Periodical Cicadas by Doug Wechsler, Mooshu Worries written and illustrated by Yona Diamond Dansky, Sleepy Ted by J. Bub, and A Thousand Years to Wait by L. Ryan Storms.

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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2 Responses to Member News—July 2021

  1. Wendy says:

    Congratulations to all the creatives!

  2. Brinton Culp says:

    Woof! is waiting for me at my local indie and I loved reading Risking Exposure! Looking forward to checking out more great books from our members ☺.

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