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 email@example.com before October 20, or fill out our “Good News Survey.”
Here’s some exciting news from our members this month:
Author Vanessa Cain released her picture book The Brightest Bulb (illustrated by Caner Soylu) in August. This cute, rhythmic story is about a Christmas bulb looking for a job that makes him feel special. Unfortunately, Little Bulb is not very good at any of the jobs in Christmas Town. With the help of Bob, the Head-Elf-In-Charge, and Santa, Little Bulb will come to know that just being himself makes him the best bulb even if he isn’t the brightest. This book is recommended for ages 3 to 8. Children will have fun learning the different jobs available in Christmas Town while watching Little Bulb fail over and over, but never giving up his pursuit. The friendship between Little Bulb and Head-Elf Bob will show kids the importance of supporting friends when they try new things. Lastly, children will come to understand that everyone shines in their own special way.
Author Diana Rodriguez Wallach has released her latest young adult novel, Small Town Monsters (published by Underlined, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, September 2021). Vera Martinez wants nothing more than to escape Roaring Creek and her parents’ reputation as demonologists. Not to mention she’s the family outcast, lacking her parents’ innate abilities, and is terrified of the occult things lurking in their basement. Maxwell Oliver is supposed to be enjoying the summer before his senior year, spending his days thinking about parties and friends. Instead he’s taking care of his little sister while his mom slowly becomes someone he doesn’t recognize. Soon he suspects that what he thought was grief over his father’s death might be something more . . . sinister. When Maxwell and Vera join forces, they come face to face with deeply disturbing true stories of cults, death worship, and the very nature that drives people to evil.
Small Town Monsters was also included in SCBWI’s Recommended Reading List this month. 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 September 2021 was Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month and celebrates the people, histories, culture, or traditions from the U.S. Latinx community, Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.
The newest book in the Truth About series, Scurry! The Truth About Spiders, by Annette Whipple releases on September 30 from Reycraft Books. Where do spiders live? How do spiders make silk? Are spiders dangerous? These and other questions are answered by the arachnophile author, along with some extra information provided by the spiders themselves. For readers ages 8 to 10.
Jessica Whipple’s poem “The Letter” was published by The Dirigible Balloon, an online webzine that publishes poetry for children. The poem expresses a child’s excitement at corresponding with a faraway friend. Children can read or listen to Jessica’s recorded reading of the poem here https://dirigibleballoon.org/poem/The-Letter.