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 May 20, or fill out our “Good News Survey.”
Here’s some exciting news from our members this month:
Crystal Kite Award Finalists
Congratulations to authors Katey Howes and Alison Green Myers for advancing to Round 2 of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award selection for the Atlantic region. The Crystal Kite Award is a peer-given award to recognize great books from 15 SCBWI regional divisions around the world. SCBWI members are asked to vote in two rounds to determine the award for each division. Rissy No Kissies by Katey Howes and A Bird Will Soar by Alison Green Myers were two of four books to be selected for Round 2. Round 2 voting ends April 30.
Sophia Ezomoghene recently announced a book deal for her chapter book series, The Osagie Twins. Winsome Bingham at Reycraft has acquired English and Spanish rights for three books in the series. In the first book, twins Eddie and Nosa break the #1 house rule of going into Baba’s home office. When they knock over a vase, releasing Eshu the trickster god, they need to recapture him before Baba gets home. Publication for the first book is set for fall 2023.
Illustrator Kate Garchinsky’s next book in the Secret Life series will release on May 24. The Secret Life of the Sea Otter (Astra Young Readers) was written by Laurence Pringle. Living off the coast of California in the Northern Pacific Ocean, Lutris the sea otter shares her life in a giant kelp forest habitat with many other otters and animals. Lutris is resourceful and relies on her keen sense of sight and smell to find food and survive. When her pup is born, Lutris lovingly tends to and teaches her daughter until she is ready to head out into the world on her own. Filled with important facts and Kate’s gorgeous illustrations, readers will be fascinated by the story of these remarkable mammals. This latest title in the Secret Life series has been vetted by a sea otter expert and includes back matter with more in-depth information, a glossary, and further resources. The Secret Life of the Sea Otter is available for preorder.
Upcoming Publication and Preorder
Author Adam Perry’s next book will release this September. Ghosts Come Rising (Yellow Jacket, September 6, 2022) is a middle grade novel set in the mid 19th century, when a religious movement called Spiritualism spread across America. Spiritualists believe that the living could communicate with the dead. Complete with ghostly black-and-white photographs, this suspenseful book tells the story of twelve-year-old Liza Carroll and her little brother as they try to find answers and hide a secret while staying at a spooky Spiritualist commune. Ghosts Come Rising is available for preorder.
Author Annette Whipple recently announced a deal for her book Wild Wonders: Animal Devotions for Kids. The book was acquired by Linda Howard at Tyndale. This new book for kids celebrates children’s curiosity through 52 devotions featuring 52 different animals. Wild Wonders is scheduled for publication in fall 2023.
Cover Reveal and Preorders
Author Katey Howes has two upcoming picture books in the works. She recently revealed the cover for A Poem Grows Inside You (Innovation Pr, October 4, 2022) illustrated by Heather Brockman Lee. We all hold the seed of something wonderful inside us, just waiting for the right moment to bloom. In A Poem Grows Inside You, the seed of an idea waits for the rhythm of the rainfall to awaken it, then takes root and begins to grow. At once a celebration of the deep connection creatives have with their art and an acknowledgement of the courage it takes to let it into the sun, this beautifully illustrated picture book encourages readers to nurture their talents and boldly share them with the world. Her next picture book, Woven of the World (Chronicle Books, February 7, 2023), is illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova. Told from the perspective of a young girl learning to weave, Woven of the World is a lyrical meditation on the ancient art of weaving and what this beautiful craft can teach us. Both books are available for preorder.
Upcoming Publication and Preorder
A short story by author Alexandra Villasante will be included in the upcoming anthology Our Shadows Have Claws (Algonquin Young Readers, September 6, 2022). The book contains fifteen original short stories from YA superstars, featuring Latine mythology’s most memorable monsters. Our Shadows Have Claws is available for preorder.
Songwriter Annie Lynn recently collaborated with two SCBWI members from other chapters. The first song is a commissioned song, written during STORYSTORM, by teacher/author/SCBWI Carolinas member Tonnye Fletcher and Annie Lynn. It’s the theme song for Tonnye’s video interview show “PBJamz.” The song will explain the show. Tonnye also has a lovely voice, and sang accompaniment on the song. Anyone with a book that also has a song with it should contact Tonnye at tonnyefletcher.com if they’d like to apply as a guest author.
The second song is another STORYSTORM song, written and inspired by author/NJSCBWI member Tara Lazar and her new book Absurd Words (Sourcebooks Explore, January 2, 2022). The song features an appearance by Tara at the end, channeling her best “Ernestine the Operator.”
Publication and Workshop
Author-illustrator Berrie Torgan-Randall’s six panel illustration “Firefly Fun” is in the May/June edition of Ladybug Magazine. Berrie was also the invited Resident Assistant at a recent Highlights Foundation Conference, “Creating Picture Books with Humor and Heart: A working retreat.”
Bank Street Best Children’s Books of 2021
The Bank Street College of Education released their list of the Best Children’s Books of the Year for books published in 2021. Each year, the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee issues an annotated guide to more than 650 children’s books they consider the best publications of the prior year. Among the books honored were several written by members of our region, including Way Past Jealous by Hallee Adelman, The Cot in the Living Room by Hilda Eunice Burgos, The Cicadas Are Coming by Doug Wechsler, Miosotis Never Forgets by Hilda Eunice Burgos, Everywhere Blue by Joanne Rossmassler Fritz, and Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize by Margo Rabb. In addition, several books illustrated by the late Floyd Cooper were featured in the list, including A Day for Remembering’: Inspired by the True Events of the First Memorial Day by Leah Henderson, The True Story of James Herman Banning, the First African American Pilot to Fly across the United States by Louisa Jagger and Shari Becker, and Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carol Boston Weatherford. For a complete list of the Bank Street Best Childnren’s books of 2021 click here.
SCBWI Recommended Reading List—April 2022
Each month, SCBWI features books written and illustrated by members from across the globe and every month highlights a new theme that will foster discussions, activities, and enjoyment! April is the month we bring awareness to our environment and promote clean living and a healthy, sustainable habitat for both the people and wildlife living on this place we call home: Earth. This month, two of our Eastern PA members’ books were featured in the Recommended Reading List: Everywhere Blue by Joanne Rossmassler Fritz and Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize by Margo Rabb.