Author Interviews

Craft talk with Laura Obuobi: Increasing Tension

What a jam-packed conversation around increasing tension in picture books with the brilliant Laura Obuobi! Laura talks us through an advanced picture book writing course in under 20 minutes— a true educator and artist in every sense of the world. Here are some of my favorite nuggets of wisdom she shared: 🧨 Tension is uncomfortable… Read more »

Craft Talk with Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey: Visual Storytelling

What a rush to talk visual storytelling with two world-class experts, Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. I am moved by their thoughtful, tender approach to picture book creation and feel inspired to approach my own craft with newfound intention. Here are a few treasures from our conversation: 🛻 Always start with story: what is the thread of… Read more »

Craft Talk with Hena Khan: Rhyming in Picture Books

Well, consider me schooled. What a masterclass on the ins and outs of rhyming in picture books! Thank you Hena Khan for helping us think through reasons to (…and NOT to) rhyme in our stories. If you ever have wondered why agents and editors so often discourage submitting stories in rhyme, this talk has your… Read more »

Craft Talk with Liz Garton Scanlon: Layers

What a burst of light from the remarkable Liz Garton Scanlon! Liz walked us through the magic of writing character-centered, story-rich picture books that carry layers of structure and theme. She shares the importance of: ✨ Asking yourself, “What’s this story about? What else is it about?”… 12x in a row ✨ Adding and removing layers… Read more »

8 Days of Mini Picture Book Craft Talks

Originally posted on Instagram on December 8, 2020.   Y’all. I am giddy!!! WHAT? 15-minute discussions centered on picture book writing with beloved authors and creators WHEN? Every day of Hanukkah— dates and times for each discussion included on the following slides WHY? 💙 To share joy at the end of this cluster of a… Read more »

Interview with Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

I have now read Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow’s poignant answers in our Q&A almost as many times as I’ve read her stunning book Your Name is a Song.  This starred reviewed story follows a young girl in the wake of her teacher and classmates repeatedly mispronouncing her name. Her mother empowers her to see that her name… Read more »

Interview with Andrea Pippins — Who Will You Be?

  “And this I know, my child: whoever you will be, I will love you forever.” Andrea Pippins is the Stockholm-based graphic designer, visual activist, author, illustrator and dreamer who brought to life the irresistible picture book Who Will You Be? I drank in this book from the very first read. It is a love… Read more »

Lil Miss Hot Mess— The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish

  Lil Miss Hot Mess has me laughing, hollering and crying my way through this Q&A. Swipe to find out what gives her life, why LGBTQ+ themes in picture books are so critical, and how “swish, swish, swish” is both subversive and healing. Little Miss Hot Mess is a force. Exhibit A: when she’s not… Read more »

Interview with Markette Sheppard— My Rainy Day Rocket Ship

Emmy-award winning journalist, consultant and author Markette Sheppard recently released her second highly-acclaimed picture book MY RAINY DAY ROCKET SHIP, a beautifully crafted and timely story that buoys children’s hopeful spirit. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to connect with Sheppard and share her perspective here. Whether from a rainstorm or pandemic, every child… Read more »