There's a moment in Kwame Alexander's middle grade novel, The Crossover, when protagonist Josh Bell's father is telling him all about jazz musician Horace Silver: "Josh, this cat is the real deal. / Listen to that piano, fast and free, / Just like you and JB on the court." Alexander's poetry is the real deal, and its action, energy and heart earned it the 2015 Newbery Medal as well as a Coretta Scott King Author Honor. Alexander told us all about what it's like to win the prestigious Newbery.
The sweet, crowned star of Dan Santat's picture book, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, is a hero like no other—because he almost doesn't exist! Beekle's an imaginary friend with no child to imagine him, and so he leaves his fantastic island, full of other strange creatures like him, in search of a friend. It's so nice to be acknowledged, and there's no better nod than the 2015 Caldecott Medal! We contacted Santat in the whirlwind of his win.
Sally M. Walker likes to connect young readers with history. In her new picture book, Winnie, she does just that, telling the little-known story of the real bear who inspired A.A. Milne’s legendary children’s book character, Winnie-the-Pooh.
Thanks to a smart-alecky student who sat in the back row of her classroom, Sharon M. Draper went from teacher to award-winning writer. Of course, there were other factors: a lifelong love of reading, plus years of hard work and outstanding scholarship, for starters.
Do animals have a Santa Claus? This is just the sort of question Jan Brett would ask. In her new book, The Animals’ Santa, a young snowshoe hare in a cozy striped vest doesn’t believe all the other animals when they talk about Santa. Brett’s classic illustrations capture the precious details and gentle beauty of the snowy wood, and children will treasure this tale of believing in Christmas.
BookPage called Brett at home in Massachusetts to chat about this sweet Christmas story.
Nature photographer Nancy Rose began making waves on photo sharing sites with her unique and playful photos featuring curious wild squirrels. Her adorable images went viral, and fans began asking for more, prompting Rose to release her first children's book, The Secret Life of Squirrels. We asked Rose a few questions about her passion for photography, her creative process and, of course, Mr. Peanuts.
Martine Leavitt has a super-cool dad—a smart, rugged man named James Webster who, throughout his life, has gone on countless hikes into mountain ranges and national parks in his native Canada, where he immersed himself in and learned about nature. He also took pages and pages of notes, and countless photographs of the flora and fauna he encountered.
After Jacqueline Woodson spoke to an eager audience at the 2014 Southern Festival of Books, BookPage chatted with the award-winning author about her new memoir-in-verse, Brown Girl Dreaming, her love of words and her complex relationships with music, the South and so much more.
Author-illustrator Cece Bell has been making picture books for more than 10 years. This year she’s trying something new, as she recounts her childhood experiences with hearing loss in the touching graphic memoir El Deafo.
Lisa Graff has written several books for middle grade readers, including the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots. Graff has an uncanny ability to give a simple story an intensity that makes you want to keep turning the pages. In her latest offering, Absolutely Almost, 11-year-old Albie is struggling with the idea that he should be “better” than he is: better at math, better at spelling, better at being cool. We asked Graff a few questions about Albie, about writing, and about fitting in.