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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

NINA: A STORY OF NINA SIMONE – An Interview with Author Traci N. Todd

Today I talk with author Traci N. Todd to discuss her new picture book biography of Nina Simone and the art of reducing a life to its essentials.

Dorothy the Brave Cover Reveal: A Q&A With Meghan P. Browne

Why children’s writers are sometimes the first ones to sing for the unsung? I discuss Meghan P. Browne’s upcoming picture book bio Dorothy the Brave with her and reveal its cover.

Just Try It: An Interview with Mara Rockliff

“At the risk of sounding basic, I don’t think it’s possible to overrate the mango.” I interview Mara Rockliff about her latest picture book biography and we end up talking fruit!

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2020 Unique Biographies

Each crop of yearly biographies runs the gamut from the uber famous to people who may not have ever even received an adult biography. I loved the sheer variety on display in 2020. Behold a sampling of some favorites.

Cover Reveal and Interview with Azadeh Westergaard – The Life Electric: The Story of Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla! Inventor. Genius. Pigeon Lover? I talk with Azadeh Westergaard about her upcoming biography of the man and his dual love of alternating currents and city birds.

The Zhou Brothers: When You Have the Chance to Paint Your Own Story

“People think that collaboration is about harmony, but that’s wrong.” A book release party like none other, I attend the celebration for Flying Paintings by Amy Alznauer and The Zhou Brothers.

Review of the Day: Drawing on Walls by Matthew Burgess, ill. Josh Cochran

Drawing On Walls is the kind of book that you wish other writers of children’s nonfiction would read. A story that justifies its very existence by justifying the very existence of its subject.

Excellent Black Lives Matter Picture Book Bios (Some Pre-BLM)

There have been Black picture book biographies coming out for years and years and years. Often their publishers either wouldn’t or couldn’t put the marketing dollars behind them that they so clearly deserved, and so these books would sink from view and be forgotten. Today, I want to revisit some of these books, just in case someone had a hankering to rediscover them.

Guest Post: The Child is Mother of the Woman – Using Archival Clues to Write Picture Book Biographies

Amy Alznauer returns to the blog to discuss new issues in the realm of writing nonfiction for kids, particularly as they pertain to one Flannery O’Connor.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2019 Unique Biographies

Some of the biographies you’ll find on today’s list are of people hitherto uncelebrated while others offer a new take on a familiar name. Here are the biographies produced for kids in 2019 that struck me as particularly choice. Bet there’s at least one on here you haven’t see before.

The Best So Far: 2019 Picture Book Biographies Done Exceedingly Well

How have I not done this round-up yet?!? It’s baffling that I’ve waited this long, particularly when you take into account the sheer overwhelming number of picture book bios of exceeding beauty and charm we’ve been privy to in 2019. Here then, are some of the titles that have caught my eye (so far) this year.

Review of the Day: Magic Ramen by Andrea Wang, ill. Kana Urbanowicz

Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando looks like a simple tale about the man who invented instant ramen, but look closer and you’ll see that what the book truly is is a paean to the necessity of failure, the beauty of persistence, and the pleasure that comes after messing up 99 times only to get it right on the 100th.

Review of the Day: The Crayon Man by Natascha Biebow and Steven Salerno

The ideal use of great writing without cheating. Filled with facts and backmatter, it also makes the subject interesting to kids. It’s beautiful to look at and while I would have made some changes, it stands as a pretty darn good look at a man, a plan, a crayon. Crayola.

Cover Reveal: Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life by Laurie Wallmark, ill. Katy Wu

A show of hands. How many of you first heard of Hedy Lamarr by watching copious amounts of Blazing Saddles (where the villain Hedley Lamarr is constantly called Hedy Lamarr by accident)? No? Just me? In between that and confusing her with Dorothy Lamour I was a pretty confused kid when it came to all […]

Review of the Day – Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing by Nancy Churnin

Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing By Nancy Churnin Illustrated by James Rey Sanchez Creston Books $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-939547-44-6 Ages 4-9 On shelves May 1st Patriotism is subjective. Until recently I might have thought myself somewhat immune to its charms. I like my country quite a lot, but I’ve a low-tolerance for […]