Thank you to author/librarian/blogger Travis Jonker for interviewing Lynn Scurfield and me on the venerable blog, 100 Scope Notes! The interview is part of the Association of Jewish Libraries' annual Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour. We were proud to talk about Two New Years as the kickoff to a weeklong celebration of this year's Sydney Taylor-winning creators. Read our interview here, and be sure to check the schedule for all the other amazing interviews to come this week!
This year, Lunar New Year starts on February 10. To get everyone ready to welcome the Year of the Dragon, Books of Wonder is hosting an author panel . . . and I'm so excited to join the fun!
On Sunday, February 4, I'll be chatting about Two New Years alongside Junghwa Park (Wish Soup), Shinyeon Moon (LaoLao's Dumplings), and Aram Kim (Tomorrow is New Year's Day). Find more event details, including order links, here.
Come by and get an early start to your New Year celebrations!
Proud to share that Two New Years has been named a 2024 ALSC Notable Children's Book! Check out the full list here. A wonderful piece of news to cap a most wonderful week!
Thank you so much to the committee, and congratulations to all the amazing titles that were selected!
An auspicious week continues with a second announcement: Two New Years is the winner of the National Jewish Book Award!
My deepest thanks to the NJBA judges and Jewish Book Council for this prestigious recognition. First given in 1950, the awards shine a vital spotlight on Jewish stories, and I'm so proud to see our book included this year. Read more about the awards here, and watch the announcement here.
To the amazing team that transformed a dream about a Chinese-Jewish children's book into reality: Mazel Tov! Lynn Scurfield, Naomi Kirsten and everyone at Chronicle Books, Feather Flores, and Emily Mitchell . . . I am so grateful to all of you, and the success of this book is because of you.
Let the celebration continue!
Grateful. Blessed. Overwhelmed.
Two New Years is the winner of this year's Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Picture Book category! Read more about the awards here, and watch a replay of the ALA Youth Media Award announcements here.
I'm still processing this incredible news, and all the emotions that go along with it. From receiving "the call" from the award committee to watching the announcements live online with my family this morning, it's been a nonstop whirlwind of activity . . . in the best way! And I'm so thankful for all the notes of congratulations that have been pouring in.
A special thank you to the members of the award committee and the Association of Jewish Libraries for this prestigious honor. This book of my heart truly embodies Jewish joy, and I am so thrilled to see it recognized on the national stage.
But first and foremost, my deepest thanks and appreciation to everyone who worked so hard to bring Two New Years to life: Lynn Scurfield for making this book an absolute vision; Naomi Kirsten and the entire Chronicle Kids team for their dedication and expert guidance; Feather Flores for acquiring it in the first place, and her passionate championing of the manuscript from the start; and Emily Mitchell for being there every step of the way.
Congratulations as well to so many friends who won well-deserved accolades today, and to the equally deserving creators who may not have received a call, but whose work is changing lives nonetheless.
Thank you, thank you. Let the celebration continue!
I had a wonderful time reading Two New Years and Year of the Cat to a great group of kids yesterday! Thank you to everyone who joined us, and to The Curious Reader for hosting such a lovely Lunar New Year storytime!
Local friends! With Lunar New Year fast approaching, I'm getting an early start to the celebrations by doing a storytime for Two New Years on January 14, at The Curious Reader, a fantastic children's bookstore in Glen Rock, New Jersey (store details here). I'd love to see you there, and kiddos especially welcome!
Jewish stories are vital, perhaps now more than ever. That's why I feel privileged to participate in the Jewish Book Council's 2023 Writers' Conference on Sunday, November 12. The virtual event gives Jewish writers access to invaluable insights about the publishing industry through a series of panels and workshops. I'll be speaking about writing Jewish books for kids on the Children's Author Panel, along with fellow author Jane Breskin Zalben and moderator Heidi Rabinowitz. More info, including a registration link, can be found here.
I hope our conversation can provide inspiration and strength to those who need it!
It's a second starred review for Two New Years!
Many thanks to Publisher's Weekly, who described our book as "a thoughtfully crafted picture book" and raved about Lynn Scurfield's "luminous ink illustrations" which created "a visual melding of experiences." We couldn't agree more!
Read the full review here.
This long-awaited announcement is a timely reminder that slow and steady can win the race!
I first wrote the manuscript for Slow and Steady back in 2017, the same year I signed with my agent. Six years later, I can finally share that it will be a book! Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan will publish it in spring 2025. Immensely talented illustrator Natasha Donovan will bring to life this fresh take on the classic tale of the Tortoise and the Hare.
I'll wait patiently to share more details over the next year and a half. In the meantime, thanks as always to my stalwart editor Emily Feinberg; and to the aforementioned Emily Mitchell, agent extraordinaire!
Behold the gorgeous cover for A Taste of Home, illustrated by the incredible Sibu T.P.! This tribute to cultural neighborhoods of New York City's Lower East Side, and the foods that remind their residents of home, will arrive on August 20, 2024, courtesy of Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan. That's about 11 months away . . . plenty of time to stir up your appetite for this visual and cultural feast!
Proofs for If Lin Can are here! This is just a tiny glimpse of the phenomenal illustrations by Huỳnh Kim Liên and Phùng Nguyên Quang. The book will be published by Charlesbridge on April 16, 2024. Can't wait to show off more as we get closer!
Another excellent interview about Two New Years, this time over at the Geeks OUT blog! Thank you Michele Kirichanskaya for the thoughtful questions. Here the conversation between Michele, Lynn Scurfield and me here.
Lynn Scurfield and I had a wonderful time talking about Two New Years with Sara Holly Ackerman on the Picture Book Builders blog! You can read the interview and enter the giveaway here. Thank you so much to Sara for the excellent questions, and for making our book one of her first purchases in her new role as a school librarian!
Along with Lynn Scurfield, I had a wonderful conversation with host Heidi Rabinowitz on The Book of Life, a podcast about Jewish kidlit (mostly). We talked about Two New Years, Rosh Hashanah, Lunar New Year, multicultural families, and diverse representation in children's books. Please give it a listen here!
Behold the Lincredibly gorgeous cover for If Lin Can, illustrated by Huỳnh Kim Liên and Phùng Nguyên Quang! Many thanks to We Need Diverse Books for hosting the reveal on their blog today. I can't wait for you to see more of Liên and Quang's art for this book. It's truly breathtaking!
The book arrives on April 16, 2024 from Charlesbridge Publishing. See the post for more info, including pre-order links!
Today, I was proud to learn that Two New Years was selected for the Association of Jewish Libraries Holiday Highlights list as a best Jewish holiday children's book for Fall 2023. Our book is one of nine titles chosen for their high quality and authentic representation of the Jewish holidays, including Rosh Hashanah. It's truly an honor to be included on this list, alongside so many wonderful stories!
The full list can be found here. Wishing everyone a wonderful 2023 holiday season!
It's a starred review from Booklist!
The esteemed publication of the American Library Association described Two New Years thusly: "An excellent look at varied New Year customs that celebrates multiculturalism in a way young readers of all backgrounds can easily grasp."
So grateful for this recognition. What a lovely gift in the middle of launch week celebrations!
Full review can be read here.
Two New Years is out in the world, and I'm so thankful. Here is a list of gratitude:
I hope our story reaches many more readers, and inspires people of all backgrounds to celebrate the things that unite us all.
Once again, Books of Wonder was the place to be!
The venerable NYC bookstore hosted the launch event for Two New Years, and lots of friends and family came to help us celebrate. Illustrator Lynn Scurfield flew in join the festivities, and an amazing time was had by all!
Just two more days until the book's official release. We can't wait! In the meantime, if you missed the event, you can order signed copies here.
Rosh Hashanah and Lunar New Year come early this year... sort of!
We're celebrating the August 8 release of Two New Years by throwing a launch party two days earlier! Join illustrator Lynn Scurfield and me at Books of Wonder on Sunday, August 6 for a signing and reading. This book holds such a special place in my heart, and I'm so excited to celebrate with Lynn and you. Event details here, and pre-order details here. Bring your party hats!
If only I had Linsanity as a kid.
When Jeremy Lin burst onto the scene in 2012 as an overnight NBA superstar, I was already in my 30s. But I often think about that magical stretch, and wonder what kind of impact it would have made on me if I had been a kid at the time. Specifically, an Asian American kid watching this player who looked more like me than any player I'd seen before. Watching this player take the world by storm, going toe-to-toe with the giants of the sport and more than holding his own. Watching him shatter stereotypes and preconceived notions of what Asians can't - and can - do on the basketball court and beyond.
I know it would have been transformative.
Which is why I'm pumped to announce that If Lin Can, my picture book biography of Lin, will arrive from Charlesbridge Publishing in spring 2024. With breathtaking illustrations from the incredible duo of Phùng Nguyên Quang and Huỳnh Kim Liên (whose work on books such as My First Day and The Floating Field I absolutely fell in love with), this book celebrates the legacy of Lin's unforgettable run with the New York Knicks, from the perspective of the legions of Asian American kids he inspired.
I can't wait to share more as we get closer to tipoff!
It's been almost a week since I returned from the Author Israel Adventure, and I'm still riding the high of this unforgettable experience. You can read more about the trip here.
Thank you again to PJ Library for the opportunity, and to my fellow authors who are now lifelong friends. L'chaim, and here's to the stories!
Photo credit: Danielle Mehler
I'm honored to share that Year of the Cat was named to the 2023 edition of Bank Street College of Education's "Best Children's Books of the Year" list!
So much of this recognition deservedly goes to illustrator Jocelyn Li Langrand and the team at Greenwillow/HarperCollins.
Rejoice, Cat... it turns out this was your year after all!
It's a cover reveal for Two New Years, courtesy of We Need Diverse Books! The esteemed organization dedicated to advancing diversity in children's literature was kind enough to spotlight Lynn Scurfield's gorgeous cover on their blog. With the release date of August 8 just five months away, this book of my heart will be here before you know it!
You can find the post, complete with pre-order links, here,