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!
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,
What a way to close out the year!
I'm so pleased to announce that I'll be making three more books with editor extraordinaire Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan. The first will be A Taste of Home in spring 2024, illustrated by the amazing Sibu T.P. The story follows a group of friends on a journey through the Lower East Side of Manhattan, exploring cultural neighborhoods and the foods that make them home. The second will be Golem, Golem, Golem in fall 2024, illustrated by the talented Carmel Ben-Ami. It's a Chanukah story that explores what happens when a boy uses his clay to craft a golem instead of a dreidel. And the third? Stay tuned for more details!
So grateful to Emily F. for the trust she places in me and my stories, and to my agent, Emily M., for working tirelessly to make deals like this possible. I can't wait to share more about all of these books over the next year. 2024, here we come!
Last night's launch party for Year of the Cat was truly the Cat's meow!
Thanks as always to the wonderful staff at Books of Wonder, who know how to celebrate a book release in style. This was my first in-person event since the pandemic, and it was made doubly special by the presence of illustrator Jocelyn Li Langrand, who flew in from London for the occasion! We had a wonderful time sharing stories and behind-the-scenes insights with family and friends in attendance.
Truly a night to remember! And for those who couldn't make it, signed copies are still available here.
Until next time!
The wait is over: Year of the Cat, my third picture book, has finally been released into the world! I'm so proud of this playfully subversive Chinese zodiac tale, and honored to have collaborated with the amazing Jocelyn Li Langrand to bring the story to life. Thank you to Martha Mihalick, our cat-loving editor par excellence, and to the team at Greenwillow/HarperCollins for championing our book. And of course, special thanks to Emily Mitchell for her support from the very beginning!
It's time to celebrate. Party at Books of Wonder tomorrow night!
The release of Year of the Cat is nearly upon us, and we'll be celebrating the day after launch with an in-person event at Books of Wonder in New York City! Join us on Wednesday evening, November 2 at 6:00 pm EST for a reading and Q&A with me and Jocelyn Li Langrand. We can't wait to see you!
Event details here. And if you can't make it to the event, you can still get personalized copies of the book by ordering through the store, here!
With Rosh Hashanah just around the corner, I'm kicking off a new year with an exciting announcement: I'll be joining a group of esteemed Jewish authors on the PJ Library Author Israel Adventure 2023! This year-long experience is designed to inspire the creation of more Jewish-themed books for children, and culminates in an eight-day trip to Israel next May. I'm so excited to meet my fellow participants and explore Israel with them!
Proud and honored to see The Lost Package among the nominees for the 2022-2023 Red Clover Book Award! A team of Vermont librarians and teachers chooses ten picture books each year as finalists for this fantastic children's-choice award. Thousands of students throughout Vermont read the titles during the school year and vote for their favorite in next spring! Many thanks to the selection committee, and happy reading to the children of Vermont!
I grew up watching Bob Ross on PBS. I marveled at the ease with which he painted happy little clouds and happy little trees. I watched him carve mountains out of blank canvases. And I listened to his words of gentle encouragement . . . words that inspired so many to believe that they could truly accomplish anything they wanted.
Which makes this book announcement extra special.
You Can Move Mountains is coming from Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan in fall 2024, and I couldn't be more thrilled! Acclaimed illustrator Daniel Miyares will bring this story to life with his masterful brush. As Bob Ross himself guides the reader through the painting process, elements of his own life illuminate the enduring life lessons he so generously imparted on his viewers. I can't wait to share this book with all of you! In the meantime, special thanks to editor extraordinaire Emily Feinberg and tireless agent Emily Mitchell, who both move mountains for me.
With apologies to Tiger, 2022 is the Year of the Cat! Many thanks to librarian, author, and all-around kidlit rock star John Schu for hosting the reveal of illustrator Jocelyn Li Langrand's gorgeous cover. On Lunar New Year Eve, no less! Year of the Cat will arrive on November 1, courtesy of Greenwillow Books. In the meantime, you can read John's interview with me and Jocelyn, as well as get a sneak peek at some stunning interior art, here. Enjoy!