Oh happy day - Kirkus Reviews has selected 'A Hatful of Dragons' as one of the BEST BOOKS of 2020 (for Middle Grade ages 7-12).
I am speechless. This is a rare and coveted honor. Thank you Kirkus Reviews, my publisher Boyds Mills & Kane, my editor Rebecca Davis, and my agent Rosemary Stimola.
Woohoo - My book, A Hatful of Dragons, has been selected for the 2021-2020 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List - one of the most distinguished reading lists for kids across the United States! This is a rare and prestigious honor - only 20 books are selected for this list every year, and kids in Texas in grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 are asked to read books from this list 'just for fun' - as a way to promote reading and literacy. Last year over 130,000 kids participated in this reading program! Read more about it here: https://txla.org/news/2021-2022-texas-bluebonnet-award-master-list-released/
“The Texas Bluebonnet list is a prestigious list composed of titles from diverse, imaginative and creative authors. The titles on the list offer students in grades 3-6, quality literature that is both fiction and nonfiction to be read for pleasure,” said Jacqui Bridges-Sheppherd, TBA coordinator. “Titles were chosen that allow the books to act as windows into reality and imaginary worlds while offering a view into someone else’s experiences; and mirrors that reflect a reader’s own life or culture while building their identity. This literature also takes the student’s interests in mind and provides positive reviews for parents, teachers and librarians.”
The City of Renton WA invited me to participate in their 'Dragon Days' celebrations by creating a public art display in a vacant storefront. I decided to highlight some of the dragon art and poems from my book A Hatful of Dragons and created a large sized display 5' high and about 80' long featuring both poetry and art. This video shows it best:
The drawings in my book are pretty small, just a few inches max, so I had to redraw the drawings and then add color. These were then sent to a sign printer and printed out as large size window clings, which I then manually installed for the display. Putting up these clings was harder than it looks - not for the faint hearted!
I was honored to be invited by the prestigious School Library Journal to take over their Instagram account on 4/24/2020 and present my work and new book to school librarians, teachers, and the general public. The session is now available on Youtube for everyone to watch:
I will be doing an online book tour via blogs introducing my new book and giving folks a behind-the-scenes peek into the book. I'll add links here as the blog posts go live:
* Suma Subramanian's Mixed-Up Files:
* Jane MacCulloch's DeoWriter Blog
* Matt Forrest's Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme Blog
* Sylvia Vardell's Poetry for Children Blog
* Irene Latham's Live Your Poem Blog
* Sylvia Vardell's Poetry for Children Blog (2nd Appearance)
* Linda Mitchell's A Word Edgewise Blog
* Mrs. Knotts Book Nook
Many thanks to my publisher, Boyds Mills Kane, and to Kerry McManus and Chelsea Abdullah for organizing this tour.
My third book of self-illustrated funny poems, A Hatful of Dragons, will be releasing April 21, 2020. I am very excited for this book - it's taken years of effort and is loads of fun, and suitable for poetry lovers of all ages. Here is a quick flipthrough of what the inside looks like:
You can already order the book via your favorite bookstore or online (Indiebound, Barnes & Nobles, Amazon).
Learn more here.
For my humorous poetry book releasing in March 2020, 'A Hatful of Dragons: And More Than 13.8 Billion Other Funny Poems', I have been working on various iterations of the covers for the last year. Here is the current finalist for the front:
And here are some variations for the back. I made several different ones so we could accommodate varying amounts of back-cover text (such as blurbs and reviews). We won't actually know how much space we need for the text till very late in the game, so making lots of variations gives the book designer flexibility:
As you can see there is a ton of work that goes into the making of a book that is invisible to the reader.
I am excited to share the news that Boyds Mills Press has acquired the world rights to my upcoming poetry book titled A Hatful Of Dragons: And 13.8 Billion Other Funny Poems. The book is scheduled to be released in Spring 2020 under their WordSong imprint.
Many thanks to my agent Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio for making this happen!
These days I am not producing much art because I am busy finishing up the manuscript, which I am also illustrating. As you can imagine, writing and illustrating 13.8 billion poems is quite a bit of work! :)
Boyds Mills Press, publishes a wide range of high-quality fiction and nonfiction titles for young readers. Established in 1990, Boyds Mills Press’s picture books, chapter books, novels, and nonfiction focus on excellent storytelling, imaginative illustration, and strong characters. Our exceptionally crafted titles are designed to entertain, inform, and engage children of all ages.
WordSong is the only children’s imprint in the United States specifically dedicated to poetry. WordSong titles capture the vibrant, unexpected, and emotional connections between text and young readers. Some of the well-known poets who publish under the WordSong imprint include Nikki Grimes, J. Patrick Lewis, Jane Yolen, Marilyn Nelson, and Marilyn Singer.