It’s time again for Marcie Flinchum Atkins’ monthly We’re All in This Together blog series. This month: Surprise! Things You Didn’t Know about the Writing Life.
My contribution, along with those of Lori Degman, Donna L. Sadd, and Alayne Kay Christian, can be found today in Part One. Tomorrow, you can read what EW Clark, Vivian Kirkland, and Marcie have to say in Part Two.
As of the end of June, I’m behind by 71 on my picture book reading goal, and it doesn’t look like I’m going to be too successful in catching up during July. There’s just so much else grabbing at my attention. (I never did understand the “summer reading” craze.) But I will try.
I’m attempting to read at least 530 picture books in 2013 – about 10 per week. I’d highly recommend this to other writers of picture books. I think it’s making a difference in my own writing, understanding the market, and in fueling the idea tank.
I read 28 books in June, and found six that I loved. Three are by Jane Yolen. I LOVE Jane’s writing. She and her work have been a huge inspiration to me.
I first read PICNIC WITH PIGGINS (on the list below) some twenty-plus years ago. I was so struck by the writing I immediately read the jacket flap to learn more about this amazing author. She lived in my region! I went to the library the next day to find out more about her. “I think she leads a writing critique group,” one of the library staff members told me. WHAT? Holy moly macaroni! You mean I could join this group? Yep. And I did. Best thing I ever did in regards to my writing. I’m forever appreciative of the years Jane led that group. I learned so much from her and the groups’ other gifted writers (many of whom I pay tribute to in the photo at the top of this page).
So here are my June favorites.
- BEFORE THE STORM by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Georgia Pugh, 1995, Boyds Mills Press
- CHARLEY’S FIRST NIGHT by Amy Hest, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, 2012, Candlewick Press
- INFINITY AND ME by Kate Hosford, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska, 2012, Carolrhoda Books (Lerner Publishing Group)
- MIZ BERLIN WALKS by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, 1997, Philomel Books (Putnam & Grosset Group)
- PICNIC WITH PIGGINS by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Jane Dyer, 1988, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers
- OLD ROBERT AND THE SEA-SILLY CATS by Barbara Joosse, illustrated by Jan Jutte, 2012, Philomel Books (Penguin Books)
Check them out. Let me know if you love them, too.