picture books: 4 Articles

Creating Art for Picture Books: Interview with Illustrators

During Children’s Book Week, Magination Press illustrators shared their experiences creating art for picture books in this panel discussion, moderated by Magination Press’s designer, Rachel Ross.  The panel included: Brittany E. Lakin, illustrator of Blossom and Bud Mackenzie Haley, illustrator of Pockets Full of Rocks: Daddy Talks About Depression Sandhya Prabhat, illustrator of Peacock and Sketch Jamey Christoph, illustrator of Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt Read a two-part excerpt from author Dr. Frank Sileo’s note to parents and caregivers from Blossom and Bud here and here. Read an interview with Pockets Full of Rocks author, Yair Engelberg, here. 

Read More
Creating Art for Picture Books: Interview with Illustrators 2021-07-27T11:23:32-04:00

Representation Matters: The Power of Finding Yourself in a Book

Throughout my life, I have discovered that reading provides an almost miraculous way of changing the way I think. There is no medium that better offers insight into the perceptions, feelings, and humanity of someone who is different from us. Through reading we become empathetic. Through reading we evolve. I have often emerged from reading a book, and felt like I was changed. In that, even in this digital age, I know I am not alone.  As children, reading shapes how we see the world. The characters, places, and stories we come to love in our books inform us as to what life might offer us as we grow up, and our world begins to expand beyond our own backyards.  For that reason, representation in all books, and particularly in children’s books, can have life changing meaning. Just as it benefits us all to see and read about characters who have little in common with us, we all deserve characters in books who reflect our lives and our own varied experiences, as well. ...we all deserve characters in books who reflect our lives and our own varied experiences... I grew up in the early 1990's. I do not remember reading any children’s books with LGBTQ characters. I know some—though not many—were out there, and I am grateful for the writers who paved the way. Yet even with those books in existence, I do not remember being aware of them until I was an adult. As a kid, I did not see LGBTQ characters in books, which became one more subtle, but powerful, factor in making me feel abnormal, my life impossibly out of the mainstream. I have spoken to countless other LGBTQ people who reflect on similar experiences, and I know that is true across the spectrum of identities, as well. If they all feel a similar absence, one thing is clear: Fill it, and many young readers will feel far less alone. Since losing myself in a book was one of my favorite parts of growing up, I always dreamed of writing for children once I had the chance. Even so, when the time came to actually do it, I kept trying ideas that somehow lacked resonance. Eventually, frustrated, I almost gave up. What changed everything was a piece of simple yet profound advice from a friend: “Why don’t you write something that you wish had been around when you were a kid, or a book you want to exist once you have kids of your own?” From that piece of advice, Papa, Daddy, & Riley was born.  For me, this book, which follows a young girl named Riley’s journey of emotional discovery after she is asked which of her two dads is her “real dad,” meets the two thresholds my friend wisely put forth. I am grateful for the opportunity to write a book that answers a question pondered by many children, especially once they start attending school and meet people whose lives can look so different

Read More
Representation Matters: The Power of Finding Yourself in a Book 2020-05-16T15:44:48-04:00

Magination Press Learning at Home: Celebrate Children and Books!

El día de los niños/El día de los libros is Children's Day/Book Day. It’s a celebration of children, families, and reading that happens all over the world, culminating yearly on April 30. Commonly known as “Día,” it celebrates the importance of literacy for children from all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. “As celebrated by libraries and librarians, Día is an enhancement of Children’s Day, a celebration which took hold in 1925 following the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland as a day to bring attention to the importance and well-being of children. Each country selected its own day for the celebration with Mexico and many other Latin American countries choosing April 30.” (Pat Mora, About Día) The observance of Día in the United States was founded by Magination Press author, Pat Mora, after she heard how Children’s Day was celebrated in Mexico. She wanted to link the celebration to literacy and bilingualism. The first El día de los niños/El día de los libros was celebrated in April 1997. Seeing their experiences and cultures positively reflected in books they read builds children’s self-image as well as reading motivation. Magination Press publishes books for children reflecting diverse families, cultures, and experiences.  In honor of El día de los niños/El día de los libros, Magination Press highlights books featuring Latinx families. Each one celebrates family and highlights the richness of culture. Enjoy them with your child! Three accordions, two grandpas, one family! Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart, PhD Abuelo speaks Spanish. Opa speaks German. Both play the accordion. The little boy in Accordionly:Abuelo and Opa Make Music, shows great creativity and wisdom as he finds a way to help his grandfathers connect through music. Colors make the world pretty, colors make the world interesting and beautiful. Marvelous Maravilloso: Me and My Beautiful Family by Carrie Lara, PsyD  Our colors make us beautiful and unique. Explore the colors of the world, including the peoples’ beautiful and unique colors, with a little girl and her family. Always amigos! My Singing Nana by Pat Mora Billy and his Nana are very close. They love to sing together. When Billy notices that his Nana is forgetting things, his mom explains that she sometimes needs help. When Nana is having a hard day, Billy draws on his special connection with her to include her in a family event. Reference List The American Library Association: Together with Dia Pat Mora: What’s Dia

Read More
Magination Press Learning at Home: Celebrate Children and Books! 2020-04-29T11:16:44-04:00