Unboxing a new book can make me feel insufferably smug, but it’s so beautiful!!
Many thanks to Lerner Books for that gilded, and very outstanding, great-horned owl!
Today I’m so happy to host the cover reveal for Camilla Cartographer! It was a pleasure interviewing Julie Dillemuth and Laura Wood about their new book, which is their third author/illustrator collaboration published by Magination Press.
But if I have to pick one that I particularly enjoy looking at myself, it would be the opening one, where the reader is introduced to the main character, Camilla, and to her little world.
I wanted to make the image fun and engaging so that the reader could be thrown straight into the story and her world.
Here people can start getting to know her for the first time, having a sense of who she is and where she lives.
It took me a while to get this image right. Before getting to the final sketch I drew a few different versions until I was happy enough and I had the right composition to fit the story and the text.
RY: What’s your earliest (or best) map related memory?
Nowadays my maps are all on my phone, but my earliest memories go back to when maps were still on paper!
In particular, I remember when as a child I used to make maps myself about the world I was living in: a map of my room, my school, my building, etc… I was fascinated by them!
To be honest not much has changed 🙂
The cover of OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS is officially out in the wild today and let’s just say I think it’s an absolute hoot!
But before you do, Alfred wants to make sure you see something. Something suspicious. Something in Big Sur. And it’s happening right across the road from OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS…
And now that Alfred’s got your attention, you’re absolutely going to need to pre-order my new middle grade mystery. Kirkus says, “Doughn’t miss this earnest tale.”
Owl’s Outstanding Donuts won’t be out until September 3, but you can pre-order a copy through your local bookstore on IndieBound.org!!
OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS is “a story full of mystery, feathers, and sprinkles. After Mattie Waters loses her mother, she goes to live with her aunt, the owner of a roadside donut shop in Big Sur, California. When an owl taps on Mattie’s window one night, Mattie looks out to see something suspicious taking place nearby. With help from her friends–and from Alfred, a stuffy but good-hearted owl–she’ll set out to find the culprits, facing fears that have followed her since her mother’s death.”
Tons of kid lit authors will be offering free Skype visits on February 1st. We will be reading to schools across the globe. Visit Kate Messner’s author site for a complete list of participating authors.
On WRAD I’ll be reading from my books, giving sneak peaks into new projects, and recommending some of my favorite titles from other authors. And I’ll always answer student questions! If you would like to schedule a Skype visit just send me an email after checking my availability listed below: email@example.com.
THEY JUST KNOW: ANIMAL INSTINCTS would be a great choice for lower elementary classes. To read a sample, PEEK HERE!
THE MIDNIGHT WAR OF MATEO MARTINEZ would work best for grades 2-6. To read the first chapter, PEEK HERE!
OWL’S OUTSTANDING DONUTS (Coming Fall/2019) would be a fabulous choice for classes that don’t mind a pretty long cliffhanger!
WILD CARD – I have shelves full of favorite books, written by other amazing authors, from picture books to middle grade novels that I’m always excited to share.
My current availability is listed below. If Friday gets filled, or another day would work better, I’m happy to schedule something with your class at another time. Happy reading!
[All availability is listed in Pacific Standard Time]
Tuesday, January 29th
10:05 AM: BOOKED, Mechanicsville, MD
10:45 AM: BOOKED, Roebuck, SC
Thursday, January 31st
8:30 AM: BOOKED, Mesquite, TX
10:05 AM: BOOKED, Mechanicsville, MD
10:55 AM: BOOKED, Mechanicsville, MD
11:30 AM: BOOKED, Mundelein, IL
12:00 PM: BOOKED, El Paso, TX
Friday, February 1st
5:20: AM: BOOKED, Newark, NJ
6:30 AM: BOOKED, Wakefield, KS
7:00 AM: BOOKED, Jacksonville, FL
8:30 AM: BOOKED, Royal Oak, MI
9:00 AM: BOOKED, HOUSTON, TX
9:30 AM: BOOKED, South Windsor, CT
10:00 AM: BOOKED, Tucson, AZ
11:00 AM: BOOKED, Morgan Hill, CA
11:30 AM: BOOKED, Thompson, Manitoba
A couple weeks ago Jill Diamond and I presented a workshop at #NCTE17 on middle grade fiction. It was a thrill to be surrounded by teachers and librarians, our champions for books and reading!
Jill and I created two printable reflection tools that can be used with ANY book, not just ours. The first is a tool to compare and reflect on characters, the second is a tool to internalize the plot of a book by geographically mapping it.
The idea that has stayed with me since presenting, the one I want to try to share here, is that reading and writing are inverse operations, like addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, they flow into and out of each other. The tools of reflection Jill and I created can also become prewriting work for students, helping them to create their own characters and map out their own plots.
These are absolutely activities that authors regularly engage in when cultivating their own stories. I create little dossiers for my characters, I compare them with their friends and to myself to know them more deeply before I write their stories. I draw their portraits and illustrate their rooms. I doodle maps of their neighborhoods and schools. Stories are scrapped together in the accumulation of all those doodles and reflections!