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Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books


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Fun at WonderCon 2016

My sons and I made our annual pilgrimage to WonderCon to enjoy great art, revel in geekiness, and meet lots of interesting people. Here’s a samplingWC2016-05

Josh & Harrison outside the LA Convention Center

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The BACONNATION food truck. It’s porktastic!

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Not to be outdone is the Godzilla-themed MeSoHungry food truck.

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Why, yes, I WAS wondering what a Star Trek-cat mashup would look like. Scotty is a Scottish Fold! Chekhov should’ve been a Siberian.

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Captain Mexico and Mexican Punisher and a Trump pinata saying “Por ser un pendejo”. Well played, guys.

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Harrison as a dwarf barrel-rider from The Hobbit at The OneRing.net booth. He’s got the long hair – just needs a beard and some scale mail.

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My sons in front of our books at the Mysterious Galaxy booth.

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Josh with a Type-2 Energy Weapon, more commonly known as the Gravity Hammer – a powerful, two-handed melee weapon used by the Jiralhanae in the Covenant Empire. Or so I’m told.

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A quick photo prior to our panel. From right to left, authors: Barney Saltzberg, Josh Herz, Harrison Herz, Dan Santat, Bruce Hale, and Lisa Yee. Lisa was not part of our panel, but she is legally required to be present when Dan is in public. 🙂

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I secretly brought a furry trapper hat to make a THIS IS NOT MY HAT joke. Little did I suspect that all other four male panelists would be sporting hats. From right to left: Jon Klassen (including priceless expression), Antoinette Portis, Bruce Hale, Dan Santat, Barney Saltzberg, and Henry Herz.

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Me looking all moderatory while Bruce Hale answers a question from the audience.

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Me looking like the cat that ate the canary because I’m signing books with Jon Klassen, Antoinette Portis, Barney Saltzberg, Dan Santat, and Bruce Hale.

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This is Jon Klassen, but THIS IS NOT MY HAT. I’m wearing Bruce Hale’s famous fedora!


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Networking in Los Angeles with Fellow Authors

With my long-time friend and Pura Belpre Award-winning author/illustrator Joe Cepeda and new friend author/illustrator Jordan Novak
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With the hilarious and talented picture book author of CRANKENSTEIN and SNOOZEFEST, Samantha Berger
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Samantha Berger drinking coffee with both hands! ‪#‎caffeine‬
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With Angie Karcher, non-fiction picture book author, and founder of RhyPiBoMo.
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Normally, seeing Molly Schaar Idle would be the highlight of my day. But then, her son John said he loved MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES. *smiling*
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With Caldecott Honor winning author/illustrator Molly Schaar Idle AND the author/illustrator of LOUISE LOVES ART, Kelly J. Light. I’m in the middle of a talent sandwich. Notice the Louise doll I’m holding.
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With the YA author of TWINKIE PIE, Kat Yeh and YA author Lee Wind. Notice how nicely color-coordinated they are!
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With rising star picture book author Marcie Colleen. I am jealous of both her talent and her hair! 🙂
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With debut picture book FARAWAY FRIENDS author/illustrator Russ Cox
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With the fully-bearded and award-winning BOY+BOT author/illustrator Dan Yaccarino

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My Excellent Adventure at the Texas Library Association (TLA) 2015 Convention

My publisher, Pelican, flew me out to the Texas Library Association’s 2015 convention. TLA is the second largest such convention in the U.S., after ALA. It’s Comic-Con for librarians! I had a terrific time signing books, getting free books, getting books signed by authors I admire, and meeting lots of cool librarians and teachers. I was a kid in a candy shop. Below are photos of some of the talented KidLit writers and illustrators I met.

Highlights that I was not able to capture in photos included:

  • signing a book for a child with the cool name, Azul Estrella (blue star)
  • I approached Mac Barnett, who was wearing a name tag of “Harry N. Abrams”, and said he looked a lot like Mac Barnett. He concurred. We also agreed that he looked pretty good for someone who passed away years ago.
  • watching Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers sign The Day the Crayons Quit in parallel, Drew on the left side of the spread, and Oliver on the right. They needed to be efficient given how long the line was.
  • seeing Dan Yaccarino (the Italian Stallion) vs. Dan Gutman (the Kosher Butcher) verbally sparring to a standing room only crowd.

Larry Brimner – prolific author and all-around nice guy. I have an interview with him elsewhere on my blog.

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Justin Chanda, aka very busy guy. Not only is he the editor of children’s imprints at Simon & Schuster, but I saw him setting stuff up, taking photos, etc., all with a big smile on his face.

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Dianne De Las Casas – fellow Pelican author

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Peggy Eddleman – author of the Sky Jumper series. I have an interview with her elsewhere on my blog.

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Dan Gutman – funny and prolific author of Honus & Me, the My Weird School series, and the Genius Files series. I first met him at LA SCBWI 2012. I have an interview with him elsewhere on my blog.

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Henry Herz – yours truly signing Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes at the Pelican booth

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Molly Idle – Caldecott Honor-winning author/illustrator and all-around delight. She was on a KidLit panel I moderated at WonderCon 2015. I have an interview with her elsewhere on my blog. She hogs all the talent.

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Cynthia Leitich Smith – NY Times bestselling author of the Feral and Tantalize series. I have an interview with her elsewhere on my blog.

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Meg Medina – Pura Belpre medal and CYBILS Fiction winning author of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. I’d vote for it based on the title alone.

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Karen Santhanum – Up and coming picture book author/illustrator from San Diego.

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Neil Schusterman – NY Times bestselling fantasy author. I met him at the 2014 ABLA Big Sur Writing Workshop. His voice sounds like Jon Favreau’s.

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Jon Scieszka – Awesomely creative author, whose name I’ve spelled correctly.

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Don Tate – picture book illustrator. He’s cool, plus his hair is the inverse of mine. Together, we are fully coifed. He completes me.

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Eugene Yelchin – Newbery Honor-winning author illustrator. I first met him at LA SCBWI 2012.

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Jane Yolen – Nebula, World Fantasy, Golden Kite and other award-winning author of Owl Moon. She contributed a story to my dark fantasy anthology, Beyond the Pale. I refer to her as a legendary writer, but she assures me that she does indeed exist.

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“A good time was had by all.” – Tea Rex by Molly Idle

 Click to Tweet: My Excellent Adventure at the 2015 TLA Convention at http://wp.me/p31Xf4-Pq via @Nimpentoad


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KidLit Creature Week 2015 Launches!

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KidLit Creature Week 2015 has launched! KidLit Creature Week is a free illustrator collaboration displaying an online gallery of monsters, creatures & other imaginary beasts suitable for children’s literature. In addition to creatures from 12 Guests of Honor, starting January 15, we will start revealing the other participants’ creatures, roughly five per day. The first batch is below. View ALL the images at http://www.birchtreepub.com/kcw/

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‘Sup by Kathryn Ault Noble

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Fredlet by Julia Shahin Collard

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Nimpentoad by Sean Eddingfield

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Little Witch Muffet by Abigail Larson

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Atlas & Tarf by Shirley Ng-Benitez

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Scroffie Fondu by Karen Santhanum

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Flowerbot by Toni Yuly

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Queen of Dreams by Lisa Woods

 

 


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My Excellent Adventure at the Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop

I just got back from having an exhilarating time at the Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop. The stunning scenery was matched by the accomplished faculty. Below are some images from my excellent adventure.

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The Big Sur Lodge, where we enjoyed wine, delicious food, and more wine. Did I mention the wine?

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For reasons I don’t fathom, there were big turkeys on the grounds. No turkeys were harmed in the aforementioned delicious food we were served.

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The Big Sur Lodge is nestled on a hillside covered with vegetation, most notable some enormous redwood trees.

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In a scene that could have been taken from Avatar, I saw a fallen tree, clearly long dead, from which green growth sprouted. In the above picture, tiny plants sprout from the leaves and debris that have accumulated in the fork of a tree trunk. I half-expected to see little pixies darting in and out.

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A gentle stream added its watery notes to the scenery.

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Majestic tree-clad hills overlook the lodge.

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Moss on a log.

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A mighty redwood is not impressed by my six-foot wingspan. I’m pretty sure there are some Wood Elves living in that tree.

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The distinguished faculty included (from l to r): Andrea Brown of Andrea Brown Literary Agency (ABLA) and New York Times bestselling authors Catherine Ryan Hide and Neil Schusterman.

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The immensely talented agents at ABLA (from l to r): Jennifer Matson, Jennifer Laughran, Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown, Laura Rennert, Jen Rofe, Jamie Weiss Chilton, and Lara Perkins.