On The LOOK OUT for Kids’ Books SPRING 2021!

The Soaring ’20s are back with a Spring 2021 Showcase:
On The LOOK OUT for Kids’ Books in SPRING 2021!
Keep reading for a sneak peek at their new picture books, behind the scenes and drawing tutorial videos, as well as advice for young writers! Prepare to be wowed by this group of up-and-coming kidlit creators —  stay on the lookout for their amazing books!

Carrie Finison

Question: How did you begin writing or drawing?

Answer: I began writing VERY SHORT poems for children’s magazines. Over a few years, they grew a little longer, and a little longer until finally I wrote one long enough to be a picture book. That one didn’t get published, but I kept writing and one day a publisher said YES!

DON’T HUG DOUG, Written by Carrie Finison
Illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
Available January 26, 2021, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Connect with Carrie on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website


Melanie Ellsworth

Question: How did you begin writing or drawing?

Answer: All those thank-you notes my mom forced me to write as a kid after birthday and Christmas celebrations were probably the start of my writing career! The more I practiced writing notes, the easier it got. Writing thank-yous and keeping journals and reading LOTS of books have led me to this moment – sitting at my desk happily writing picture books! 

HIP, HIP…BERET by Melanie Ellsworth 
Illustrated by Morena Forza 
Available February 23, 2021, HMH Books for Young Readers 

CLARINET AND TRUMPET by Melanie Ellsworth 
Illustrated by John Herzog 
Available March 30, 2021, HMH Books for Young Readers 

Connect with Carrie on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website

Rajani LaRocca

Question: How did you begin writing? 

Answer:  My writing grew out of my love for books. I loved all kinds of books when I was little, so I write all kinds of books now: fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose, short and long. 

Illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat
April 15, 2021, Charlesbridge Publishing
Connect with Rajani on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website

Shelley Johannes

Question:  How did you begin writing and drawing?

Answer:  As a kid, I loved designing clothes, drawing floor plans, making lists of names for potential book characters, and scripting my Barbies’ overdramatic lives. I often stared out the window, rooting for rain, because we had a Rainy Day art book and I always wanted an excuse to break out the book and get creative. Somewhere along the way, I realized you don’t need an excuse—you can be creative anytime, whatever the weather.

MORE THAN SUNNY, Written and Illustrated by Shelley Johannes
Available on May 11, 2021, Abrams Publishing
Connect with Shelley on Twitter | Instagram | Website

Vicky Fang

Question:  How did you begin writing and drawing?

Answer:  I was working as a product designer for kids’ products at Google when I had kids of my own. I realized what a fantastic experience reading picture books together was, and wanted to make one of my own! I started writing drafts, joined SCBWI and 12×12, found a wonderful mentor and critique group. Funnily enough, my older child always asked me to tell stories, and my younger one always asked me to draw a picture, so I like to credit them both for pushing me to create Friendbots!

FRIENDBOTS #1: Blink and Block Make a Wish (I Can Read Comics Level 2) Written and Illustrated by Vicky Fang
Available on June 22, 2021, Harper Alley Publishing

Connect with Vicky on Twitter | Instagram | Website



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