21 for the Books – Craft Chat on KidLit TV!

Today we’re showcasing the 21 For The Books picture book debut group!
We asked these talented kid lit writers to create a set of KIDLIT CRAFT VIDEOS
for young readers to enjoy.
Stay on the lookout for their amazing books!

About the Book

Discover the inspiring story of the American flag that flew over Ground Zero, traveled across all fifty states as it was repaired, and returned to New York as a restored symbol of unity.

In the days following September 11th, a 30-foot American flag hung torn and tattered at 90 West Street, across from Ground Zero. A few weeks later, the flag was taken down by a construction crew and tucked away in storage, where it stayed for nearly seven years.

Book Craft for 30,000 STITCHES
KidLit TV Craft Chat with Amanda Davis 30,000 STITCHES



Answer: My own experiences inspire my creativity. I like to write and draw about the things I’ve been through in my life (both joyous and difficult), the places I travel, people I meet, and the lessons I’ve learned. I’m inspired by kindness, nature, animals and family. Often these aspects find their way into my work. Creativity is all around us, we just need to pay attention.

Amanda Davis is a teacher, artist, writer, and innovator who uses her words and pictures to light up the world with kindness. Amanda is the author of 30,000 STITCHES: THE INSPIRING STORY OF THE NATIONAL 9/11 FLAG and has poetry and illustrations featured in The Writers’ Loft Anthology, FRIENDS AND ANEMONES: OCEAN POEMS FOR CHILDREN. When she’s not busy creating, you can find her sipping tea, petting dogs, and exploring the natural wonders of The Bay State with her partner and rescue pup, Cora.

Connect with Amanda on Twitter | Instagram | Website

About the Book

A young girl, Keiko, learns about the mythical origins of the Tanabata Festival from her grandmother, Oba. When Oba gets lost at the festival, Keiko uses her enthusiasm for the myth to help Mama find her. THE STAR FESTIVAL celebrates tradition and a multigenerational family that loves and cares for one another.

KidLit TV Craft Chat with Moni Ritchie Hadley THE STAR FESTIVAL



Answer: I began writing picture books when my daughter was a toddler. She is a natural-born chatterbox and inspired many of my earlier stories as well as my debut, The Star Festival. I’m inspired by the world around me, the people I meet, the books I read, art created by others, music, and nature. Creativity prevents boredom.

Moni Ritchie Hadley is a children’s author based in Los Angeles, California, published in Highlights Magazine. THE STAR FESTIVAL is her debut picture book. She has a psychology degree from UCLA and is a former home/hospital teacher.

Connect with Moni on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website


About the Book

“I have the right to be bold, and mighty, and LOUD!”

In a world where little girls must learn to stand tall, A Girl’s Bill of Rights boldly declares the rights of every woman and girl: power, confidence, freedom, and consent. Author Amy B. Mucha and illustrator Addy Rivera Sonda present a diverse cast of characters standing up for themselves and proudly celebrating the joy and power of being a girl.

KidLit TV Craft Chat with Amy B  Mucha A GIRLS BILL OF RIGHTS


Answer:  Here are just a handful of things that help make ideas pop into my head:

  1. Lying in bed after I’ve woken up
  2. A shower or bath
  3. A quiet walk (no talking, music, or devices)
  4. Hearing someone else’s good idea
  5. Wanting to make something special for someone
  6.  Having a deadline!

Amy B. Mucha grew up in New York and New Jersey and now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, two children, two spoiled dogs, four superior cats, and hundreds of books. When she isn’t writing, she can be found reading, daydreaming, sipping tea, and eating chocolate medicinally.

Connect with Amy on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website

About the Book

A boy named Musa can’t wait to share his Jummah treat with his family! It’s halal hot dogs! A diverse book about an Arab-Muslim American family.

Book Craft for HALAL HOT DOGS
KidLit TV Craft Chat with Susannah Aziz HALAL HOT DOGS


Answer: I’m inspired by nature, traveling to distant places and the everyday, world around me. Taking walks around NYC, or long hikes in the country, and being around water is very calming to me, which sparks my creativity. Also, my kids do silly things that make me laugh, so that inspires me to write about funny, happy, and silly, everyday things! I also love animals, like my cats… and my favorite animal is a tie between a highland cow and a koala bear.

Susannah Aziz is a creative/freelance writer and children’s book author living in NYC. She writes stories that focus on Arab and Muslim characters and hopes to see more diverse characters represented in traditional publishing.  She is also a librarian with a MSLIS from St. John’s University, (NYC) and hopes to advocate for more library programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She lives in a very old, creaky, squeaky house with her husband, three kids and two cats. Her favorite summer activity with her kids includes trying to hit every halal hot dog stand in NYC in search of the BEST hot dog! They still can’t decide on just one! Watch out for her debut picture book, Halal Hot Dogs in the summer of 2021!

Connect with Susannah on Twitter | Instagram 

About the Book

A story about a boy with a heart too big for one color alone.

A little boy attempts to answer one of grown-ups’ all-time favorite questions: “What’s your favorite color?” But with so many wonderful colors to choose from, he doesn’t know how to answer. He loves his pink sparkly tutu, bright red roses, soft yellow baby doll pajamas, and big, orange basketball. How will he ever pick?

Book Craft for RAINBOW BOY
KidLit TV Craft Chat with Taylor Rouanzion RAINBOW BOY


Answer: The number one thing that inspires me to write is KIDS! Especially my own. Through my work at a children’s library and spending time with my daughter and my nieces and nephews, I am constantly in awe of the way kids see the world. Every time they let me peek inside their worldview a little, I am blown away and can’t wait to try and capture it in writing.

Taylor Rouanzion lives in Northern California with her husband, child, and miniature dachshund. She has been a part of local support groups for trans/gender-nonconforming kids and their parents. Her own child is gender nonconforming and has inspired Taylor to write for her and others like her so they can be seen in children’s literature.

Taylor earned her bachelor’s degree in English and is currently studying for her master’s in library and information science. She has worked as a children’s and youth library assistant and hopes to become a children’s librarian someday in the future.

Connect with Taylor on Twitter | Instagram | Website

About the Book

A pair of kids learn what it is really like to be squished together during one hilarious and eventful car ride!

When Max and Molly can’t stop complaining about being squished in the back seat of the car, their clever mom knows exactly what to do–offer rides to their animal friends, who are happy to pile in and come along!

KidLit TV Craft Chat with Rebecca Kraft Rector SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED


Answer: I’m inspired by so many things—the sound of words, things kids say and do, animals, and all of nature. I’m surrounded by funny things, beautiful things, surprising things, wonderful things. And my creativity is fueled by dark chocolate chips.

Rebecca Kraft Rector is a retired librarian and the author of more than thirty fiction and nonfiction books for children. Her cats Ollie and Opal keep her company while she writes. When she isn’t writing and eating chocolate, she’s trying to keep deer out of her garden. 

SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED is her first picture book. Her second picture book LITTLE RED is coming from Aladdin in Spring 2022.

Connect with Rebecca on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website

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