A “STRONG AS SANDOW” book launch celebration! A visual report


Yesterday, I held a book launch celebration for my new book, STRONG AS SANDOW: HOW EUGEN SANDOW BECAME THE STRONGEST MAN ON EARTH (Charlesbridge, 2017). We held it at BookPeople, Austin’s wonderful independent book store. Attendees described the day as: “Wowza,” “stupendous,” “fantastic.” And most of all, “STRONG!” After I spoke, raw food health guru, Andrew […]

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Whoosh! is a A Cook Prize Honor Book and a Children’s Choice Nominee!


Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions (Charlesbridge, 2016), written by Chris Barton and illustrated by Don Tate is a 2017 Cook Prize Finalist. The Cook Prize honors the best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) picture book published for children aged eight to ten and is the only national children’s choice award honoring a STEM book. […]

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How Attending the SCBWI National Conferences Can Help Writers/Illustrators of Color

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As a book creator of color, I know how intimidating it can be to attend a children’s book writing and illustrating conference, in a sea of people who don’t look like you (especially if you’ve never attended a conference). But I also understand that giving in to fear is the best way to never realizing your dreams. […]

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“Strong As Sandow” cover release


I’d hoped to do an official cover release for my next book, “Strong As Sandow,”  with one of my favorite kidlit champions like John Schu of Watch. Connect. Read., Cynsations, or All The Wonders. But I got busy with my current book, I let it slip, and suddenly, it was on Amazon and other sites–which is […]

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Illumine Awards gala


This past weekend, I had the honor of accepting an Illumine Award (children’s literature), given out at a star-studded gala at the W Hotel in downtown Austin. The award was given by the Friend’s of Austin Public Library Foundation, honoring members of the Austin community for outstanding literary achievement. Other honorees were Tim O’Brien (fiction), and Amy […]

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“Whoosh!” Research and texting with Lonnie Johnson


So in this installment, I’ll talk about research for the book Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, written by Chris Barton. For research, I wanted to interview Mr. Lonnie Johnson. I had so many visual questions. But for awhile, I didn’t think I would be able to talk to him. I tried calling and sending […]

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Illustrating Lonnie Johnson’s story, Whoosh!


Sometime in the early 2000s, I received an email from writer Chris Barton inviting me to lunch. That meeting began a friendship that would last well into the future and result in the collaboration of two picture books. Our first collaboration, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (Eerdmans, 2015), published last April, 2015. Today marks the […]

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Photo Report: Ezra Jack Keats Book Awards ceremony


Last week, I had the honor of accepting the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for new writer, for my book POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON. The awards ceremony was held at the University of Southern Mississippi, as a part of the 49th Annual Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival. It was a […]

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2016 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award


I’m pleased to announce that I am a winner of the 30th Annual Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for my book POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON. “You are the first!” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, “to win an EJK Honor and the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award.” Three years ago when […]

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Pre-#NY16SCBWI Interview: James Ransome


I can’t believe it, 2016 is in full swing and #NY16SBCWI is only three weeks away. This conference looks to be so much fun, I just can’t wait. In fact, I didn’t wait. I reached out to award-winning illustrator and author James Ransome, who will be on faculty there and asked him a few questions. Ransome has […]

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