• On Writing

    Why Audio Books Work

    I don’t recall why, but several years ago, I borrowed the first Harry Potter book on tape and started playing it in the car. It was my second experience with audio books, and it was life-changing. The narrator Jim Dale brought the book to life. Our whole family listened, including my daughter who, at the time, was too young to read the book herself; and my husband who would come home from work and spend some time catching up from where he had last left off.

  • Children and Reading,  On Writing

    Reader Respect

    In Roger Sale’s “Fairy Tales and After: From Snow White to E. B. White,” Sale discusses one difference between two groups of authors, namely pre-eighteenth-century writers of the fables we now read as fairy tales, and those authors who wrote after childhood became a firmly entrenched concept.

  • On Writing

    Reading Out Loud

    This photo was taken in 2013 and it still amazes me how much my daughter has grown in that time. She is still an avid reader–both of my children are–and we still share our joy of reading. Nowadays, we discuss books we’ve read and recommend them to one another. I love this interaction, I love when they finish a book and say ‘Mommy, you have to read this book,’ and I attribute much of that to the fact that we read as a family way beyond the time when the children were able to read for themselves.

  • Children and Reading,  On Writing

    Audio books

    There is more than one way to skin a cat…or so I’ve been told. Similarly (or maybe not) encouraging your children to develop a lifelong love of reading involves a variety of approaches and audio books can be an important addition to your bag of tricks.

  • On Writing

    Do You Need an Editor?

    This morning I read a book review in which the reviewer’s writing was so careless and error-ridden that I questioned her credibility in critiquing someone else’s work. I stopped reading by the third paragraph and thought, she really should have hired an editor.

  • On Writing

    The Matter at the Front

    So your book is finished–edited, chapters laid out, ready to go to the printers. Then you get the estimate–major sticker shock. You may be tempted to cut cost by reducing the number of pages in your book.

  • On Writing

    Picture Book Illustrations

    There are a few illustrators that I’ve used repeatedly and there is a good reason for that. These are illustrators who deliver excellent work that meets the requested specifications and is delivered in the time frame promised.

  • On Writing,  This and that

    Taking Caribbean Stories to the Stars!

    I’m really looking forward to attending WORD! – A Caribbean Book Fest in NYC this weekend. I just read an article by Kellie Magnus, my co-panelist and I loved the quote “Caribbean stories deserve a place in the multi-billion dollar children’s book market.” Join us at CUNY this weekend.

  • On Writing,  This and that

    Image, Then and Now

    The first time I picked up The Giving Tree, I reacted very strongly to the author’s photo on the back. I thought, “This must be an excellent book, because the author is a scary looking guy!” And it was true. Shel Silverstein became one of my favorite children’s books authors. I thought about him this morning as I got ready to go to a bookstore to discuss doing a book reading there. The Giving Tree was written more than fifty years ago, and I wonder how Mr. Silverstein, who seems rather reluctant to be photographed, would have fared today when everything is recorded and immediately disseminated.