Sunday, July 04, 2010

Updates, Downloads, and the Picture Book Semester Ahead

July has fourthed in northwest New Mexico, fireworks and all. A stand-off has just begun with a raccoon in the veggie garden.

In Albuquerque, Kimberley Griffiths Little has launched her new YA novel, The Healing Spell. Congratulations, Kimberley!

Mitali Perkins launches Bamboo People, a coming-of-age novel with a setting rare in literature for young readers: the novel takes place in the political and military context of present-day Myanmar. Told in two viewpoints in an interesting structural choice that sets those viewpoints apart rather than intertwining them, the book explores the nature of war and hatred contrasted with the tenuous but insistent forces of friendship and humanity.

I intended to post an interview last month with Anjali Banerjee regarding her lively middle grade novel, Seaglass Summer, that I was privileged to see in manuscript form. But oh dear, the OOTW blog tour got in the way. There will be an interview, I promise, after the residency.

Janet Fox speaks to Cynthia Leitich Smith about her new novel, Faithful, set in 1904 against the magnificent backdrop of Yellowstone National Park.

I'm off to the VCFA residency in just a few days which means the Tusk will get some rest for a while. Suitcase more or less packed. Workshop packet in hand. I'll be leading this summer's workshop with the talented, vastly knowledgeable, funny, thoughtful, quirky Sarah Ellis. Look for Sarah's cat quoting my very favorite Eeyore line from Winnie-the-Pooh: "This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me."

Christopher Cheng tells us of the chance discovery that his books are on the Australian PM's bookshelf! Very impressive. I'm hoping we can connect with Chris through Skype about picture books from Oz, assuming our workshop times don't find him in a workshop session or on a plane! Speaking of which, I'm ready, very ready to spend the next semester talking about all picture books, all the time! This is possible because of the one-semester concentration VCFA offers in the unique, wonderful, magical, shape-shifting and transformative art form of the picture book.


  1. Wonderful, Uma. The Healing Spell looks intriguing, and congrats to Mitali on Bamboo People! Thanks for the plug for Seaglass Summer. I hope the residency goes well. I'm thinking of you.

  2. I was excited to see Mitali Perkins on your blog and it reminded me to read her book. She came to a book club for my daughter and she was such a rock star -- warm, engaging, interesting. The kids all LOVED her. She has a book signing in Somerville in August for Bamboo People.

    Thanks for your post!

    Pragmatic Mom
    Type A Parenting for the Modern World
    I blog on children's lit, education and parenting.

  3. My pleasure. I was delighted to review the book--my review will be on CLCD, a subscriber database ( Since B & N and Borders are subscribers it'll show up in their online listings.