A Wild Swan…

July 12th, 2015

Eeeep! Copies of SWAN are fluttering out into the world. Mr. Schu made this lovely vine when he got his copy.

 

Well, THIS happened…

July 11th, 2015

“…Lord of the Flies meets The Giver…”

HUH! WHUT? No big deal or anything…

As you may recall, I’ve been working on this book for a while now. I didn’t know, as I worked on it, whether it would find a home.  That was a feeling I hadn’t had in a long time– that sense of risk, the fear of wasting time. I wondered if I was nuts.

But I’m OVER THE MOON.  And I was able to head into summer vacation with a huge sense of relief and joy.

(which is probably why I entirely forgot to post about it here)

Just life…

May 21st, 2015

Sometimes, it’s just life.  There’s nothing to report worth reporting, or it feels like that, anyway.

Sometimes, the things worth reporting are hard things.  And you don’t feel like sharing.

I’m okay, we’re okay, everything is okay. But… it feels a little hard.

I choose to believe this is what we call, “Refilling the well.”

My friend Rachel laughed at me recently, when I whined about how I’m not writing well and I’m cranking, and watching too much TV.  She said, “Laurel, this is part of your process. You do this a lot.”

I’d like to believe that’s so.

But for now, it’s about to be summer.  The boys are finishing school, and I’m about to do a few last school visits before the end of the year.  So we’re all heading north.  In our new car, which is a 97 Volvo wagon.

I will eat snowballs in Baltimore. I will stare at the harbor.  I will wander around, and take the two lanes.  And laugh and  reset my brain.

As is my process.  I guess.

Happy summer, everyone!

 

 

SWANNING!!!!

April 15th, 2015

Well, Anna is here!  She’s in a book!  And you can meet her.

THIS  BOOK.  I’m not even sure I can explain about this book, and what it means.  I’ll write more later, about how this book came to be. Honestly, I still can’t believe it’s happening!

But the short version is that the text is a collaboration, between myself and my childhood-self.  Because as a little girl I was obsessed with Anna Pavlova.  I scribbled about her, decades ago. And now?

I guess I still am obsessed.

SWAN will be coming from the fabulous  folks at Chronicle (my first book with them!), in August.  If you’re at TLA this week, you should swing by the booth and meet Anna in person.  Some very exciting things (that I’m not at liberty to discuss) are already happening to her!  But I’ll tell you about them later, I promise.

Meanwhile, check out Anna’s pinterest page of stunning photos and ephemera, “like” her Facebook page, for book news and Pavlova-tidbits, add her to your Goodreads list, or preorder the book from one of several handy places.

I can’t wait to show you more!

Happy New Year!!! Maybe I’ll come visit you…

January 17th, 2015

Hey there!

So, it’s 2015,  and one of my resolutions for the year is to VISIT YOU!

That is to say, I want to visit more schools this year.  Talk with kids, connect with teachers, discuss how WE ARE ALL WRITERS.

Of course, I’m always willing to book a traditional school visit, but in addition to that, I’m doing what Deborah Wiles calls a “shoestring tour” this spring– hitting the road to share Seven Stories Up with kids, since it’s got a snappy new paperback cover, and I didn’t tour when it came out in hardcover.

This means that I’ll be doing some FREE one-session school visits, in the Southeast and Midatlantic.  Ideally in places with bookstores  that can help coordinate a few schools a day.  I’ve already got some things lined up in Georgia, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, and that’s plenty, but while I’m on the road I might as well  pop in and say hello to YOU.

So if you think you might be interested, drop me an email, and we’ll see if we can’t make it work!

 

Crazy wonderful news…

December 3rd, 2014

 

I can’t BELIEVE I sold this book.  It feels impossible, a book like this. And yet there it is, on Publisher’s Marketplace…

Author of BAXTER, THE PIG WHO WANTED TO BE KOSHER Laurel Snyder’s HUNGRY JIM, about a kid who wakes up feeling ravenously hungry and gobbles up his mom, instead of the pancakes she’s lovingly made for him, to Melissa Manlove at Chronicle Children’s, by Tina Wexler at ICM (World).

It feels funny, that my next 6 books will be picture books.  I’m still at slow work on The Orphan Island.  But I’m not rushing it.   I’ve gotten used to doing novels now, but picture books feel like poems to me, when I’m working on them. And poetry is where this all began, for me…

New cover!!!

November 8th, 2014

I’ve never had a paperback cover that was different from the hardcover before, but for Seven Stories Up, we decided to freshen things up.

What do you think???

Change of email…

October 16th, 2014

I seem to be locked out of my hotmail account, which I’ve used in the past for corresponding through the site. If you’re having trouble getting in touch, or you haven’t received a reply, please email laurelsnyderauthor@gmail.com

On our way to the THRIFT SHOP…

September 15th, 2014

Today, Lew and I had an hour to kill, before we needed to pick Mose up from school. I decided to run some errands, and stopped home to pick up a big bag of clothes for the thrift shop, as well as a laundry basket full of books…


L
ew did NOT like my idea of donating the basket of books.

But then we drove by a Little Free Library, situated right at Lew’s old preschool, and he said he thought it might be okay to donate a few books to the Ormewood School.   So we did that.

Then we drove a little further down Woodland, and found…. THIS!

Wow, Lew was really impressed with the metalworking!  He rewarded the library with a few books.

We continued to head to the thrift shop, but guess what we ran into, right on that same street?

After that we dropped off the big bag of clothes, and it was time to head back to the school to get Mose.  But on our way we got a little sidetracked…

And then, at the elementary school itself, we simply couldn’t resist…

By now we only had about half the books left!  And when Mose heard what we’d been doing, he wanted in on the fun.  So we drive the 2 miles home verrrry slowly home, and we found…

&

&

&

All on our drive home from school!

Now we were down to four books (which someone insisted we could NOT give away). So we decided to go home for a snack.

But not without doubling back to one of our previous stops first.  Because, as Lew explained, “Mose, you have GOT to see the faucet.”

Faucet? What faucet?

Umm…

Man, I love my neighborhood.

WOMEN MAKE PICTURE BOOKS TOO: the 2014 edition…

September 15th, 2014

Every year, about this time, we start to see lots of posts and comments online about the upcoming ALA awards.  It’s one of my favorite seasons for this very reason. I love following the blogs, engaging in discussions about the frontrunners, learning from what other people have to say.  I like to read prediction posts, and to hear about the mock Caldecott clubs around the country. I like to discover new books.

But every year I’m a little dismayed by how overwhelmingly women illustrators seem to get overlooked in early Caldecott conversations.

To be clear– I LOVE the books that win.  I love the men who (mostly) make the books that win. Many of these men are my friends, and I believe that they are talented and creative and brilliant and worthy of awards. ABSOLUTELY.  Last year, despite all my ranting about gender-bias, my own top pick for the medal was illustrated by  a man.

BUT.

I also believe women are worthy. Yet, somehow, when we start to generate buzz within our own little community, we PREDICT success for men.  Which creates a certain sense of inevitability.

How does it begin? I don’t know. Maybe there are more marketing dollars for dudes.  Maybe men are more inclined to illustrate.  Maybe we, the women who buy most of the books, simply adore dudes.  Maybe men are more inclined to make “Caldecott-style” illustrations. Or maybe MEN ARE SIMPLY BETTER AT ART THAN WOMEN AND I AM WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER SAID ON THE MATTER.

In any case, it happens.  Statistically.

So…

Last year I made this list of AMAZING PICTURE BOOKS CREATED BY WOMEN. It was great fun, and I heard from a lot of folks that they were introduced to books they hadn’t seen before. I know some folks even sold a few books via the list.

So I invite you to help me make a 2014 edition, by leaving a comment below, with your very favorite woman-illustrated picture book of the year.  OR BY VOTING ON THIS HANDY GOODREADS LIST! Please don’t self-nominate or self-promote in this space.  If you’ve truly created something awesome, no doubt someone else will mention it for you!  Just link to your favorite book in a comment, and I’ll pull an image of the cover, and add it below.

And if you’re a list-maker yourself, a blogger or journalist or librarian who runs a mock Caldecott… and you find yourself with a dude-heavy list, consider adding a few women  to the mix. If women-illustrated titles don’t jump immediately to mind, you might want to ask yourself why that is…

I’ll kick things off myself, with a few favorites of my own:

A BOY AND A JAGUAR, by Alan Rabinowitz, illustrations by Catia Chien

LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT of EVERYTHING, by Maira Kalman

TELEPHONE, by Mac Barnett, illustrations by Jen Corace

NANA IN THE CITY, by Lauren Castillo

FIREFLY JULY, by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrations by Melissa Sweet

EXTRAORDINARY JANE, by Hannah E Harrison

AVIARY WONDERS, INC, by Kate Samworth

FLIGHT SCHOOL, by Lita Judge

VIVA FRIDA, by Yuyi MOrales

FLASHLIGHT, by Lizi Boyd

A PIECE OF CAKE, by LeUyen Pham

THE IRIDESCENCE OF BIRDS, by Patricia MacLaughlan, illustrations by Hadley Hooper

THE RIGHT WORD, ROGET AND HIS THESAURUS, by Jen Bryant, illustrations by Melissa Sweet

THE TROUBLEMAKER, by Lauren Castillo

QUEEN ON WEDNESDAY, by Gabi Swietkowska

WATER WATER WATER, by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

SNOWBOUND SECRETS, by Nivola Uya

THE GARDENER’S SURPRISE, by Sonja Wimmer

BEFORE WE EAT, by Pat Brisson, illustrations by Mary Azarian


LOUISE LOVES ART, by Kelly Light

THE NUMBERLYS, by William Joyce, illustrations by Christina Ellis

FROODLE, by Antoinette Portis

SHOE DOG, by Katherine Tillotson

WHERE’S MOMMY? by Beverly Donofrio, illustrations by Barbara McClintock

EL DEAFO, by Cece Bell

THIS ORQ (HE CAVEBOY), by David Elliott, illustrations by Lori Nichols

THE BABY TREE, by Sophie Blackall

SLEEPOVER WITH BEATRICE AND BEAR, by Monica Carnesi

MAPLE, by Lori Nichols

THE FARMER AND THE CLOWN, by Marla Frazee

ONCE UPON A MEMORY, by Nina Laden, illustrations by Renata Liwska

THE TWINS’ LITTLE SISTER, by Hyewon Yum

THE PROMISE, by Nicola Davies, illustration by Laura Carlin

MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, AND EVERY OTHER WEEKEND, by Karen Stanton

UNI THE UNICORN, by Amy Krause Rosenthal, illustrations by Brigette Barrager

BABY PENGUINS LOVE THEIR MAMA, by Melissa Guion

DON’T TURN THE PAGE, by Rachelle Burk, illustrations by Julie Downing

THE JACKET, by Kirsten Hall, illustrations by Dasha Tolstikova

TWO SPECKLED EGGS, by Jennifer K Mann

HENNY, by Elizabeth Rose Stanton

EARLY BIRD, by Toni Yuly

KING FOR A DAY, by  Rukhsana Khan, illustrations by Christiane Kromer

EMILY’S BLUE PERIOD, by Cathleen Daly, illustrations by Lisa Brown

DAY DREAMERS, by Emily Martin

HERE IS THE BABY, by Polly Kanvesky, illustrations by Taeeun Yoo

Please Louise, by Toni and Slade Morrison, illustrations by Shadra Strickland

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, by H. Chuku Lee, illustrations by Pat Cummings

I WISH I HAD A PET, by Maggie Rudy

FLORA AND THE PENGUIN, by Molly Idle

HERE COMES THE EASTER CAT, by Deborah Underwood, illustrations by Claudia Rueda

EDGAR’S SECOND WORD, by Audrey Vernick, illustrations by Priscilla Burris

ZOE’S JUNGLE, by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

SUMMONING THE PHOENIX, by Emily Jiang, illustrations by April Chu

SLEEPYHEADS, by Sandra J Howatt, illustrations by Joyce Wan

NAKED< by Michael Ian Black, illustrations by Debbie Ohi

CATNAPPED, by Leeza Hernandez

PUDDLE PUG, by Kim NOrman, illustrations by Keika Yamaguchi

MR. CORNELL’S DREAM BOXES, by Jeanette Winter