Thursday, October 13, 2011

Beatrice go to the Netherlands and more

Just got my copy of Beatrice's Dream in Dutch. Can't wait to read it ;-).

I love sending my books out into the world.

And my children...Chris and Laurie are in Mozambique with the PC. Peter lives with his wife Chimei and son Ethan in Taiwan. Jon is about to go for a Semester in New Zealand. Rachel is in Pittsburgh. Four kids, fours continents.

At least I can keep a copy of my books with me at home.

And Beatrice? Here is what Corbis Photo agency has to say:

Wendy Stones photo essay on life in an African slum is a heavyweight anchor of reality for American teenyboppers, often spoiled by iPods and designer jeans.

Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi and the second largest in all of Africa. Census reports estimate the population to be somewhere between 170,000 and two million people.

In Kenyaon the surface between an impoverished and illiterate majorityemerges the dream of Beatrice, a 13 year-old orphan determined to carve her way out through higher education.

Corbis Contributor Wendy Stone and author, Karen Lynn Williams, provide us with a compelling set of pictures and words to balance a young girls account of living uncertain in Beatrices Dream: A Story of Kibera Slum. The powerful essay describes a young girls, walk to school, the dust that blows between her teeth [and] her fear of being alone…”

The photography offers a wonderful contrast between hope and despair that Wendy captures well. Her images, so deeply rooted and honest, make obvious that Stone has lived in Nairobi for quite some time. In 30 years, familiarity appears to have bred anything but contempt. Bare witness to her self-realization, that despite being worlds apart we are all in this together.

Experience it for yourself.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


On October 1 I had the honor of speaking at the AZ SCBWI conference in Scottsdale AZ. I shared my experiences writing the picture book from travels and life's journeys.

I also got to listen to editors, agents and authors confirm that there will always be room for good books for children in this new digital age and beyond.

It was inspiring to listen to young editors who are passionate about what they do, articulate, intelligent and serious about creating good books for young people. Voice, plot, character...the craft does not change. Now to get back to work and put the inspired muse to work!