The start of 2018 is as good a time as any to post about awards from 2017! Thérèse Makes a Tapestry won a Bronze PubWest Book Design Award in the Children’s/Young Adult Book, Illustrated category, as well as a 2017 Outstanding Achievement award from the Wisconsin Library Association. Hip hip hooray!
I am delighted to learn that Thérèse Makes a Tapestry is included in CCBC Choices 2016. I spent many hours in the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) during my library school days, poring over copies of CCBC Choices, and flopped on the floor reading piles of children’s books. It is truly an honor to have my own book included in such a thoughtfully curated collection!
It has been a busy couple of months around here. Thérèse Makes a Tapestry officially launched on March 8th, and I’ve been thrilled with the response. From positive reviews to feature articles, and even a t.v. interview, people have been receptive and excited. The biggest treat has been the events with family, friends, and new readers.
In Bangor, ME The Briar Patch hosted a launch party and book signing, complete with a collaborative weaving project thanks to the generosity of One Lupine Fiber Arts. It was so well attended that the bookshop sold out of copies of Thérèse! (Never fear, they’re back in stock!)
In my hometown of Princeton, MA the Cultural Council and Princeton Public Library sponsored yet another launch party and book signing. I felt stunned by the turnout of family, friends, those friends who have become family over so many years, and teachers.
A special note on teachers. I’ve been fortunate to have some wonderful teachers over the years, the kind that every child and young adult deserve to have. The kind that taught and pushed and guided and applauded and listened, and most of all believed. The kind that made you want to be and become your best self. The kind that not only witnessed some of your darkest moments, but that buoyed you up rather than giving up. I felt overwhelmed to see those same teachers come out and support me years, even decades, after I’d left their classrooms.
One of those teachers had organized the book signing that day. When I was in fifth grade, my soon-to-be sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Susan Roney-O’Brien, took me under her word-feathered wing. She and a fellow local poet, the late (and oh so great) Juli Nunlist, ran a series of workshops for young writers out of Juli’s red barn studio. Together they nurtured my writing. They taught me lessons in storytelling and friendship I’ll never forget. Mrs. O helped me publish a chapbook of poetry in eighth grade, and put together a reading and book signing then, too. She said yes to any project I brought forth to her over the years, and has always been ready to listen, read, and talk. It is in large part thanks to Mrs. O’s guidance and mentorship over the years that I am an author today. Her poetry is remarkable. Read her new book, Legacy of the Last World, and you’ll see what I mean.
This past weekend I designed a table for the 2016 Annual Literacy Tea held by the Literacy Volunteers of Bangor. What a fun event! Every table is themed around a children’s book, and I thoroughly enjoyed designing a table for Thérèse Makes a Tapestry, not to mention seeing the enormous creativity among all the other tables. Over 300 people attended the tea, including volunteers and students. Lest there be any doubt, children’s books and tea parties are meant for each other. The fact that this one could help raise money (nearly $20,000!) for an organization that does such important work made it that much more fabulous.
In other news, I wrote all winter and have a couple of picture book manuscripts to show for it. Fingers crossed for next steps.
“This fictionalized account sparkles with detail […]. Through careful prose and detailed illustration, the book reveals the steps involved in creating delicate tapestries that appear as vibrant today as they did over 300 years ago.” – Literary Kids
I love getting to answer fun questions (what literary character would YOU vacation with?), and I had the chance to do that for The Children’s Book Review in a “My Writing & Reading Life” feature. Read the questions and my answers here. Check out illustrator Renée Graef’s feature, “Illustration Inspiration.”
I had the pleasure of writing a piece on the creation of Thérèse Makes a Tapestry for The Iris, the Getty’s online magazine. Read the article, entitled “Weaving with Words: Telling the Story of Thérèse.”
“The vibrant imagery and detailed story […] simply draw readers into the fascinating story, delighting them with surprises.” – Maine News Online