Diana López is an educator at heart with a penchant for finding the magic in the seemingly mundane. Whether on the road through her beloved home state of Texas, or sitting by a campfire, or floating through the water, Diana has the ability to peek behind the veil to find a story. In her new book,Los Monstruous: Felice and The Wailing Woman, the author takes us behind the curtain of Corpus Christi to the town of Tres Leches, where the daughter of a monster sets herself on course to undo a nightmare that has become something akin to a myth. Below, she reveals how our stories can heal the wound of trauma and why our monsters are worth exploring with a fresh perspective.
Disney continues its animated adaptation run of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series with an all new sequel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. Based on the second book of the same name, Greg Heffley continues to navigate his adolescent life while also having to deal with the complications of growing up, including dealing with his rock-out-loud older brother Rodrick.
This week we debut and probably end a new segment, Storytime with the FDIC. If you would like to follow along, get your own copy of Brandon Spots His Sign by Sheletta Brundidge and Lily Coyle, illustrations by Darcy Bell-Meyers.
Jeff Kinney’s long-running Diary of a Wimpy Kid children’s novel series went through four different live-action film adaptations in the past decade. But its latest iteration takes a much more animated approach that stays true to the visual styles of the source material. Disney relaunches the franchise by turning Diary of a Wimpy Kid into an all new animated adventure that centers on middle school student Greg Heffley (Brady Noon) who illustrates his life in a diary – which he tells himself is a journal in order to avoid bullying from older kids.
Damian Wayne has many fans. The popular Arab American character, son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al-Ghul, is an adorable crime-fighting — and previously murderous kid — whose fundamental charm and sincere desire to do good has captured the hearts of many DC fans, so much so that he has a current ongoing series. But we don’t see enough of Damian’s school life. When does he get to be a regular pre-teen who gets to have fun at school and make friends?
Robert Liu-Trujillo is an artist looking to craft change.
He knows how powerful art can be to inspire and make social change, especially for younger consumers of his and others’ work. With a new Kickstarter project out now, we sat down with Robert to talk about his art, how social justice informs his work, navigating the picture book industry, and so much more.
In the second of our interview series, author Reem Faruqi and artist Fahmida Azim join us to discuss their new book, Amira’s Picture Day, out now! We discuss the impetus for this delightful children’s book that takes place on the Muslim holiday Eid-Al-Fitr, celebrating the end of Ramadan, and what else inspired them in the creation of this wonderful story, from the beautiful art to the deeply embedded cultural elements Enjoy listening and buy your copy of Amira’s Picture Day today!
In the first of two episodes of Hard NOC Life releasing this week, Keithsits down with Broadway superstar and now, children’s book author, Mandy Gonzalez to talk about her new middle grade novel, Fearless. They also talk about her career — from originating the role of Nina for In the Heights to replacing Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica in Hamilton — and why being fearless has helped her cope while Broadway is shut down.
Netflix’s newest animated series, Archibald’s Next Big Thing Is Here, premieres February 18 and I had the opportunity to sit down with Hamilton star and quadruple Hollywood threat, Jordan Fisher (Dancing with the Stars), to talk his experience working on the show as well as his many other goings on.
Here’s my interview with Lena Khan, the director of the new Disney+ original movie, Flora & Ulysses. We talk about the movie and what she might have done with another upcoming Disney+ original, Ms. Marvel!
When you first hear about the upcoming Disney+ film, Flora & Ulysses, you wonder just how Newbury Award-winning author and executive producer Kate DiCamillo came up with the idea of a girl and her superhero squirrel. The film, which premieres this Friday, tells the story of Flora, an avid comic book fan and self-avowed cynic, whose parents have separated. After saving a squirrel after being sucked up by an out-of-control vacuum, Flora names her new furry friend, Ulysses. She discovers, like the comic books, that Ulysses possesses unique superhero powers that help change Flora’s outlook on life for the better.
Hard NOC Life is still on hiatus; however, we have an exciting bonus episode to bring you!
Last week, Keith was asked to moderate a panel as part of Scholastic’s “Power of Story” speaker series. Two artists, Eric Wilkerson and Pablo Leon, speak about the important of representation in comics and children’s lit. You can also watch the original panel on Scholastic’s YouTube channel and Facebook.
This is the first of many virtual press conferences the cast and creatives of Disney+’s upcoming film The One and Only Ivan had to deal with in the new age of COVID-19. Veteran actress Dame Helen Mirren, who voices Snickers the talented Poodle in the film, said in the virtual press conference of this new experience, “That’s the amazing thing about our job is that we’re always constantly exposed to completely new experiences, as this is this digital press junket. It’s a first for all of us.”
Southern Fried Asian returns with a brand new episode! Keith is joined by Soman Chainani, the New York Times-bestselling author of the hit children’s fantasy series, the School For Good and Evil. The fifth book in the series, A Crystal of Time, is available now wherever books are sold.
At a time of great unease and injustice, those of us who are parents of children have a challenge ahead of us. Most of our kids will be exposed to the happenings of the world, and well they should. At the same time, what books can we read to them that will help them understand, and provide tools they will need to survive, thrive, and engage? We reached out to several Minnesota writers with children to compile this list of suggestions. This is by no means definitive, nor complete.
This list was compiled by Kurtis Scaletta, Shannon Gibney, Lana Barkawi, Kathryn Savage, Molly Beth Griffin, Sarah Park Dahlen, Bao Phi, and Lorena Duarte Armstrong.
The Philippines has 181 languages yet most children’s stories in the Philippines are written in only 2 languages, Tagalog and English. Sari-Sari Storybooks has Kickstarted a project to bring those under-represented Philippine language groups life through children’s stories. We interview Christina Newhard about the project.
As a parent of color it is very difficult to find children’s books that reflect how diverse our world actually is. When we do find books, many of them are about historical figures, historical events, or rooted in surviving tragedies. This is what makes El Primer Corte de Mesita de Furqan (Furqan’s First Flat Top) such a wonderful addition to the POC children’s book canon.