Kid Lit Love: The Paper Kingdom

I am thrilled to be returning to my Kid Lit Love series featuring picture books from members of the Kid Lit Community! Today’s book is titled THE PAPER KINGDOM by Helen Ku Rhee, illustrated by Pascal Campion, published by Penguin Random House.

Take a look at this gorgeous cover art!

The Paper Kingdom

Synopsis

Based on the author’s childhood, “The Paper Kingdom” is about little Daniel who goes to work with his parents to their job as night janitors, where he expects dreariness but finds magic and wonder, thanks to the power of imagination.

Helena Ku Rhee, Author

I asked Helena a few questions about her new book and writing for children in general. It was a pleasure to connect with her.

1. Tell us how you came to write books for children. I think I’ve always loved picture books for the synergy between the words and illustrations. In fact, I won my first story contest in the third grade, and pencil drawings accompanied that story — so I think I was training to be a picture book author at a very young age!


2. Tell us about the inspiration for your book. I was driving through Los Angeles one evening when something about the empty, quiet street triggered childhood memories. The Paper Kingdom is based on my childhood when my parents worked as night janitors. They couldn’t afford childcare, so they often had to take me to work. And to keep me entertained, they made up funny stories. They did their best to turn drudgery into magic, and I wanted to capture that sense of wonder in the story.

3. Share your advice for children’s writers. Read what’s out in the marketplace. It’s great to be familiar with the classics, but it’s just as important to read new output from current writers. Also, keep in mind that the illustrations will help illuminate the story, so no need to go into lengthy descriptions. Also, I truly value the process of putting away my draft for a few weeks, and then evaluating it with fresh eyes. That’s probably one of the best tools for making your book as clean and as lean as possible, because that distance helps you quickly spot the slow parts or the unnecessary passages or even characters.

Thank you Helena Ku Rhee for being a guest on Kid Lit Love!

Website: http://helenakrhee.com/books/the-paper-kingdom/

Twitter handle: @HelenaRhee

Look for more Kid Lit Love posts on Mondays! Want to have your book featured? Send an email request to authorcynthiamackey@gmail.com

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. You are welcome here any time!

Kid Lit Love: The Voice That Won the Vote

I am thrilled to be returning to my Kid Lit Love series featuring picture books from members of the Kid Lit Community! Today’s book is titled THE VOICE THAT WON THE VOTE by Elisa Boxer, illustrated by Vivien Mildenberger, published by Sleeping Bear Press.

THE VOICE THAT WON THE VOTE: How One Woman’s Words Made History by Elisa Boxer, Illustrated by Vivien Mildenberger

Synopsis: 2020 marks the women’s suffrage centennial. In 1920, after decades of perseverance, women were finally given the right to vote. But it almost didn’t happen. THE VOICE THAT WON THE VOTE: How One Woman’s Words Made History, tells the little-known story of Febb Burn, the mother who saved suffrage with a handwritten note to her son. 

Author, Elisa Boxer

I had the pleasure of connecting with Elisa and I asked her a few questions about her experience writing for children.

1. Tell us how you came to write books for children. I’ve been writing children’s books with themes of courage and resistance ever since I could hold a pen (the cover of one of my earlier works is attached… See “You Can’t Catch Me”) 😉

One of Elisa’s earlier book covers, You Can’t Catch Me


I was painfully shy as a child, and I can remember seeing myself and my emotions reflected back in certain books, although I didn’t know that’s what was happening at the time. I have just always felt at home in the pages of children’s books, especially those with deeper emotional pull. But even though I have been writing children’s book manuscripts for as long as I can remember, and attending SCBWI conferences for the past 15 years, I never really considered making a career out of it. I was always in the trenches of newspaper, magazine and television journalism. A couple of years ago, however, I got sidelined with a severe case of Lyme disease. Since I was basically housebound, I decided to take my research and storytelling skills from journalism, as well as my love of writing, and put them to use pursuing my childhood dream.


2. Tell us how you came up with the idea for your book. Although I’ve always been passionate about women’s rights, I have to give my agent, Steven Chudney, credit for this idea! I got an email from him in 2018 (we had another book out on submission at the time), letting me know the women’s suffrage centennial was coming up in two years, and suggesting I write a picture book about it. As a journalist, I’ve always been drawn to stories of unsung heroes, so I started researching little-known women in the suffrage movement. When I came upon the story of Febb Burn, I instantly felt that tug, you know, that pull from within that says this is it! I was drawn in by her courage in speaking (or in this case, writing) her truth, when it went against what society expected of her. 

3. Share a piece of advice for children’s writers. Something that has kept me inspired, even on the toughest of writing days, is remembering my “why” — why I wrote this book, why I write in general, what message I want to convey with my work. I want children to know that their voices matter. I never want children to keep their truth quiet. That’s my “why.” My best piece of advice is to find yours. Keep it in your heart. Let it infuse your writing and inspire you.

Thank you Elisa Boxer for being a guest on Kid Lit Love!

Website:  http://elisaboxer.com/

Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/eboxer

Look for more Kid Lit Love posts on Mondays! Want to have your book featured? Send an email request to authorcynthiamackey@gmail.com

Sign up for my newsletter and learn about release dates, pre-orders and free offers.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. You are welcome here any time!