Celebrate National Poultry Day with I Got a Chicken for My Birthday

By Kayla Hechsel, Editor

I Got a Chicken for My Birthday: picture book for National Poultry DayWhat would you do if your grandma gave you a chicken for your birthday? Well, that’s exactly what the main character in Laura Gehl’s hilarious picture book, I Got a Chicken for My Birthday, has to figure out. She quickly learns that her chicken isn’t satisfied with eating chicken feed and laying eggs—this chicken has a plan, and a big personality! In a starred reviewKirkus called the book an “utterly seamless blend of story and art is an ingenious treat for all ages.”

As it turns out, having chickens as pets isn’t so strange—two of our staff members here at Lerner own chickens! In honor of National Poultry
Day, author Laura Gehl asked Nich on our production team and editor Shaina’s 11-year-old daughter Lene what it’s like to have chickens. Read More

Writing, Editing, and Sharing Poetry from Can I Touch Your Hair?

By Libby Stille, Associate Publicist

In January of 2015, editor Carol Hinz had an idea for a children’s poetry picture book that discussed race in a way that would be accessible to middle-grade audiences. She reached out to poet and children’s author Irene Latham and asked her to suggest a partner for the project. Irene chose poet Charles Waters to write with her, and many drafts, phone calls, and revisions later the book became Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship.

Can I Touch Your Hair? has received two starred reviews and has been used in grade school, middle school, and even high school classrooms across the country to facilitate open and honest conversations about race. I asked Irene, Charles, and Carol to share how they created this incredible, sensitive book and also how the book has been received by young readers. Here is their conversation.

Read More