The Floating Field: Interviews with Scott Riley and KAA Illustration

The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field follows the inspiring true story of Prasit Hemmin and his friends as they find a way to play soccer on Koh Panyee, Thailand. Because their home didn’t have enough open space for them to play on, the teen boys could play only twice a month when the tide was low enough for a sandbar to serve as a field.

Inspired by the 1986 World Cup, Prasit and his friends built their own floating soccer field, unlike any other playing surface in the world. Their field’s quirks prompted some unusual rules—anyone who kicked the ball out of bounds had to jump into the ocean to retrieve it—but they also helped the players develop exceptional footwork. This celebration of ingenuity and determination is perfect for fans of stories about sports, beating seemingly impossible odds, and places and cultures not often shown in picture books.

Debut author Scott Riley and illustrators Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien join us to day to answer some questions about their inspiration and creative process!

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Celebrating Asian Heritage and Asian American Stories

By Megan Ciskowski, Assistant Publicist

During this difficult time, it’s more important than ever to listen to and learn from diverse stories. Empathy, joy, and education are powerful forces we can use to stand up to hate. Celebrate stories of Asian and Asian American experiences with these picture books, young adult fiction, and graphic novels.

Read on to find titles that raise Asian and Asian American voices and support their work. Nonfiction titles about racial violence and inequality are also listed below to help begin crucial conversations.

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On Artist Shortlists and The Floating Field

By Danielle Carnito, Art Director

Making a list of possible artists for picture books is standard procedure here. We make shortlist through searching for style, through thought, through discussion, through sharing top picks with the author, through Ooohs and Aaaahs and “Wouldn’t it be great if (insert famous illustrator name) could work on this book?” We — in this case designer Viet, editor Carol, and Art Director me — spend time carefully finding and talking through the many possibilities and narrow to shortlist of artists, whom I then start reaching out to with the illustration proposal.

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Classified: an Interview with Author Traci Sorell

In Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer, Cherokee author Traci Sorell and Métis illustrator Natasha Donovan trace Ross’s journey from being the only girl in a high school math class to becoming a teacher. Ross continued onward to earn an engineering degree, join the top-secret Skunk Works division of Lockheed, and become a mentor for Native Americans and young women interested in engineering. Find out how Ross’s passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work.

Today author Traci Sorell shares her experience writing Classified and why the story of Mary Golda Ross is so important.

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