Rissy No Kissies: An Interview with Author Katey Howes

A lovebird who doesn’t like kisses? Rissy’s friends and family wonder if she’s sick, confused, or rude. But kisses make Rissy uncomfortable. Can one little lovebird show everyone that there’s no one right way to show you care?

Rissy No Kissies carries the message that “your body and your heart are yours, and you choose how to share.” A note at the end provides further information for kids, parents, and educators about body autonomy, consent, and different ways to show affection.

Today author Katey Howes joins us to discuss her inspiration, creative choices, and why it’s important to introduce consent to young readers.

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My Ex-Imaginary Friend: An Interview with author Jimmy Matejek-Morris

In the middle-grade novel My Ex-Imaginary Friend, eleven-year old Jack thought he’d outgrown his imaginary friend, George. But when his family hits a crisis, Jack decides that George may hold the key to putting his life back together. Meanwhile, the imaginary George—half-walrus, half-human, all magic—has a problem of his own: with nobody to believe in him, he is slowly disappearing. This humorous and heartrending adventure is about being there for friends in need, believing in yourself as well as others, and redefining what “growing up” looks like.

Today we welcome Jimmy Matejek-Morris, author extraordinaire of My Ex-Imaginary Friend, to answer a few questions. Read on to discover Jimmy’s inspiration for the story, thoughts on imaginary friends, and most challenging moments of writing the novel.

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#MeToo and You: An Interview with Author Halley Bondy

The #MeToo movement has changed the way many people view the world, but how well do tweens understand it? #MeToo and You: Everything You Need to Know about Consent, Boundaries, and More explores the nuances of emotions, comfort, and discomfort in sexually charged and emotionally abusive situations. Tween readers will learn about consent, harassment, abuse, and healthy boundaries in all types of relationships.

Today author Halley Bondy joins us to answer a few questions!

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Picture Books about Trauma and Recovery

by Carol Hinz, Associate Publisher of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books

How do we prepare our children for hard times? And how do we help them recover from trauma? As a parent, I don’t like to think about my children–or any children–experiencing bad things. Many of the picture books in our home prompt smiles, spark curiosity, and inspire empathy. Yet children also need books that gently, respectfully tell them the truth about difficult experiences and offer them tools that might help as they navigate their own difficult times. And honestly, these books do not speak only to children. The following books have something to offer us all.

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Q&A with Dan Jolley and Jacques Khouri, Creators of Mega-Dogs of New Kansas

We’re thrilled to introduce author Dan Jolley and cartoonist Jacques Khouri, the brilliant team behind the middle-grade graphic novel Mega-Dogs of New Kansas! This story follows Sienna Barlow as she struggles to connect with the other kids on a strange, faraway planet. She feels most at home while riding around on top of her mega-dog, Gus. So when an official threatens the mega-dog program, Sienna Barlow sneaks away with Gus and begins an adventure across New Kansas.

To get to know Dan and Jacques better, we’ve asked them about their start in the comic business and their approach to projects!

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