Saturday, June 27, 2015

Books by Oklahoma Authors - Some of the Best Around!

For those of you who haven't been exposed to children's literature in a while, you are truly missing out.  I may be biased, but I think it is some of the best literature around.  All genres of children's literature have come so far since I was a kid.  

Being a member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) for the past few years has taught me so much as a writer.  I have learned a wealth of information about the craft through the conferences, speakers and connections I have made.   

But the even better part about it is the friendships I have formed with some of these  authors.   Here are some examples of great picture books by these very talented writers.  Don't miss them!

Tumbleweed Baby by Anna Myers
    illustrated by Charles Vess

    Anna Myers has become a friend of mine and I am so blessed to glean from her knowledge of children's literature.  She has written 19 books prior to Tumbleweed Baby.  These were all middle grade historical fiction novels.  This is her first picture book.
     Tumbleweed Baby is about an already large family during the Dust Bowl days.  The family finds a "tumbleweed baby" near their home. The book goes on to show how the family decides whether this  "wild-all-over baby" will fit in, or won't.  Some of the siblings are accepting, but one is not so much.
     Anna's unique and talented voice blends with the illustrations by Charles Vess to create a "tall-tale" of sorts about her own family.  This is a great story for all ages!

 Ginny Louise and the School Showdown
    by Tammi Sauer, Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

      What can I say about Ginny Louise?  I love this book!  Tammi Sauer is one of our most talented authors.  Chances are great that you have heard of her or her work.  Her picture books are the best blend of wit, story, and sass. 
     Ginny Louise is the new hedgehog in school.  When she encounters the school's three bullies, she meets their meanness with her cheerfulness, and in the end good wins out!  Tammi and Lynn Munsinger have done a great job of tackling a big problem without it being a "lesson heavy" story. 
     Tammi has won awards for her books, and I fully expect to see this one with an award on it very soon.
     Tammi will also soon be recognized by the city of Edmond on the first, official "Tammi Sauer Day" on July 9th.  On that very day she will also be signing her book at Best of Books in Edmond, so put that on your calendar!
     After you put that down on your calendar, run out and get Ginny Louise and the School Showdown


                                                                Grrr...Night!  by Susan York Meyers and Marla F. Jones

     Woolsey the little monster isn't ready to go to nightmare land when his Granny tucks him in.  This is a story every child can relate to, but told in such a cute and unique way.  The words are inviting and the pictures superb.  Get this one for your little one's new bedtime story!

    These two are also friends of mine and very talented!  I look forward to more wonderful books coming from both of them.



Una Belle Townsend has written several great books  set in Oklahoma.  Her newest one is The Great Elephant Escape, illustrated by Janice Hechter.

In 1975, two baby elephants escape from the circus.  The authorities searched for 18 days before they found them!  These two clever elephants were great at playing hide and seek throughout Oklahoma.  Such a fun book!  Kids will love how clever the elephants are while enjoying our wonderful scenery and learning a little more about what makes this a great state!



Last, but certainly not least,  is Extraordinary Jane by Hannah Harrison.

Jane is an ordinary dog in the world of the extraordinary.  Her family are all circus dogs, but all her attempts to be extraordinary fail miserably.

Finally, through much trying, she discovers that is more than enough just to be herself, and that friendship is the most extraordinary thing of all. 

Hannah is a very talented storyteller and illustrator.  She won the 2015 Oklahoma Book Award for the category of Design/Illustration/Photography for Extraordinary Jane!


I would recommend all of these books for kids of all ages, from 0-99.  Read them for yourself, to your kids, or grandkids.  And, if all else fails, I'm sure you have friends who would loan you their kids for a few days while you read all of these great books to them!  :-)

Have a great weekend!



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