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When you’ve got a very full writing career focused on award-winning novels, and suddenly you write your first picture book, and that picture book gets FOUR STARRED REVIEWS, it’s gotta feel really good.
When that picture book comes out in the third month of a worldwide pandemic, it’s not as great.
So I am DOUBLY excited to be announcing Susan Vaught’s second picture book is a companion to her first picture book, so readers will have a whole new opportunity to discover her work for younger kids! Coming in 2023: TOMORROW WE BUILD, a companion to the gorgeous TOGETHER WE GROW, illustrated again by Kelly Murphy, and published again by Paula Wiseman Books at Simon & Schuster.
TOGETHER WE GROW is about opening doors to others in a time of need—about acceptance and inclusivity. TOMORROW WE BUILD adds to the message of inclusivity and adds resilience and the hope of working together to rebuild a better world.
In case you missed them, here are those reviews I mentioned!
“A gentle tale of inclusion and fairness that children will clearly understand.” —Booklist (starred review)
“A truly inspiring picture book that will resonate with both children and adults.” —School Library Journal (starred review)
“Emotionally charged and eloquently rendered in words and art, this picture book is worth owning and cherishing.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Inviting dialogue about the need for inclusivity, Vaught offers a lyrical narrative.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Huge congratulations, Susan!
My lord, do I love announcing debut books! Writers and illustrators strive for so long towards the goal of getting published, and it’s a huge moment in their lives when that is finally, officially going to happen.
Allen R. Wells has worked diligently for thirteen years to reach this moment. He’s developed his craft, honed his ideas, networked like crazy, volunteered his time, found a cohort, and done a whole lot of listening. The result is this: DANTÉ PLAYS HIS BLUES, a picture book in which a boy affected by housing insecurity discovers the power of expressing his feelings in music. The incredible Shamar Knight-Justice will illustrate, with Tamar Mays at HarperCollins editing, for release in summer 2024.
This story is so moving—and also so full of family and joy! I cannot wait for you to read it.
Huge congratulations, Allen!
A fun premise? That includes food? And has a touch of tween romance? Did they approach Debbi Michiko Florence for this?
Oh good. So glad they did!
We’re so excited to have a book of Debbi’s included in Scholastic’s amazing Wish line and just how perfect of a story has Debbi cooked up?
It’s going to be extremely tough to wait until 2023, that’s for sure. Until then, grab a favorite snack (I’m getting a cookie!) and help us celebrate this foody and fun book deal.