Author spotlight: Kate DiCamillo

Welcome to our second author spotlight – oo lah lah! Your host gets très excited to have a reason to research authors and sing their praises. This week we’re shining our spotlight on an author storyteller who hardly needs it, but, definitely deserves it? Who ever said there was too much goodness in the world needs an extra squeezy hug. (humble opinion)

Kate DiCamillo has an impressive list of accolades across the wide range of books she’s written (including Mercy Watson as reviewed by our Alex), which I encourage anyone to look at via the links we provide below. Her career is a testament to a person with integrity, persistence, and an author who isn’t afraid of hard work. However, we’re going to talk about a few other things.

First of all, that hair. It’s fantastic, and as someone who loves her own hair but can’t get it hold a curl to save her life, I’m forever a fan of hair that’s curly, wavy, and all-around happy hairstyle.

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Second, Kate’s a dog lover. More than that, she’s an animal lover. Many of her books have animals in them and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see that. Pet ownership and caring for animals provides a myriad of benefits to children. It gives them responsibility, helps them experience compassion, and a sense of unconditional love. I grew up in a family full of pets and worked at animal sanctuaries and animal shelters, and can attest to the power of caring for animals. It’s magical seeing people come alive and connect just because some furry, feathered or scaly creature didn’t care what they looked like, talked like, or anything about the origin of their parents.

Our last ‘hooray!’ in our short author spotlight is on this quote she includes in one of author pages speaking to other authors:

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF—there is no right or wrong way to tell a story. This is one reason that writing is so wonderful and terrifying: you have to find your own way. Be kind to yourself. Listen to other people. And then strike out on your own.”

What if you’re not a writer? It doesn’t matter. You tell stories to your friends, family, coworkers, children, dogs, porcupines, Alexa, and *fill in the blank*. What you experience matters. What you hear matters. What you share with others matters. YOU matter.

Thank you, Kate, we love your attitude and can’t wait to see more of your success.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue

Links we referenced:

www.katedicamillo.com

www.facebook.com/KateDiCamillo/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_DiCamillo

https://www.parentmap.com/article/the-power-of-pets

Author Spotlight: Jessie Sima

We’re introducing a new piece of content for your enjoyment: an author spotlight. We’re really interested in what makes kids interested in the books they love, but those stories come from authors and illustrators (or author/illustrators). We’re taking this moment to appreciate who these authors are and what they do.

For our first author spotlight we’re shining that butterfly magic on Jessie Sima, author and illustrator of Not Quite Narwhal, which was reviewed by our little Book Butterfly Hazel. (In case you missed it, her review is here.)  There are too many things to love about this book; the colors, the light and airy feel, the humor, and the compassion for the main character within it. We all deal with feeling out of place at one time or another. It’s real, it’s human, and it’s not restricted to one age range. We have a choice in how we look at that discomfort, and how great is it that the voice within this book tells you ‘it’s okay – maybe consider having a party with rainbow ice cream, floaties, and lots of pointy horns’?  We’re given permission to enjoy being unique, being not quite one thing or another, and to feel happy when the worlds come together.

When we looked for information on Jessie Sima, the results were colorful and heartfelt. Jessie pursued art and storytelling through a number of paths, and wasn’t just born with a book deal (wouldn’t that be something?).

It took work, dedication, and an idea. Jessie apparently had Not Quite Narwhal as a concept tucked away for a number of years before finalizing and gifting it to the world. As an aspiring author, your host can empathize with the journeys stories take. As a reader, the words float off the page and into your mind (ideally) with ease, but it takes a lot of time, energy, tears (or maybe that’s just your host?), drafts (times a million), and

persistence.

The best part of Jessie Sima’s author profile is that she often wears a unicorn horn. Let us rejoice in this fact. It’s so easy to take everything so seriously, but taking a deep breath, putting on a unicorn horn and smiling in the moment is something we can all do more often. Power to you Jessie Sima, we can’t wait to read more of your books.

Sources of information:

Kidlit 411 Interview

Author Page  – grab all her social links and other published book links here!