AWC Podcast Series: Lively Elizabeth!

The first few days of September have (finally) broken the hot spell that has been summer 2010, and nothing says “fall” more than curling up with a cup of tea and a good book.  That is exactly what you will want to do with the picture book Lively Elizabeth! Today we are speaking with author Mara Bergman and illustrator Cassia Thomas about what a strong character like Elizabeth can learn from watching the consequences of her actions spiral out of control. Click here to listen. (RT: 8:20)

Mara Bergman was born in New York and grew up on Long Island. She has written more than a dozen picture books and was awarded the Booktrust Early Years Award in 2009 (UK) for Oliver Who Travelled Far and Wide and a Parents’ Choice Award for Snip Snap, Who’s That? Mara lives in England with her family and their various pets.

Cassia Thomas was born and raised in London with a pencil in one hand and a cup of tea in the other. She has always loved how illustrators are able to transport you into their own worlds and so aspired to do the same. Cassia drew (a lot) and grew (not very much) and finally did a Masters in Children’s Book Illustration, at Anglia Ruskin School of Art. The course helped her realize her ambition to become a visual storyteller.

Since then, she’s twice been selected for the Cheltenham Illustration Awards, where she exhibited alongside her hero, Shaun Tan. She also exhibited this summer in the UK at a children’s book retrospective.  Lively Elizabeth is her first book. Her second, George and Ghost, by Catriona Hoy, is set to come out in November 2010. She is currently beavering away on writing and illustrating a new picture book.

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AWC Podcast Series: Lively Elizabeth!

AWC Podcast Series: The Buddy Files – The Case of the Fire Alarm

Today we are talking with Dori Hillestad Butler, the author of the popular chapter book series The Buddy Files.  Dori is talking about the newest book due out this month, #4 The Case of the Fire Alarm.  We chat about therapy dogs (no, not a canine version of Analyze This), spooky mysteries in the forthcoming book #5, and her own beloved pup named Mouse.  Click below to listen. (RT 7:08)

Dori Hillestad Butler is the author of 21 picture books such as The Great Tooth Fairy Rip-Off and novels such as Trading Places with Tank Talbott, Sliding Into Home, Do You know the Monkey Man and The Truth About Truman School, all of which have been nominated for children’s choice awards in 15 different states. Trading Places with Tank Talbott won Maryland’s Black-Eyed Susan award in 2008. She has also written for magazines such as Cricket, Spider, Highlights for Children, Children’s Digest, and Child Life.  She has also “ghostwritten” ten Sweet Valley Twins and Boxcar Children books.

Dori and her dog Mouse are a registered Pet Partner team through Delta Society and enjoy reading with kids. She lives in Coralville, Iowa with her husband, son, and assorted pets.

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AWC Podcast Series: The Buddy Files – The Case of the Fire Alarm

AWC Podcast: What’s So Special About Planet Earth?

One thing should be evident by week four of Albert Whitman podcasts, and that is that I love this bright big blue planet we call Earth.  A few weeks ago we talked trees, and today we are talking My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas — no, forget about Chicago deep dish.  Today we are talking about the solar system (hence the mnemonic) and planet Earth’s unique place within that system as our home.  Author and illustrator Robert E. Wells explains the sometimes complicated concepts of earth science to children through a spaceship tour of the solar system.  Click below to listen to the discussion.

Robert E. Wells is the author and illustrator of nine other intriguing science books for children, including Polar Bear, Why Is Your World Melting? His book What’s Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew? won the 1996 National Science Teachers Association award.  His newest book Why Do Elephant’s Need the Sun? is forthcoming September 2010.

AWC Podcast: What’s So Special About Planet Earth?

AWCo Author Podcast Series: First Rain

On these hot, muggy summer days it is refreshing to think back to the cool rain showers of early spring, which is why we are talking with Charlotte Herman, the author of First Rain.  This is a story about one Jewish family’s move to Israel, also known as aliyah, and how a young girl embarks upon new experiences such as floating in the Dead Sea and visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem.  While set in Israel, the book is universal, especially for anyone who has had to move to a new place and leave loved ones behind.  Click here or on player below to hear the conversation.


Charlotte Herman, a former elementary school teacher, is the author of 23 children’s books, ranging from picture books to short chapter and middle grade novels.

Charlotte is the recipient of the Carl Sandburg Literary Arts Award, and the Society of Midland Authors Children’s Book Award. Her books have been nominated for numerous state awards, and have been selected as an Editors’ Choice of the ALA, and as a Children’s Choice of the Children’s Book Council and the International Reading Association.  They have been translated into French, Danish, German, Chinese, and Dutch, and have been listed in Best of the Best for Children, and Choosing Books for Children.

Her most recent novel, My Chocolate Year, was named a 2009 Sydney Taylor Notable Book, by the Association of Jewish Libraries.  Charlotte lives in Lincolnwood, Illinois.

First Rain is available now on the Albert Whitman website at www.albertwhitman.com or at a retailer near you.

AWCo Author Podcast Series: First Rain