Because I’m still on #celebrateharry mode, here’s a Harry Birthday giveaway: a spanking new Hogwarts Library, the first boxed set of the lovely new hardcover editions of “Quidditch Through the Ages,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and “The Tales of Beedle the Bard.”
I’m totally swamped with work, but it’s the eve of Harry Potter’s birthday, and seven years since Deathly Hallows was released (aha, and it’s nearly Thursday) so I’m celebrating with a trip down memory lane: how we rang in the final installment of Harry Potter, unearthed from an old cd of photos that luckily outlived Multiply.
Every year, the third Tuesday of July marks the celebration of National Children’s Book Day, as spearheaded by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY), the organization committed to the development of children’s literature in the Philippines, in commemoration of the anniversary of the publication of Jose Rizal’s The Monkey and the Turtle in Trubner’s Oriental Record in London.
Last Sunday, in true “Anna and the French Kiss” style, I had lunch at a French boulangerie with none other than New York Times Bestselling YA author Stephanie Perkins!
Stephanie Perkins’ popular debut novel “Anna and the French Kiss” (hailed as NPR’s Best Teen Reads 2010 and CYBILS Finalist for YA Fiction in 2011) features Anna Oliphant, who is shipped off by her parents to a boarding school in Paris. Struggling to adapt to her new environment, Anna reluctantly makes new friends, including Etienne St. Clair. Anna and Etienne grow closer together, but Anna is afraid to confront her true feelings for Etienne because he is already in a relationship.
Meanwhile, “Lola and the Boy Next Door” (included in the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults 2012 and the ALA Book List 2013) is set in San Francisco, where budding designer Lola Nolan is confronted by her past with the return of her next door neighbor (and first heartbreak), Cricket Bell. Lola is beset by a turbulent storm of emotions as she tries to deal with Cricket’s renewed presence in her life, her relationship with her unconventional family, and her own identity.
It’s always fascinating to learn about the creative process of a children’s book creator, so I was drawn to Il Sung Na’s session on “Korean Picture Books: The Power of Picture” at the AFCC Writers and Illustrators conference last month.
Il Sung Na is the writer and illustrator of several acclaimed picture books, including “Zzzzz: A Book of Sleep,” “The Thingamabob,”” “Brrrr: A Book of Winter,” “Hide & Seek,” and “Shhhh: A Book of Babies.” Born in Seoul, he studied illustration in London and is now based in Baltimore, USA. His illustration work is mixed media and digital.