Now is the winter…

…of our coming “content” perhaps? I’m choosing to be hopeful. As a writer I feel grateful that Candlewick has given me the most robust launch of my career for THE HANUKKAH MAGIC OF NATE GADOL. I’m inspired to write more (if I can ever make time? The eternal author complaint, eh?) (But perhaps this holiday season?).

I couldn’t be prouder of the work my LQ team has done to launch the first list of Levine Querido (www.levinequerido.com). These are books that we truly LOVE, and feel add something to the world. Something good.

So…in the spirit of creativity, I’m not waiting until 2021 gets here formally. I’m starting to make my future NOW.

Adjusting

This year has really been all about adjustment. Mostly great adjustments, I have to say. Hand-picking a team that has become very close knit.  Integrating with our magnificent distribution partners at Chronicle.  Learning to be both disciplined and FREE in our pursuit of great storytelling and equitable inclusion.

Since the pandemic there have been tougher adjustments as well. Being separated from my colleagues. Not having the routines of an established office.  And right now…I’m longing to hold the first printed copies of Levine Querido’s launch list…then to send them with notes to our authors and artists.  Those advance copies won’t just “come in” and get distributed.  We’ll have to figure out how to send them to my house…and from there out into the world.  A small problem compared with the ones facing those who are ill, or caring for the sick. But still…an adjustment.

Hello old blog

I just came by to see whether the old place had fallen into disrepair. Certainly the streets are empty, and tumbleweeds are blowing down the pavement.  It’s dark in there…no lights on. It seems no one’s home. The paint is peeling. I think one of the gutters has come loose. And everything about the garden is wildly overgrown. I don’t know if I have the strength to really FIX this.  But at least I forced myself to look. Rolling up the window and heading away now.  Maybe I’ll be back….

What a Beautiful Morning Story Hour Kit

17048_v.tifMany in our communities struggle with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. While the disease affects the entire family, children can feel the changes in a loved one most acutely.

How can you be a catalyst for conversation and connection?

We are pleased to offer early childhood and elementary educators, librarians, booksellers, and Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia support groups:

What a Beautiful Morning
STORY HOUR KIT

The picture book What a Beautiful Morning by Arthur A. Levine & illustrated by Katie Kath (Running Press) explores Alzheimer’s disease in a gentle, age-appropriate manner. Be prepared to sing and celebrate the bonds of family!

This kit offers resources, activity sheets, and suggested dialogue to:

• Partner & Advertise an Alzheimer’s event for families
• Discuss the book and Alzheimer’s disease
• Share Alzheimer’s Resource sheets
• Explore Art with children
• Sing book-themed lyrics to Row, Row, Row Your Boat

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“The book does a nice job of explaining some of the memory loss and confusion that can be typical of Alzheimer’s, and provides age-appropriate explanations…The comprehensive toolkit takes that several steps further by discussion how the illustrator has used color to provide meaning and foreshadowing into the book.”
—Ruth Kolb Drew, Director of Family & Information Services, Alzheimer’s Association National Office

THE FREE STORY HOUR KIT

Explore The Event Kit for Libraries, Schools and Alzheimer’s Organizations (PDF)

Do you like to design your own event marketing materials? Story Time Poster (JPG)

 

What a Beautiful Morning: An Interview with Arthur A. Levine

9780762459063An interview with author Arthur A. Levine about his acclaimed picture book What a Beautiful Morning (Running Press).  Interview conducted by Kirsten Cappy of Curious City.

You love to sing, and your character in What a Beautiful Morning loves to sing.  Was music a part of your family experience and relationships?

“My dad was a very enthusiastic singer.  He loved nothing better than to walk around the house early in the morning singing at the top of his lungs, ‘Oh, what a beautiful morning.’ (That was sometimes very irritating if you were trying to sleep.) But music is the connection between me and my dad, and singing is at the heart of this book.”

How did dementia affect your father and your family’s relationship with him?

“As my father began to develop dementia, he began to forget things, and certain types of activities would be difficult for him. He’d have a hard time conversing. He’d lose words. Then it progressed to the point where he didn’t recognize us all the time, and he couldn’t find his way around the house anymore. My son would be his guide: ‘Here grandpa, follow me. The bathroom is this way, follow me.’ It was very poignant to see how they were still finding things to connect them. I started writing this book because I was so moved by that process and very aware of my own sense of loss.”

Could your father still access music during his dementia?

“Music was the thing that my father had almost literally till the day he died.  This was the point at which I couldn’t have a conversation with my father—that was too difficult. If, though, I sang a line of a song to him, he could sing the next line. He had all the lyrics and all the tunes of all the songs he knew. It would be like having a conversation, to sing, ‘Oh, what a beautiful morning.’ He’d sing, ‘Oh, what a beautiful day.’ It was like having a conversation about the weather, only you know, as a kind of an aria, like an ongoing opera.”

What was it like seeing Katie Kath’s illustrations for What a Beautiful Morning?

“Katie Kath did such a beautiful job. She was so creative about how she translated the feelings and the experiences in the book into line and color.  She would fade out the color when Grandpa was feeling faded out of life. She captured the moment a song came into his mind and came out of his mouth.  All the color came back into his face. It’s such a perfect and beautiful metaphor.”

What do you hope happens with this book? What would you like this book to do in the world?

“I guess with every book, you hope that you really get to the essence of an experience and that it contributes to a reader’s sense that ‘you’re not alone.’ For anybody who has had the experience of a relative who has changed bewilderingly, I hope that they will read the book and feel some sense of comfort.”

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