Monday, January 19, 2009

Blog Touring with Michelson & Mazellan

Our Blog Tour continues with interviews of two picture book creators: Richard Michelson and Ron Mazellan.

As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King and Abraham Joshua Heschel's Amazing March Toward Freedom and A is for Abraham: A Jewish Family Alphabet won gold and silver respectively in the Younger Readers Category. Read an interview with the author of both books, Richard Michelson, at The Well-Read Child with blogger Jill Tullo.

Here's a sampling of the interview:

JILL: As Good As Anybody is a powerfully inspirational book. What message do you hope your readers take away after reading it?

RICHARD: That each and every one of us has the power to change the world for the better, and that it is our duty to try to do so. No excuses accepted. That means you! As King says, “The way things are is not the way they always have to be.” And as Heschel says (all writers, me included, take heed) “Words must be followed by deeds.”

Since the book came out I have been doing many workshops with school groups. We read together, and role-play, and talk about prejudice and standing up to bullies, and how to effect change. I am always amazed at how much kids “get it.” They instinctively know what is right and what is wrong, but they feel, and often are, powerless. Hopefully As Good As Anybody will help jump-start family and classroom discussions.



As noted above, A is for Abraham: A Jewish Family Alphabet, is a Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Younger Readers Category. Read an interaview with illustrator Ron Mazellan at Tales from the Rushmore Kid with blogger Tina Nichols Coury.

Here's a sampling of the interview:

TINA: When and why did you start illustrating children's books?

RON: My work as an illustrator began with working in advertising and the entertainment industry. I enjoyed the work but the art had little permanence. While illustrating children’s books, your work can have a shelf life. A great book has the possibility to last decades and inspire a family for years to come.



Tune in tomorrow for interviews with Valerie Zenatti (author of A Bottle in the Gaza Sea) at Lori Calabrese Writes and Jane Yolen (author of Naming Liberty) at The Boston Bibliophile. Remember, all interviews will remain archived online, so once they are posted you can read them any time.

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