Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Susanna Leonard Hill Makes Picture Book Magic

In my quest to become an author-illustrator, I’ve been studying books and taking classes to learn the craft of writing picture books. The most helpful class I have taken so far is Susanna Leonard Hill’s online course, Making Picture Book Magic. Susanna’s class is ideally designed for busy people, is reasonably priced, and best of all, covers all the basics and many advanced topics anyone would want to know about writing picture books.

In this post, I review her course, interview Susanna, and have the pleasure of having her announce some GREAT news (scroll down to the end of the interview).

Introducing Susanna Leonard Hill

Susanna is the award-winning author of nearly a dozen picture books, including Punxutawney Phyllis (a Book List Children’s Pick and Amelia Bloomer Project choice), No Sword Fighting in the House (a Junior Library Guild selection), Can’t Sleep without Sheep (a Children’s Book of the Month), and Not Yet Rose (a Gold Mom’s Choice Award winner). Her books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, and Japanese, and one may be forthcoming in Korean. She lives in New York’s mid-Hudson Valley with her husband, children, and two rescue dogs.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dying and the Undead: Epidemics and Zombies

Here are a few books on epidemics, zombies, and the undead that are well worth reading: 


Pandemic Survival: It's Why You're Alive, by Ann Love & Jane Drake (Tundra Books, 2013). This compendium of how pandemics and epidemics across the world shaped history is an informative nonfiction resource for children with a fascination for scientific history and the macabre. The authors provide juicy details about the gross and gory symptoms and scientific facts of every plague and epidemic one could think of, from leprosy to small pox to cholera to TB and even mass hysteria. After reading this, I am reminded of how extremely lucky we are to live in an era with sanitary living conditions, penicillin, modern medicine and an understanding of how to prevent diseases.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Work: Space Opera & Siamese Fighters

A few new paintings from the studio. This one was a birthday present for my husband:

Siamese Fighters © 2013 Sylvia Liu

And a triptych commissioned for a friend's boy who is turning 9, part of my space opera series: