So You Want to Write Children’s Books—A Report from the Front Line

by Ivor Davis

When Vanessa Brantley Newton, the vigorous keynote speaker and acclaimed children’s book illustrator, urged some 500 attendees at this summer’s opening session of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) to stand up and do the Hokey Pokey dance, I knew something very different was afoot. She even belted out the words

After all, this was literature—kids’ maybe. And where, precisely, did all this book conference dancing really fit in? Fuddy-duddy I may be, but I have not seen such vigorous participation in that ancient kids’ song since my grandson Elias’s Seattle bar mitzvah. Continue reading