August 14, 2018
Book review of middle-grade fantasy novel, Willa of the Wood, by Robert Beatty.
June 20, 2018
SCBWI's Kite Tales quarterly "Ask an Editor Column," "Where Can I Find a Critique Group?"
June 15, 2018
SCBWI Kite Tales interviews with Aaron Reynolds and Dan Santat discussing their paths to publication and their new one-word picture book, Dude!
June 14, 2018
Book review of middle-grade novel, Tiny Infinities, by J. H. Diehl.
June 4, 2018
Book review of The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America written by Jaime Hernandez with an introduction by F. Isabel Campoy.
May 30, 2018
Book review of picture book, The Funeral, written and illustrated by Matt James.
May 22, 2018
Book review of bilingual folktale, El Chupacabras, written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Crash McCreery.
May 17, 2018
Book review of picture book, Julián is a Mermaid, written and illustrated by Jessica Love.
May 8, 2018
Book review of picture book, Dude!, written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Dan Santat.
May 4, 2018
Book review of middle grade novel, The Care and Feeding of a Black Hole, written and illustrated by Michelle Cuevas.
April 30 - May 6, 2018
Happy Children’s Book Week! This is the 99th anniversary of the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes—wherever young readers and books connect!
May 2018 issue of Highlight's High Five magazine for ages 2-6, my poem, "Half Birthday" with two-page art spread by Natali Sejuro Aliaga and puzzle. (Copyright © Highlights for Children, Inc., Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
March 30, 2018
SCBWI Kite Tales quarterly "Ask an Editor" column, "Should My Picture Book Have Page Breaks?"
March 12, 2018
Book review of picture book, The Word Collector, written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.
February 27, 2018
Book review of picture book, The Digger and the Flower, written and illustrated by Joseph Kuefler.
February 22, 2018
Book review of YA short story anthology,Three Sides of a Heart: Stories About Love Triangles, edited by Natalie C. Parker. Stories by sixteen authors: Renée Ahdieh, Rae Carson, Brandy Colbert, Katie Cotugno, Lamar Giles, Tessa Gratton, Bethany Hagen, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, E. K. Johnston, Julie Murphy, Garth Nix, Natalie C. Parker, Veronica Roth, Sabaa Tahir, and Brenna Yovanoff.
February 15, 2018
Book review of picture book, The Great Race: Story of the Chinese Zodiac, written and illustrated by Christopher Corr.
January 30, 2018
Book review of young adult romance, Love & Other Train Wrecks, by Leah Konen.
December 13, 2017
SCBWI Kite Tales quarterly "Ask an Editor" column, "Query Letter and Cover Letter."
December 8, 2017
SCBWI Kite Tales interview "One Book, Two Viewpoints" for the illustrated middle-grade chapter book, Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz. The second interview is with renowned illustrator, Emma Chichester Clark.
December 6, 2017
SCBWI Kite Tales interview "One Book, Two Viewpoints" for the illustrated middle-grade chapter book, Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz. The first interview is with master storyteller, author, Michael Morpurgo.
November 3, 2017
Book review of illustrated middle-grade chapter book, Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz, by Michael Morpurgo; illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark.
October 23, 2017
Halloween-themed children's book reviews include:
- Picture book, Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds; illustrated by Peter Brown
One of the best picture books in 2017 (Kirkus)
- Counting picture book in rhyme, Halloween Good Night, by Rebecca Grabill; illustrated by Ella Okstad
- Picture book for young children, Duck & Goose, Honk! Quack! Boo! by Tad Hills
October 19, 2017
Book review of middle-grade graphic novel, All's Faire in Middle School, by Victoria Jamieson.
October 16, 2017
Book review of middle-grade novel, The Stars Beneath Our Feet, by David Barclay Moore.
October 9, 2017
Book review of rhyming picture book, Twinderella: A Fractioned Fairy Tale, by Corey Rosen Schwartz; illustrated by Deborah Marcero.
Christine was the recipient of an Honorable Mention for picture book in the 86th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. More than 5,100 entries were considered.
September 13, 2017
SCBWI Kite Tales quarterly "Ask an Editor" column, "What is Style? Recent Updates to The Chicago Manual of Style."
September 12, 2017
Book review of illustrated early chapter book, Princess Cora and the Crocodile, by Laura Amy Schlitz; illustrated by Brian Floca.
July 7, 2017
SCBWI Kite Tales interview with award-winning author-illustrator "Marla Frazee: From Picture Book to Big Screen." Frazee's movie, Boss Baby, is in theaters now.
July 6, 2017
Book review of historical fiction picture book, She Persisted, by Chelsea Clinton; illustrated by Alexandra Boiger.
June 30, 2017
Book review of middle-grade nonfiction, The Book of Chocolate, by HP Newquist.
June 21, 2017
SCBWI Kite Tales quarterly "Ask an Editor" column, "Submissions to Agents"
June 20, 2017
Book review of historical picture book, Renato and the Lion, by Barbara DiLorenzo.
May 1, 2017
Book review of picture book, The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt; illustrated by Adam Rex.
March 29, 2017
SCBWI Kite Tales, "Ask an Editor" column, "What is New Adult?"
March 28, 2017
Book review of middle-grade novel, Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel, by Kimberly Willis Holt.
March 24, 2017
Book review of wordless board book, Brick by Brick, by Giuliano Ferri.
March 21, 2017
Book review of middle-grade novel, Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd), by Julie Bowe.
March 2017 issue of Highlights High Five magazine for ages 2-6. "Shoebox Guitar" by Christine Van Zandt. Art by Mitch Mortimer. (Copyright © Highlights for Children, Inc., Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
February 1, 2017
Book review of YA girl spy thriller, The Cruelty, by Scott Bergstrom.
January 29, 2017
Workshop for West Coast Writers' Speculative Fiction Conference, "The Query Letter Workshop."
January 28, 2017
Speaker for SCBWI, "How to Self-Edit your Children's Book."
January 27, 2017
Proud supporter of Multicultural Children's Book Day.
January 24, 2017
Book review of (mostly) wordless picture book, Wolf in the Snow, by Matthew Cordell.
January 9, 2017
Book review of rhyming picture book, Ada Twist, Scientist, written by Andrea Beaty; illustrated by David Roberts.
January 1, 2017
Participant in 12 x 12 Challenge: twelve picture books in twelve months.
December 26, 2016
In celebration of Roald Dahl's 100th birthday, an SCBWI interview with his daughter, Lucy Dahl: "Why Roald Dahl's Stories Resonate with Children Today"
Christmas tree-themed holiday children's book reviews include:
- The Christmas Eve Tree written by Delia Huddy; illustrated by Emily Sutton
- The Great Spruce written by John Duvall; illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
- Maple & Willow's Christmas Tree written and illustrated by Lori Nichols
December 13, 2016
Advent-calendar-style children's picture book review written by Big Picture Press; illustrated by Debbie Powell.
December 6, 2016
Nonfiction children's book review of astronaut Chris Hadfield's The Darkest Dark; illustrated by The Fan Brothers.
October 25, 2016
Witch-themed children's book reviews include:
- Picture book Goblin Hood by Sue Fliess; illustrated by Piper Thibodeau
- Picture book Grimelda, the Very Messy Witch by Diana Murray; illustrated by Heather Ross
- First book in a new middle-grade series, Hubble Bubble: The Super Spooky Fright Night by Tracey Corderoy; illustrated by Joe Berger
October 17, 2016
Book review of Jon Klassen's We Found a Hat, the much-awaited conclusion to his picture book "hat" trilogy including Theodor Seuss Geisel award winner, I Want My Hat Back (2011) and Caldecott Medal recipient, This is Not My Hat (2012).
October 12, 2016
SCBWI's Kite Tales, "Ask an Editor" column, "Word Count for Middle Grade and Young Adult."
September 28, 2016
SCBWI Kite Tales interview with Booki Vivat, author and illustrator of middle-grade illustrated novel, Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom.
August 22, 2016
Book review of James Dean's picture book, Pete the Cat's Got Class.
July 13, 2016
SCBWI Kite Tales interview with Carl Angel, illustrator of magic realism picture book, The Girl Who Saved Yesterday.
July 13, 2016
Book review of Amy Young's picture book, A Unicorn Named Sparkle.
July 8, 2016
SCBWI's Kite Tales, "Ask an Editor" column, "Why are Picture Books Printed Vertically?"
June 22, 2016
SCBWI's Kite Tales interview with Shannon Hale, author of The Princess in Black middle-grade chapter book series.
June 22, 2016
Book review of Julius Lester's magic realism picture book, The Girl Who Saved Yesterday; illustrated by Carl Angel.
June 13, 2016
Book review of Elisa Carbone's nonfiction Victory Garden historical fiction picture book, Diana's White House Garden; illustrated by Jen Hill.
June 8, 2016
SCBWI's Kite Tales, "Ask an Editor" column, "Why are Picture Books 32 Pages?"
June 2, 2016
Book review of Karlin Gray's picture book, Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still, commemorates Nadia Comaneci's fourth anniversary Olympic perfection. Illustrated by Christine Davenier.
May 24, 2016
Book review of Pat Miller's nonfiction picture book, The Whole Story of the Doughnut; illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch.
May 21, 2016
Co-host at SCBWI's "Cover Letters and Query Letters" LitMingle in Pasadena.
May 3, 2016
Book review of Julia Denos's picture book, Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color.
April 6, 2016
Book review of Hudson Talbott's "myth of origin" picture book, From Wolf of Woof: The Story of Dogs.
February 16, 2016
Book review of Shannon Hale and Dean Hale's third Princess in Black middle-grade chapter book, The Princess in Black and the Angry Bunny Horde. Illustrated by LeUyen Pham.
February 12, 2016
"Creating a Newbery-Honor Book, an Interview with Victoria Jamieson." Christine gets the scoop from Jamieson, the roller-derby skating mom, who is also the author and illustrator of this highly acclaimed middle-grade graphic novel.
February 5, 2016
Christine's interview for SCBWI's Kite Tales with best-selling children's picture book author, Drew Daywalt (The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home). Read the article: "Coloring Outside the Lines with Drew Daywalt."
January 22, 2016
Two Views, Same Book for SCBWI's Kite Tales. Read the article: "Therese Makes a Tapestry, Part 2: Author, Alexandra S. D. Hinrichs."
January 20, 2016
Two Views, Same Book for SCBWI's Kite Tales. Read the article: "Therese Makes a Tapestry, Part 1: Illustrator, Renee Graef."
January 19, 2016
Book review of Alexandra S. D. Hinrichs's historical fiction children's picture book, Therese Makes a Tapestry; illustrated by Renee Graef.
January 13, 2016
"Interview with Brenda Drake of Pitch Wars" for SCBWI's Kite Tales publication.
See Christine's October 6, 2015, review of William Kamkwamba nonfiction children's picture book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Co-authored by Bryan Mealer; illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon.
More October 2015
It's that time of year again: National Novel Writing Month begins November 1st! Check back to see which write-ins I will be hosting this year. Los Angeles NaNo writers, we have over 19,000 members! Go to the NaNo site(http://nanowrimo.org/about) to join the kick-off parties. Look for swag bags.
My company, Write for Success, has donated a $200 editing gift certificate again this year. May the odds be ever in your favor!
Christine is the founder of The Writer's Circle of Los Angeles, a free workshopping group open to writers of all genres. Writer's Circle of Los Angeles meets weekday mornings for coffee, friendship, and constructive criticism. Some weeks we have been focusing on children's picture book, middle-grade novels, and YA; however, we are open to both children's and adult writing. Current participants write novels, memoir, screenplay, short stories, and articles.
If you live in Los Angeles and can meet in the Los Feliz area on weekday mornings, please email Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to participate.
Christine Van Zandt - writer, editor, mom