kevin henkes,

anonymous asked:

I've read that in a query, it's best to avoid naming comp titles that are extremely successful. I realize that for me as a picture book writer, it would be ridiculous and unrealistic to claim I'm going to be the next Dr. Seuss. But how big is too big? Is it okay to compare my manuscript to a book by a well-known contemporary author like Jane Yolen or Kevin Henkes?

When it comes to comps, think COMP R.A.T.S.:

RECENT: You can comp to a classic if you absolutely must - but ONE classic. Much more important are comps to RECENT books that have done well. You aren’t Dr Seuss, but that’s OK, because this isn’t 1955. (I’d consider Henkes and Yolen to be in the category of “classics” at this point. Again, ONE is fine, more than that and it looks like you are stuck in a time warp).

APT: I mean… make sure your comp is TRUE. Don’t say a book just because it is popular. If you feel yourself just inserting something in there for the sake of it, better to NOT have a comp. Your chapter book about silly li’l zoo animals is nothing like TWILIGHT, my friend!

TASTEFUL: Not to be a jerk, but honestly: Your comps should be great books published by major publishers, award winners, bestsellers, cult favorites, VERY strong debuts, or otherwise “best in class” in some other way. Like, if you comp to a book I’ve never heard of, that’s problematic, because I have heard of LOTS of books. If I look it up and it’s published in somebody’s garage with comic sans typeface and has sold three copies… that’s a problematic comp. Likewise if you are comping to a highly divisive book. If the title of the book is likely to make some people *recoil*, it is not a great comp.

SPECIFIC: You can get around some of the braggadociousness of comping to a popular title by talking about the SPECIFIC ways in which your title is similar. And also, what sets your book apart!

Bad: “I’m the next Dr Seuss!”  (uh no you aren’t kid, and thanks, but we already have one)

Better: “Mycharactername has the early-elementary bravado and sass of classic NYC characters like Eloise, but with a sensibility and swagger that is pure 2017 Brooklyn.”

Or: “MyAwesomeTitle is a rhymer that will appeal to fans of the rhythm and wordplay of LLAMA LLAMA, but it has a hip-hop beat that is all its own.”

Make sense? COMP R.A.T.S. It wasn’t a thing before. It’s a thing now.

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

cafecliche  asked:

Rosehip, chai!

Rosehip: Miss Rumphius! I still love it now, and that’s the book I read in college when all the seniors had to read children’s books to the underclassmen. (Everyone cried.) I was also big into Kevin Henkes, Avi, and Louis Sachar, the latter two of whom were actually my neighbors?!

Chai: I don’t know if New York counts (it doesn’t), but I am super looking forward to my upcoming Long Great Comet Weekend. I haven’t been able to travel much lately even such a short distance, so. Big trips: I’M GOING TO NEW ZEALAND IN DECEMBER. CHRISTMAS IN MIDDLE-EARTH!!!!! I am very very very excited. 

aguirreagre  asked:

1 for the identity thingy

If someone really wanted to understand me, what would they listen to/read/ect?

1. They would listen to Plastic Beach, especially To Binge. Also, listening in to El Mañana would be a good start as well. Pools by Glass Animals, Obsessions by Marina and the Diamonds…

2. Reading-wise, read Protecting Marie by Kevin Henkes. I don’t care if it’s for elementary school children, but a couple years of my life revolved around the subject of the book. Also, Ask the Passengers by A.S. King is somewhat relatable to me.

3. Watch Adventure Time, especially when the plot starts to progress with Marceline and Simon (I used to be an avid watcher… I’ve slipped away, but it’s a great cartoon). Gravity Falls has always been close to my heart, as well as a couple others


Kevin Henkes was just a teenager when he decided he wanted to write picture books. He landed his first book contract when he was still in college.

“People used to assume that I had kids long before I did,” he tells NPR’s Kelly McEvers. He eventually had children of his own, but that didn’t change his writing process the way one might have expected.

“When my wife was pregnant with our first child people would say, ‘Oh now you’re going to have so many more ideas,’ ” he recalls. “And it didn’t really happen. I think some of the greats in this field were not parents. I think it probably comes from some other place deep inside. I don’t think you have to have children to write for them.”

The Caldecott and Newbery award-winning author, who has won children over with his lovable cast of characters — Chrysanthemum, Wemberly, Kitten, Lilly — has a new picture book, called Waiting.

See the full interview here.

– Petra

Kevin Henkes

A young man who works in the art department at Greenwillow gave a copy of Kitten’s First Full Moon to his two-year-old niece when the book was first published. I’m told that the little girl loves the book so much that, over time, she’s licked a hole in the page that shows a triumphant Kitten lapping up milk after her journey.