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Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids Paperback – Illustrated, June 26, 2018
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"Firsthand accounts from 26 children’s authors and illustrators describe how their earliest writing or drawing experiences resulted in a career in kid lit.... An attractive cover, glossy pages, and writing tips will make this a great addition to collective biography or career sections. VERDICT: An authentic, generous, and inspiring selection for tweens who wonder where their doodling or journaling might take them." ― School Library Journal, May 2017
"The best authors and artists make their work seem so effortless that it’s easy to assume they’re all preternaturally gifted; it’s easy to forget the inevitable time and labor that went into their work, and this collection is the perfect remedy to that misapprehension. In short sections, children’s literature luminaries offer short essays about their early artistic efforts and snippets of their early work...the main takeaway, of course, is that hard work and practice, as well as a lot of inevitable failure, is always part of honing a craft. A sweet, inspirational anthology for any kid who dreams of one day having their own name on the cover of a book." ― Booklist, June 2017
"This collection offers a lively glimpse of the artistic starts of twenty-six writers and illustrators for youth, with notable contributors such as Kwame Alexander, Dan Santat, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and Linda Sue Park . . . The snapshots of the artists as young men and women are engaging and irreverent . . . There are a lot of shoutouts to influential teachers, a lot of early imitation (rightly recognized as a valid exercise), and a clear message throughout that this early work counts, whether you finish it, whether it’s completely original, whether it wins you the regard you hoped… this has curricular use written all over it (there’s even tips for young writers at the end) and the encouragement is strong and valuable. Plenty of young readers will salivate at the notion of living the dream described by Jarrett J. Krosoczka: 'What I do now for my job is exactly what I did for fun when I was a kid.'" -- BCCB ― July/August 2017
"Twenty-six children’s book creators reflect on the stories and art they produced in their youth. Each section includes a brief essay by the author or illustrator, images of the work in its (often handwritten) original form, and a bio that shows what came out of that work in the contributor’s adulthood. Many entries are amusingly self-effacing: Dan Santat remembers a tantrum at age five because he couldn’t draw as well as Norman Rockwell, and Candace Fleming recalls transferring the Newbery sticker from The Witch of Blackbird Pond to her own short story. Young aspiring writers and artists should find reassurance in the early foibles of those now successful in the field. But the volume also shows examples of developing talent—check out teenaged Ashley Bryan’s drawings!"
― The Horn Book Magazine, November/December 2017
About the Author
Other contributors include Kwame Alexander, Tom Angleberger, Kathi Appelt, Ashley Bryan, Tim Federle, Candace Fleming, Marla Frazee, Chris Gall, Alex Gino, Chris Grabenstein, Gordon Korman, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Thanhhà Lai, Peter Lerangis, Gail Carson Levine, Grace Lin, Yuyi Morales, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, R.J. Palacio, Linda Sue Park, Eric Rohmann, Dan Santat, Brian Selznick, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Rita Williams-Garcia.
- Publisher : Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (June 26, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1481472097
- ISBN-13 : 978-1481472098
- Reading age : 8 - 12 years
- Lexile measure : 930L
- Grade level : 3 - 7
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #934,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Logan’s Review: I really liked this book. Some of the stories were really funny. The stories were entertaining and kept my attention so I was able to finish reading in just a couple hours. My favorite story was Marla Frazee’s where she was talking about John always dropping stuff. In Dan Santat’s story, I liked when he was talking about how even though he couldn’t draw very well, he never gave up. That teaches you to keep trying no matter what. I thought it was awesome that Jarrett J. Krosoczka finished his story when he was in the third grade at age 8.
I like the pictures that were included of each author when they were little and the drawings and things that they did. It was really cool to see all of those.
Chris’ Review: I really enjoyed looking at all of the pictures that the authors drew when they were little. That was pretty neat and some of the pictures were really unique. The different stories were pretty funny. My favorite one was by Yuyi Morales.
Everyone’s story was so different and interesting so I never got bored while reading this book. It was entertaining.
By A.Moore on August 16, 2017