The Weekly 411 (8/20/21)

© Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis

 August 20, 2021 vol. 34

The Weekly 411 gathers all the links added to Kidlit411 each week. To receive this post by email, sign up for our email updatesAre you on Facebook? Join our Kidlit411 group for conversations & camaraderie. This week's illustration is by Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis.

Author Spotlights

We are pleased to feature author Nadia Salomon and her debut picture book, Goodnight Ganesha, illustrated by Poonam Mistry (Philomel Books) out August 31. Enter to win a copy!

We are excited to feature author Alda P. Dobbs and her middle-grade debut, Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna (Sourcebooks for Young Readers), out on Sept. 14! Enter to win a copy!

cover art by John Jay Cabuay

We are excited to feature author Michelle I. Mason and her debut young adult novel, Your Life Has Been Delayed  (Bloomsbury YA) out on September 7. Enter to win a copy!

Cover Artist: Rosemary Valero-O’Connell/ Designer: Danielle Ceccolini

Picture Book Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the picture book, My Heart Flies Open, by Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis (North Atlantic Books), coming out on Sept. 7. Enter to win a copy in the Rafflecopter widget below. 

About the book: Beautifully and brightly illustrated, My Heart Flies Open takes readers on a yoga journey of mindful reflection, self-discovery, and self-love. Starting with Easy Pose ("I AM LOVE") and moving through Mountain Pose ("I AM STILLNESS"), Triangle Pose ("I AM ME"), and more, My Heart Flies Open guides young readers through a grounding sequence of 15 yoga poses and affirmations. 

More than just another yoga or mindfulness book, My Heart Flies Open transports young readers to a magical world where they learn to overcome negative emotions and move dynamically through their feelings--shining bright and connecting to the peace, laughter, love, grounding, and spirit that live inside all along. 
About the author-illustrator: Omileye is a mother, counselor, writer, artist, mindfulness teacher, kid’s yoga teacher, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Doctoral Student of Chinese Daoist Medicine, and fifth-generation Vision Keeper. She hails from London and an African-Caribbean family, and grew up with large Sunday dinners of rice and peas, curries, fried dumplings and carrot juice. Se remembers the juicy chatter of world affairs and strange, magical, far-out cultural stories mixed in with spiritual life lessons. These Sunday dinners inspired her love of story telling, cultures, peace, environment,  and art. Today she loves helping kids and adults find the magic of the story within, the enchantment of cultures, the spell-binding power of the planet we live on, and the healing power of peace. She is also a diversity facilitator and give talks on mindfulness, trauma-healing, indigenous wisdom, and their power to create peace in our world, communities and school systems.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • What: apply to one of three residencies in Portland, Oregon, for speculative fiction, writers over 40, or a general residency
  • Award: a short-term residency in apartments in Portland, Oregon + $1200 stipend
Sept. 15 #Latinxpitch
  • What: Twitter pitch contest for Latinx creators in kidlit
  • Who: authors and illustrators who identify as Latinx
  • Prize: interest from agents & editors for your pitched projects

  • What: apply for a $5000 grant for art or writing
  • Who is eligible: creative people who are parents of children
  • Award: $5000 grants

  • What: apply for one of 16 mentorships with award-winning book creators (PB text, illustration, MG, YA)
  • Who is eligible: children's writers or illustrators from diverse backgrounds
  • When to apply: Oct 1-31, 2021
Pitch Wars
  • What: apply for a mentorship to polish your completed, full-length MG, YA, or adult manuscript with a published author to prepare for an agent showcase
  • Who is eligible: un-agented & unpublished writers
  • When to apply:  Sept. 25-30, 2021
  • What: apply to a mentor for your MG, YA, or adult manuscript
  • Who is eligible: un-agented authors of color who are ready to query
  • When to apply: between August 26-30, 2021


  1. The concept and cover art of Omileye's My Heart Flies Open are very compelling. I'm really curious about what it means to be a fifth-generation Vision Keeper.

    1. Hi Manju, thank you so much! I come from a paternal lineage of recognized Dreamers and Seers on my father's side. People would come to my family to get their dreams interpreted and to See for them. The first born woman of each generation was said to carry the gift. That first born also had to have a deep interest in cultures and history, and so I was told I was the next in line, as I was the only one in my family that showed signs of the gift and also had a deep interest in cultures, history and peace-making. This is where the term Vision Keeper comes from. Hope this helps.

  2. "My Heart Flies Open" has such a charming cover--we will really enjoy this book!

    1. Thanks John, this is Omi. Thank you for your kind words. :)

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Nancy this is Omi. Thank you for your kind words!

  4. I'm trying to be more mindful in my own life and to appreciate the moments as well as live in each moment. Your beautiful book will b a joy to read and remind me of my daily goal.

    1. Hi Danielle, thank you for sharing that. When I painted the images in a very mindful state. They became the avenue to healing my own inner child and reminding me how to stay connected to the deep well of peace and joy within.

  5. My Heart Flies Open sounds like such a beautiful book. What a wonderful concept. As a yoga teacher, I love the idea of teaching the practice to children to help the be more mindful, relaxed and strong. I really want to read this book.

    1. Thank you so much Charlie. The book and artwork came out of deep inspiration to want to help build children's self-esteem, to create more diverse images for yoga mindfulness field, and to build a world of peace and love.

  6. This book looks great, my twins would love it.

    1. Hi Zachary, that is so exciting. Let me know how they find it once you get the book! :) I love working with children!

  7. Such a wonderful sounding book.
    Yoga has so much to offer. Happy to see this book showcasing it for young readers.
    Congrats and best wishes.


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