The Weekly 411 (6/30/23)

© Maru Vargas

 June 30, 2023 vol. 26

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 and camaraderie. This week's illustration is by Maru Vargas.

Picture Book Giveaway

We are excited to host a giveaway of the picture book, Cindy and Panda, by Benson Shum (Clarion Books/HarperCollins), out now. Enter to win a Rafflecopter to win a copy!

About the Book: Cindy loves to bake, but she doesn’t always follow a recipe! One day, she runs out to grab ingredients for a pie and comes back with something sweeter—a panda who wants to help! Their freestyle recipe may lead to chaos in the kitchen and a bit of a messy meltdown, but together, the pair have the perfect ingredients for a sweet-as-pie friendship. This book includes a pie recipe in the back with its very own freestyle section for young bakers excited to explore!

About the Author-Illustrator:   Benson Shum is a children's book author and illustrator. He uses watercolor, ink and digital tools to create his illustrations. His books, Anzu the Great Listener and Anzu the Great Kaiju were selected for Kid's Indie Next List Recommended by American Booksellers Association. It also received a starred review from School Library Journal. Alex's Good Fortune was part of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library and both Little Seed and Anzu the Great Kaiju was a Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Book for Kids.

Aside from writing and illustrating, Benson is also an Animator at the Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he was a part of such films as Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Moana, Frozen 2, Encanto and Wish. Originally from Vancouver, BC, Benson now lives in sunny southern California.  

Buy your copy here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Picture Book Giveaway 2

We're excited to host a giveaway of the picture book, The Mummy is a Unicorn, by Laine Mitchell, illustrated by Kim Fleming (Scholastic Australia 2023). Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

About the Book: Join in the fun as mother and child use their imaginations to create a magical day full of fantastical adventures.

About the Author: Laine Mitchell is an Australian author, who is thrilled to have several books published which both Australian and international readers enjoy. Growing up Laine always loved reading and knew that she just HAD to work with books. Since the age of ten she has read widely, studied books at school and university, been a book selector, book editor and book publisher. 


About Illustrator: Kim loves combining watercolors, rubber stamps which she carves by hand, and a whole lot of digital magic to create bright and happy illustrations. She creates her pictures in her studio overlooking a forest where deer, rabbits and squirrels come to play, but she has yet to see a unicorn. She loves adding little details which are not mentioned in the text. Readers will love spotting the main character’s mouse friend on every spread! Kim has illustrated over a dozen picture books for publishers such as Scholastic, HarperCollins and Magination Press. She is represented by Lilla Rogers Studio. 


Buy the book here

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For Writers

What Does Your Character Want? Desire vs. Plot Goal vs. Moral Intention vs. Need

Writing Tips

4 Ways to Choose the Right Story Setting

Conferences, Workshops and Retreats

Oct. 12-13, 2023 Better Books Marin. Intensive workshop limited to fewer than 28 seasoned writers, designed to provide deep immersion in craft. Faculty include Alexandra Acevedes (associate editor, Holiday House), Erin Clyburn (literary agent, Howland Literary), and Feather Flores (editor, Atheneum), and Mary Kole (former literary agent, freelance editor). The schedule includes faculty master class sessions, group discussions, and a 30-40 minute faculty-led critique of 25 pages.

There are two scholarships for diverse voices. (Menlo Park, CA)


The 8 Essential Elements of a Story

6 Steps to Get Your Self-Published Novel into Libraries  



  1. I'd love to win Cindy and the Panda!

  2. The covers are so cute! These will be fun to read.

  3. I'd love to win this for my kindergarten class!

  4. Love Benson Shum's books! This sounds like another good one. Laine's unicorn book looks fun as well! Congrats on these latest publications!


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