The Weekly 411 (11/3/23)


© Katherine Thorne

Nov. 3, 2023 vol. 44

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 Katherine Thorne.

Illustrator Spotlight

We are pleased to feature illustrator and author Sarah Holden and her banner design for Kidlit411, as well as her book What If Night, written by Paul Bogart (Keystone Canyon Press). Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below.

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Picture Book Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the picture book, Jackie and the Books She Loved, by Ronni Diamondstein, illustrated by Bats Langley (Sky Pony Press), out on Nov. 7! Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below.

About the BookDiscover a delightful new story about Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, one of the most famous women in the world. History remembers Jackie Kennedy as the consummate First Lady, especially for her White House restoration and the cultural events she instituted during her husband’s administration. Jackie was on the world stage in 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated. She led the nation in grieving the fallen leader with grace and dignity. 

In this inspirational celebration of reading, Ronni Diamondstein with her engaging writing style introduces readers to an independent and confident Jackie, and how books guided her life. The insightful picture book biography paints the portrait of a child captivated by reading and a love of literature and writing--from five-year-old Jackie reading Chekhov stories and shushing her friends to be quiet so that she can read at Miss Porter’s School, to her desk as an editor in the last two decades of her life. Jackie never wrote a memoir but revealed herself in the nearly 100 books she brought into print. Jackie and the Books She Loved is a dazzling book about the real woman behind this American icon of style and grace brought to life by the whimsical and tasteful artwork of Bats Langley.


About the Author: Ronni Diamondstein spent her life surrounded by books and immersed in the world of children’s literature. An avid reader since childhood, libraries, books, and writing are her life’s work. As a school library media specialist and teacher of gifted and talented students in the United States and abroad, Ronni nurtured her students’ creativity by sharing her love of reading with them. Ronni is a graduate of Syracuse University. She attended Bread Loaf Writers Conference and led writing workshops and open mics to encourage people of all ages to tell their stories. Ronni served on the Board of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival and is a past President of the Chappaqua Library Board of Trustees. Jackie and the Books She Loved is her debut picture book. Ronni lives in Chappaqua, New York with her toy poodle, Maggie Mae.  

About the Illustrator: Bats Langley is a painter, sculptor, writer, illustrator, toy designer, and creator of many things. Bats, a Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) grad, frequently contributes illustrations for the covers and interiors of Scholastic, Spider, Ladybug, and Cricket magazines. His art has been shown in galleries across the United States and the world. He illustrated Groggle’s Monster Valentine and Groggle’s Monster Halloween and was the author/illustrator of Alice’s Adventures in #Wonderland. He lives with his husband, Nicholas, on the island of Manhattan

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Middle Grade Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the middle grade nonfiction book, The Wheel of the Year: An Illustrated Guide to Nature's Rhythms, by Fiona Cook, illustrated by Jessica Roux (Andrews McMeel 2023).


About the Book: A beautifully illustrated, interactive guide to ancient, nature-based holidays and customs. Through themed meditations, crafts, and rituals, young readers can learn about old and new ways of honoring the seasons—and create their own! Blending nature connection with art, poetry, and myth, The Wheel of the Year conveys the magic and beauty of ancient traditions and encourages young readers to notice, care for, and celebrate the natural world around them. "This book is, in a word, immaculate." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

About the Author: Fiona Cook is a writer and visual artist working in Chicago. She is a mother and union home health care worker. Fiona is inspired by the magic, mystery, and mischief of our planet Earth and draws from that relationship in her work.

About the Illustrator: Jessica Roux is a Nashville-based freelance illustrator and plant & animal enthusiast. She loves exploring in her own backyard and being surrounded by an abundance of nature. Using subdued colors and rhythmic shapes, she renders flora and fauna with intricate detail reminiscent of old world beauty. She is currently available for freelance work so feel free to contact her.


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Feb. 9-11 Annual SCBWI New York conference Come and be inspired by renowned authors and illustrators, learn about the state of the children's book publishing industry from panels of agents, editors and art directors, dive deep into your craft with TWO three-hour Creative Labs, and get your work in front of industry professionals! 

Feb. 9-11 Andrea Brown Literary Agency Big Sur Conference Since 1997, ABLA has brought in outstanding editors from the top publishing houses, both large and small, and successful authors as faculty for workshops designed for writers whose works are nearly ready for publication. Hands-on editorial work is the focus of these workshops, and there are breakout sessions on various important aspects of the publishing industry. Faculty and attendees take all meals together and socialize in an intimate and inspirational setting. Important alliances have come out of these workshops—many successful publishing deals, lasting writer/agent relationships, ongoing critique groups, and industry friendships and connections. 

  • What: apply for scholarship to attend in-person annual SCBWI conference in New York City
  • Who: SCBWI members and nonmembers; identify as black, indigenous, or people of color
  • Award: 2 recipients will receive tuition for the conference

  • What:  Apply to be chosen as the most promising picture book manuscript, in fiction or nonfiction
  • Who: SCBWI member not under contract and/or not having sold a picture book in 5 years
  • Award: $1000 grant for each winner (fiction/nonfiction)
  • What: apply for full tuition to the SCBWI summer conference in Los Angeles
  • Who: writer or writer/illustrator from traditionally underrepresented ethnic or cultural background; with an original work not under contract
  • Award: full tuition to summer conference, access to agents/editors


  1. Thank you for the posts w/ the SCBWI Award info! So helpful!

  2. So many great give-aways. Thank you for all your resources.

  3. They all look like wonderful books, thanks for the great giveways!

  4. These books look great!

  5. Wonderful books and wonderful links. Thanks!

  6. My students love picture book biographies! I'd love to add Jackie O to our collection.

  7. Great books for the giveaway! Thanks for all you do!

  8. So many talented writers and illustrators! Congrats to all of them.

  9. I would love a copy of the Wheel of The Year! It's just the kind of books I love. Jessica Roux's illustrations are absolutely beautiful!


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