Thursday, April 19, 2012

Candice Ransom

Candice Ransom is an award-winning writer who has published more than 100 children's books, ranging from fiction to nonfiction, biographies to board books, picture books to young adult novels. Many of Candice's books are set in her native Virginia. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College and an MA in Children's Literature from Hollins University.

In addition to writing and speaking, Candice currently teaches in the MA/MFA Children's Literature program at Hollins. Her newest books include, Iva Honeysuckle Discovers the World—Well, Her Part of Virginia, Anyway, and Rebel McKenzie. She lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with her husband and three high-maintenance cats.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Girl Power!

            Some Rochester-area children’s librarians celebrated just that when they gathered late January to mark the upcoming release of fellow librarian Julie Cummins’ newest book:  Women Explorers: Perils, Pistols, and Petticoats (Dial, 2012).  The book is filled with drama and excitement as Cummins’ lively text describes ten women, all born before the dawn of the twentieth century, whose largely unknown escapades sent them “gallivanting around the world to explore new territories or undiscovered places.” 

            The party had its own drama with accoutrements including a safari hat for the guest of honor, a banner of passports, nail files inserted in spider webs (Lucy Cheesman used one to cut through webs entangling her), portraits of each of the explorers, giraffes, and jungle grass.  The pièce de résistance was a chocolate cake adorned by a dense chocolate spider, with legs draping over the sides of the cake—washed down with champagne, of course!

            Kirkus calls Cummins’ subjects “feisty females;” her friends and colleagues toasted her as exactly that herself.  Huzzah!