I’m excited to be an author participating at the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival.
I’ll be with the nonfiction authors representing How To Coach Girls, but I will also be reading my debut picture book, Sumo Joe, there.
The line up of authors and illustrators is impressive. I’m thrilled to be helping out KidLitTV as an interviewer for three authors: Phil Bildner, Sandra Neil Wallace, and Joyce Wan. I have a thirty minute slot for my group but I wanted to include my readers by asking for your questions.
First, let’s do some research on each of my three interviewees. Today, let’s focus on Phil Bildner.
Let’s start with some of Phil’s more recent books that I’ve had the pleasure of reading:
I loved the selflessness celebrated in Marvelous Cornelius in the wake of a devastating hurricane. Phil captured his spirit so beautifully.
My son and I read Martina & Chrissie and we love how it’s told from a narrator’s point of view, but as if the narrator were also the tennis referee.
The Soccer Fence was the first picture book that I read by Phil Bildner. He captures a pivotal moment in South Africa’s history when apartheid was just starting to crack and shows how soccer can be one way of bringing people together.
Phil also has several series including Rip and Red and Sluggers:
I’m excited for his latest, A High Five for Glenn Burke, which is out on February 25, 2020. It’s available for pre-order now!
A heartfelt and relatable novel from Phil Bildner, weaving the real history of Los Angeles Dodger and Oakland Athletic Glenn Burke–the first professional baseball player to come out as gay–into the story of a middle-school kid learning to be himself.
With such a plethora of books that he’s written, I’d summarize his books as bringing hope and celebrating diversity through the lens of sports and remarkable people.
But what I didn’t know about Phil was his background as an attorney, classroom teacher, and social activist.
Phil Bildner: “I founded The NOLA Tree, a non-profit youth service organization and served as the Executive Director. We worked with other non-profit and service organizations on community building and development projects.
In 2017, I embarked on my latest adventure. I launched The Author Village, an author booking business. I’m working with like-minded authors and illustrators, helping to coordinate their school visits and appearances.”
I’m putting together five questions for Phil. Here’s my draft. What questions do you have for him?
- Tell me about the connection between The NOLA Tree and Marvelous Cornelius.
- Based on your books, I’m guessing that you played sports a lot of sports as a kid … how did that shape your worldview?
- What was your motivation for starting The Author Village?
- How do you choose the stories that you want to tell?
- What are you working on now?
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Sports Specific Book Lists for Kids
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.