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Posted by on in Dashka's Blog

As a journalist, I'm constantly juggling deadlines, scanning social media for updates, and trying to find a few quiet minutes to write. So when 24Life asked me to write about busyness, I found myself deeply intrigued by the topic. You can read what I learned about getting out of the busyness trap here:

Posted by on in Dashka's Blog
BONJOUR, ESCARGOT!

My new picture book, Escargot, will be released on April 11 and it is already getting a wonderful response. 

That's no surprise to Escargot, of course. He already knew he was the world's most beautiful French snail!

His opinion was confirmed today when Escargot received his first starred review, from the March issue of the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Naturally he feels humbled, if "humbled" is what you are when you make people read the review to you over and over and then you say, "Moi? Parfait? Engaging? Jaunty? Do you think so? Let's read it again." 

Not only that, but he's on the Top Ten Indie Next List for Spring, which means you can find him at all your favorite independent bookstores.

 

In fact, you can find both of us -- as we have an action packed schedule of Spring appearances. Check out the calendar and this space for details!

Here's the BCCB review in full:

 

★    ESCARGOT

Author: Dashka Slater

Illustrator: Sydney Hanson

 

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Pages: 40

Price (Hardcover): $16.99

Publication Date: April 2017

ISBN (Hardcover): 9780374302818

 

R*

 

Our self-assured narrator may have no shortage of ego (“I am such a beautiful French snail that everybody stares at me”), but one thing makes him very sad: “Nobody ever says their favorite animal is the snail.” Escargot hasn’t given up hope, though, trying to convince the listener of his suitability for favorite via flattery, unexpected ferocity, and a swift race to the salad at the end of the book. Escargot’s voice is parfait, an airy blend of ego and need masterfully balanced in witty and well-turned sentences that leave plenty of room for audiences to get the joke. Cues for interaction (“Can you also make a fierce face to scare away the carrot? Maybe we should roar at it, too?”) are unexpected yet playful, with additional humor in the snail’s engaging responses. Trim, controlled pencil and watercolor art gives Escargot the inevitable French sailor’s shirt, neckerchief, and teeny beret, but the jaunty guy’s wide, sincere eyes reveal the depth of his yearning snail soul—and make for some great comic faces. The neat regularity of the art mirrors the tonal control of the text while adding some clever touches, such as the snail’s loving gaze at himself in a glass tumbler or his casual recline upon a wine cork. Haul out your best Pepe Le Pew cartoon French for this gastropod confectionery. DS

Posted by on in Dashka's Blog
The Uncomfortable Truth About Children's Books

Mostly my career as a journalist and my career as a children's book writer are pretty separate. But recently I wrote a Mother Jones magazine piece about the attempts to diversify children's literature. I found it tough to wear both hats -- writer and reporter -- simultaneously, and found it occasionally uncomfortable to be covering territory so close to home. But I'm pleased with the piece, which has generated lots of conversation. You can find it here.

Can you help find studio space for the Dangerously Ever After Stop Motion Film?

Things are moving along with the The Dangerously Ever After stop-motion film -- the voice actors have recorded their parts, the props and sets are under construction, and the animators have been innovating some new and wonderful techniques for bringing Princess Amanita and Prince Florian to life.

Check out this test animation.

But there's a hitch. As the film has gotten more ambitious, the sets have gotten too big for Alba Garcia Rivas's current studio. She desperately needs a new space large enough to fit all the sets during the year that she is animating.

And, as you know if you followed the crowd-funding campaign -- the budget's limited. Can you help her find an affordable space? She's offering credits on the film plus other goodies.

Please spread the word to anyone you know who might have an unused space in the Bronx area.
Call-718-908-1553
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Thanks!

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