As a school librarian for 18 years, I most certainly have a list of favorite children's authors and illustrators. Sharing beautifully written books with children is simply a delight. In addition, when an illustrator can deepen the meaning of a text with illustrations that captivate the reader, then one could say without a doubt, "a picture is worth a thousand words!"
As lovers of children's literature, it is easy to place these artists and writers on pedestals. Yet, like many "celebrities", the public persona can be very different from the individual's true personality leaving the "fan" disappointed.
Fortunately, I had the opportunity to get to see how many children's authors and illustrators are the real deal! How? I introduced them to my young friend, Grace and their true colors were revealed.
In 2009, Grace was a second grade student at my school. She was one of the most fluent and expressive readers I had encountered in my career. She loved books. She savored language. She had the ability to descriminate great works from mediocre. In the early summer of 2009, out of nowhere came a diagnosis of a life-threatening brain tumor, and Grace's world was tipped upside down.
Following Grace's long hospitalization, I knew a charity was needed that could assist families such as Grace's. However, I was aware of the fact that many, many worthwhile charities already existed and competed for a limited amount of funds. If I was going to create a successful charitable organization, I also needed to create unique fundraising programs. It was critical for me to tap into what I knew best: the world of children's libraries. I began brainstorming ways to re-invent the old charity cookbook, I wondered if my charitable organization could create a recipe book that focused more on story than recipe. I was afterall, a librarian! How much more interesting would it be to read about how and why certain recipes come to mind? So, I set out to contact many of my favorite authors and illustrators of children's books. And overwhelming, a vast majority of authors and illustrators responded. They were eager to participate and lend their names and memories to an organization that was founded in honor of a young girl who was a librarian's dream student. They thanked me for inviting them!
So, it came to be. All Because of Grace was born. Reflections and recipes from over 130 popular and award-winning children's authors and illustrators.
From Judy Blume to Connecticut's very own, Nancy Tafuri and Wendell Minor to Canada's golden child, Melanie Watt... the list goes on and on. Newbery, Caldecott, and Children's Book Award winners. Best of all, the favorite authors and illustrators of a librarian and her young student and friend, Grace.
If you need a holiday gift for an individual of any age, this is the perfect gift. Celebrity Magazine described "All Because of Grace" as "holding love in your hands."
Consider giving a gift that keeps on giving. Visit yesgracerocks.org to order your copy today!