Bk: Jamaica series

Jamaica Turns 25!!

Posted by on Aug 29, 2011 in Bk: Jamaica series | Comments Off on Jamaica Turns 25!!

Jamaica Turns 25!!

Twenty-five years ago, the first picture book about a young girl named Jamaica was published by Houghton Mifflin (original cover above, 20th anniversary edition below). Written by author Juanita Havill and illustrated by me, Jamaica’s Find has been published in Spanish, in England and New Zealand, in book-tape and book-cd editions, and as an e-book, and reprinted in school book clubs and curriculum programs. It was recommended on Reading Rainbow, and read by former first lady Barbara Bush on her radio program. (As a result, Juanita and I were invited to the White House for tea, with...

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Anne Sibley O’Brien interviews Juanita Havill

Posted by on Sep 21, 2009 in Bk: Jamaica series, For Children's Book Creators, For Educators, Race & Culture | Comments Off on Anne Sibley O’Brien interviews Juanita Havill

Anne Sibley O’Brien interviews Juanita Havill

Juanita Havill has been writing for children since 1982. Her first book Jamaica’s Find, illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien, has won many honors including the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award in 1986. Since then Havill has written and O’Brien illustrated six more books about Jamaica, all published by Houghton Mifflin. Havill has written many other picture books, a collection of poems I Heard It from Alice Zucchini (Chronicle Books 2006), middle grade novels, and a novel in verse Grow (Peachtree Books 2008). Havill also teaches writing classes and leads writing workshops. ASOB: The Jamaica...

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Juanita Havill Interviews Anne Sibley O’Brien

Posted by on Sep 21, 2009 in Bk: Jamaica series, For Educators, Race & Culture | Comments Off on Juanita Havill Interviews Anne Sibley O’Brien

Juanita Havill Interviews Anne Sibley O’Brien

JH: When did you become aware that the main character of Jamaica’s Find is African American?   ASOB: The letter I received from editor Matilda Welter asking if I’d like to illustrate the book specified that the main character was African American. Art director Susan Sherman had chosen me as the illustrator because my portfolio featured lots of children of color, and she thought the manuscript was a good fit for my style.   JH: How do you decide what scenes to illustrate?   ASOB: I first read the text over several times, then make tiny rough thumbnail sketches of the images that come to...

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The 7th Jamaica!!

Posted by on Sep 21, 2009 in Bk: Jamaica series | Comments Off on The 7th Jamaica!!

The 7th Jamaica!!

Jamaica Is Thankful is being released this fall by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.   This is the seventh title that author Juanita Havill and I have created about the young girl named Jamaica. The first was Jamaica’s Find, published in 1986, and released three years ago in a twentieth anniversary edition.   Over the twenty-six years that these books have been created, Juanita and I have only met twice. In February of this year, we had a chance to do a week of school visits together for the first time, in Phoenix, Arizona, where we both happened to be presenting at the International Reading...

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