The BiblioFiles: Betsy Bird Interviews Team Tolo

Team Tolo4_2Just posted! A special edition BiblioFiles with guest host Betsy Bird. She interviewed the creative team for Tolo, an original chose your path virtual adventure released by the Cotsen Children’s Library.

You are Tolo, a mouse and apothecary’s apprentice. When sickness strikes the distant village of Mossden, you must make a treacherous mountain crossing with the cure. From ice chutes to surprise attacks, the decisions are yours as you navigate the dangers and obstacles in your path.

Tolo is illustrated by David Deen, who grew up sketching the monsters and beasts in his brother’s Dungeons & Dragons manuals and reading fantasy books. After earning a BA in Art from the University of North Texas, David worked as a computer game artist before embarking on his freelance illustration career.

Tolo is written by Cotsen’s own Dana Sheridan! And since Dr. Dana can’t interview herself, we’re delighted to further introduce our guest host, Betsy Bird.

In addition to being a super librarian, Betsy Bird hosts two podcasts, has a popular blog called A Fuse #8 Production for School Library Journal, and reviews for Kirkus and the New York Times. Betsy is also the author of two picture books, co-author of Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, and editor of the middle grade anthology Funny Girl. Her most recent release is Long Road to the Circus, a children’s novel illustrated by Caldecott Award winning artist David Small.

Follow this link to the BiblioFiles interview


Photos courtesy of Betsy Bird, David Deen, and Dana Sheridan

The BiblioFiles Presents: Victoria Ying

Just posted! A BiblioFiles interview with graphic novelist Victoria Ying, creator of City of Secrets and its sequel, City of Illusion.

In City of Secrets we meet two children, Ever Barnes and Hannah Morgan. Ever is an orphan, hiding in a massive, intricate jigsaw puzzle of a complex known as the Switchboard Operating Facility. He is befriended by Hannah, the daughter of the wealthy businessman who owns the facility. Soon, the two children discover the facility houses a secret that people are willing to kill for. With war escalating between the cities of Oskars and Edmonda, the race to uncover the secret becomes all the more urgent. And dangerous.

In City of Illusion, Ever and Hannah travel to a third city, Alexios, which specializes in illusions and magic. Unfortunately, villains are still on their trail, attempting to unlock the mystery that ties all three cities together. The stakes are huge, and the winner can gain enough power to conquer and control everything and everyone.

Ying’s graphic novels are incredibly stylish, with sweeping action and interesting visuals. Part espionage and part science fiction, her characters enliven the page, creating an experience that feels like you are turning the pages on a fast-paced film. Imaginative and intriguing, they absolutely deliver on adventure and heart.

In addition to her two full-length graphic novels, Ying has produced short stories, illustrated numerous picture books, and has been a developmental artist for Disney Studios and Sony, working on major films such as Frozen, Tangled, Big Hero 6, Moana, and Wreck-It Ralph.

Follow this link to the BiblioFiles interview


Image courtesy of Victoria Ying

The BiblioFiles Presents: Christine Day

Just posted! An interview with Christine Day, author of middle grade novels I Can Make this Promise, and her most recent release, The Sea in Winter. She was also a featured writer for Chelsea Clinton’s She Persisted series, specifically writing about Maria Tallchief, America’s first prima ballerina and citizen of the Osage Nation.

In I Can Make this Promise, we meet twelve year-old Edie, whose creative project with two friends leads to the discovery of a box in the attic of her house. Inside the box are photographs, postcards, a notebook, and letters that make her realize that her family has been hiding something major from her. The more she investigates, the more she learns about her mother’s past, and the complicated history of her family tree. I Can Make This Promise was listed as a best book of the year by NPR, and was a Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book, as well as an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book.

The Sea in Winter is a story about Maise, who is devastated after she injures herself in ballet class. Ballet is her life, and she grapples with not only the pain of her injury, but the loss of the joy dancing brings her, as well as her connection to her friends. When Maise’s family takes a road trip, she finds herself confronting what her identity, both ballet and beyond, really means to her.

Day’s work has many layers. One layer is the story of her main characters as they struggle and overcome difficult and emotional experiences. Another layer is how these characters connect to their families for support and guidance. Yet another layer is how her characters connect to their identities as Native people. Day blends these layers together flawlessly and compassionately, allowing the reader to deeply engage and empathize. There are difficult truths in these books, but in Day’s talented hands, the reader gets through them, and, like the characters, emerges in a better, stronger place.

In addition to her novels, Day has contributed her work to two collections, Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids, and Our Stories, Our Voices: 21 YA Authors Get Real About Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing Up Female in America.

Follow this link to the BiblioFiles interview


Image courtesy of Christine Day