Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

IA/MN Good News – June 2021

Hi All! We’re so excited to share some exciting things that have been happening around our region with our authors & illustrators. Below is a list of some of the highlights from this past quarter:

Good news report

Brooke Van Sickle – 2021 Independent Press Award — Distinguished Favorite for Preschool Picture Book:

Brooke’s third picture book, This is My Castle, was released in November 2020. Illustrated by Gabriella Dieppa, this colorful story takes the reader on an imaginative adventure in search of the perfect castle. Only to find that it’s been taken by an invader! The heartwarming, friendship book was this year’s Independent Press Award choice for favorite preschool picture book. Learn more about Brooke and her books on her website:

Kevin Kunkel – Reader Views Literary Awards — Best Picture Book of the Year:

Minnesota SCBWI member Kenvin Kunkel’s recently published picture book, The World We Choose, was just selected for best picture book of the year by Reader Views Literary Awards. Learn more about the book and watch this video here.

Liz Heinecke – 2021 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books

Minnesota author and SCBWI member, Liz Heinecke, had two books debut this Spring. The Kitchen Pantry Scientist- Biology for Kids” (Quarto) came out May 11. It’s a companion book to “The Kitchen Pantry Scientist- Chemistry for Kids,” which came out last summer and received some nice recognition as * 2021 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books in Middle Grade Longlist* 2021 NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book * 2021 EUREKA! Nonfiction Children’s Honor Book

Her first book for general audiences, “Radiant- The Dancer, The Scientist and a Friendship Forged in Light” (Grand Central Publishing) came out in February. Radiant is a dual biography of Marie Curie and the Dancer/Inventor Loie Fuller.


New Children’s Book Releases:

  • Sarah Nelson: I Like the Weather Series (Barefoot Books) and Frogness (Owlkids Books)
  • Jill Friestad-Tate: Messages on the Moon (BookPress Publishing)
  • Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia: Balloons for Papa (HarperCollins)