Today, I’m excited to welcome Nancy Churnin to the blog for the first #Thankful4PBs Q&A!

Tell us a bit about Manjhi Moves A Mountain:

Manjhi Moves A Mountain is the true story of Manjhi, a man in India who was determined to make things better for the people in his village, by moving a 300-foot mountain that separated them from a school, a hospital and good land to grow crops. All he had in the world were three goats. He traded them for a used hammer and chisel and set to work. Everyone thought he was crazy, but 22 years later, there was a path through the mountain.

Tell us three things Manjhi is grateful for, and why?

Manjhi is grateful that he has the vision and persistence to accomplish a goal, which others think is impossible.

He is grateful that as he nears the end of his journey, that the villagers find way to help him, by helping chip away at the mountain and bringing him food and even a new hammer and chisel.

He is grateful that through his efforts he has not only been able to improve the lives of others in his village, but to inspire them to believe that their dreams are possible, too, if they persevere.

As the author, what picture book(s) are you thankful for?

Too many to list! But here goes: Where the Wild Things Are, for evoking the fierceness of a child’s passions; The Sneetches, for sending such a strong message against prejudice; The Velveteen Rabbit, for telling the truth about love; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day for reminding us that days can be like that and that’s OK and Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type for showing the power of words and how that even the most underestimated can make a difference.

Please share one person that’s made a big impact on your picture book career.

I am very thankful to my agent, Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary, who shares my passion for books that touch hearts. Karen is as unstoppable as Manjhi in her determination to find good homes for stories that can make a positive difference in the world.

What are you hopeful for (or looking forward to) in 2018?

I am so thrilled that I will be having three new picture book biographies coming out in 2018: CHARLIE MAKES HIS SHOT: HOW CHARLIE SIFFORD BROKE THE COLOR BARRIER IN GOLF (Albert Whitman) in January; IRVING BERLIN, THE IMMIGRANT BOY WHO MADE AMERICA SING (Creston Books) in June and THE PRINCESS AND THE FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE (Albert Whitman) in September.

Thank you, Nancy – and congratulations on all the wonderful picture book news in 2018! Nancy has also been kind enough to share links to a teacher’s guide, a printable maze for young readers and a bookmark.

Nancy Churnin is the theater critic for The Dallas Morning News and author of THE WILLIAM HOY STORY, HOW A DEAF BASEBALL PLAYER CHANGED THE GAME (Albert Whitman), on the 2016 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids list, the 2017 Texas Library Association’s 2X2 and Topaz lists, the 2018 Illinois School Library Media Association’s Monarch Award Master List and Connecticut’s 2018 Charter Oak Children’s Book Awards list. MANJHI MOVES A MOUNTAIN (Creston Books), a 2017 Junior Library Guild fall selection featured on the Children’s Book Council showcase, came out Sept. 1, 2017. A native New Yorker, she’s a graduate of Harvard University, with a master’s from Columbia University School of Journalism, who is happy to call Dallas her home.

"A surprising gem." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Chicken Wants a Nap is available at Amazon, Barnes & NobleTarget and your favorite independent bookstore!

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