Boston Book Festival 2020 Boston Book Festival 2020

Picture Book Creator Q&A: A Place Inside of Me

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Noa Denmon
A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart

Noa Denmon is a Pittsburgh-based artist and illustrator who has worked with clients such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Macmillan Publishers. She’s interested in movement and patterns and hopes to create work that displays humanity and all of its differences. A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart with its “powerful illustrations” (The Globe and Mail) is her debut children’s book, written by Black feminist writer Zetta Elliott.

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Zetta Elliott
A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart

Zetta Elliot is a Black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children. Her poetry has been published in We Rise, We Resist, We Raise our Voices, and her picture book Bird won the Honor Award in Lee & Low Books' New Voices Contest and the Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers. Her latest children’s book, A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart, illustrated by Noa Denmon, is, according to the Globe and Mail, “an exquisite poem that beautifully captures the pain, anger, fear, and hurt that is a part of the experience of many Black lives.”

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Francie Latour is a writer and editor whose work explores issues of race, culture, and identity. She was a Boston Globe staff reporter for a decade, and her essays have been featured on National Public Radio, the Today show, The Root, and Essence. Latour coordinates a diversity initiative at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and is the co-founder and co-director of Wee The People, a social justice project for Boston-based kids. Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings, illustrated by Ken Daley, is her first picture book. It received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal, and was a Américas Award Honor Book, as well as Kirkus Best Picture Books of 2018 About History and Tradition.

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Picture books offer some of the best openings for family discussions of social justice issues, so this year, we’re pleased to offer several conversations with the creators of new picture books that tackle timely themes in terms that will resonate with all members of the family. Poet Zetta Elliott has written books for all ages; in her last, she transforms a lyrical poem into a powerful picture book with dynamic artwork by Noa Denmon, tracing the evolving emotions of a young Black child over the course of a year as his community rebounds from a police shooting. Watch Elliott read her book in our on-demand video, and then tune in for this Q&A with Elliott, Denmon, and author and racial justice educator Francie Latour. Tune in live for your chance to ask questions and interact with the book’s creators!

Ages 5–8