Tag Archives: “James Preller”

January 07

SURVIVING COVID WINTER: A Lesson from Leo Lionni’s Frederick by James Preller

I’ve got a friend, Paul, who is one of those infinitely capable guys. You probably know the type. He can build furniture, fix nearly anything, chainsaw fallen trees, fire a gun, drive a backhoe, and slowly smoke a delicious brisket.   Our friends sometimes joke that when it comes to the zombie apocalypse, we all […]

August 18

Revising Jigsaw Jones by James Preller

Writers are not often given the opportunity to revise our work post-publication. We labor like the dickens throughout the writing process -– drafting, daydreaming, dithering -– until those last desperate hours of corrections. Then we let the book go scampering off into the wild. Not perfect, not ever perfect, but the best we could do […]

March 27

TEACHING IS BELIEVING by James Preller

I’m at loose ends. For the first time in 16 years, I find myself not coaching a baseball team. During those seasons, I’ve coached a men’s hardball team, and all three of my children at various stages of Little League, including All-Stars and competitive Travel teams. Now it’s over. All I’m left with are memories, […]

February 05

TACKLING DIVERSITY: ONE WRITER’S STORY by James Preller

Lately we’ve seen an increased call for diversity in children’s literature. And of course, that’s terrific. Who could possibly be against it? However, saying so — posting a slogan, sharing a meme — is the easy part. But meaningful diversity goes deeper than the books themselves. Diversity in children’s literature applies to teachers, librarians, reviewers, bookstore owners, editors, sales directors, and, of […]

June 12

Teachers, Embrace Your Inner Zombie by James Preller

These days, kids are crazy about zombies. That’s just a plain fact. Not every kid, of course, but a lot of them. And I’m here to say: Go with it. Particularly when it comes to student writing. Some girls wants to write a story about a zombie apocalypse? Here’s a pen and paper. Do it. […]

January 14

The Story Behind This Illustration: Art Inspiring Art by James Preller

When I first saw this illustration, I thought to myself, “Yes! That’s exactly what I hoped for — but better.” For years, on school visits, I heard the same request from students — always boys. “Write a story about a kid who gets sucked into the television while playing video games.” I’d always reply, “Yeah, […]

October 27

Everybody Else Is Already Taken by James Preller

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. After I wrote the book Bystander (Macmillan, 2009), I began to receive invitations to speak at middle schools. I was wary at first of being perceived as anybody’s “anti-bullying program.” I wrote a book. […]