Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Blog header

Raymond and Roxy: Looking Good at 20

Raymond likes to do things fast, but today he is moving in slow motion.  Is he sick?  No.  It’s his birthday, and he wants his special day to last.  Ready? Set. Birthday! is just out (September 20, 2022), and I

Read More

What’s the One Thing You’d Save?

“Imagine that your home is on fire. You’re allowed to save one thing. Your family and pets are safe, so don’t worry about them. Your Most Important Thing.  Any size.” In her thought-provoking verse novel, The One Thing You’d Save,

Read More

Islesford Days

Since Ashley Bryan went home to join the rest of the angels this year, I’ve been appreciating my great fortune in having known him and finding joy in remembering.  As I prepare to travel back to Islesford, Maine, to attend

Read More

Happy News! Raymond is Back!

Back in 2002, Random House Books for Young Readers published my Ready? Set. Raymond! for their classic Step Into Reading series.  Three jaunty stories with upbeat illustrations by Derek Anderson show Raymond dashing through life surrounded by family and his

Read More

Levity III: Cat Dog Dog

This month I’m returning to my New Year’s resolution to: Be less earnest—Seek more levity.  Pets bring joy into our lives in a way nothing else can.  They love us, sooth our sadness, relieve our stress, and bring us to

Read More

The Harlem Professor Reaching a New Generation

Many already know that my great uncle Lewis H. Michaux (known as the Harlem Professor) was the founder of Harlem’s historic National Memorial African Bookstore.  I am proud and excited to say his message to the black community—that education is

Read More

Remembering Ashley Bryan

American Library Association Conference 2012 “I have been painting outdoors in my neighbor’s garden . . . dipping into the jars of acrylic color and touch touch touch till a composition is formed . . . quite unlike the standing-up

Read More

Loss and Levity: The Longest Letsgoboy

Most of us have experienced loss and have had to find our way through grief.  Often it is through death, but loss comes in many forms — a going away, a change or end to something that leaves us brokenhearted,

Read More

Words: From a Lewis Thomas Perspective

Since my last post, I’ve been thinking a lot about words. These thoughts led me back to the marvelous essays of Lewis Thomas.  Thomas was a brilliant and witty scientist, a keen observer, and a great thinker.  I love this

Read More

Words: A First Grader’s Question

When authors visit schools, we are likely to hear many of the same questions.  What inspired you to become a writer?  Where do you get your ideas?  What’s your favorite book?  How much money do you make? I am generally

Read More

Celebrating Bass Reeves

Yee! Haw!  Last weekend (July 23 & 24), I did my first in-person author event since before the lockdowns.      Boy howdy, it felt good to be back in the saddle. I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the

Read More

Celebrate Freedom: Countdown to Independence

There are always wonderful new books for us to discover and love, but I hope the worthy, stand-out titles that came before are not allowed to languish or be withdrawn from library shelves.  I hope they are being recommended and

Read More

Celebrate Freedom! Juneteenth

June 19th, 1865, began as another hot day in Texas. Enslaved African Americans were busy working in the fields and homes of the people who owned them when a message arrived in Galveston.  The message raced from ear to ear

Read More

Poetry Break of a Different Kind

To follow up on last month’s post, I want to celebrate a wonderful new book that offers its own kind of poetry break.  In Kiyoshi’s Walk, by Mark Karlins (Lee and Low Books), young Kiyoshi’s question, “Where do poems come

Read More

Poetry Break! Enjoy the Moment

April is the perfect month for a Poetry Break. Children’s literature champion Caroline Feller Bauer was a major role model for me during my career as a children’s librarian.  Through workshops (where I first met Caroline) and her books, she

Read More

Glad Tidings! Will Rogers Medallion Award

Covid concerns have kept many from gathering with family and friends for special celebrations.  Still, we’ve all found ways to express and share our joys.  Please do a little happy dance for Let ‘er Buck! George Fletcher, the People’s Champion

Read More

Levity II: Layla’s Happiness

As part of my celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Ezra Jack Keats Award, I have been revisiting and beating the drum of past winners.  One of my favorites is Layla’s Happiness which received the illustrator award in 2020.

Read More

Levity: Happy Anniversary ‘Bunny Days’

It’s been a tough year.  Over Christmas, while thinking about the reason for the season, I was reminded of the importance of joy and how I sometimes lost sight of this in 2020.  Regarding a manuscript I am working on,

Read More

Celebrating the Ezra Jack Keats Award!

In these pandemic times, we need the joy and inspiration the children’s book community brings to us.  The 35th Anniversary of the Ezra Jack Keats Award is certainly one reason to celebrate.  April 2021 marks the event, but it’s not

Read More