Member News!

I hope all your spirits have been lifted with the reappearance of the sun. I know it’s done me a world of good! We’ve got a couple of extra rays of sunshine today with some member news.

First up is a lovely review by Janisse Ray for Friends in Fur Coats, which is illustrated by Rebecca Evans (who is also our area Illustrator Coordinator!).

“In this beautifully illustrated picture book, Noah finds out from his animal friends why fur belongs on animals, not people. Sitting on his bed with his cat Mango and his furry toy animals, Noah asks, “Why do you get to have fur coats, but I don’t?” In his dream that night, Noah’s animals offer a variety of answers. He learns how vital each animal’s coat is to its survival and happiness. 

Through light-hearted, engaging, and informative interactions, Friends in Fur Coats tackles the difficult topic of why using animal fur is inherently inhumane. Children learn in vivid detail what makes each animal’s fur unique, as well as other facts special to each animal.

FriendsInFurCoatsThe vibrant illustrations and language illuminate and stress the beauty and vitality of real fur-bearing animals while making a connection to children’s beloved plush toys as stand-ins for animals that need their protection and care.

Young Noah, like most children, is so attuned to animals that he joins them in his dreams, wondering why he has skin rather than fur. This lovely book looks at the ways animals benefit from their fur. It is beautifully rendered and fun to read.”

—Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of A Cracker Childhood, and six other titles, Georgia Writers Hall of Fame honoree


Rebecca Evans

Rebecca Evans, the illustrator of nine previous children’s picture books, including Someday I’ll Fly, lives in Maryland. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Art with a concentration in Drawing and Illustration from Messiah College. She worked for nine years as an artist and designer before returning to her first love, children’s book illustration and writing. Her experience includes illustrating and authoring children’s books, teaching art at her local art center, and publishing artwork in magazines and with multiple publishing houses. She enjoys spending time with her husband and four young children, working from her home studio.

Area member Dr. Steven C. Cunningham received two great write-ups for his second book Poemenclature: Poems About Your Body, which will be released in October of this year from Under The Maple Tree, an imprint of Knox Robinson Press. Added bonus – this book is illustrated by our own Susan Detwiler!

b9b0cd6635350987b011077b96d2a804Dr. Steven Clark Cunningham was born in Denver, Colorado. After graduating from Creighton University with majors in chemistry and Spanish, he attended medical school at George Washington University in Washington, DC. He is currently working as Director of Pancreatic and Hepatobiliary Surgery and Director of Research at Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, MD and is widely-published in his field. Dr. Cunningham has served as a contributing editor of Maryland Poetry Review, and his poems have appeared in Maryland Poetry Review, The New Physician (winner of literary arts contest), Chimeras, WordHouse: Baltimore’s Literary Calendar, the anthology Function At The Junction #2 (Electric Press, 1997), the Cookbook Pasta Poetics (ed. Matt Hohner, 1997), and the anthology Poems for Chromosomes (Watermark Press, 1998). Dinosaur Name Poems (Three Conditions Press, 2009) was his first full-length book of children’s poetry.

Congratulations to both Rebecca and Steven for your reviews! You do our area proud!

Happy writing and illustrating, friends!


About Susan Mannix

Susan worked as a biomedical research editor for the Department of the Navy for fourteen years and has been a member of SCBWI since 2007. She writes young adult and middle grade novels. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time doing all things horses, including attending her teenaged daughters’ many competitions. Susan lives in Maryland on a small farm with her husband, two children, an adorable black lab, two cats, and three horses.
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