I’m so pleased to announce a new deal for Felicia Sanzari Chernesky – the fifth picture book text that we’ve sold to Albert Whitman! The third of those books is coming out this fall (SUGAR WHITE SNOW AND EVERGREENS), and is going to be gorgeous, thanks to the beautiful artwork of Susan Swan, and the good care that editor Wendy McClure and Albert Whitman have given Felicia’s books every step of the way.
Felicia’s first four titles with AW are rhyming picture books about four seasonal visits to a local farm, to pick pumpkins, to bring home fresh corn, to tap maple syrup, and finally to see the baby chicks hatch. The genius of these books is in their bouncy, irresistible rhythm, and the concepts they each explore – shapes, numbers, colors and opposites. This newest title is quite different, and very lovely. NONSENSE is about a boy who rarely speaks, except to say numbers. Eleven seems to be his favorite. Those around him are often confused by this, and his mother grows increasingly concerned—until the day she discovers that he has been making sense all along.
Nonsense was inspired by a member of the author's family, who is on the autism spectrum. Felicia chose allegory to tell this tale, which focuses on the ways in which we learn to communicate, because everyone sees the world differently and uses different kinds of intelligence. The result is an accessible story that stands on its own, while giving families, teachers, and friends a way to talk about autism—or any other circumstance or condition that challenges our ability to communicate and understand one another.