Emily’s children’s book Summoning the Phoenix: Poems and Prose about Chinese Musical Instruments is by Shen’s Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books! Gorgeously illustrated by debut artist April Chu, Summoning the Phoenix is a fun and educational read. The nonfictional sidebars share historical facts about Chinese musical instruments while the whimsical art and poetry portray a range of experiences that children feel when playing music: tranquility, stage fright, wonder and joy. The children playing these instruments include an array of ethnic backgrounds because Chinese music can be enjoyed by everyone!
AWARDS & HONORS
- Best Children’s Books of 2014 in Kirkus Reviews
- Best Picture Books of 2014 in Huffington Post
- Recipient of an Eureka! Honor Award from the California Reading Association for excellence in nonfiction for children
- Kirkus Starred Review
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Excerpt from final poem “Being Backstage”
Now I must dress up:
Shiny black shoes,
Neatly pressed concert dress
Or crisp trousers, button-down shirt,
And a bow tie
Bow ties are cool.
Previews, Interviews, & Reviews for Summoning the Phoenix
- Sheela of Saffron Tree says that the “poems capture the mood via upbeat free verses” and the “illustrations are breathtaking.” Read the full review at The Saffron Tree.
- Crystal Brunelle of Reading for Life & Rich in Color describes Summoning the Phoenix as “a blend of modern and ancient.” Read the full review at Reading Through Life.
- Nancy Bo Flood of The Pirate Tree reviews Summoning the Phoenix and calls it “an orchestra of images, poetry, and informative narratives.” Read the full review at The Pirate Tree.
- DiversiFYA celebrates its 1 year anniversary & #WeNeedDiverseBooks with my guest post “Reflecting Reality: Visual Representation of Racial Diversity in Children’s Literature in the United States” where I discuss April Chu’s artwork in Summoning the Phoenix
- NerdVana Podcast, my friends who were special guests at one of my book release parties, releases two podcasts featuring interviews with me, April Chu, and other friends, plus coverage of our book party presentations and live Chinese music performances. Click on “Summoning the Phoenix at Kepler’s” Pt1 [04/19/2014] #093 to listen to Part 1.
- Foreword Reviews gives Summoning the Phoenix a nice review and calling it a “wealth of information.”
- News editor Nick Vernon of the Palo Alto Weekly interviews me about why I chose to write books for children.
- The Ink Splat, online newsletter for the Society of Young Inklings, features me as their author for the month of April. Read my interview about music, poetry, and revision in “Making Music.”
- Debbi Michiko Florence shines her April Spotlight on Summoning the Phoenix! Comment for a free copy of the book!
- In honor of National Poetry Month, Emily Kristin Anderson shares my guest blog post “Summoning Li Bai” where I share how Chinese poetry has influenced my writing.
- Two cool videos: Mark Oshiro aka Mark Does Stuff made wonderful videos of him reading Summoning the Phoenix at Mark Reads!
- Mary Robinette Kowal showcases one of my poems “Magical Melody” and April Chu’s gorgeous companion art on My Favorite Bit!
- John Scalzi features Summoning the Phoenix on The Big Idea, where I share how The Big Idea for a picture book originated from research for a novel.
- Lee & Low announces the publication of Summoning the Phoenix and shares a great video of a girl playing a dizi on The Open Blog!
- Kirkus Reviews gives Summoning the Phoenix a Starred Review! “…a lively medley that will expand the musical boundaries of most young audiences.” Read the full review at Kirkus.
- Illustrator April Chu explains her process in illustrating my poem “Painting with Sound” from Summoning the Phoenix.
- Greg Pincus at Gotta Book publishes a preview of “Painting with Sound,” a poem about the guzheng from Summoning the Phoenix.
- Althaea Kontis interviews me about my writing process and my book, and I reply in prose and haiku.
- Illustrator April Chu reveals photos of the proofs from Summoning the Phoenix.