Please help me welcome Chana Stiefel who’s newest book, LET LIBERTY RISE, How America’s School Children Helped Save The Statue of Liberty, illustrated by Chuck Groenink is a fabulous story of inspiration and empowered children. She’s published several books, but first came to my attention with her book, MY NAME IS WAKAWAKALOCH! illustrated by Mary Sullivan because it was inspired by having an unusual first name which happens to be the same first name of someone very near and dear to me. Chana is offering a signed copy (US only) of LET LIBERTY RISE, How America’s School Children Helped Save The Statue of Liberty to one lucky winner. Please comment on this post to enter and sharing on your own social media is always appreciated.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
LET LIBERTY RISE! is geared toward children 5 and up. I had a wonderful childhood growing up in Miami, in a home filled with a love of family, reading, nature, and art. Here’s a picture of me with my pet bunny, Shnuchel. My parents are my role models and always encouraged us to lead a creative life.
What inspires you?
I draw inspiration from the kidlit community, the hardest-working, most dedicated, kindest, most empathetic, socially conscious, supportive, and funniest group of people I know. I’m always amazed by the immediate responses kidlit authors get to every request—whether writing related or personal. It’s a community that continues to lift each other up, even (or especially) in the hardest times.
What’s something you hope your readers will take away from this book?
One central message of LET LIBERTY RISE comes from a young girl who sent in 60 cents to help build the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. “I wish I could make it $60,000,” she wrote, “but drops make an ocean.” I want readers to know that if they care about a cause, every drop—every action—matters, no matter how small. When we all work together, we can make a lasting difference!
What can we look forward to next from you?
I’m thrilled that I have three more picture books coming out. In 2022, THE TOWER OF LIFE: HOW ONE WOMAN REBUILT HER VILLAGE IN STORIES AND PICTURES, illustrated by award-winning artist Susan Gal, will be coming out from Scholastic. It’s the most challenging project I’ve taken on—a picture book biography of Holocaust survivor and historian Yaffa Eliach, who traveled the world to collect stories and photos to create the Tower of Faces in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. OY, MENDEL: A HANUKKAH MIRACLE, a funny picture book that I wrote with my husband (a first for us), will be coming out from Kalaniot in 2022. And BRAVO, AVOCADO, illustrated by Anna Seussbauer, about an overlooked and underappreciated avocado at the farmers’ market, will be coming out from HarperCollins in 2023.
You can learn more about Chana at: https://chanastiefel.com/