Interview with Zetta Elliott

Monday, December 8, 2008.

Remember that ad in which a not-so-grown boy said “things sure have changed since when I was a little kid”?  We like to think that’s true of children’s books and, when we think about it, it must be.  If children’s books hadn’t come as far as they have, we wouldn’t have books that tackle issues; books like Not in Room 204, Gleam and Glow and Bird.

On this edition of Just One More Book!!, Mark speaks with Zetta Elliott, author of the book Bird, about publishing picture books that tackle real-life issues like drug addiction, getting published in foreign markets and being daring as both book publishers and book buyers.

To hear more of the conversation with Zetta, sign up for our monthly newsletter on our website,, in time for the December 2008 issue which will include a link to more of our conversation.


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December 8, 2008 @ 6:19 pm

[…] Check out this WONDERFUL interview with Zetta Elliott on JUST ONE MORE BOOK. […]

Comment by Jason Low

December 10, 2008 @ 11:13 am

Even though I’m quite biased (since I’m the publisher) this is a wonderfully honest, eloquent interview. Kudos to JOMB for a very thoughtful and inquisitive interview.

Comment by Just One More Book!!

December 11, 2008 @ 12:56 pm

On a related note: Thanks to Blog From the Windowsill , I just learned that December is National Buy a book by a black author and give it to Somebody Not Black Month

These folks are taking a light approach to the problem Zetta refers to in this JOMB chat.

From their About page:
You’re invited!
Welcome readers of all races, shapes and sizes. Here is where you’ll be safely, carefully introduced to books written by black people. Now, don’t be alarmed. The books are written by black people, but like other books, they can be read by anybody. In fact, we WANT you to read our books. Don’t let the fact that publishers and booksellers put us in the back in the special section of the store scare you. They do that because they want African American readers to be able to find us easily, which is a good thing. However, it has come to our attention that it also puts some of the rest of you off.

So we are extending an official invitation for you to check out our section of the bookstore. Much like in the rest of the bookstore you’ll find books about thugs, hos, murder, revenge, sex, sisters, mothers, daughters, friends, husbands and wives, children, and God. You’ll find romance, mystery, deep thoughts about the meaning of life and death, tear-jerkers and belly laughs….

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