Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

The Dance of Words and Art

Date(s) - 04/08/2017
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

University of San Diego, Hahn School of Nursing, Room 106
5998 Alcalá Park, West Campus - San Diego, CA 92110

The Dance of Words and Art with author Lee Wardlaw and author/illustrator Eugene Yelchin who worked on the picture book WON TON together.

A picture book can sway like a hula, strut the tango, or leap in a sea shanty jig. But how do author and illustrator boogie, bop, and kabuki together when they’re not true partners until the final performance? Join the award-winning team of Lee Wardlaw and Eugene Yelchin as they share their dance steps for creating WON TON – A CAT TALE TOLD IN HAIKU, and its companion title WON TON AND CHOPSTICK.



Lee Wardlaw Lee Wardlaw claims that her first spoken word was ‘kitty’. Since then, she’s shared her life with 30 cats (not all at the same time!), and published 30 award-winning books for children and young adults, selling more than a million copies world-wide. Lee’s picture books include: Won Ton – A Cat Tale Told in Haiku (Holt, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin), recipient of numerous honors including the Lee Bennett Hopkins Children’s Poetry Award, the Myra Cohn Livingston Poetry Award, and the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award; Red, White and Boom!, a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year and a CBC “Best Diversity Book”; and Punia and the King of Sharks, an NCSS Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies and recipient of the Treasure State Young Reader Award. Her newest book with Eugene Yelchin, Won Ton and Chopstick (Holt), received the 2016 BookSource Scout Award and was named a 2016 NCTE Notable Poetry Book.  Lee has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Cal Poly, SLO and is finishing her M.Ed. in Child Development. Lee has been a member of the SCBWI since 1980, and is currently serving as a mentor for the Cen-Cal region. She is also a long-time member of the Authors Guild, the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California, the CRA, the North American Montessori Teachers’Association, Association Montessori Internationale and, yes, even the Cat Writers’Association!


author photo 2017 (1)

Eugene Yelchin is a Russian-American artist best known as an illustrator and writer of books for children. In 2006, at the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators conference Yelchin received the Tomie DePaola Illustration Award and began writing and illustrating picture books and middle grade historical fiction. In 2010, his illustrations for The Rooster Prince of Breslov received a National Jewish Book Award. In 2012, Won Ton, A Cat Tale Told In Haiku that he illustrated received over forty awards. In 2012, Breaking Stalin’s Nose, a middle grade novel that he wrote and illustrated received Newbery Honor and has been translated into ten languages. His books received starred reviews and were included on many best books of the year lists. He is also the Golden Kite 2017 Middle Grade Winner: The Haunting of Falcon House.