Cecilia Yung is Executive Art Director & Vice President at Penguin Books for Young Readers where she oversees illustration and design for two imprints, G. P. Putnam's Sons and Nancy Paulsen Books. She is fortunate to have worked with some of the major illustrators of children’s books, but the highlight of her work is to discover and develop new talent. She is on the Board of Advisors of SCBWI, as well as a member of its Illustrators’ Committee.
Nancy Paulsen is the President and Publisher of Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers. The imprint publishes fifteen books a year and focuses on eye-opening, often funny picture books and middle grade fiction from diverse and distinct voices, especially stories that are inventive and emotionally satisfying. New York Times bestsellers she has edited include National Book Award and Newbery Honor Winner Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and Miss Maple’s Seeds by Eliza Wheeler. Other award-winning titles include Coretta Scott King Honor Winner Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson and E.B. Lewis; Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman and Leaves by David Ezra Stein.
Kudos to Nancy Paulsen and Cecilia Yung who -- during a power outage -- used only their voices to speak to a packed breakout session about how they collaborate on distinct picture books with authors and illustrators. They read aloud from works such as The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra (written by Marc Nobleman, illustrated by SCBWI mentorship winner Ana Aranda!) and Daniel Finds a Poem (written and illustrated by Micha Archer) and discussed their objectives and what they look for in authors and illustrators, both.
Here are a few notes I wrote down as they discussed illustrators who use texture, color, and distinctive technique to enhance the words on the page.