Tag Archives: sean qualls

Introducing EMMANUEL’S DREAM (plus a book giveaway)

Every week,  I come out of the library lugging an armful of picture books. I’m looking for one thing–a good story, well told, with beautiful art. It’s a rare find. So it is a pure pleasure to introduce you to just such a book today–Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls is out in the world. It’s a great story, told in a storyteller’s voice with art that beautifully complements the telling.

coverWe’ll be celebrating that book all week here. We have a book giveaway. Interviews with the illustrator, Sean Qualls, and Laurie’s agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette. A roundup of  places where you can find out more about Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah. And the Emus recommendations for other inspiring books. It’s going to be a great week.

And it’s all in support of a great book.

Here’s what some other people have been saying about it: “Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah’s inspiring true story—which was turned into a film, Emmanuel’s Gift, narrated by Oprah Winfrey—is nothing short of remarkable.

Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people—but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

Thompson’s lyrical prose and Qualls’s bold collage illustrations offer a powerful celebration of triumphing over adversity.” (Schwartz and Wade, publisher’s web page.)


“Emmanuel is a young boy born in Ghana who overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to prove that disabled does not mean unable. In Ghana, individuals who are differently abled are often seen as useless or cursed, but Emmanuel never let that stand in his way. Despite having only one leg, he attended school, hopping two miles each way, earned money to support his family without having to beg, and bicycled 400 miles in just 10 days in an attempt to change the conversation about disabilities. Emmanuel’s Dream is an inspirational story about a young man who recognized injustice, set out to fix it, and refused to take no for an answer.” —Sara Grochowski, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, MI (Winter 2014-2015 Kids’ Indie Next List)
Comment on any post this week and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Emmanuel’s Dream. Pick up a signed copy at  Secret Garden Bookshop (if you add your personalization request in the comments section, Laurie will sign it for you!) or check out IndieBound for a local bookstore near you. Of course, you can also find it on Amazon.com or BN.com.


Filed under Book Giveaway, Celebrations


Oh my goodness, what a great time the last two weeks have been, with two book launch celebration parties in a row! We Emu’s are a little hungover from all that partying (in the best kinds of ways), so today we’ll keep it simple and I’ll share some pictures with you. You may have noticed them in the left-hand sidebar, since I sneakily put them up there a few weeks ago, but here’s the official unveiling. Drum roll, please…

First, the cover for EMMANUEL’S DREAM: THE TRUE STORY OF EMMANUEL OFOSU YEBOAH (Schwartz & Wade/January 2015), illustrated by Sean Qualls:

Emmanuel's Dream cover


Second, the cover for MY DOG IS THE BEST (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/June 2015), illustrated by Paul Schmid:

My Dog Is the Best cover


So different, yet each perfectly fits their book, and I couldn’t be happier with the results!


Filed under Celebrations, cover art, Happiness, Picture books, Thankfulness