Congratulations to Lindsay Leslie, Assistant Regional Advisor of the Austin SCBWI chapter, for winning a Crystal Kite Award for her picture book, Dusk Explorers! The book, illustrated by Ellen Rooney and released from Page Street Kids in June, 2020, invites children to experience the summer magic of outdoor play in the streets and natural spaces of their neighborhoods.
SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Awards—among the only peer-judged awards in the children’s literature world—are given annually on a regional basis. Dusk Explorers was named the winner of the Texas/Oklahoma region, continuing an amazing winning streak for the Austin SCBWI chapter: this is the third year in a row that the regional winner has been an Austin chapter member!
Lindsay says, “I’m super excited to have won the Crystal Kite for our region! I mean to have our work (mine and Ellen’s) selected among our peers…I’m just honored and gobsmacked.”
The book’s inspiration came “when a memory from my childhood jumped into my mind,” she explains: “a moment in time when I would run outside after dinner with my older sister and neighborhood friends and enjoy the extended summer evenings. We would play old-fashioned games that still stand the test of time. We would catch toads and fireflies. We would share secrets and climb trees. We would all wait for the streetlights to blink on and give us the warning that our parents would soon call us home, and when they did, we would try to ignore them. I knew I needed to write about that. Another reason for my writing this story was I desperately want these moments for the children of today, for my children. I want them to have the unbridled freedom of roaming the neighborhood streets with their friends, so they can build their autonomy and self-confidence, and enjoy all that’s available to them just outside their front door.”