On the eve of the first ever Children’s Book Day at Town Hall, author and illustrator Jessixa Bagley chats with Jeffrey Lee Cheatham II of Seattle Urban Book Expo (S.U.B.E.) about the world of children’s book publishing. Bagley and Cheatham share their insights about the industry and art, drawn from their own experiences.
Both from Seattle, Bagley and Cheatham also share a passion for children’s books. For Bagley, picture books have been a lifelong love. She grew up in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon where she developed a love of hamburgers, drawing, and anthropomorphic food. As an adult, she decided to follow her childhood dreams of being a cartoonist and picture book maker. Today, Bagley is the winner of multiple national awards for her books and has captured the attention of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly, among many other publications.
Cheatham works as an advocate for bringing more BIPOC voices to the publishing industry. His journey began in 2012 when he took his daughter to the bookstore and couldn’t find any books with Black or Brown faces. Instead of complaining about it, he decided to write a book. He founded the Seattle Urban Book Expo and continues to publish children’s books of his own. Join Bagley and Cheatham as they discuss their own storied careers to inspire others to follow their dreams of working in children’s book publishing.
Children’s Book Day, presented by Town Hall Seattle and S.U.B.E., will be a day of celebration featuring a host of BIPOC children’s book authors. Bagley and Cheatham will kick off the event the night before, setting the stage for more authors to share their books and enthusiasm for children’s literature.
Jessixa Bagley is children’s book author/illustrator with a background in fine art and comics. She has had work featured in publications such as New American Paintings, The Chicago Reader, Nickelodeon Magazine, and Highlights Magazine. Her first picture book, Boats for Papa, received numerous awards and accolades including the 2016 SCBWI Golden Kite Award for best picture book text and a 2016 Washington State Book Award. Her picture book Laundry Day received a 2018 Ezra Jack Keats Honor Award for writing. Many of her picture books are also Junior Library Guild Selections. In her work, she often is drawn to animals and emotional themes often inspired by her own experiences. Alongside her books and comics, Jessixa also teaches and speaks about writing and illustration. She often illustrates for other writers and artistically collaborates with her husband, Aaron Bagley. Jessixa lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and son.
Jeffrey Lee Cheatham II is a children’s book author and creator of the Seattle Urban Book Expo (S.U.B.E.), an organization that provides promotional and writing services for aspiring self-published authors of color. He is the author of three children’s books –– The Family Jones and The Eggs of Rex, Why is Jane so Mad?, and Hi Blue Sky. Jeffrey was named as a Jack Straw Cultural Writers Cohort for the 2020 class.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.