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Becoming Vanessa Brantley-Newton: She's the Queen of Kindergarten (And Everywhere Else)

Dream big. And when you dream big, dream bigger. Dream so big it scares you. That's when you know you're on the right track. -- Vanessa Brantley-Newton


This week on the Adventures in Learning podcast, we celebrate the book birthday of Nesting Dolls and the real-life birthday of its author/illustrator Vanessa Brantley Newton. Join us for an exuberant episode that touches on everything from dyslexia to embracing your inner five year old. We talk about the importance of books as windows and mirrors, manifesting your dreams, and creating space to connect with others. And Vanessa's story of how she overcame challenges to become the beloved illustrator, author, and entrepreneur she is today is inspirational. Get ready for a dose of feel-good as we meet the Queen of Kindergarten (and everywhere else) Vanessa Brantley-Newton!

  • [01:24] Vanessa discusses Nesting Dolls, her latest picture book emphasizing diversity and self-acceptance.

  • [08:53] Vanessa's background as a makeup artist and experiences caring for sick children broaden her perspective.

  • [13:01] The importance of self-care, exploring diverse perspectives on social media, and experiencing different cultures

  • [16:37] Manifestation techniques and importance of teaching self-love to children

  • [20:01] The journey from working multiple jobs to becoming a NYT bestselling illustrator

  • [26:42] How she connected with fellow artists through blogging and built her career

  • [28:08] Valuing one's dreams and using life experiences for creative inspiration

  • [29:26] Three of Vanessa's favorite books: Don't Let Auntie Mabel Bless the Table, Grandma's Purse, and Becoming Vanessa

  • [31:36] How Becoming Vanessa reflects her personal journey

  • [32:54] Collaborating with Derek Barnes on the King and Queen of Kindergartenseries

  • [37:41] Christmas collection with Target

  • [40:30] Ezra Jack Keats' shared influence on us, particularly The Snowy Day and Peter's Chair

  • [41:43] Shared love of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and that time when Dr. Diane's daughter licked Eric Carle

  • [44:14] Growing up with dyslexia

  • [48:46] Upcoming projects, including Shake It Off and a PBS pilot

  • [50:05] Joy in teaching art and hope for fostering self-love and love for others in children

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TRANSCRIPT Becoming Vanessa Brantley-Newton -- Manifesting Joy With the NYT Best-Selling I
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