the Book Friends Forever Podcast

Children's book publishing’s secrets are revealed as we listen in on fascinating, unguarded, insider discussion from two uniquely qualified best friends: award-winning author/illustrator Grace Lin, and one of NYC’s top editors, Alvina Ling. Go behind the scenes of kid lit and catch a glimpse of the lives of the best-selling author and editor, and the relationship between them.

Episode #37- The 2016 Election

Episode #37- The 2016 Election

Grace and Alvina are chatting together for this episode just after the 2019 Election Day. They start off with the usual catching up on each other’s lives and they dive right into the big topic; the 2016 presidential election. They have no intention of being overly political in this podcast and want to be mindful of the fact that not all the listeners share their same liberal political stand points.

First, Happy Book Birthday to Grace’s new book, A Big Bed For Little Snow! She had a very successful book launch at Porter Square Books. (Even though she lost her voice a bit!)

Grace’s book launch for A Big Bed For Little Snow!

Grace’s book launch for A Big Bed For Little Snow!

The book friends decide to open up about how they both felt about the results of the 2016 election and how it effected their work.

Alvina recalls that somber day at work the next day when she was presenting the book “Hey Black Child” by Useni Eugene Perkins. Someone in her office thought maybe it would be too sad to show a video about the book that had gone viral after the election. However, Alvina thought differently; that NOW is the BEST time to show this moving video! It is an empowering poem and that is more what she felt people needed to hear at the time.

You can check out this video here!:


Grace recalls just how devastated she was after the election of 2016. She really felt as though she could not trust anyone anymore. There were issues of race from her upbringing that rose to the surface and she generally felt shaken to her core. It was hard for her to get out of that slump after the election but she heard a quote that helped her move on in a more positive way. The quote was “Joy is an act of resistance.”

What are they grateful for? Alvina is grateful for this podcast and website because someone had heard Alvina mention her insomnia, so the listener sent an email with the name of a great magnesium sleeping aid called “Calm Powder.”

Grace is so grateful that she was able to make the switch from writing novels to picture books. That’s not typically an easy transition and she feels grateful for the ability to do that.

Two Minute Book Reviews by Alison Morris:


“Infinite Hope-A Black Artists Journey From World War II to Peace.” by Ashley Bryan.


Alison Morris is a nationally recognized children's book buyer with an infectious enthusiasm for reading and 20 years' experience matching books to readers. As the Senior Director of Title Selection for nonprofit First Book, she oversees the curation of children’s and young adult books on the First Book Marketplace, hand-selecting a diverse range of titles that speak to and address the needs of kids in underserved communities, with a keen eye to inclusion, authenticity, and kid-appeal. She previously served as Senior Editor at Scholastic Book Clubs, Children's Book Buyer for Wellesley Booksmith and The Dartmouth Bookstore, and was the founding blogger of the ShelfTalker children’s book blog for Publishers Weekly. She'll be joining us from her home near Washington, DC where she spends LOTS of time discussing books with her husband, illustrator and graphic novelist Gareth Hinds.

Other books and media mentioned in this podcast:

Episode #36: Fears!

Episode #36: Fears!