August 24, 2016


I saw Marianna Coppo's Petra online a couple of weeks ago and immediately knew I had to have it. There was just one problem: there are no English copies in print yet! Only Italian. So I ended up purchasing it from Italy, and you know what? It was totally worth it. With a working knowledge of Spanish and lot of internet translating (thank you, Google), I was able to read the book, and it is every bit as special as I thought it would be. Even if the text were not as wonderful as it is, the illustrations alone are worth all the effort

August 23, 2016

Crossing the Line

Today we're discussing a key part of picture book anatomy called the gutter, or the space in the middle of the book where two facing pages meet. Design-wise, it's usually a) worked around so that there's a wide margin of white space, or b) entirely forgotten about to the point where images are lost or warped when the book is printed and bound. Every book has a gutter, though, so it's so fun when illustrators use it to their advantage. Rather than working around the gutter or ignoring it, illustrators use the gutter as an structural element, an irremovable part of the illustrations. In the past couple of months, a few books have come out that emphasize the gutter, and I'm excited to showcase them today!

August 21, 2016


Have you seen The Color Monster yet?? It's one of those books you want to open from the moment you see the cover. Anna Llenas's pop-up book about feelings is so sweet and lovely. As we open the book, a little girl introduces her friend, the color monster, who is feeling all mixed up. The color monster is drawn in colors from the entire spectrum of the rainbow, and the girl offers to help the monster separate each out into individual bottles.

August 15, 2016


Life Without Nico by Andrea Maturana and Francisco Javier Olea is my next choice for #kidlitpicks August theme #UniqueFriendships because it's one of the most stand-out friendship books I've seen. It's an exploration of the grief a young girl feels when her best friend moves away and the later guilt she feels at making new friends. It feels so honest and authentic, and it tackles a common issue in such a fresh and beautiful way

What Is It Good For?

Today's topic is a tough, but important one: war. It's a particularly difficult subject matter to write about, especially for children, but there are a handful of writers and illustrators who handle it exceptionally well, both textually and visually. Given the difficulty of the topic, it's interesting that I had such a tough time narrowing down today's list. We actually ended up with one extra than usual! These books use the text and images to explore the innately cyclical nature of war and the oftentimes pointless battles we fight.

David McKee actually has two books that deal with the subject: Six Men and The Conquerors.


August 9, 2016

Let's Talk Esmé Shapiro

A little while ago I did a post on foxes, and I included Esmé Shapiro's picture book debut Ooko. But just TALKING about this book wasn't enough for me. I had to get into Esmé's mind to learn how our adorable little fox friend came to life. The illustrations are dreamy, the story is relatable, and the humor Esmé throws in is just phenomenal.

August 8, 2016

All the Wonders of RETURN

This month at All the Wonders we are celebrating Return, the magical and final picture book in Aaron Becker's wordless Journey trilogy about a girl who creates her own portal to a world of imagination.

Stop by All the Wonders for an in-depth look at the book, an interview with creator Aaron Becker, and more!