January 22, 2019

Let's Talk Illustrators #95: Jessie Sima

Jessie Sima's books are consistently hilarious, well-designed, and full of heart. They evoke a sense of warmth as her characters discover how they fit into the grander scheme of things, and I was thrilled to get a chance to chat with Jessie about her fourth picture book Love, Z. If you thought narwhals and penguins were cute, wait until you meet Z!

January 20, 2019


Lift Every Voice and Sing: A Celebration of the African American National Anthem by James Weldon Johnson and Elizabeth Catlett is now available in a in an updated edition with a forward by Ashley Bryan and a fresh new design.

January 19, 2019

Crushes of the Week: January 13-19, 2019

This week's crushes:
  1. The Children and the Whale by Daniel Frost (Little Gestalten, October 2018)
  2. Carpenter by Bruna Barros (Gibbs Smith, March 2017)
  3. The Origin of Day and Night by Paula Ikuutaq Rumbolt and Lenny Lishchenko (Inhabit Media, October 2018)
  4. Diana Dances by Luciano Lozano (Annick Press, March 2019)
  5. Little Fox in the Snow by Jonathan London and Daniel Miyares (Candlewick, November 2018)
  6. Perfect by Max Amato (Scholastic Press, January 2019)

January 18, 2019

Let's Talk Illustrators #94: Elise Peterson

In Brontez Purnell's The Nightlife of Jacuzzi Gaskett Jacuzzi balances "normal" childhood issues like not fitting in at school and wondering if people in galaxies far, far away have it easier than he, with watching his younger brother for hours at a time and coming to grips with hating his mother's boyfriend. Although the story is technically fiction, these are real issues experienced by children every day. Add in Elise Peterson's mixed media collage illustrations, and the entire story suddenly feels like a scrapbook: the story becomes even more grounded in reality because not only is the story relatable, but the illustrations themselves are photos pulled from Elise's own life. It was an honor to chat with Elise about her process for bringing this story to life in a visual way.

January 13, 2019


Illustrated by April Harrison, What Is Given From the Heart is Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award winner Patricia C McKissack's final book. Ms. McKissack passed away in the summer of 2017.

January 12, 2019

Crushes of the Week: January 6-12, 2019

This week's crushes:
  1. Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World by Vashti Harrison (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, November 2018)
  2. How Big Is Big? How Far Is Far? All Around Me by Jun Cen (Little Gestalten, October 2018)
  3. Khalida and the Most Beautiful Song by Amanda Moeckel (Page Street Kids, September 2018)
  4. There's a Hole in My Garden by James Stewart (Albert Whitman & Company, September 2018)
  5. Ten Horse Farm by Robert Sabuda (Candlewick, April 2018)
  6. Chilly Penguin by Constanze Von Kitzing and Lisa Rosinsky (Barefoot Books, September 2018)
  7. A Good Day for Ducks by Jane Whittingham and Noel Tuazon (Pajama Press, September 2018)

January 10, 2019

January 8, 2019

Let's Talk Illustrators #93: Cecilia Ruiz

I'm excited to kick off a new year of illustrator interviews by talking to Cecilia Ruiz about A Gift From Abuela. Previously, Cecilia has created two picture books, The Book of Memory Gaps and The Book of Extraordinary Deaths: True Accounts of Ill-Fated Lives, but this is the first book she has made for children, and I'm delighted that I got a chance to interview her about this book specifically. Happy new year, and enjoy!