May 25, 2017

Red & Green (#kidartlit)

In celebration of my stint as guest judge for #kidartlit, I'm spending the week talking about complementary colors in picture books, starting with red and green! Enjoy, and be sure to add any additions in the comments below — I'm always looking for more!

May 24, 2017

Mel guest judges #kidartlit

Starting today, I'm a guest judge for the #kidartlit challenge on Instagram! #kidartlit is a weekly hashtag challenge that inspires participants to share picture books, process art, crafts, and other learning activities on a theme. Every week features a new guest judge, and yours truly has chosen one of her favorite illustration topics: complementary colors! I hope you'll join me here and on Instagram as I guest judge and chat about my favorite picture books with complementary colors throughout the week.

May 23, 2017

Let's Talk Illustrators #26: Basak Agaoglu

If you haven't heard of debut author-illustrator Basak Agaoglu by now, I can safely say that won't be the case for long. Her debut The Almost Impossible Thing published in April 2017 to critical acclaim, and given the complexities of her debut (which we'll get into below!), the world is definitely waiting with baited breath to see what she'll create next. Basak was kind enough to stop by and chat about her foray into children's books and how she unexpectedly came to write her incredible debut. Enjoy!

May 21, 2017


A Different Pond, written by acclaimed poet Bao Phi and illustrated by graphic novelist Thi Bui, is a lyrical, touching story about a father-son fishing trip in the wee hours of the morning. Bao Phi based the story on his own experiences of getting up early to go fishing with his father and reflecting on the future his parents were building for him and his siblings.

May 18, 2017


Princess and the Peas by debut author-illustrator Rachel Himes is a twist on the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea." But instead of watching a woman's royal identity become uncovered by testing her physical sensitivity, this story is about a woman taking control of her own destiny.

May 16, 2017

Let's Talk Illustrators #25: Kenard Pak

Kenard Pak is a man of many talents. He has worked as a Visual Development Artist for Dreamworks Animation and Walt Disney Animation, and he has made the successful transition into illustrating (and writing!) children's picture books. His newest picture book The Fog, written by Kyo Maclear, is special though, serving as a visual ode to Ken's personal inspirations: nature, time and memory. I'm so excited to take you inside this beautiful book!

May 14, 2017


This month's #kidlitpicks theme is "flowers," so the moment I saw Ivy and the Lonely Raincloud, I knew it was going to be the perfect book to showcase. It's no big secret how much I love Katie Harnett's work (seriously, just do a search for her name in the search bar -->), and the follow-up to her 2016 debut Archie Snufflekins Oliver Valentine Cupcake Tiberius Cat does not disappoint.