September 28, 2017

MUDDY: THE STORY OF BLUES LEGEND MUDDY WATERS

It's hard to know where to start when it comes to Michael Mahin and Evan Turk's collaboration Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters. Every part of the book was created with precision, from the musical flow of the text to the bluesy feel of the illustrations.


September 26, 2017

Let's Talk Illustrators #42: Ryan T Higgins

If there was ever a grump we couldn't wait to see again, it's Bruce, the curmudgeonly bear. So naturally I had a million and a half questions for author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins about what he has in store for Bruce in his latest book Bruce's Big Move. Suffice it to say, this won't be the book where Bruce finds the peace and quiet he's looking for . . .


September 24, 2017

NIMOSHOM AND HIS BUS

"Nimoshom drove a school bus. Sometimes he spoke in Cree." These are the first two lines of Penny M Thomas and Karen Hibbard's Nimoshom and His Bus, and I have to say, they sum up the story pretty well.


September 21, 2017

AFTER THE FALL: HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN

Everyone knows that Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall and Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after his fall? Dan Santat's brilliant new picture book After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again reveals the events that followed Humpty Dumpty's fall to the ground and how he gets back his confidence.


September 19, 2017

Let's Talk Illustrators #41: Tim Miller

It took months, but we did it! Author-illustrator Tim Miller and I finally had a chance to talk about his books, which are not only growing in number, but growing in acclaim, too! Today we're mainly talking about Moo Moo in a Tutu, but since one of my favorite books right now is Margarash, we're talking about that, too! Check out Tim's process for creating beloved characters like Snappsy and Moo Moo (I can't say Margarash is beloved, but he sure is memorable!).


September 17, 2017

FEATHER

Before I could get my hands on it, I'd heard non-stop buzz about RĂ©mi Courgeon's Feather. Not really into sports (and less into boxing), I didn't really pay the buzz any attention until the one fateful afternoon I caught sight of the cover. I was hooked after that.



September 14, 2017

FRANKLIN'S FLYING BOOKSHOP

As if I needed yet ANOTHER reason to adore illustrator Katie Harnett, we now have Franklin's Flying Bookshop, written by Jen Campbell. And the illustrations don't disappoint!


September 13, 2017

Let's Talk Illustrators #40: Christian Robinson

By this point, Christian Robinson hardly needs an introduction. He has won a Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors (plural!), a Sibert Informational Book Award Honor, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Honor . . . the list goes on. So, without (much) further ado, I'm proud to showcase my interview with Christian about his latest picture book When's My Birthday?, written by Julie Fogliano, which captures the spirit and energy of the age old question, "When is my birthday?"


September 10, 2017

FULL OF FALL

April Pulley Sayre's latest book Full of Fall might just be the most beautiful one yet (though I could just be saying that because she explores autumn, and autumn is my favorite season — just the colors alone!)


September 7, 2017

THE SCARIEST BOOK EVER

In the style of the classic The Monster at the End of This Book comes Bob Shea's hilarious new book The Scariest Book Ever about a character who's afraid of what he'll find at the end of his own book.


September 5, 2017

Let's Talk Illustrators #39: Molly Idle

A little while back I was putting together a post on complementary colors (which you all know is my jam), and I sent out a tweet about purple-and-yellow picture books. And thus my conversation with Molly Idle about her new board book Flora and the Ostrich: An Opposites Book was born! Molly is a Caldecott Honor winner for her first book in the Flora series Flora and the Flamingo, and I cannot believe my timing that I was able to interview Molly about this book in particular because it's my favorite one in the series so far (yes, yes, because of those yellows and purples). Enjoy the awesomeness that is Molly Idle!


September 3, 2017

#kidlitpicks August Round-Up: 15 Fairytales & Traditional Stories

Whether they are called fairytales, legends, tall tales, fables, folklore, origin stories, or mythology, each of these stories carries pieces of history and cultural connections that draw lines of similarities between those separated by distance and time. They give us insight into the morals, principals, and beliefs of those who came before us, creating history lessons through drama and cultural lessons with plot. These stories provide a testament not only to who we are but how we've grown and what we've achieved throughout the years. They are ways to teach our children patience, perseverance, hope, love, kindness, bravery, and the importance of wit.

So, no matter if your tales are of a Grimm version, told through song, or related by a coyote or a spider, we look forward to hearing them. They are a celebration of heritage and history from around the world, showcasing that which we hold important and dear. Our world is a fast moving place, in which we constantly see shifting changes, especially in literature. But these tales, these have withstood the test of time.

During the month of August the @kidlitpicks book club explored fairytale books, new and old. Thanks to Wendy from Homegrown Reader for the exceptional theme!


September 1, 2017

First Friday 5: Making Friends

Graphic novels exist in the same sphere as picture books: they both use text and illustration to create a cohesive story, and they both require a certain understanding of how visual narratives flow across the page. With the added length in pages, though, graphic novels stand apart as a unique way to show and tell longer, more complex stories to an audience that appreciates visual storytelling as much as textual (ie picture books for adults!).

Because of these overlaps in concept and form (and because I can't stop thinking about them), I'm starting First Friday 5: five themed graphic novels on the first Friday of each month. I'll include a spread from each book so you can sneak a peek at their illustration styles and their storytelling techniques, and I hope you'll join me as I explore them more closely.

The first theme is a timeless one: making friends. Whether it's starting a new school, getting a new neighbor, or having a new crush, we've all experienced the universal trial of making friends in unfamiliar circumstances. Here are five graphic novels that show us the ins and outs of making new friends, one awkward moment at a time.