October 31, 2017

Let's Talk Illustrators #47: Shawn Harris

Recently I got the chance to chat with debut picture book illustrator Shawn Harris about Her Right Foot, written by Dave Eggers. There's so much that's incredible about this book –– the subject matter, the message, the delivery –– but before I even knew the story, it was the illustration style and design of the book that captured my heart. Shawn might just be starting his career in children's book illustration, but it's clear that this is where he was meant to be all along, and it is my sincere pleasure to share our conversation with you.


October 29, 2017

SECRETS OF THE SEA

While there are many, many books in this world about what lies in the depths of the ocean, Kate Baker and Eleanor Taylor's Secrets of the Sea might take the cake in terms of beauty.


October 28, 2017

#kidlitpicks October Round-Up: 15 Books about Halloween

Broomsticks, jack-o’-lanterns, haunted houses, tricks and treats, ghostly games, neighbourhood parties, skeletons, Frankenstein, candy corn… the list goes on. All things fun and fearsome come out at Halloween. There are children who countdown the days until that frightfully fantastic night when they get to dress up as anything imaginable, hang out with family and friends, and eat bucketloads of candy. The build-up adds to the excitement—carving pumpkins, decorating your home with scary spiders, tombstones and fake zombie arms, picking out your costume, baking apple pies, watching spooky movies and reading Halloween stories.

Throughout October, @kidlitpicks shared standout Halloween-themed books for your children to enjoy. These are sure to delight kids eager for the festivities to start and ease the fears of others that may be a little anxious about the hair-raising holiday. Books are good like that. We hope that you too will dust the cobwebs off your favourite Halloween stories, those scary and those not so scary, and join us! Thanks to Arielle from @childrensbooksgalore for our spooky scary theme!



October 26, 2017

CHIBI SAMURAI WANTS A PET

I was over the moon when I learned that the second book in An Adventure with Little Kunoichi the Ninja Girl was coming out. And it doesn't disappoint! Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet by Sanae Ishida is a wonderful addition to the series.


October 24, 2017

Let's Talk Illustrators #46: Julie Kim

In my mind Julie Kim's debut book Where's Halmoni? represents the most perfect picture book-graphic novel hybrid I've ever seen. Julie is careful to build a well-rounded world in which the story is accessible, the dialogue is easy to follow, and there's plenty to look at in every single panel. What more could you want? As far as introductory graphic novels go, this one has been on my Best Grade School Graphic Novels list for a couple of months now because of its inherent ability to guide young readers through the process of learning to read panels and understand visual narratives. Truly a gem of a book that defies categorization, and I urge you to seek it out immediately if you haven't had the  pleasure of experiencing it. For now, though, I'll let our conversation do the talking. Enjoy! 


October 22, 2017

DANZA!

I think it's safe to say at this point that it's fairly universally accepted that Duncan Tonatiuh can do no wrong. His latest book Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México (which is both authored and illustrated by him) serves to drive that point home.


October 19, 2017

CRAZY ABOUT CATS

Everyone stop what you're doing. I found a book that is basically my life, and I must share it with you. I've actually been called crazy about cats more times than I can count, so Owen Davey's Crazy About Cats is basically halfway to a memoir for me.


October 17, 2017

Let's Talk Illustrators #45: LeUyen Pham

If you've ever seen anything by LeUyen Pham –– and let's face it, you definitely have because she's illustrated almost 100 books so far –– then you know just how versatile she is. Each project LeUyen tackles shows us that she is not afraid to take risks as an illustrator and believes every world she illustrates is unique, in style, tone, color, technique, and more. Her new picture book Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterpiece, written by Marc Harshman and Anna Egan Smucker, is no exception, and I knew from the cover that I wanted to talk to LeUyen about this book and how she created her illustrations. I'm so excited to share our conversation with you today. Enjoy the brilliance and tirelessness that is LeUyen Pham!


October 15, 2017

MAURICE THE UNBEASTLY

This month at kidlitpicks we're talking about Halloween! And Halloween means scary beasts, ghoulish hijinks, and . . . strange eating habits? At least, that's what you get in Amy Dixon and Karl James Mountford's Maurice the Unbeastly!


October 12, 2017

YO SOY MUSLIM

Yo Soy Muslim: A Father's Letter to His Daughter by Mark Gonzales and Mehrdokht Amini is a touching and lyrical picture book about a father encouraging his child to find joy and pride in all aspects of their multicultural identities.


October 10, 2017

Let's Talk Illustrators #44: Antje Damm

Author-illustrator Antje Damm has created over twenty-five books in German, and though she ventured into English books about fifteen years ago with Ask Me, I'm excited to say that her latest English book Waiting for Goliath marks the beginning of a much stronger and prolific foray into the English market. She was such a thoughtful person to interview, and I hope you enjoy our conversation.


October 8, 2017

LETTERS TO A PRISONER

Letters to a Prisoner by Jacques Goldstyn is a read. The wordless book tells the story of a man unjustly imprisoned and the letter writing campaigns that help him maintain his faith and eventually earn his freedom.



October 6, 2017

First Friday 5: Call to Adventure

Many comics feature a "call to adventure," something that sets our young heroes' journeys in motion and ignites the impetus for the story. These calls to adventure mean doing whatever it takes to protect loved ones, like joining forces with unlikely groups of people and encouraging (but sometimes forcing) our protagonists to go up against their greatest fears to save the world. No one knows what he or she will do when put up against these forces, but the protagonists in these five comics show readers that anyone can accomplish anything.


October 5, 2017

Best Rapunzel Picture Books



I've always had a special place in my heart for the story of "Rapunzel." Having written a thesis on the tale for school a few years ago, I ended up acquiring many, many versions of the story. I poured over all the illustrations for hours, so it's hardly a surprise that a few stood out to me. And I'm thrilled that I've seen even more come out since my paper. Keep in mind that I'm limiting the list to those books published within the last 10 years, so adaptations like those by Paul O ZelinskyBarbara Rogasky and Trina Schart Hyman, and Jutta Ash won't be on here, but they are, of course, highly influential to the more recent interpretations on this list.

Click on these book covers to poke around!

       

October 4, 2017

#kidlitpicks September Round-Up: 22 Books about Books

Throughout September, we're shining the spotlight on the best Books About Books. Introducing children to the magic of books and therein instilling a love of reading and literacy is one of the greatest gifts we can impart. The greatest writers are also prolific readers. It's no surprise that many authors consider reading a crucial dimension of living and have taken to their pages to honour all things books.

We here at @kidlitpicks love everything about books too, so what could be more fun than sharing our favourite bookish books with you? Children love to see parts of themselves reflected in what they're reading. Let's find our budding bookworms characters who love to immerse themselves in books and reading, or who celebrate libraries, book clubs, bookstores and anything that explores what we all know -–– that books rule!

Throughout September, we shone the spotlight on the best Books About Books. This thoughtful and creative theme was chosen by Fee from Fee Loves!



October 3, 2017

Let's Talk Illustrators #43: Bethan Woollvin

I've talked about Bethan Woollvin's debut Little Red many, many times. I included it in my list of Best Picture Books of 2016, I analyzed it over at All the Wonders, and, of course, it's listed on my Best Little Red Riding Hood Picture Books round-up. Needless to say, I've been tapping my foot waiting for Bethan's next project, and I'm excited to share her process with you for creating my new favorite fractured fairy tale Rapunzel!  


October 1, 2017

ABC POP-UP

Courtney Watson McCarthy's ABC Pop-Up breaks the barrier of being "just" a pop-up book or "just" a concept book." It incorporates beautiful imagery with a seek-and-find element that makes reading it not only fun, but also a bit of a challenge.