June 19, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #75: Nazli Tahvili

It goes without saying that wordless children's books mean a lot to me. I think it's pretty darn incredible for a book creator to be able to convey an entire story through images, not to mention how they must also work to gear the narration, tone, and emotions toward the reading level of a small child. But, to their credit, children pick up a lot of nuanced moments in wordless books, and it was wonderful talking to Iranian illustrator Nazli Tahvili about how she successfully made Chalk Eagle, the story of a boy and his wild imagination, relatable to children. Enjoy!

June 17, 2018


The Dress and the Girl by Camille Andros and Julie Morstad is a beautiful picture book about  the power of the memories we tie to the items we love.

June 16, 2018

Crushes of the Week: June 10-16, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. I Hate Everyone by Naomi Danis and Cinta Arribas (POW!, May 2018)
  2. The Crocodile and the Dentist by Taro Gomi (Chronicle Books, August 2018)
  3. A Marvelous Mexican Misunderstanding by Evi Triantafyllides and Nefeli Malie (Worldwide Buddies, 2018)
  4. Surprise! by Caroline Hadilaksono (Arthur A. Levine Books, September 2018)
  5. Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham, Charles Waters, Sean Qualls, and Selina Alko (Carolrhoda Books, January 2018)

June 14, 2018


Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness the newest book in Anastasia Higginbotham's Ordinary Terrible Things series, and like all of Higginbotham's books, this one hits the nail on the head.

June 12, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #74: Lane Smith & Molly Leach

Lane Smith and Molly Leach have been working together on books for over 26 years. Their first book together was The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, and if that book proves anything it's that these two are meant to create books together. Lane is an author-illustrator and Molly is a book designer, and today I talk to both of them about their newest book A House That Once Was, written by Julie Fogliano. Their banter is fast-paced, hilarious, and insightful, so try to keep up!

June 9, 2018

Crushes of the Week: June 3-9, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. You're Safe with Me by Chitra Soundar and Poonam Mistry (Lantana Publishing, April 2018)
  2. Bird by Beatriz Martin Vidal (Simply Read Books, September 2015)
  3. The Dreamer by Il Sung Na (Chronicle Books, September 2018)
  4. Pip & Pup by Eugene Yelchin (Henry Holt and Company, April 2018)
  5. Lucy and the Dragonfly by Lucie Papineau and Caroline Hamel (Auzou, April 2018)
  6. Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman and Eda Kaban (Running Press Kids, June 2018)

June 7, 2018


Mountains of the World by Dieter Braun explores the mountains of the world and their diverse inhabitants.

June 5, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #73: Evan Turk

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Evan Turk is one of the most adaptable and curious illustrators currently working in children's literature. No two books of his have the same artistic style, which is clearly a result of Evan continually pushing himself to explore new media and techniques. Every one of Evan's books feels simultaneously unique in aesthetic tone and yet reflective of his style because of the stories he chooses to tell. Today Evan and I are talking about his new book Heartbeat, which he both wrote and illustrated, and you can see his process below.

June 4, 2018

#kidlitpicks May Round-Up: 22 Nonfiction Picture Books

When I’m choosing books for my kids, I always reach for the storybooks first - that’s what I grew up loving to read. But experts say children will thrive if they read more non-fiction too. Factual texts teach children about the world we live in, about amazing animals, people, events and inventions. Extending children’s knowledge helps them to understand new concepts and to put them into context. It also expands their vocabulary, in turn enriching their own writing. I’ve made an effort to seek out engaging non-fiction for my kids and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the clever, engaging books I’ve found - and that my kids like them too.

During May the @kidlitpicks book club featured non-fiction picture books, a theme chosen by Books Kids Love!

June 3, 2018


Personally, I am terrified by the very idea of going into space, but if galactic travel is as beautiful and fun as it seems in Tiny Little Rocket by Richard Collingridge, I might have to change my stance.

June 2, 2018

Crushes of the Week: May 27-June 2, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. Night Job by Karen Hesse and G. Brian Karas (Candlewick Press, September 11, 2018)
  2. The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe (Chronicle Books, May 2018)
  3. Run Wild by David Covell (Viking Books for Young Readers, June 2018)
  4. The Big Book of Blue by Yuval Zommer  (Thames & Hudson, June 2018)
  5. The Jasmine Sneeze by Nadine Kaadan (Lantana Publishing, March 2018)
  6. Our Solar System by Arthur John L'Hommedieu (Child's Play International, April 2018)

June 1, 2018

First Friday 5: LGBTQ

This month I'm excited to showcase some pretty stellar books that represent LGBTQ lifestyles and commentary. I found these books to be wonderful examples of books that open discussions on gender fluidity, sexual awakening, and terminology when it comes to discussing gender and sexuality in general. 

May 29, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #72: Paul Harfleet

It's apparent from Paul Harfleet's debut that his picture book - graphic novel hybrid Pansy Boy contains a story that's very near and dear to his heart. It's a book where the cover tells you nothing and everything all at once about the story you are about to read, and it hints at the real-world impact of the events held within. I don't want to give too much away––I'll let Paul do that!––but it was absolutely fascinating to chat with Paul and learn about the origins of The Pansy Project and how Pansy Boy acts as a platform for discussing the nuances of homophobia and bullying. I hope you learn as much as I did!

May 27, 2018


Chicken Wants a Nap by debut author Tracy Marchini and Swiss illustrator Monique Felix answers a burning question for everyone: is it a good day or a bad day to be a chicken?

May 26, 2018

Crushes of the Week: May 20-26, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw (Tundra Books, May 2018)
  2. I Am the Boss of This Chair by Carolyn Crimi and Marisa Morea (Sterling Children's Books, March 2018)
  3. Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market by Chitra Soundar and Kanika Nair (Karadi Tales Picturebooks, April 2018)
  4. Don't Blink by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and David Roberts (Random House Books for Young Readers, April 2018)
  5. The Honeybee by Kirsten Hall and Isabelle Arsenault (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, May 2018)
  6. Grains of Sand by Sibylle Delacroix (Owlkids, April 2018) 


May 24, 2018


One Wave at a Time: A Story About Grief and Healing by Holly Thompson and Ashley Crowley takes a lyrical, colorful, and thoughtful look at the effects of depression on a child who has lost a parent.

May 22, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #71: Jean Claverie

We Are Brothers tells the story of two brothers who bond during a summer day. Yves Nadon's words are evocative and poetic, while Jean Claverie's illustrations make the book feel timeless and warm. It's a celebration of bravery, faith, and love, and I was very honored to chat with Jean about how the images in this book came to life.

May 20, 2018


Mark Hoffman's author debut Fruit Bowl is equal parts funny and informative.

May 19, 2018

Crushes of the Week: May 13-19, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. Penguinaut! by Marcie Colleen and Emma Yarlett (Scholastic Inc., October 2018)
  2. A Most Unusual Day by Sydra Mallery and E. B. Goodale (Greenwillow Books, April 2018)
  3. Unstinky by Andy Rash (Arthur A. Levine Books, September 2018)
  4. Snail Mail by Samantha Berger and Julia Patton (Running Press Kids, May 2018)
  5. Kat Writes a Song by Greg Foley (Simon & Schuster, May 2018)
  6. Rhyme Flies by Antonia Pesenti (Phaidon, May 2018)

May 15, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #70: Mike Curato

If you've seen any of Mike Curato's illustrations, you know just how special they are. They have a way of transcending the page, taking you right into the world you're reading about, and Samantha Berger's What If... is no exception. If the gorgeous purples on the cover don't immediately capture you, other purposeful design elements like the case cover and endpapers will, and I was thrilled to get to chat with Mike about his latest illustration work, particularly because I know just how special this book is to him. Enjoy!

May 13, 2018


Seven Pablos by Jorge Luj├ín and Chiara Carrer introduces readers to seven different Pablos living seven different lives across the world.

May 12, 2018

Crushes of the Week: May 6-12, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk and Sara Palacios (Viking Books for Young Readers, May 2018)
  2. Today I'll Be a Unicorn by Dana Simpson (Andrews McMeel Publishing, May 2018)
  3. Lovely by Jess Hong (Creston Books, October 2017)
  4. Little Boat by Taro Gomi (Chronicle Books, August 2018)
  5. Rhymoceros by Janik Coat (Abrams Appleseed, March 2015)