April 21, 2018

Crushes of the Week: April 15-21, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. Everything You Need for a Treehouse by Carter Higgins and Emily Hughes (Chronicle Books, April 2018)
  2. From the Heart of Africa by Eric Walters (Tundra Books, January 2018)
  3. Dad By My Side by Soosh (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, May 2018)
  4. Someone Farted by Bruce Eric Kaplan (Simon & Schuster, April 2018)
  5. Hooray for Books! by Brian Won (Houghton Mifflin, September 2017)
    

April 19, 2018

H IS FOR HAIKU

H Is For Haiku: A Treasury From A to Z by Sydell Rosenberg and Sawsan Chalabi finds fun and poetry in everyday moments.


April 17, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #66: Thao Lam

Thao Lam's second picture book Wallpaper is a gorgeous and mostly wordless interpretation of what it feels like when faced with the universal childhood trial of making friends. Lam instills hope in her readers within a colorful and imaginative world full of fears and anxieties. Readers cannot help but connect with her work, and I'm so glad I got the chance to talk to her about her exquisite paper-collage technique in this book. 


April 15, 2018

OLD MISERY

James Sage and Russell Ayto's Old Misery examines the perpetual existence of misery in the world through a satiric and allegorical lens.


April 14, 2018

Crushes of the Week: April 8-14, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. Hazelnut Days by Emmanuel Bourdier and Zaü (Minedition, May 2018)
  2. Poe Won't Go by Kelly DiPucchio and Zachariah OHora (Disney • Hyperion, June 2018, March 2018)
  3. Beyond the Fence by Maria Gulemetova (Child's Play International, April 2018)
  4. Fox & Chick: The Party: And Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier (Chronicle Books, April 2018)
  5. Two Rainbows by Sophie Masson and Michael McMahon (Little Hare Books, June 2018)
  6. Aunt Grizelda's Treasury of Grim and Grisly Rhymes by Anna Best and Natallia Pavaliayeva (Hogs Back Books, May 2018)
  

April 12, 2018

MARWAN'S JOURNEY

Marwan's Journey by Patricia de Arias and Laura Borras sheds a light on displaced peoples and the struggles they endure to find safety in unfamiliar places.


April 10, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #65: Juana Martinez-Neal

Juana Martinez-Neal's semi-autobiographical author debut Alma and How She Got Her Name has the unique ability to encourage readers to learn more about where they come from and how they fit into their families. It begs readers to ask questions like: Why do I have the name I have? How do I, as an individual, fit into the larger picture that is my family tree? And what will be MY contribution for the child down the line who is named after me? These are all wonderful and inspiring questions, and Juana explores them expertly through a young girl named Alma. I'm so glad I got a chance to chat with her and share our conversation here. It sure got me thinking. Enjoy!


April 8, 2018

LLAMAPHONES

Finally, finally, there is a new installment in Janik Coat's oversized board book series! Coat's clever series uses animals to explore familiar concepts: hippos and opposites in Hippopposites and rhinos and rhymes in Rhymoceros, and now llamas and homophones in Llamaphones. And they just keep getting funnier!


April 7, 2018

Crushes of the Week: March 31 - April 7, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. Hidden World: Ocean by Libby Walden and Stephanie Fizer Coleman (360 Degrees, March 2018)
  2. Letter Town: A Seek-and-Find Alphabet Adventure by Darren Farrell (Orchard Books, June 26, 2018)
  3. What's Above? by Clive Gifford and Kate McLelland (Kane Miller Books, March 2018)
  4. Hansel & Gretel by Bethan Woollvin (Peachtree Publishers, October 2018)
  5. A Werewolf Named Oliver James by Nicholas John Frith (Arthur A Levine Books, June 2018)

    

April 6, 2018

First Friday 5: Siblings

Siblings: whether you love them or not, they're there. Sometimes they help make situations better, and sometimes they just...exacerbate things. But at the end of the day, your own flesh and blood is what you can count on the most, and these five graphic novels show a variety of sibling relationships that range from complicated to loving to downright hilarious.


April 5, 2018

SMALL THINGS

If you or someone you know has ever suffered from anxiety or depression, you know the signs, isolation and anger key among them. In this wordless picture book Small Things from Australian author-illustrator Mel Tregonning, readers get an accessible, first-hand account of the effects of anxiety and depression on a young boy trying to make friends at school.



April 3, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #64: Leo Espinosa

It seems unlikely that, at this point, you haven't seen Junot Díaz and Leo Espinosa's picture book Islandborn. It's a book that feels ubiquitous these days, and for good reason: not only is the message timely, but it's thought-provoking, too, allowing readers who don't necessarily have the same experiences as the character Lola to put themselves in a position of asking where they came from and how their heritage informs who they are today. If you haven't listened to Junot's Keynote Speech from Winter Institute earlier this year you should (and that can be found here), but today we're here to talk about the illustrations in the book because, as amazing as the text is, Islandborn wouldn't be what it is without Leo's visuals. Have a look.


April 2, 2018

#kidlitpicks March Round-Up: 18 Books About Art

Favorite picture books have the power to inspire us; they’re the ones that get our kids itching to create—to get off the couch and into the craft cabinet, digging around and making messes that drive us crazy but make us proud.

This month, the @kidlitpicks book club featured books that inspire ART. Whether it’s a story about an artist or one with illustrations worth imitating, we’ll be looking at picture books that influence the way we create. So what are some of your favorite books about art? Thanks to Anna from KidLitCrafts for the theme!



March 31, 2018

Crushes of the Week: March 25 - 31, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. Lazybones by Claire Messer (Albert Whitman & Company, April 2018)
  2. Giselle by Charlotte Gastaut (Amaterra, November 2017)
  3. Gravity Falls: Journal 3 by Alex Hirsch, Rob Renzetti, and Andy Gonsalves (Disney Press, June 2017) - not a picture book, there's no way I'm not including it!
  4. Max and Marla Are Having a Picnic by Alexandra Boiger (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, March 2018)
  5. Niblet & Ralph by Zachariah OHora (Dial, June 2018)
    

March 29, 2018

THEY SAY BLUE

It's pretty hard to believe that They Say Blue is Jillian Tamaki's picture book debut. Yes, she has ages of comic and graphic novel work under her belt, but how has she not created a picture book before this one? She's a natural!


March 27, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #63: Mehrdokht Amini

Mehrdokht Amini is rapidly becoming a household name. Her books have been awarded the American Library Association Notable Book award, the PubWest Book Design Award (Gold), the Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year, the Children’s Africana Best Book Award, and she has illustrated books published in Iran, Poland, Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It's safe to say her work is universal, impactful, and authentic, and her illustrations in Ranjit Singh's Nimesh the Adventurer are everything you would expect. 


March 25, 2018

THE OLD MAN

The Old Man by Sarah V and Claude K Dubois delicately and powerfully tackles issues of homelessness and poverty in an urban setting.


March 24, 2018

Crushes of the Week: March 18 - 24, 2018

Here are my crushes of the week! What are some of yours?
  1. Off and Away by Cale Atkinson (Disney-Hyperion, June 2018)
  2. On the Other Side of the Garden by Jairo Buitrago, Rafael Yockteng, and Elisa Amado (Groundwood Books House of Anansi Press, March 2018)
  3. People Don't Bite People by Lisa Wheeler and Molly Idle (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, April 2018)
  4. Big Bunny by Rowboat Watkins (Chronicle Books, March 2018)
  5. Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy by George Lucas and Matthew Reinhart (Orchard Books, October 2007)
  
 

March 22, 2018

THE CAROUSEL OF ANIMALS

The Carousel of Animals by Gérard Lo Monaco is not only a pop-up book, it's also a carousel book, which means that it can be opened accordion-style so that it forms a circle around the spine of the book. 


March 18, 2018

THE BOY AND THE BLUE MOON

The Boy and the Blue Moon by Sara O'Leary and Ashley Crowley is the story of a boy and a cat on a walk during a blue moon and the magic they encounter along the way.


March 17, 2018

Crushes of the Week: March 11 - 17, 2018

I get to look at a fair number of picture books (old, new, and forthcoming) every week, and that makes it tough to cover them all here on the site. There are many, many, MANY more books out there that deserve special mention, and I want to do my best to get the word out about them however I can, even if it's in a small way. Therefore I'm going to try something new called "Picture Book Crushes of the Week," which is exactly what it sounds like: recently-read picture books I love every week. No number limits, no publication date restrictions, just books I discover each week that strike me and deserve special shout-outs.

Here are this week's:
  1. Hidden City: Poems of Urban Wildlife by Sarah Grace Tuttle and Amy Schimler-Safford (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, March 2018)
  2. The Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanna Barbot de Villenueve and Minalima (HarperCollins Publishers, February 2017)
  3. The Fish and the Cat by Marianne Dubuc (Princeton Architectural Press, April 2018)
  4. I Give You My Heart by Pimm van Hest and Sassafras De Bruyn (Clavis, November 2017)
  5. Mommy's Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and Ebony Glenn (Salaam Reads, April 2018)
  6. Mabel and Sam at Home by Linda Urban and Hadley Hooper (Chronicle Books, June 2018)
  7. Neither by Airlie Anderson (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, February 2018)
   
  

March 15, 2018

THE MEDITERRANEAN

The Mediterranean by Armin Greder is a wordless picture book about repressed people who flee their homes by sea in search of peace only to encounter inhumane treatment and death upon attempted relocation. 


March 13, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #62: Jacqueline Alcántara

I feel very lucky that I got to talk to illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara about her debut picture book The Field. I have a feeling Jacqueline will be quite coveted — as an illustrator, as an interviewee, you name it — going forward, and it feels like such a success to get to talk to her about her very first book in the field (pun intended!). This book is wonderful for so many reasons thanks to author Baptiste Paul, but Jacqueline's ability to match the fast-paced language Baptiste presents and still add in whole new layers of narrative is incredible. Enjoy the conversation!