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


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 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 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 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 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! 

March 8, 2018


Aquarium by debut Argentinian author-illustrator Cynthia Alonso is a wordless picture book about embracing imagination and creativity and knowing when to let go.

March 6, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #61: James Yang

If you live in a commuter city like I do, you undoubtedly have experienced that sinking feeling of missing a bus or train. Missing your ride can put you in a bad mood pretty darn fast, especially when you are forced to sit there and watch every other possible bus and train come your way except for the one you need. Author-illustrator James Yang’s new book Bus! Stop! is about missing a bus, but rather than giving readers a sinking feeling, it actually has the opposite effect. Bus! Stop! provides an imaginative look at the creativity that can come our way with a little patience (okay, a LOT of patience) and opens new realms of possibility. No need to run to catch this interview – it’ll be sticking around for a while.

March 4, 2018


Bear and Wolf is Daniel Salmieri's debut as author/illustrator, and it tells the heartwarming story of a bear and a wolf who befriend each other during an unlikely time and open up whole new worlds for each other to explore.

March 3, 2018

#kidlitpicks February Round-Up: 15 Books About Legacies

Legacy. That word holds great strength. It’s in the lives that last. Lives that linger within our own. Lives that inspire generations to come. Lives that are known forever by the tracks they leave behind. We can find such legacy within our own family tree or in our community, and we can, without doubt, find such legacy in the wonderful world of picture books.

Picture book biographies are legacies. Within these factual stories are examples of courage, determination, love, hope and resilience. We read about real people who achieve their dreams, create and innovate, who fight for change, make a difference, believe in themselves and overcome challenges, thus demonstrating to our kids that they too are capable of doing the same.

During February the @kidlitpicks book club chose to highlight books about famous legacies

March 2, 2018

First Friday 5: Graphic Novelizations

It's a key time right now for graphic novelizations. Comics are being more widely recognized as key entry points for students learning to read visual narratives, and that means that graphic novelizations of books and movies are popping up left and right. Personally, I'm pretty excited about the A Wrinkle in Time movie coming out next week, and since I'd been keen to read Hope Larson's adaptation of Madeline L'Engle's classic story for a loooong time, I thought, why not explore graphic novelizations this month? So, ta-da! Here are some of my favorite recent graphic novelizations! As always, this list is by no means exhaustive (hey, it's only five books!) so I would love to hear what other graphic novelizations you'd recommend.

March 1, 2018


Trampoline Boy by Nan Forler and Marion Arbona is a unique book in many, many ways, starting with the premise and ending with the design of the book.