August 31, 2018


I'm going to take a small detour today and talk about a magazine called Illustoria. If you haven't had a chance to get your hands on a copy of this magazine, it's well-worth seeking out, and their mission statement pretty much hits the nail on the head in terms of what they have to offer: "Illustoria celebrates visual storytelling, makers, and DIY culture through stories, art, comics, and activities. Each issue of our high-quality publication engages across generations and is meant to be collected among your favorite books."

August 28, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #79: Raúl Colón

Raúl Colón's second picture book as author-illustrator is the wordless story of a boy who experiences a day at a museum that changes the way he sees the world. Imagine! is a celebration of paintings that exist in museums, yes, but it's also a celebration of the spirit of art, of what art can bring into everyone's lives in terms of imagination. I talked to Raúl about this book––and others he's worked on––and got a chance to peel back some of the layers of this emotionally inspiring story. Have a read!

August 25, 2018

Crushes of the Week: August 19-25, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. Big Box Little Box by Caryl Hart and Edward Underwood (Bloomsbury Children's Books, July 2018)
  2. Pinny in Fall by Joanne Schwartz and Isabelle Malenfant (Groundwood Books, August 2018)
  3. Bear Hug by Susanna Isern and Betania Zacarias (Nubeocho, November 2017)
  4. Good Night, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony (Scholastic Press, August 2018)
  5. The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk (Orchard Books, September 2018)
  6. Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra Stein (Candlewick, September 2018)
  7. Seb and the Sun by Jami Gigot (Ripple Grove Press, March 2018)

August 23, 2018


Oh, how my heart melted when I read Trevor by Jim Averbeck and Amy Hevron!

August 21, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #78: Cátia Chien

I had the pleasure of working with Cátia Chien about a year and a half ago over at All the Wonders when the team took a closer look Elaine Magliaro's Things to Do (I maintain that this is still one of the best features we put together!). So when her new book The Town of Turtle, written by Michelle Cuevas, came across my desk I knew without a doubt that I wanted to talk to Cátia about it. Now, four months after the book has been out in the world, I finally have a chance to share our conversation with you about a book that cannot help but lift the spirits of everyone who reads it. 

August 18, 2018

Crushes of the Week: August 12-18, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. Best Friends in the Universe by Stephanie Watson and Leuyen Pham (Orchard Books, October 2018)
  2. A Pile of Leaves by Tamara Shopsin and Jason Fulford (Phaidon Press, September 2018)
  3. The Dam by David Almond and Levi Pinfold (Candlewick Studio, September 2018)
  4. A Cage Went in Search of a Bird by Cary Fagan and Banafshah Irfaaniyaan (Groundwood Books, May 2017)
  5. Shapes All Around by Kate Riggs and Laetitia Devernay (Creative Editions, March 2018)
  6. The Snow Lion by Jim Helmore and Richard Jones (Peachtree Publishers, October 2018)

August 17, 2018


I've been waiting for Cicada by Shaun Tan for so long that I finally asked a friend in Australia to send a copy to me, and I'm so excited to talk about it here.

August 15, 2018


Potato Pants! by Laurie Keller is as earnest as the title suggests and, yes, the need for potato pants in this particular story is quite urgent.

August 13, 2018


Shawn Sheehy and Jordi Solano's Beyond the Sixth Extinction: A Post-Apocalyptic Pop-Up is a pop-up field guide to creatures and habitats we won't meet until the year 4847.

August 11, 2018

Crushes of the Week: August 5-11, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. Birds of a Color by ÉLo (Candlewick Studio, May 2018)
  2. All the Colors I See by Allegra Agliardi (Tate Publishing (UK), June 2018)
  3. Treasure Hunt House: Lift the Flaps and Solve the Clues... by Becca Stadtlander and Kate Davies (Lincoln Children's Books, August 2018)
  4. The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings by Richard Byrne (Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), November 2018)
  5. Go West!: The Great North American Railroad Adventure by Pascal Blanchet (Wide Eyed Editions, April 2018)
  6. Brick: Who Found Herself in Architecture by Joshua David Stein and Julia Rothman (Phaidon Press, June 2018)

August 7, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #77: Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb

One Day a Dot: The Story of You, The Universe, and Everything by Ian Lendler, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb is the epitome of a picture book/early reader comic hybrid. It has bright graphics and paneled illustrations reminiscent of early reader comics but with the length of a picture book, making it the perfect book for starting small conversations about a very rather large topic. I got a chance to interview Shelli and Braden about how they meshed these two illustration styles––not to mention their own illustration styles––to create the book. Enjoy!

August 4, 2018

Crushes of the Week: July 29-August 4, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. Girl on a Wire by Lucy Estela and Elise Hurst (Viking Australia, July 2018)
  2. Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude by Josh Funk and Stevie Lewis (Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), August 2018)
  3. Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival (Bloomsbury Children's Books, May 2018)
  4. Seven Bad Cats by Moe Bonneau (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, June 2018)
  5. Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere by Barb Rosenstock and Katherine Roy (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, June 2018)
  6. Little Whale by Jo Weaver (Peachtree Publishers, October 2018)
  7. Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh (Arthur A. Levine Books, May 2018)

August 3, 2018

First Friday 5: Mel's Favorites

Since today marks one year since I started this series, I thought I would make the theme about my personal favorites. But here's the caveat: these are favorites I haven't talked about yet somewhere else on the site. And it doesn't include ones I might talk about soon (*cough* Amulet *cough*). Plus I could only choose five, so I had to come up with a lot of excuses not to include many of my favorites! Here are five of my favorite comics of all time.

You can always check out my all-time favorites list here.

August 2, 2018


Inside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin twists fairy tales as we know them and shows us what's going on inside the mind of a villain (literally!).

August 1, 2018

#kidlitpicks July Round-Up: 15 Picture Books About Summer

Warm summer months are filled with lazy days, lemonade, trips to the beach, nature walks, swimming pools and firefly nights. Summer is a great time of year, especially if you’re a kid. School is out and inspiration can be found in various places from your garden to a trip to the zoo. Whether you are planning on spending your summer on vacation, swimming, beach bumming, catching fireflies, camping or running your own lemonade stand, there is bound to be a fun book to read.

Throughout the month of July, the @kidlitpicks book club shared some of our favorite summer-themed books. Credit goes to to Charnaie from Here Wee Read for the timely theme!