March 26, 2019

Let's Talk Illustrators #103: Raúl the Third

It was downright humbling to talk to Pura Belpré Award winner Raúl the Third. Raúl's latest series is called ¡Vamos!, and features a little fox named Little Lobo and his dog Bernabe traveling around to different locations (much like a Richard Scarry book). Today Raúl and I talk about the first book––hopefully of many!––in the series ¡Vamos! Let’s go to the Market, and I am so glad to share some of his magnificent insights into the brilliant possibilities of bilingual books. ¡Vamos!

March 23, 2019

Crushes of the Week: March 17-23, 2019

This week's crushes:
  1. The Last Peach by Gus Gordon (Roaring Brook Press, May 2019)
  2. Pigs in a Blanket by Hans Wilhelm and Erica Salcedo (Chronicle Books, March 2019)
  3. I Am a Wolf by Kelly Leigh Miller (Dial Books, May 2019)
  4. Sun by Alison Oliver (Clarion Books, June 2019)
  5. Maybe Tomorrow? by Charlotte Agell and Ana Ramírez González (Scholastic Press, March 2019)
  6. The Bear, the Piano, the Dog, and the Fiddle by David Litchfield (Clarion Books, March 2019)
  7. The Yellow Suitcase by Meera Sriram and Meera Sethi (Penny Candy Books, March 2019)

March 19, 2019

Let's Talk Illustrators #102: Julia Sarcone-Roach

I recently talked to Julia Sarcone-Roach about one of my new favorite literary cats, Muffin! Muffin is from Julia's latest book There Are No Bears in This Bakerywhich finds a smart cat and a curious bear in a bakery at the same time. The book is equal parts tender and funny, and I was thrilled to pick Julia's brain about how she made it. 

March 17, 2019


When You're Scared by Andrée Poulin and Véronique Joffre is the story of compassion and bravery set against a chance encounter between a boy and a bear.

March 16, 2019

Crushes of the Week: March 10-16, 2019

This week's crushes:
  1. Llama Destroys the World by Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox (Henry Holt and Co., May 2019)
  2. I'm a Baked Potato! by Elise Primavera and Juana Medina (Chronicle Books, May 2019)
  3. Birthday on Mars! by Sara Schonfeld and Andrew J. Ross (Penguin Workshop, June 2019)
  4. Hedy and Her Amazing Invention by Jan Wahl and Morgana Wallace (Penny Candy Books, February 2019)
  5. This Book of Mine by Sarah Stewart and David Small (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2019) 
  6. How I Learned to Fall Out of Trees by Vincent Kirsch (Abrams Books for Young Readers, April 2019)

March 14, 2019


Tiger Days: A Book of Feelings by MH Clark and Anna Hurley deserves to be picked up based on the dust jacket alone –– it has velour so it's a feelings book that you feel!

March 13, 2019

Sebastian Kadlecik, Kit Steinkellner, and Emma Steinkellner (The Children's Book Podcast #493)

I am so excited to announce that Matthew Winner, host of The Children's Book Podcast, has done the coolest thing ever: he's given me space on his podcast to talk directly to my book creation heroes! I'm going to talk to some amazing folks over the coming months, but I couldn't be prouder or happier that my first conversation on The Children's Book Podcast is with Sebastian Kadlecik, Kit Steinkellner, and Emma Steinkellner about their comic Quince. You can listen by clicking below, but make sure you head over to Matthew's site for show notes and more information about the creators!

March 12, 2019

Let's Talk Illustrators #101: Andrea Tsurumi

Chatting with Andrea Tsurumi felt like talking to a kindred spirit. Her philosophies regarding the fine line between picture books and comics match my own perfectly, and I was thrilled to pick her brain about her newest book Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together. Crab Cake walks all sorts of fine lines (picture book and comic, fiction and nonfiction, funny and serious), so there was a ton for us to dig into. Enjoy our conversation!

March 10, 2019

#kidlitpicks February Round-Up: 12 Books about Trailblazers

Where would we be as a society without trailblazers? They are often the first people to do something or go somewhere and they show us that it is also possible for other people to do the same. Whether they are the explorers from days before, inventors that chose to make something that everyone said was impossible to current trailblazers that are defying people's expectations of them, these humble heroes inspire both adults and children alike.

During February the @kidlitpicks book club found and shared books that pay tribute to these amazing people. Thanks to Natalie from Living by the Page for the empowering theme!

March 9, 2019

Crushes of the Week: March 3-9, 2019

This week's crushes:
  1. Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman and Jay Fleck (Chronicle Books, March 2019)
  2. Lawrence in the Fall by Matthew Farina and Doug Salati (Disney-Hyperion, April 2019)
  3. Bedtime for Beasties by Leslie Staub and Jia Liu (Boyds Mills Press, February 2019)
  4. Luca's Bridge/El Puente de Luca by Mariana Llanos and Anna Lopez Real (Penny Candy Books, April 2019)
  5. Puppy Truck by Brian Pinkney (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, June 2019)
  6. When Pencil Met Eraser by Karen Kilpatrick, Luis O. Ramos, Jr., and German Blanco (Imprint, May 2019)
  7. It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn and Noah Grigni (Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), May 2019)
  8. My Tiny Pet by Jessie Hartland (Nancy Paulsen Books, August 2019)

March 5, 2019

Let's Talk Illustrators #100: Kristy Caldwell

Kristy Caldwell's style is part picture book illustration, part comic illustration, and it was so great to pick her brain about how she balances the two. With several paneled illustrations, Away With Words: The Daring Story Of Isabella Bird, written by Lori Mortensen, pays tribute to Isabella Bird, the first female member of the Royal Geographic Society. I got a chance to talk Kristy about the book and her research on Isabella Bird, and I'm happy to share that interview here today!

February 28, 2019


We're in the sweet spot of waiting for winter to end and spring to start, so it's the perfect time for The Little Rabbit by Nicola Killen. 

February 26, 2019

Let's Talk Illustrators #99: Keith Negley

I recently talked to author-illustrator Keith Negley about Mary Wears What She Wants, a quick-witted book about Dr. Mary Walker. Dr. Walker was many things –– a surgeon, a prisoner of war, a Medal of Honor recipient –– but she was also a huge champion of dress reform. Mary Wears What She Wants shares the story of Mary's experiences as a young girl fighting to reform women's dress, and it was a delight talking to Keith about how he created this book. Enjoy!

February 24, 2019


Monkey Time by Michael Hall is a concept book about time and a primer about animals living in the rainforest.

February 23, 2019

Crushes of the Week: February 17-23, 2019

This week's crushes:
  1. One Is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and John Parra (Chronicle Books, March 2019)
  2. The African Orchestra by Wendy Hartmann and Joan Rankin (Crocodile Books, April 2017)
  3. Hold Hands by Sara Varon (First Second, June 2019)
  4. Have I Ever Told You? by Shani King and Anna Horvath (Tilbury House Publishers, January 2019)
  5. Harbor Bound by Catherine Bailey and Ellen Shi (Disney-Hyperion, May 2019)
  6. What If . . . ? Then We . . .: Short, Very Short, Shorter-than-Ever Possibilities by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Fred Koehler (Boyds Mills Press, February 2019)

February 21, 2019


A Cat's Guide to the Night Sky by Stuart Atkinson and Brendan Kearney is a beautiful and adorable introduction to stars, planets, and space. 

February 19, 2019

Let's Talk Illustrators #98: LK James

I got a chance to catch up with LK James about her debut book The Full House and the Empty House, a powerful allegory about the complexities of inequality in friendships. It's a book I've been waiting for since I saw the cover many moons ago, and when I finally got to read the book I was pleased to see that the story hits every single note I'd hoped it would. It was a pleasure talking to LK, and I hope you enjoy our conversation about her rather impressive debut book.

February 16, 2019

Crushes of the Week: February 10-16, 2019

This week's crushes:
  1. A Day with Yayah by Nicola I. Campbell and Julie Flett (Crocodile Books, March 2018)
  2. Little Plane by Taro Gomi (Chronicle Books, March 2019)
  3. City by Ingela P. Arrhenius (Candlewick Studio, September 2018)
  4. Ahmed's Journey: A Story of Self-Discovery by Jill Apperson Manly (JABU Books, January 2019)
  5. Eliza: The Story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton by Margaret McNamara and Esme Shapiro (Schwartz & Wade, October 2018)
  6. It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw by Don Tate and R. Gregory Christie (Lee & Low Books, May 2019 –– Paperback)
  7. The Great Indoors by Julie Falatko and Ruth Chan (Disney-Hyperion, April 2019)
  8. Not Your Nest! by Gideon Sterer and Andrea Tsurumi (Dial Books, March 2019)

February 14, 2019


Who Am I? by Tristan Mory and Stephanie Babin is an interactive board book with pull tabs that create fun animal shapes! I'm a little late to the game with this one, but I'm so glad I found it.

February 12, 2019

Let's Talk Illustrators #97: John Martz

John Martz is a cartoonist, illustrator, designer, and typographer, so it's safe to say he basically lives and breathes art. His newly illustrated book How to Give Your Cat a Bath: in Five Easy Steps, written by Nicola Winstanley, is a testament to John's mastery of artistic elements like motion and body language. I got a chance to chat with him about this book and his other artistic endeavors, and I'm excited to share that here today. Enjoy!

February 10, 2019


Stay, Benson! by Thereza Rowe is an energetic, colorful, and deceptively simple book about a dog who is MOSTLY a good boy.