July 9, 2020

HOW THE STARS CAME TO BE

How the Stars Came to Be by Poonam Mistry tells the magical story of why we have stars in our sky.


July 7, 2020

Let's Talk Illustrators #148: Ellen Rooney

I was lucky enough to get a chance to chat with Ellen Rooney about her illustration technique for Grandmother School, written by Rina Singh. Ellen has a lot of projects out this year, so it was fascinating to talk about how her process depends on the manuscript and to get a closer look at how she customizes each new book. I hope you enjoy our conversation!


July 2, 2020

AMBUSH

Ambush by Hongcheng Yu is the story of a feud between two warlords during the Qin Empire.


June 30, 2020

Let's Talk Illustrators #147: Selina Alko

It was wonderful talking to Selina Alko about her new book One Golden Rule at School: A Counting Book. Selina and I discussed her inspiration for creating this unique counting tale and how she maintains a sense of creativity with each new project she tackles. Enjoy our conversation!


June 16, 2020

LTPB Audit

I have been quiet the last couple of weeks in favor of marching, donating, reading, sharing, listening, and learning. I wanted to make sure I was giving space to Black creators, and I wanted to make sure that when I came back that I'd fully had time to reflect and understand what I can do to represent more Black illustrators here on Let's Talk Picture Books.

These reflections ultimately manifested themselves in the form of a site audit. I looked at who I interviewed and whose books I had reviewed (both authors and illustrators), focused mostly on June 2019-May 2020. This is what I found.


The numbers are disheartening to say the least, but I have renewed hope in seeing indisputable facts: I can be more representative, and I will be. I plan to do this audit every year, and next June will show a marked increase in the number of voices I share from creators of the Global Majority. And it's going to be hard! But rewarding. So stick with me as I try to do better.

Regular reviews resume shortly, but in the meantime, here are the children's book influencers I look to for conversations around diversity and inclusion:


June 4, 2020

Let's Talk Illustrators #146: Charlotte Ager

I got to chat with Charlotte Ager, debut illustrator of Child of Galaxies by Blake Nuto, and it was wonderful to gain some insight into this astounding book. Ager's thoughtful and mesmerizing illustrations encourage readers to dig deep into themselves, and I'm pleased to share our conversation here. Enjoy!


May 30, 2020

Crushes of the Week: May 24-30, 2020

This week's crushes:
  1. Maisie Mammoth's Memoirs: A Guide to Ice Age Celebs by Rob Hodgson and Michael J. Benton (Thames and Hudson, May 2020)
  2. Lone Wolf by Sarah Kurpiel (Greenwillow Books, May 2020)
  3. A Lovely Journey by Yingfan Chen (Reycraft Books, May 2020)
  4. Chicken Little: The Real and Totally True Tale by Sam Wedelich (Scholastic Press, June 2020)
  5. You Matter by Christian Robinson (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, June 2020)
    

May 28, 2020

FELIX AFTER THE RAIN

Felix After the Rain by Dunja Jogan explores the power of utilizing a support system when it comes to mitigating grief and bringing levity and perspective to upsetting situations.


May 25, 2020

Let's Talk Illustrators #145: Olaf Hajek

Olaf Hajek's illustrations in Flower Power: The Magic of Nature's Healers, written by Christine Paxmann, are downright magical. There is such a strong feeling of magic embedded in the floral portraits that the border between reality and fantasy becomes delightfully blurred and open to imagination. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Olaf!


May 21, 2020

MOM'S SWEATER

Mom's Sweater by Jayde Perkin tackles loss and grief through the eyes of a young girl whose mother passes away.


May 19, 2020

Let's Talk Illustrators #144: Yuval Zommer

Earlier this month, Yuval Zommer released the next title in the Big Book series The Big Book of Blooms, and in my most humble opinion, it's the most eye-catching one yet! It was definitely high-time I caught up with Yuval for an interview, so I hope you enjoy our conversation about this stunning addition to an oversized nonfiction series!


May 16, 2020

Crushes of the Week: April 10-16, 2020

This week's crushes:
  1. Papa Brings Me the World by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (Henry Holt & Company, May 2020)
  2. Circus Girl by Jana Novotny Hunter and Joaquin Camp (Child's Play, Ltd, May 2020)
  3. Let's Swap For a Day by Shu-Ti Liao (Reycraft Books, May 2020)
  4. Yum Yummy Yuck by Cree Lane and Amanda Jane Jones (Prestel Junior, September 2019)
  5. The Imaginaries: Little Scraps of Larger Stories by Emily Winfield Martin (Random House Books for Young Readers, February 2020)
    

May 14, 2020

THE THREE MONKS

The Three Monks by Shaobai Li and Juxiang Tao tells the tale of three monks prone to infighting who decide to travel the world together.


May 12, 2020

Let's Talk Illustrators #143: Henry Blackshaw

I recently caught up with Henry Blackshaw to talk about his zine-turned-debut-picture-book The Inner Child. Henry examines the strange things adults do, explains them to children, and even highlights how adult behavior is rooted in our childlike instincts. Have a read!


May 9, 2020

Crushes of the Week: May 3-9, 2020

This week's crushes:
  1. Darwin's Rival: Alfred Russel Wallace and the Search for Evolution by Christiane Dorion and Harry Tennant (Candlewick Studio, March 2020)
  2. Pets and Their Famous Humans by Ana Gallo and Katherine Quinn (Prestel Junior, March 2020)
  3. I'm Sticking With You by Steve Small (Henry Holt and Company, May 2020)
  4. How I Trained My Dog in Ten Days by (Peter Pauper Press, April 2020)

 


May 7, 2020

LITERALLY

Literally: Amazing Words and Where They Come From by Patrick Skipworth and Nicholas Stevenson takes a visually stunning look at the origins of the English Language. 


May 5, 2020

Let's Talk Illustrators #142: Ana Sender

It's hard not to feel moved by Ana Sender's illustrations in Fran Pintadera's Why Do We Cry?. They are dense in color and powerful in image, and there's an enormity to them that often cannot be contained by the pages of the book. I talked to Ana about her illustration process, I hope you enjoy.


May 2, 2020

Crushes of the Week: April 26-May 2, 2020

This week's crushes:
  1. Immigrant Architect: Rafael Guastavino and the American Dream by Berta de Miguel, Kent Diebolt, and Virginia Lorente (Tilbury House Publishers, April 2020)
  2. The House Full of Stuff by Emily Rand (Tate Publishing, April 2020)
  3. Hoot and Howl Across the Desert: Life in the World's Driest Deserts by Vassiliki Tzomaka (April 2020) 
  4. My Big Family by Yanitzia Canetti and Micha Archer (Reycraft Books, April 2020)
  5. Rainbow Revolutions: Power, Pride, and Protest in the Fight for Queer Rights by Eve Lloyd Knight and Jamie Lawson (Crocodile Books, February 2020)
  6. I Really Want the Cake by Simon Philip and Lucia Gaggiotti (Orchard Books, May 2020)
     

April 30, 2020

THINGS THAT GO AWAY

Things That Go Away is another beautiful and powerful story from Beatrice Alemagna centered on love and self-reflection.


April 28, 2020

Let's Talk Illustrators #141: Akiko Miyakoshi

It was such an honor to chat with Akiko Miyakoshi about I Dream of a Journey. Akiko's striking charcoal illustrations are instantly recognizable across her books, so I was particularly glad to catch her as she plays with a new medium for this dreamy story. Enjoy the read!