May 24, 2016

Family Matters

Feeling like you don't connect with friends at school or coworkers in the office is one thing, but feeling like you don't connect with your family is a whole different ballgame. There are lots of picture books that tackle adoption, but so many of them feature animals as the main characters. Using animals makes things easier on so many levels: you can use different species to enhance the visual differences, predators and prey can be thrown together, and the two can have very different ideas of what family fun means.

Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins is one of my favorite books right now, so I'm very excited to lead with it. It's a great example of a family thrown together where the two species are vastly different than each other.

May 17, 2016

Shining a Light in the Dark

Today I'm going to change gears a little and focus on a specific illustration motif rather than a general theme. I was hoping to do a themed post per usual, but the more I looked into it, the more this one style kept popping up, and I found it too intriguing not to explore. In these illustrations, we see a triangular beam of light from a flashlight, and I've come to find that this style is used purposefully and with a very targeted visual narrative. The beams of light in these illustrations illuminate the scary parts of the night and show us the way to new adventures, but always within a safe space.

I say safe space because you'll notice how all these examples showcase light beams that shine to the left. We don't feel a sense of hesitancy or urgency when turning the page, because our eye is being drawn in the other direction: we're focused on what's there and not nervous about what lies ahead.

Let's start with Ame Dyckman's and Zachariah OHora's Wolfie the Bunny. 

May 16, 2016


I have decided to host a Picture Book Exchange! Thanks to social media, we have been able to connect to share our favorite children's picture books with book lovers around the world. It's been such a joy, and I think it's time we take it to the next level by exchanging books with each other!

Want to participate? Great! Here's how:

         1. Comment here to say you'd like to participate, along with what country you live in

         2. I will randomly pair up everyone who comments and announce pairs a week from today

         3. DM your partner your physical mailing address

         4. Choose a book under $15 and mail it by June 6

If all goes well, this could be the start of something regular!

A special thanks to Lauren at @happily.ever.elephants and Charnaie at Here Wee Read for helping get the word out!

May 10, 2016

All the Wonders of SWATCH

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog posts to announce that I'm over at All the Wonders today talking about the beautiful and brilliant Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color by Julia Denos.  

If you haven't already had a chance to stop by ATW, now is the time! In addition to my post on movement in Denos' illustrations, you'll encounter a whole slew of fun activities that will take you beyond the book, including an interview with Julia Denos by The Children's Book Podcaster Matthew Winner, and an amazing, hands-on activity designed by Katey Howes and Mike Ciccotello where you get to tame your own colors!

I'm so, so lucky to be working with such an amazing team of children's book writers, illustrators, and enthusiasts, and I hope you'll come join us to see All the Wonders of SWATCH!

May 3, 2016

Imagining the Unimaginable

People find themselves with imaginary friends for all sorts of reasons: they can help people overcome fears, battle their inner demons, and cope with loneliness. Today we're talking about all three, not just from the perspective of the friend creators, but from the point of view of the imagined friends as well.

Let's start with Emma Yarlett's Orion and the Dark.