May 29, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #72: Paul Harfleet

It's apparent from Paul Harfleet's debut that his picture book - graphic novel hybrid Pansy Boy contains a story that's very near and dear to his heart. It's a book where the cover tells you nothing and everything all at once about the story you are about to read, and it hints at the real-world impact of the events held within. I don't want to give too much away––I'll let Paul do that!––but it was absolutely fascinating to chat with Paul and learn about the origins of The Pansy Project and how Pansy Boy acts as a platform for discussing the nuances of homophobia and bullying. I hope you learn as much as I did!

May 27, 2018


Chicken Wants a Nap by debut author Tracy Marchini and Swiss illustrator Monique Felix answers a burning question for everyone: is it a good day or a bad day to be a chicken?

May 26, 2018

Crushes of the Week: May 20-26, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw (Tundra Books, May 2018)
  2. I Am the Boss of This Chair by Carolyn Crimi and Marisa Morea (Sterling Children's Books, March 2018)
  3. Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market by Chitra Soundar and Kanika Nair (Karadi Tales Picturebooks, April 2018)
  4. Don't Blink by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and David Roberts (Random House Books for Young Readers, April 2018)
  5. The Honeybee by Kirsten Hall and Isabelle Arsenault (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, May 2018)
  6. Grains of Sand by Sibylle Delacroix (Owlkids, April 2018) 


May 24, 2018


One Wave at a Time: A Story About Grief and Healing by Holly Thompson and Ashley Crowley takes a lyrical, colorful, and thoughtful look at the effects of depression on a child who has lost a parent.

May 22, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #71: Jean Claverie

We Are Brothers tells the story of two brothers who bond during a summer day. Yves Nadon's words are evocative and poetic, while Jean Claverie's illustrations make the book feel timeless and warm. It's a celebration of bravery, faith, and love, and I was very honored to chat with Jean about how the images in this book came to life.

May 20, 2018


Mark Hoffman's author debut Fruit Bowl is equal parts funny and informative.

May 19, 2018

Crushes of the Week: May 13-19, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. Penguinaut! by Marcie Colleen and Emma Yarlett (Scholastic Inc., October 2018)
  2. A Most Unusual Day by Sydra Mallery and E. B. Goodale (Greenwillow Books, April 2018)
  3. Unstinky by Andy Rash (Arthur A. Levine Books, September 2018)
  4. Snail Mail by Samantha Berger and Julia Patton (Running Press Kids, May 2018)
  5. Kat Writes a Song by Greg Foley (Simon & Schuster, May 2018)
  6. Rhyme Flies by Antonia Pesenti (Phaidon, May 2018)

May 15, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #70: Mike Curato

If you've seen any of Mike Curato's illustrations, you know just how special they are. They have a way of transcending the page, taking you right into the world you're reading about, and Samantha Berger's What If... is no exception. If the gorgeous purples on the cover don't immediately capture you, other purposeful design elements like the case cover and endpapers will, and I was thrilled to get to chat with Mike about his latest illustration work, particularly because I know just how special this book is to him. Enjoy!

May 13, 2018


Seven Pablos by Jorge Luján and Chiara Carrer introduces readers to seven different Pablos living seven different lives across the world.

May 12, 2018

Crushes of the Week: May 6-12, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk and Sara Palacios (Viking Books for Young Readers, May 2018)
  2. Today I'll Be a Unicorn by Dana Simpson (Andrews McMeel Publishing, May 2018)
  3. Lovely by Jess Hong (Creston Books, October 2017)
  4. Little Boat by Taro Gomi (Chronicle Books, August 2018)
  5. Rhymoceros by Janik Coat (Abrams Appleseed, March 2015)

May 10, 2018


Disappearing Acts: A Search-And-Find Book of Endangered Animals by Isabella Bunnell is a colorful seek-and-find book for young readers looking to learn more about the world's endangered animals.

May 8, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #69: Nancy Vo

Nancy Vo's The Outlaw is one of those books where I love every single part of it, and the more I study it, the more the little details pop out. I remember very distinctly falling in love with the typeface on the front (she and I talk about that later), but the quietness of the text, coupled with the muted illustrations, practically begs readers to take the book slow and ask questions about the motives of the characters and the moral of the book. Take a look at my conversation with Nancy about her debut and how she designed such a ominously prescient story.

May 6, 2018


This Bridge Will Not Be Gray by Dave Eggers and Tucker Nichols tells young readers about the true story behind the color of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

May 5, 2018

Crushes of the Week: April 29-May 5, 2018

This week's crushes:
  1. Red Sky at Night by Elly MacKay (Tundra Books, May 2018)
  2. Ta-Da! by Kathy Ellen Davis and Kaylani Juanita (Chronicle Books, June 2018)
  3. Letters From New York by Maree Coote (Melbournestyle Books, May 2018)
  4. Touchthinklearn: ABC by Xavier Deneux (Chronicle Books, September 2016)
  5. Life on Mars by Jon Agee (Dial Books, February 2017)

May 4, 2018

First Friday 5: Magical Mischief

As we get closer and closer to summer, we are gearing up for new out-of-school adventures. What will the summer bring? How will our lives be different after our summer adventures? Now imagine adding a little magic into your adventure! The possibilities are endless! Here are five recent comic books that takes readers on magical adventures, imagined or not.

May 2, 2018

#kidlitpicks April Round-Up: 18 Wordless Books

Picture book text can be funny, thoughtful, tender, (insert a million other adjectives here), but some of my favorite picture books are wordless. In a wordless (or nearly wordless) book the illustrations do all the heavy lifting. They make the story accessible to all readers, regardless of language or age. And with no text to follow, the possibilities for imagination are endless by allowing an interpretational freedom that other books can’t. Wordless books also help exercise a number of literacy skills like vocabulary, inference, and sequencing—they’re a minefield of learning!

During April the @kidlitpicks book club engaged the imagination and sharpened skills by featuring Wordless & Nearly Wordless books. Thanks to Heather from @kidlitbookbits for the wordless theme!

May 1, 2018

Let's Talk Illustrators #68: Jessica Love

Jessica Love’s debut Julián Is a Mermaid is a joyously perfect picture book with charm and beauty to spare. With minimal text and enchanting illustrations, readers join a young boy on a journey of self-discovery and emotional awakening. The loving and unquestioning support of his abuela while he's on this journey is beyond heart-warming, and it's a treasure that I plan to give to every child. Chatting with Jessica was an absolute delight, and I hope you enjoy a closer look at one of my favorite books of all time.