October 31, 2023

Let's Talk Illustrators #267: Travis Jonker

You might know the name Travis Jonker from any number of places: Travis runs the School Library Journal blog 100 Scope Notes, he is half of The Yarn podcast with Colby Sharp, he represents a third of The Undies/Endies Awards with myself and Carter Higgins, and he's an author! Now Travis has added another feather to his cap with his illustrator debut Just One Flake, and it's my absolute pleasure to share his journey with you all here. Enjoy!!

October 30, 2023

Case(wrap) of the Mondays

We've got a case(wrap) of the Mondays!

October 28, 2023

Crushes of the Week: October 22-28, 2023

This week's crushes:
  1. Scroll by Hui Li (Christy Ottaviano Books, October 2023)
  2. Do You Remember? by Sydney Smith (Neal Porter Books, October 2023)
  3. The Bees of Notre-Dame by Meghan P. Browne and E. B. Goodale (Random House Studio, October 2023)
  4. 100 Chapatis by Derek Mascarenhas and Shantala Robinson (Owlkids, October 2023)
  5. The Museum of Nothing by Steven Guarnaccia (Minerva, October 2023)
  6. Don't Blow Your Top! by Ame Dyckman and Abhi Alwar (Orchard Books, October 2023)
  7. Desert Queen by Jyoti Rajan Gopal and Svabhu Kohli (Levine Querido, October 2023)
  8. The Snow Man: A True Story by Jonah Winter and Jeanette Winter (Beach Lane Books, October 2023)
  9. See You on the Other Side by Rachel Montez Minor and Mariyah Rahman (Crown Books for Young Readers, September 2023)

October 26, 2023

Down to the Last Detail: ALPHABEASTS

I'm just absolutely obsessed with the cover treatment on this book! Embossing? Check! Spot gloss?? Check!! Glitter foil??? Check!!!

October 25, 2023

2023 Undies and Endies Awards: Nominations Open

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Once again I'm joining Travis Jonker and Carter Higgins for the The Undies: Case Cover Awards and the The Endies: Endpaper Awards!

Rules and nomination form for favorite undies are here.

Rules and nomination form for favorite endies are here.

Nominations close November 12. Good luck!!

October 24, 2023

Let's Talk Illustrators #266: Sarah Gonzales

I was lucky enough to chat with Sarah Gonzales, illustrator most recently of The Only Way to Make Bread, written by Cristina Quintero. Among many topics, we spoke about how she always makes a conscious effort to work her personal experiences into her illustrations and how she feels her process has evolved (and continues to evolve!). Enjoy! 

October 23, 2023

Case(wrap) of the Mondays

We've got a case(wrap) of the Mondays!

October 21, 2023

Crushes of the Week: October 15-21, 2023

This week's crushes:
  1. Beautiful Noise: The Music of John Cage by Lisa Rogers and Il Sung Na (Anne Schwartz Books, October 2023)
  2. Illusions in Art: Food by Chiêu Anh Urban (Candlewick Studio, October 2023)
  3. The Young Teacher and the Great Serpent by Irene Vasco and Juan Palomino, translated by Lawrence Schimel (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, October 2023)
  4. Do Penguins Like the Cold? by Huw Lewis Jones and Sam Caldwell (Thames & Hudson, October 2023)
  5. The Tailor Shop at the Intersection by Ahn Jaesun (Transit Children's Editions, October 2023)
  6. Jeffrey Loves Blue by Loretta Garbutt and Lily Snowden-Fine (Owlkids, September 2023)
  7. Where's Randolph? by Marianna Coppo (Twirl, October 2023)

October 17, 2023

Let's Talk Illustrators #265: Nancy Whitesides

Today I'm very pleased to share an interview for a book very near and dear to my heart. Grief Is an Elephant, written by Tamara Ellis Smith, touches on the intricacies of feeling grief, and the book is thoughtfully illustrated by Nancy Whitesides. Nancy was gracious enough to share her process with me, and you can take a closer look at that below.

October 16, 2023

Case(wrap) of the Mondays

We've got a case(wrap) of the Mondays!

October 14, 2023

Crushes of the Week: October 8-14, 2023

This week's crushes:
  1. The Words We Share by Jack Wong (Annick Press, October 2023)
  2. Every Dreaming Creature by Brendan Wenzel (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, September 2023)
  3. Ploof by Ben Clanton and Andy Chou Musser (Tundra Books, September 2023)
  4. Flora and Friends ABC by Molly Idle (Chronicle Books, September 2023)
  5. Bompa's Insect Expedition by David Suzuki, Tanya Lloyd Kyi, and Qin Leng (Greystone Kids, September 2023)
  6. Superpowered Animals: Meet the World's Strongest, Smartest, and Swiftest Creatures by Soledad Romero Mariño and Sonia Pulido (Phaidon Press, October 2023)
  7. Boyogi: How a Wounded Family Learned to Heal by David Barclay Moore and Noa Denmon (Candlewick Press, October 2023)

October 11, 2023

Down to the Last Detail: IF I HAD A...

I'm starting a new series on the site! "Down to the Last Detail" will highlight the one-of-a-kind details that push a book's design over the top. Such details include things like a fifth color, a particularly creative use of spot gloss, a uniquely done spine...the details that make the book unforgettable. This won't be a weekly series, but I'll be sharing the details as I find them so keep checking back. And in the meantime, you can see come really cool book details in the highlights section of my Instagram page here.

I'm kicking things off with the If I Had a... series by Gabby Dawnay and Alex Barrow. The past three books have featured clever ads on the back for the rest of the titles. The ads are woven in seamlessly, matching the animal and theme of each book. So smart and super cute! 

October 10, 2023

Let's Talk Illustrators #264: Todd Stewart

Today I am so pleased to share my interview with color genius Todd Stewart! We talk about his beautiful new picture book Skating Wild on an Inland Sea, written by Jean E. Pendziwol. I've been such a big fan of Todd's since his 2021 book The Wind and the Trees (which I reviewed here), which is when I first became familiar with Todd's skillful eye for color and lighting. Check out his newest book with me!

October 9, 2023

Case(wrap) of the Mondays

We've got a case(wrap) of the Mondays!

October 3, 2023

Let's Talk Illustrators #263: Susan Gal

I recently talked with Susan Gal, illustrator of Kristen Hubbard's book Dear Stray. The subject of this picture book is particularly near and dear to my heart, so I was very pleased that this is the book we got to discuss. Take a closer look at this special story below!

October 2, 2023

Case(wrap) of the Mondays

We've got a case(wrap) of the Mondays!