April 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Q&A and Cover Reveal: After Zero by Christina Collins

A lot of librarians are familiar with books in which a character, maybe the main character or a sibling or a friend, does not speak. The term I always thought applied to this situation was “selective mutism”. It’s so common in books that when I keep track of the books I read on Goodreads I’ve […]

Q&A and Cover Reveal: After Zero by Christina Collins

A lot of librarians are familiar with books in which a character, maybe the main character or a sibling or a friend, does not speak. The term I always thought applied to this situation was “selective mutism”. It’s so common in books that when I keep track of the books I read on Goodreads I’ve […]

Cover Reveal: Sweep by Jonathan Auxier

“Frog and Toad on rooftops.” Now that I have your attention . . . The funny thing about the children’s book author Jonathan Auxier (you may remember him from his Peter Nimble stories, or perhaps from his deliciously creepy The Night Gardener) is that I knew him personally before he was a writer for kids. […]

Cover Reveal: Winnie’s Great War by Lindsay Mattick and Josh Greenhut, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Let us play a game. Think of all the picture books that have won the Caldecott Award over the years. Not the Honors, mind you. The Gold. The Big Kahuna. Are you picturing them? Good. Now, separate out all the Nonfiction winners. This would be easier to do if we were talking about the NonFictionphobic […]

Cover Reveal: Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story by Marc Tyler Nobleman

I’m getting pickier. The more that I’m asked to do cover reveals for books, the more I want to make sure that the books in question are up to snuff. It’s a pity how rare it is that I’m asked to reveal a book that I’ve already read. But you know what? Sometimes it happens. […]

Cover Reveal: The Alcatraz Escape by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Oh, the weather outside is frightful! Some of you are headed to Midwinter right now in the midst of horrible, terrible snows. I salute you, one and all. To take your minds off your cancelled flights, let us pause a moment and consider Jennifer Chambliss Bertman’s clever and charming Book Scavenger series. When the folks […]

Exclusive Book Cover Reveal: THE VERY LAST CASTLE by Me and Mark Pett

Remember that story I told you I wrote? About the castle? The one Mark Pett is illustrating? It’s coming out on October 9th and today it’s my pleasure to share the cover with you. It seemed like a good time to ask Mark a couple questions about the cover creation process. Me: Hi Mark! Do […]

Cover Reveal and Interview: Pearl by Molly Idle

I’ve heard you. I’ve heard you when you slip into bed at night and stare with wide insomniac-laden eyes at the ceiling thinking, thinking, thinking to yourself, “Why hasn’t Molly Idle ever done a mermaid book?” I hear you, man. I understand where you’re coming from. You figure that since she knocks it out of […]

Cover Reveal and Excerpt: Rosetown by Cynthia Rylant

Okay, we’re going to do something a little different with today’s cover reveal. Apparently in 2018 the publishers all put their heads together and said “Cover reveals on blogs are fine, but you know what the people really want? Excerpts from the books themselves.” I can hardly argue. As such I’ve had two such offers […]

Cover Reveal: Quiet by Tomie dePaola

Before we get to today’s reveal, let me share something about my own background. Though not a Quaker myself, I attended a small Quaker college during my undergraduate years. While there I made many Quaker friends and came to appreciate the particular kind of mindfulness that comes when you attend a Quaker service. There, you […]

Cover Reveal: Ekua Holmes Book Jacket for The Stuff of Stars

There comes a time when agreeing to post the occasional book jacket on your blog pays off huge dividends. Not monetarily, of course, but from the perspective of quality. When I was asked if I’d have any objection to premiering the cover of the latest Marion Dane Bauer book with art but none other than […]

Cover Reveal: Ocean Meets Sky by Terry Fan and Eric Fan

Now it’s no secret that I’m keen on one of this year’s Caldecott contenders, The Antlered Ship. As it turns out, this was just the prelude. Illustrated by The Fan Brothers, the two have shown a distinct liking for naval adventures. The proof?  Today, ladies and gentlemen, we present the cover reveal for their upcoming […]

Cover Reveal: Ocean Meets Sky by Terry Fan and Eric Fan

Now it’s no secret that I’m keen on one of this year’s Caldecott contenders, The Antlered Ship. As it turns out, this was just the prelude. Illustrated by The Fan Brothers, the two have shown a distinct liking for naval adventures. The proof?  Today, ladies and gentlemen, we present the cover reveal for their upcoming […]

Cover Reveal: HOW YOU RUINED MY LIFE by Jeff Strand

Have you read any Jeff Strand? That’s one of my go to questions for anyone – teen or YA reader – who lament that there are not enough funny books in YA. And I get it, the funny is definitely outnumbered in YA, it truly is. But Jeff Strand is a pretty dependable author when […]

Cover Reveal: How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk, ill. Sara Palacios

We’re taking a lovely, leisurely stroll in the park when you turn to me and say, “Betsy, why don’t you write more about coding on your blog?” And I shuffle my feet a bit, maybe kicking a stray acorn. I avoid eye contact with you as I mumble something indistinct about it being scary and […]

Cover Reveal (and Interview!): The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr

I don’t know about you but I haven’t read nearly enough fantasy novels this year. It’s so funny that I’ve been so bad, since fantasy was the genre I loved the most when I was a kid. Remember when they released those Dragonriders of Pern books starring Menolly as children’s middle grade novels (Dragonsong, Dragondrums, […]

Exclusive Book Cover Reveal: AL CAPONE THROWS ME A CURVE by Gennifer Choldenko

Gennifer Choldenko’s Alcatraz series began memorably – with a Newbery honor. Today, we have a first look at the cover of the fourth book in the series – Al Capone Throws Me a Curve (coming May 8th, 2018). But is this the final book? And what creativity tricks and hot beverages have helped fuel the series? I […]

Exclusive Book Cover Reveal: HELLO HELLO by Brendan Wenzel

This Wenzel guy knows a thing or two about making picture books, as evidenced by that thing propping up all the stars in the picture above. Well, now Brendan Wenzel has a new book on the horizon (arriving in the spring of 2018) and today we have a first look at the cover and interior […]

Exclusive Book Cover Reveal: HELLO HELLO by Brendan Wenzel

This Wenzel guy knows a thing or two about making picture books, as evidenced by that thing propping up all the stars in the picture above. Well, now Brendan Wenzel has a new book on the horizon (arriving in the spring of 2018) and today we have a first look at the cover and interior […]

Exclusive Cover Reveal: WILL BEAR SHARE? WILL SHEEP SLEEP?

Of all the people out there, people who make picture books and also share fun things online rank pretty high on my list. Hilary Leung has been making picture books . . . . . . and sharing fun things online for a bit now. When he asked me to share the covers for his […]