April 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

The story on the wall

Seeing the CSK exhibit at the NCCIL is making me remember again the vogue for illustration as fine art we had in the 1980s:  from a baby boom arose lots of picture books, lots of children’s bookstores, and (he gestures vaguely towards) developments in five-color printing that encouraged big, handsome pictures in big, handsome books. And […]

Texas Time

What a wonderful time Richard and I had in Abilene! We were at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (still jeez to the name, but I did learn its acronym is pronounced nickel and not ‘encil) to see a wonderful show, and quite a haul of original art from Coretta Scott King Award winners […]

Review of the Day: A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano, ill. Lane Smith

A House That Once Was By Julie Fogliano Illustrated by Lane Smith Roaring Brook Press (an imprint of Macmillan) $18.99 ISBN: 978-1-62672-314-6 Ages 4-7 On shelves May 1st When I was growing up there was an empty house across the street. A melancholy, haunted structure that seemed to wear its sadness like a badge. No […]

Every Day Is Earth Day | Books to Celebrate

Titles to introduce environmental themes, nurture an appreciation of nature, and launch creative projects.

A Place to Start a Family: Poems About Creatures That Build

A Place to Start a Family: Poems About Creatures That Build Written by David L. Harrison and Illustrated by Giles Laroche Published by Charlesbridge in 2018 ISBN 978-1-58089-748-8 Grades PK-6 Book Review Underground, on land, on water, and in the air: animals build shelter for themselves and their offspring. In their latest collaboration author David […]

Western stars light up the sky

Later this week Richard and I are going west to Abilene to see the exhibition of Coretta Scott King Award winners at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (also known as NCCIL, thank heavens). There will be a bash to which we are grateful to be invited, and the exhibit of some one hundred original […]

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery Written by Sandra Neil Wallace and Illustrated by Bryan Collier Published in 2018 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers ISBN 978-1-4814-4387-6 Grades K-5 Book Review “Ernest looked around his neighborhood. It no longer appeared ordinary. In the movement […]

Review of the Day: It’s Springtime, Mr. Squirrel! by Sebastian Meschenmoser

It’s Springtime, Mr. Squirrel! By Sebastian Meschenmoser Translated by David Henry Wilson NorthSouth Books ISBN: 978-0-7358-4310-3 $18.95 Ages 4-7 On shelves now. There is an old joke here in America regarding the Germans and their sense of humor. Mainly, that they haven’t got one. I’ve heard everything from Patton Oswalt routines to old commercials that […]

Islandborn

Islandborn/Lola: Edicion en espanol de ISLANDBORN Written by Junot Díaz,  illustrated by Leo Espinosa Published by Dial Books ISBN:  978-0735229860 (English)/ ISBN:  978-0525552819 (Spanish) All Ages Book Review “Every kid in Lola’s school was from somewhere else. Hers was the school of faraway places.” But when her teacher asks her class to draw a picture of […]

2018 Pura Belpre Illustrator Award: La Princesa and the Pea

2018 Pura Belpre Illustrator Award Winner La Princesa and the Pea Written by Susan Middleton Elya and Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 2017 ISBN 978-0-399-25156-6 Grades PK – 4   Book Review This retelling of the classic tale “The Princess and the Pea” has South American flair and a unique […]

The Word Collector

The Word Collector Written and Illustrated by Peter Reynolds 2018 Orchard Books ISBN 978-0-545-86502-9 Grades K-5 Book Review Fans of Peter Reynolds’ Ish, The Dot, and Happy Dreamer, will be delighted by his latest picturebook, The Word Collector. Reynolds continues his trend of crafting seemingly simple text with significant and lasting meaning, this time with […]

New Picture Books from Dav Pilkey, Ellie Sandall, & More | March 2018 Xpress Reviews

A “Scaredy Kat” finds some courage; a young dragon dancer celebrates the Lunar New Year; and a black family tackles the tough topic of police brutality with their children in this month’s Xpress.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Never Too Old: Embracing Picture Books To Teach Older Students

Traditional picture books provide versatile, effective teaching tools for a range of students.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut Written by Derrick D. Barnes and Illustrated by Gordon C. James Published in 2017 by Bolden, Agate Publishing ISBN 978-1-57284-224-3 Grades 1 – 6 A 2018 Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction Recommended Title Book Review “You came in as a lump of clay, a blank, canvas, a […]

Momma, Did You Hear the News? by Sanya Whittaker Gragg | SLJ Review

A picture book essential both for its counsel and for its representation of a family confronting police brutality with young children.

Celebrate Black History Month Every Month with Picture Books

Created by titans of kid lit and debut authors alike, the selections featured on this list encompass the everyday and the fantastical.

Review of the Day: Hazelnut Days by Emmanuel Bourdier, ill. ZAÜ

Hazelnut Days By Emmanuel Bourdier Illustrated by ZAÜ minedition (an imprint of Michael Neugebauer Publishing Ltd.) $17.99 ISBN: 978-988-8341-54-2 For ages 6 and up On shelves May 1st I’m on a children’s book committee right now with an interesting mix of members. Some folks are old hands that have read more picture books in their […]

Picture Books in the Dorm Room?

How two college professors used curated “book bags” to help undergraduates develop a deeper understanding of children’s literature.

Round

Round Written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo Published in 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ISBN 978-0-544-38761-4 Grades PreK – 6 Book Review In Joyce Sidman’s latest nonfiction picture book, a young girl professes, “I love round things,” and so launches a poetic exploration of all things round. Immersive mixed media illustrations crafted […]

Review of the Day: Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Julián Is a Mermaid By Jessica Love Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9045-8 Ages 4 and up On shelves May 22nd When you walk into another person’s home, there’s always a distinct smell to the place. Homes absorb the lives of their occupants, and the end result is as much an olfactory experience a visual one. […]