Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

Today, for Perfect Picture Book Friday, I’m sharing another favorite from the “BEST of 2020” lists. EXQUISITE: THE POETRY AND LIFE OF GWENDOLYN BROOKS truly is exquisite! Suzanne Slade is another favorite author who continually teaches me about the craft of writing picture books. Congratulations to Ruthie Kirk! You’ve won a copy of IS IT … More Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

Behind the Scenes: “Crafting Memory into Story” by Sandy Brehl

Sandy Brehl is one of those kid lit people who shares picture book love through thoughtful interviews and posts. I’m just one of many kid lit creators who is grateful for her support and honored to call her a friend. Here, Sandy shares how a memory kept calling her through time, finally resulting in her … More Behind the Scenes: “Crafting Memory into Story” by Sandy Brehl

Cover Reveal! Revolutionary Prudence Wright

With the Fourth of July around the corner, I thought it’d be a perfect time for a sneak peek and cover reveal for REVOLUTIONARY PRUDENCE WRIGHT: LEADING THE MINUTE WOMEN IN THE FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE. We all learn about Paul Revere’s ride and the battles at Lexington and Concord where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were … More Cover Reveal! Revolutionary Prudence Wright

Mining for Heart: “Heart in Action—Louder than Words”

With Father’s Day approaching, it seems fitting to celebrate a father who gave the gift of patience. “Heart in Action — Louder Than Words” Tad Lincoln was a boy of action. Lots of action. Endless Action. To the point he drove everyone around him crazy. Except his father. One father/son action had sparked my interest … More Mining for Heart: “Heart in Action—Louder than Words”

Mining for Heart: “Heart in Picture Books: A Treasure Map to Emotional Resonance” by Kim Tomsic

I’ve come to believe that the most important element in a picture book, or any story for that matter, is what I call “heart.” Digging it out can be agonizing. But if you’re lucky, it might float to the surface in a haunting question or pop out with a shiver of goosebumps. And then, of … More Mining for Heart: “Heart in Picture Books: A Treasure Map to Emotional Resonance” by Kim Tomsic

Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars

Popping in with a Perfect Picture Book Friday recommendation. This book is in my top 10 for 2020—a lyrical, gorgeous, important book about the power of music. Don’t miss it!  Title: Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars Written by:  Gary Golio Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis Nancy Paulsen Books/PRH 2020, biography … More Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars

Behind the Scenes: “The Urgency of Oral History” by Rich and Sandra Wallace

The Teachers March!: How Selma’s Teachers Changed History was one of the outstanding picture books of 2020 that kept popping up everywhere. Thanks to authors Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace, we have this dynamic telling of an overlooked event. Here, the authors share how meeting the right person at the right time made all … More Behind the Scenes: “The Urgency of Oral History” by Rich and Sandra Wallace

Swashby and the Sea

Here’s a new picture book that’s really won my heart with it’s word play, timely message, and irresistible illustrations! Author Beth Ferry and illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal have created an endearing and humorous story about not getting what you want, but rather, what you need. Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday! Congratulations to the winner of WATERCRESS … More Swashby and the Sea

Behind the Scenes: “Collaborating with an Illustrator” by Andrea Wang

Andrea Wang’s new picture book, WATERCRESS, has been all over the news recently. It’s an outstanding book in every way, a collaboration of skilled, sensitive, extraordinary book creators. I wish I’d had this book when I had a classroom full of English language learners from around the world with their myriad of experiences. Here Andrea … More Behind the Scenes: “Collaborating with an Illustrator” by Andrea Wang