Behind the Scenes: “The Power of Yes!” by Jolene Gutiérrez

All it takes is one word to launch you on a new adventure! Jolene Gutiérrez shares how a picture book manuscript grew into a middle grade nonfiction book, and also how she embraced opportunity to stretch herself in the process.  And thank you, Jolene, for offering a copy of your book to one lucky winner! … More Behind the Scenes: “The Power of Yes!” by Jolene Gutiérrez

Behind the Scenes: “Why Have Faith in a Story” by Laurel Neme

We all need a reason to work through the hard parts. Laurel Neme found her reason in those who let her into their story, into what would become The Elephant’s New Shoe.  Laurel is doing a GIVEAWAY of a copy of the book as soon as it’s released October 6. To enter, just leave a … More Behind the Scenes: “Why Have Faith in a Story” by Laurel Neme

Behind the Scenes: “What’s in a Name?” by Jenna Grodzicki

Welcome, Jenna Grodzicki, author of WILD STYLE: AMAZING ANIMAL ADORNMENTS! When I first saw the book, my first thought was, great title! And that doesn’t come easy. It’s often the source of much agony for me. Here Jenna gives you a behind the scenes peek at how that title came to be.  AND Jenna is … More Behind the Scenes: “What’s in a Name?” by Jenna Grodzicki

Animals by the Numbers

Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection is pure nonfiction and totally engaging! Title: Animals by the Numbers, A Book of Animal Infographics Written and Illustrated by: Steve Jenkins Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, nonfiction, 48 pages Suitable for ages: 6-9 Themes/topics: animals, graphs, charts, infographics, STEM, visual literacy Opening: Numbers help us understand our world. We … More Animals by the Numbers

Tooth by Tooth

Time for class pictures? Smile pretty! Let those pearly whites shine! Title: Tooth by Tooth, Comparing Fangs, Tusks, and Chompers Written by: Sara Levine Illustrated by: T.S. Spookytooth Millbrook Press/ Lerner, 2016, nonfiction Suitable for ages: 4-10 Lexile: 820 Themes/topics: teeth, animals, mammals Opening: Open Wide! Look at all those chompers in there. Mammal teeth … More Tooth by Tooth

Cecil’s Pride

Today we look at a real Lion King. Tomorrow I’ll announce the winner of a copy of Miranda Paul’s 10 Little Ninjas. You’ve got a few more hours to leave a comment and be eligible for the drawing. Title: Cecil’s Pride, The True Story of a Lion King Told by: Craig Hatkoff, Juliana Hatkoff, and Isabella Hatkoff … More Cecil’s Pride

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

This week –  a middle grade favorite. And next week, I’ll be launching a monthly series from published authors entitled “Mining for Heart.” Stay tuned. Title: Pax Written by: Sara Pennypacker Illustrated by: Jon Klassen Balzer & Bray/Harper Collins, 2016, fiction, 288 pages Suitable for ages: 8-12 Lexile: 760 Themes/topics: nature, war, family, relationships, pets, grief Opening: … More Pax by Sara Pennypacker


How much do you know about the puzzling platypus? Title: Platypus Written by: Sue Whiting Illustrated by: Mark Jackson Candlewick Press, 2016, nonfiction Suitable for ages: 5+ Themes/topics: animals, nature, Australia Opening: Beyond the snaking bend in the creek, where the water lazes in a still green pool, a scraggly gum tree perches on the … More Platypus