Story of a Little Mouse Building a House – Perfect Picture Book Friday

I organized our school's annual book swap this year, where families bring in bags of books they no longer want, the library committee sorts them, and then students, parents, and staff select books to supplement their summer reading. Any books remaining at the end of the swap get donated to a community thrift store. Kids … Continue reading Story of a Little Mouse Building a House – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Guest Post – Rutgers One-on-One Conference

See that lighthouse? That was me at the Rutgers One-on-One Conference last year, a juried one-day event that pairs writers/illustrators with editors, agents and published authors. Fellow #kidlit author, Jennifer Prevost, just posted my rundown and tips about the conference. If you're wondering what it was like, or if you're thinking about applying, take a … Continue reading Guest Post – Rutgers One-on-One Conference

Moonday – Perfect Picture Book Friday

So tell me, has the moon ever followed you home? You felt it glowing through the back window of your car. Then you turned and saw it hanging low in the sky, suspended by things unseen. And no matter how fast you drove, you couldn't shake it. It threw your shadow across your path as … Continue reading Moonday – Perfect Picture Book Friday

The Shape of the World – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Now that my son is applying for high school architecture and design programs, my lens is focused on all things architecture. I see references everywhere, from Vince Scully's obit in the NY Times, to a new picture book biography about Zaha Hadid, to two picture book biographies of Maya Lin, Legos' architecture building series (including … Continue reading The Shape of the World – Perfect Picture Book Friday

The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Behold, the Chupacabra!!! What's a chupacabra you may ask? No one really knows what they look like, for they've never been caught. The name literally means "goat sucker." When Ana Aranda, the illustrator for this book, was growing up in Mexico, she and her friends told stories about the chupacabra. How you shouldn't let your … Continue reading The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra – Perfect Picture Book Friday

After the Fall – Perfect Picture Book Friday

STOP THE PRESSES!!! Announcing the first picture book to win both the Caldecott and the Newbery!!!!  Well, if the judging were up to me, that is. Seriously, folks. This book gobsmacked me. Dan Santat has created a touching, funny book about overcoming your fears, and in the process transforming your life. "My name is Humpty … Continue reading After the Fall – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Harlem: A Poem by Walter Dean Myers

In honor of National Poetry Month and Perfect Picture Book Friday, I'm shining the spotlight on a brilliant Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Award Winner from 1997: "They took to the road in Waycross, Georgia Skipped over the tracks in East St. Louis Took the bus from Holly Springs Hitched a ride from Gee's Bend … Continue reading Harlem: A Poem by Walter Dean Myers

USA Election – The Graphic Novel

This is the United States of America:   This was the USA during the presidential campaign: This is the USA today: This is my dream for the USA: To get there, this needs to happen: And then we've got to stop doing this: And start doing this: The END

Parts and Even More Parts – Perfect Picture Book Friday

So you're looking for a couple of books from a brilliant author/illustrator? Ones that will make kids say "ewwww" page after page, all while laughing uproariously? Ones that kids will want to read again and again and again because each little twist is ingenious? Tedd Arnold's will do the trick: For the most part, his … Continue reading Parts and Even More Parts – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Illustrator Influence

My 11-yr-old son has discovered Russ Cox, a wonderful illustrator. You can see his work at Smiling Otis Studio.  [Yes, Mike Allegra (HeyLookAWriterFellow), Otis was one of Russ's cats. They're everywhere! And BTW, a mouse snuck into our pantry and tore into the brown sugar, dried beans, and pancake mix. I'm thinking we've got a diabetic … Continue reading Illustrator Influence