Dark Was the Night – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Can you name the blind Black man whose music was recorded on a Golden Record called "The Sounds of Earth," placed in a time capsule in 1977, and sent out of our solar system on Voyager I? No? Here's a book that gives the man, Willie Johnson, his due: Instead of starting off with the … Continue reading Dark Was the Night – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Broken Heartland – An Omen from 1990

As we consider current election results and the aftermath, I'd like everyone to take a peek at the following: If anyone in Hillary Clinton's campaign had read this book, if any Democrat had read this book 10 or 20 or 30 years ago, we might be in a different place right now. The author, Osha … Continue reading Broken Heartland – An Omen from 1990

Martin & Mahalia – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Thinking quite a bit about the late 60s right now. So I'm pulling a book from my collection to feature this week, The story opens with an invitation:   You are here. Let the map lead the way. Let the dove fly ahead. On the path. To the dream. To the words. And the songs. … Continue reading Martin & Mahalia – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

The Ranger – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Back when I could eat out and then wander through the depths of San Francisco's many indie bookstores, I found myself browsing the children's section at Green Apple on Clement Street. This book caught my eye. The color palette was unusual for a picture book. The dark stranger on the cover evoked a sense of … Continue reading The Ranger – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Happy Not-Shopping Friday!

I'll give you a hint about what I'm doing with my family instead of shopping... Hope you all are having a restful and inspiring time with family and friends! Perfect Picture Book Friday will return next week. Cheers!

Image credit: 123RF_Wrangel

The Benefits of Being an Octopus – Review

Thirteen-year-old Zoey and her mom and three younger siblings live with a man named Lenny. He owns a nice trailer. He's bought her mom a new set of teeth. And he's bent on undermining any self-confidence that Zoey's mother ever had. From the first few pages, the reader is pulled into Zoey's world, an impoverished … Continue reading The Benefits of Being an Octopus – Review

Kidquake – Dream Big!

Litquake San Francisco, an annual literary festival comprising 850+ authors and hundreds of events in the span of 10 days, can be exhausting and daunting, but it can also be exhilarating and inspirational.  I'm a co-producer of Kidquake, an event that draws 1,000 elementary school kids, their teachers, and chaperones to four assemblies and 10 … Continue reading Kidquake – Dream Big!

Nicholas Kristof – Call to Action

Question: Where was the first reported child abuse case in the United States? Answer: New York, 1874. Her name was Mary Ellen Wilson. For eight of her 10 years, she had been beaten, cut, starved, subject to hard physical labor, deprived of a bed and warm clothes, and generally tortured by her foster mother. A … Continue reading Nicholas Kristof – Call to Action

Who Are You? Gender Bias – #KidLitWomen

In 2015, I sat in a darkened auditorium in a hotel in Los Angeles, wanting to throw up. I had word poisoning. What was the source? The messenger's message. In that dark room, Shannon Hale, a keynote speaker at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference, was turning the spotlight on gender bias. … Continue reading Who Are You? Gender Bias – #KidLitWomen

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