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A big box of shiny new books landed on my doorstep. Memoirs of a Parrot is the fourth "memoir" book, written by the very talented Devin Scillian and published by Sleeping Bear Press.
"Yay, new books!"
When I read that a parrot would be the main character, I had to choose an African Grey parrot. I have fond childhood memories of my grandpa and his African Grey, named Chico. I chose a Hyacinth Macaw as the other parrot in the story. Mostly because of the color. I live in Ohio and Devin Scillian lives in Michigan, so it just made sense to use Ohio State (scarlet and grey) and Michigan colors (maze and blue). Plus, my wife's family is from the state up north (we're a "blended" family).
A drawing that I did in High School of my grandpa and his parrot, Chico.
Also, the main character (human) in the story plays a ukulele. I said, "hmmm, I need to get a ukulele (as reference) and begin my career as a ukulele rock star". Then I met Emily Arrow, a true ukulele rock star, so I bought one. Now I need to start practicing my ukulele licks.
"Hey, I think that I need a ukulele."
Anyway, you must take a look at Memoirs of a Parrot. It's got parrots, ukulele players and a very funny story.
End papers from Memoirs of a Parrot.
Thank you, Heather Hughes, Felicia Macheske and Sleeping Bear Press.
Ocean Animals (Animal Bites series)
by Laaren Brown
Liberty Street, an imprint of Time Inc. Books, 2016
Polar Animals (Animal Bites series)
by Laaren Brown
Liberty Street, an imprint of Time Inc. Books, 2016
Today is Earth Day, and it's the perfect time to highlight the new Animal Bites series by Animal Planet. Published by Time Inc., the series was released earlier this
Have you ever wanted to take a trip to the cloud forest? Explore the Andes of Ecuador? Discover a new species? Well, you’re in luck.
With¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito from A to Z! travel to the unique world of the cloud forest and discover the bounty of plants, animals, and other organisms that live there as you help a zoologist look for the elusive olinguito, the first new mammal species identified in the Americas since 1978.
But the adventure doesn’t stop there. Anyone can learn to be an explorer in their own backyard with the FREEOlinguito Activity Kitand Teacher’s Guide. Learn more about the cloud forest and other ecosystems, including all of the important animals and the adaptations that help them survive in their environment with the many interdisciplinary ideas, projects, and engaging activities.
Content themes and subjects covered:
ecosystems and habitats
animal classification and adaptation
vertebrates and invertebrates
competition and predation
Here’s a preview of the types of engaging projects and activities you can find in the Olinguito Activity Kit and Teacher’s Guide:
Observe an Ecosystem!
You will need:
a pen or pencil
a thick, old paperback book
Make note of the time of day you are making your observations. Is it morning, afternoon, or night?
Record all the plants and organisms you see, including trees, shrubs, bushes, grasses, ferns, mosses, and lichens.
Record all the animals you see in the area, including insects, arachnids, mollusks, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Gather fresh leaves of different shapes from trees and shrubs and put each separately between two pages of the paperback book. You may also gather small, colorful flowers or flower petals and put them between pages of the book.
Take photos of any animals you see.
Once you are back inside, place the paperback book under a pile of heavy books for a week or two to let you pressed leaves and flowers dry.
Design a Cloud Forest Travel Brochure!
Have students research cloud forests in the Andes and create an informative and persuasive travel brochure. Include headings, subheadings, pictures, maps, and informative captions.
Where are the cloud forests located?
What plants and animals live there?
Why are cloud forests valued or important?
What is the climate like?
What will people see there?
What environmental and human threats do they face?
Why should someone make the cloud forest his or her next vacation destination?
Create a Cloud Forest Alphabet or Glossary Book:
string or twine
art decorating supplies (crayons, colored pencils, markers. etc.)
Alphabet Book: include the featured letter, a picture or drawing of the featured plant or animal, and the name of the plant or animal.
Plant/Animal Glossary Book: include the name of the plant or animal, a picture or drawing of the featured plant or animal, and an informative description of the plant or animal: where does it live? what does it eat? how is it classified (plant or animal, vertebrate or invertebrate, etc.)?
For more fun and exciting activity ideas, including I-Spy Fun and learning to create you own pressed leaf print, check out and download the FREE Olinguito Activity Kit and Teacher’s Guide.
You can purchase a copy of ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito, from A to Z! : Descubriendo el bosque nublado / Unveiling the Cloud Forest on our website here.
Veronicahas a degree from Mount Saint Mary College and joined LEE & LOW in the fall of 2014. She has a background in education and holds a New York State childhood education (1-6) and students with disabilities (1-6) certification. When she’s not wandering around New York City, you can find her hiking or hanging out with her dog Milo in her hometown in the Hudson Valley, NY.
You know how on television you sometimes see ads for an organization called Heifer International? If you have ever wondered how it all began, your curiosity will find the answer in this charming picture book about one of the first "seagoing cowboys" at the end of World War II. These are the cowboys who delivered livestock to countries in desperate need to being rebuilding after the war's devastation.
By 1945, Poland had been ravaged. Its cities and farmland had been bombed badly, the people who had survived were starving and help is desperately needed. In the United States, a young man who is looking for adventure decides to sign up to become a "seagoing cowboy" along with his friend John.
Their adventure begins with a train ride to the city, where they will board their ship, the Woodstock Victory. They arrive just as the horses and heifers are being loaded onto the ship. John is one of the young men assigned to caring for the horses on their week-long journey to Poland, while our un-named narrator cares for the heifers they were bringing over, heifers that will provide milk, cheese and butter to the hungry Polish people.
Sailing to Poland isn't an easy journey what with seasickness and a bad storm, but at last they arrive at their destination. The cowboys and their livestock are welcomed with smiles and open arms, especially by the children who want the gum and chocolate the Americans carry (and who can blame them for wanting to things after years of having nothing). And the cowboys are happy to give, but what really leaves a strong impression and saddens them most is the devastation they witness everywhere they go.
I have to be honest and say that although I have heard of Heifer International, I had never heard of seagoing cowboys, and of sending livestock to Poland and other European countries hard hit by war, so this picture book was a real eye-opener for me.
And I found The Seagoing Cowboy to be a fascinating, reader friendly account of such a little-known part of WWII history. Although it is a work of fiction, it is made compelling because it is based on some photos that were given to Peggy Reiff Miller by her father. The photos belonged to her grandfather who had been a seagoing cowboy and they sparked her curiosity about what it was like for the men who volunteered to do this work. After lots of research and talking to some former seagoing cowboys, Peggy took their stories and wrote about the trip of a composite un-named young man and his adventures in The Seagoing Cowboy.
Claire Ewart's full-color watercolor illustrations are bright, light and airy, reflecting the optimism of the seagoing mission while also capturing the full range of emotions felt by humans and animals alike on this voyage. I love the little smile on Queenie, the horse that John's father had donated to the program without telling his son and John and Queenie see each other on the ship for the first time.
The Seagoing Cowboy is a wonderful, uplifting story about the men who delivered more than just livestock to those in need, they delivered hope for the future, too. You can discover more about this program in Peggy's Author's Note, along with some photographs she has chosen to share.
Funny how things happen without consciously deciding that this is what will happen... I decided to update my long overlooked blog and post some new work and realized that I seem to have spent much of the past two years painting animals! Here are some of my recent pieces, lots of animals...but there a few images to be painted of nothing but people and there is a gnome-y sort of fellow which is kind of a person!!!! Working on two companion pieces to Mammals right now, Farm Animals and Snowmen...which are, again, sort of like people!
Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty is everyone’s favorite mischievous feline. Recently, the series creator and Bad Kitty herself were interviewed by Rocco Staino on StoryMakers. The Bad Kitty series is a favorite of early readers and those who’ve been introduced to chapter books. Bruel discusses the evolution of the Bad Kitty series — from picture books to chapter books; his inspiration for going against the sometimes syrupy sweet kid lit grain; and how Bad Kitty went from page to stage. Nick Bruel has appeared in the Princeton Book Festival and Carle Honors episodes of StoryMakers.
When Kitty is happy and healthy, everything is perfect. She jumps around, eats everything in sight, and has the energy to keep slobbering puppies in their place. But when she’s sick, all she can do is lie in her bed. Looks like it’s time for this sick kitty to go…to the vet. When Kitty’s family finally manages to get their clawing, angry pet into the doctor’s office, it’s a wild adventure for Kitty, who has to get the most dreaded thing of all…a shot. Once the shot is administered, Kitty is cast into an ingenious dream within a dream sequence in which she has to make right by Puppy or risk being shut out of PussyCat heaven forever. This ninth installment of the popular Bad Kitty series from Nick Bruel is chock-full of brilliant supporting characters and, of course, the crankiest bad kitty you’ve ever seen.
ABOUT NICK BRUEL
Nick Bruel is the author and illustrator of New York Times bestseller Boing! and the Bad Kitty books, among others. He is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist, and during his down time, he collects PEZ dispensers and grows tomatoes in the backyard. He lives in Tarrytown, NY with his wife Carina and their lovely cat Esmerelda.
April is Poetry Month. Here is a story about finding yourself/your identity and your place in the world – all in nicely written verse. (Images to post very soon.) Bartholomew Quill: A Crow’s Quest to Know Who’s Who Written by Thor Hanson Illustrated by Dana Arnim Little Bigfoot 4/05/2016 978-1-63217-046-0 32 pages …
I Didn't Do It. Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest. Illustrated by Katy Schneider. 2010. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
I Didn't Do It is a picture book collection of dog-themed poems. Or perhaps I should say puppy-themed poems. If you're thinking it's adorable, you're right. It is. Now, I love cats more than dogs. But the illustrations and poems combined got to me, I must admit!
The poems include:
"What I Don't Like"
"What I Like"
"I Didn't Do It"
"What Did I Do??"
"One Thing, One Time"
If you've got a reluctant poetry reader who happens to love dogs, this may be an excellent 'exception' to the rule. I love it when books surprise you. I do think there are plenty of exceptions when it comes to books.
The poems are written by a mother-daughter team. Patricia MacLachlan you've heard of most likely. I've read a lot of her books for younger readers. Though I didn't know she wrote poetry. Plenty of MacLachlan's books reveal a love of animals.
I really enjoyed the illustrations. Some spreads I love more than others. But overall, a very cute book.
Spring is here, and it’s a time of year when many baby animals are emerging from their winter hiding place. Some of those babies may be a little different.
Recently, Antler Ridge Sanctuary in New Jersey rescued a litter of eastern gray squirrels, but one of those squirrels had a pure white coat. The rare white fur means that the squirrel has a form of albinism.
A white coat with red eyes means that the animal is an albino. Some animals are leucistic;
these white-coated animals have their natural colored eyes but their lack of color makes them stand out from the other animals of the same species. Other animals are piebald; they have patches of albino white mixed with patches of their natural color.
The lack of color puts these special babies at risk. In a world of browns, greens, and greys the pure white is very hard to disguise from predators. Often albino animals, especially small prey animals such as squirrels are targeted by larger animals and don’t make it in the wild for very long.
Of course not all white animals have albinism, for example arctic animals such as polar bears and arctic foxes are white to blend with their surroundings.
However, without the help of rescuers many albino animals would have been lost in the wild, some of these animals are rehabilitated and then live out their days in zoos or aquariums.
To learn more read about the albino squirrel read the article here!
And…find out more about animal rehabilitators and the work zookeepers and aquarist in these books by author Jennifer Keats Curtis with the help of organizations around the country.
Like humans, animals can get sick or hurt. People see doctors. Pets have veterinarians. What happens to wild animals when they are injured, become ill, or are orphaned? Often, wildlife rehabilitators are called to their rescue. This photographic journal takes readers “behind the scenes” at four different wildlife rehabilitation centers. Fall in love with these animals as they are nursed back to health and released back to the wild when possible. This is the first of a photographic series introducing the different ways and the many people who care for a wide variety of animals.
Zoos are amazing places to see and learn about the many native and exotic of animals that inhabit this world. Some animals are plentiful while others are threatened or in danger of extinction. Zookeepers not only feed and care for these animals, they may also be helping to conserve and protect whole species through breeding and “head start” programs. Follow the extraordinary duties of these unusual animal helpers in this behind-the-scenes photographic journal.
Where else could you stay dry while visiting aquatic animals from around the world? Only in an aquarium can you visit and learn about all these different local and exotic animals. Aquarium staff care for and teach about these animals, as well as work to conserve and protect threatened and endangered species. Follow this behind-the-scenes photographic journal as it leads you into the wondrous world of aquariums and the animal helpers who work there.
Spring is finally here! The sun is shining bright, we’re wearing less layers, and birds are chirping! Well, not one bird who has some ambivalence about hatching. On this episode of Ready Set Draw!, Joyce Wan, the illustrator of Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching draws the spring-ready characters from Laura Gehl’s eggscellent picture book.
Did you, your child, or a student draw their own version of Peep and Egg using this video? Please share your images with us via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! Use the hashtag #KidLitTV on Instagram and Twitter too. We can’t wait to see what you’ve drawn!
Like an Easter basket, this post is filled with treats! Click the images below to download a Teacher’s Guide and Activity Kit.
Egg is “not” hatching. No way. No how. It is too scary out there.
Peep wants Egg to hatch so they can do fun things together, like watch the sunrise, splash in puddles, and play hide-and-seek. But Egg is “not cracking” … Joyce Wan’s bright and bold illustrations will have young chickies giggling at Laura Gehl’s reassuring tale that takes the “not” out of “I’m not.”
ABOUT LAURA GEHL
Laura Gehl is the author of several picture books including the Peep and Egg series. She has a B.A. in psychology from Yale and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Georgetown. She’s taught literacy and biology.
A Birthday for Frances, The Perfect Nest, The Big Orange Splot, and This is Not My Hat are a few of Laura’s favorite picture books. She enjoys the work of Gordon Korman, Susan Cooper, and L.M Montgomery too.
Laura and her family live in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Joyce is inspired by Japanese pop culture, Scandinavian design, modern architecture, and the little things that put a smile on her face. In Joyce’s perfect world “everything would be cute, round, and chubby,” which is evident in her illustrations. Joyce is the author of several bestselling board and picture books including You Are My Cupcake and The Whale in My Swimming Pool, a Spring 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection.
Although Joyce’s parents had the equivalent of a middle school education, and her mother wasn’t able to speak English, her mother took Joyce and her siblings to the library every week. Picture books were integral to Joyce’s love of reading as she and her siblings made up stories to go along with the illustrations. Joyce counts the determination of her parents as a driving force behind her perseverance and success. “When I first started Wanart, I was working at a 9am-6pm job at an architectural firm. I spent many late night hours on my own business with only a few hours of sleep in between the two “jobs”. I did this for two years before I quit my full time job to pursue my own business full-time.”
Joyce graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in New York City with a liberal arts degree in Architecture. Joyce teaches greeting card design and art licensing at the School of Visual Arts. The self-proclaimed night owl prefers drawing and writing in the early morning hours “when everyone’s asleep and the world is quiet.” Joyce lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey with her husband. The architect turned author and self-trained illustrator hopes to inspire people to “embrace the spirit of childhood and follow their dreams.”
I'm working on a new book scheduled for Spring 2017. It's by Marianne Berkes and published by Dawn Publications. I'll post more as I go along. If you haven't guessed it's about how animals carry their young. How did somebody carry you when you were little?
Baby clings on Mama's Hair.
This Mom is like a living raft as she transports her pup.
Check back for new babies as I continue to draw; maybe a cub, a joey, a pup, a spiderling, who knows? Thanks for taking a look! Cathy
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Stephen Savage is the author and illustrator of kid lit titles including several board books. Stephen relies on simple shapes and colors for his beautiful award winning books! Stephen revisits the unassuming Walrus who has a new accomplice in Where’s Walrus? And Penguin? He walks us through the origin of the character and story while recalling New York City landmarks and pop culture references.In this episode of StoryMakers you’ll also meet Supertruck, an unsung hero with a secret.
Stephen Savage is a 2015 Sendak Fellow. The Sendak Fellowship is a four-week residency for children’s book illustrators, created by Maurice Sendak. Which kid lit creator would Stephen like to have met? Watch the interview to find out!
We’re giving away three (3) sets of books signed by Stephen Savage. Each set includes a copy of Where’s Walrus? And Penguin? and Supertruck.
In this sequel to the acclaimed Where’s Walrus?, author Stephen Savage doubles the fun when Walrus escapes the zoo with his mischievous pal, Penguin. Will the zookeeper find them? Or will these clever runaways stay one step ahead disguised as subway riders, baseball players, and even grand opera performers? Hiding in plain sight, they elude the clueless zookeeper until a fly ball at a baseball game leads Walrus and Penguin to a chance encounter with surprising results.
Supertruck Written and illustrated by Stephen Savage
Published by Roaring Brook Press
A 2016 Geisel Honor book! When the city is hit by a colossal snowstorm, only one superhero can save the day. But who is this mysterious hero, and why does he disappear once his job is done? Find out in this snowy tale about a little truck with a very big job, the second of Stephen Savage’s vehicle-based picture books.
ABOUT STEPHEN SAVAGE
Via stephensavage.net Stephen Savageis the author and illustrator of 9 books for children, including the New York Times bestselling picture book Polar Bear Night, written by Lauren Thompson. He is the creator of the here’s Walrus? books, Supertruck, and Little Tug. Steve is the recipient of a New York Times Best Illustrated Book award, a Sendak Fellowship, an ILA Primary Fiction Award, and a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators. His editorial illustrations have appeared in dozens of major newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their daughter.
Many of us know that some birds trick other host parents from a different species into rearing their young. Best known is the common cuckoo in the UK and much of mainland Europe, However, this type of deception is not only the forte of birds – many insects ‘brood parasites’ too, especially ants, wasps, and bees.
If you’re just now joining us on Iron Chef Vermin… Strawberry Challenge, you’ll note on the challenger’s side, Ronaldo Rodent, Executive Chef of the ever popular Hole in the Wall restaurant, unfolding a nice pate brisee over a sugared strawberry filling.
A joyous celebration of a child’s imaginative, intrepid and open-hearted take on the world, Where My Feet Go by Birgitta Sif (@birgittasif) follows one young panda recounting what they’ve been up to that day.
From exploring outside and playing in the sandpit to using their parent as a climbing frame before bedtime, we read and hear that Panda has had a very happy day getting up to all sorts of adventures, traversing jungles and even meeting with dinosaurs. Yet the illustrations show a slightly different story, one apparently much more like a normal day that anybody might experience, involving puddles, sticks and feeding the birds. This funny mismatch between words and images is bound to create conversations and spark listeners’ own re-imaginings of the world around them.
Whimsical, upbeat and wide-eyed, Panda (who could be either a boy or a girl, for the gender is never mentioned, opening out this heartwarming story so really anyone can identify with Panda) reminds me a little of Charlie’s Lola. Sif’s subdued palette and the natural story arc heading for bedtime make this a calm, relaxing and uplifting read about a child’s ability to think big and embrace adventure, reminding us adults to open our eyes to the joy and delights we might otherwise overlook in the everyday world around us.
Inspired by Panda’s adventurous feet we decided we’d try making plaster of paris casts of our footprints. I made a batch of playdough which, when cooled, the kids stepped into:
(If you’ve never made homemade playdough before it’s super easy. For this activity we used 4 cups of flour, 2 cups of salt, 8 tablespoons of Cream of Tarter, 4 tablespoons of oil and 4 cups of boiling water, mixed all together over a low heat on the hob, until the ingredients combined and came away from the edge of the pan without sticking to our fingers when we touched it.)
In an old icecream tub we mixed up some plaster of paris as per the instructions on the packet and then poured the thick gloop into the impressions left by the kids’ feet in the playdough.
After a couple of hours the “feet” were dry enough to be taken out of their moulds. The playdough is perfectly fine to re-use to make more casts – we reused ours 4 times and it was still good for more play.
We left or “feet” to dry out completely for a couple of days before painting and decorating them.
Now (perhaps slightly channelling Hans Solo given all the Star Wars stuff that is in the air at the moment), J’s feet are of on an adventure of their own…
Whilst making our footprints we listened to:
Dirty Feet by Bobs & Lolo
Foot Stomping by The Flares
500 miles by The Proclaimers – it’s all about walking! My very favourite cover of this classic is the crazy accordion fuelled version by Billy McIntyre and his All Star Ceilidh Band (you can hear a sample here)
Other activities which might work well alongside reading Where My Feet Go include:
Updating your dressing-up box with a few new (old) pairs of shoes. There’s nothing like experiencing what it’s like to be someone else when you literally put your feet into their shoes. Charity shops, jumble sales, old relatives, older siblings/cousins are all good sources of shoes for dressing up in.
Maria Had a Little Llama/Maria Tenia Una Llamita and Knit Together author and illustrator Angela Dominguez creates heart-warming tales about family and togetherness. Angela Dominguez is a two-time recipient of the American Library Association’s Pura Belpre Honor (2014 and 2016).
It’s kind of a love letter to my mom.
— Angela Dominguez on “Knit Together”
Angela’s picture books are rooted in the themes of family, tradition, and friendship. Several of her books including Maria Had A Little Llama/Maria Tenia Una Llamita;Let’s Go, Hugo; and Knit Together pull from relationships with family members and artifacts from her childhood. A wind-up toy inspired French bird Hugo. Angela’s memories of wanting to be a skilled knitter like her mother led her to write a book to remind children they can be talented in their own way. An aunt’s interest in indigenous cultures informed the writing of a version of Mary Had a Little Lamb with a Peruvian twist.
Angela’s books aren’t only an option for children growing up bilingual; they are excellent for those who want to expose young readers to the Spanish language and Latino culture.
Aspiring illustrators will enjoy hearing about Angela’s process and seeing what a book looks like from start to finish.
We’re giving away three (3) sets of books from Angela Dominguez. Each set includes signed copies of Maria Had a Little Llama and Knit Together. Enter now!
All entrants must reside in the United States and be at least 13 years old.
ABOUT THE BOOKS
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers
From an award-winning illustrator comes a sweet story of mothers and daughters, drawing and knitting, and learning to embrace your talents just right for Mother’s Day. Drawing is fun, but knitting is better because you can wear it Knitting isn t easy, though, and can be a little frustrating. Maybe the best thing to do is combine talents. A trip to the beach offers plenty of inspiration. Soon mom and daughter are collaborating on a piece of art they can share together: a special drawing made into a knitted beach blanket. For every mom and daughter, this is an arts-and-crafts ode creative passion and working together.
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Published by Harry N. Abrams
Dominguez presents a humorous and endearing portrait of a stubborn French bulldog and a determined little boy.
Everyone knows about Mary and her little lamb. But do you know Maria? With gorgeous, Peruvian-inspired illustrations and English and Spanish retellings, Angela Dominguez gives a fresh new twist to the classic rhyme. Maria and her mischievous little llama will steal your heart.
Let’s Go, Hugo! Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers
Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower — or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?
Marta! Big & Small (August 23, 2016)
Written by Jennifer Arena, illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Published by Roaring Brook Press
Marta is “una nina,” an ordinary girl . . . with some extraordinary animal friends. As Marta explores the jungle, she knows she’s bigger than a bug, smaller than an elephant, and faster than a turtle. But then she meets the snake, who thinks Marta is “sabrosa” tasty, very tasty But Marta is “ingeniosa,” a very clever girl, and she outsmarts the snake with hilarious results. With simple Spanish and a glossary at the end, this fun read-aloud picture book teaches little ones to identify opposites and animals and learn new words.
Hello “Hola.” Some people speak Spanish. Some people speak English. Although we may not speak the same language, some things, like friendship, are universal. Follow two young giraffes as they meet, celebrate, and become friends. This bilingual tale will have readers eager to meet new friends and “amigos.”
COMING IN 2017 Sing Don’t Cry
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Published by Henry Holt & Company
Pura Belpre Honor winner, Angela Dominguez, based this musically driven story on her beloved grandfather. Her abuelo always encouraged her to stay positive and carry on.
ABOUT ANGELA DOMINGUEZ
Angela was born in Mexico City, grew up in the great state of Texas, and lived in San Francisco. She’s the author and illustrator of picture books such as Let’s Go, Hugo!, Santiago Stays, Knit Together, and Maria Had A Little Llama, which received the American Library Association Pura Belpré Illustration Honor. When she is not in her studio, Angela teaches at the Academy of Art University, which honored her with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013. She also enjoys presenting at different schools and libraries to all sorts of ages. Angela is a proud member of SCBWI, PEN America, and is represented by Wernick and Pratt Literary Agency.
Glow: Animals with Their Own Night Lights
by W.H. Beck
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016
Children will be instantly attracted to the close-up photographs of unusual creatures contrasted on black backgrounds in Glow, a nonfiction picture book featuring bioluminescent animals such as lanternfish, atolla jellyfish, vampire fish and the glowing sucker octopus. Beck explains on the first
Alto, allá arriba en los Andes brilla un bosque bordado de bromelias… High up in the Andes blooms a brilliant forest embroidered with bromeliads . . .
Set to be released this spring, ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito, from A to Z! : Descubriendo el bosque nublado / Unveiling the Cloud Foresttakes readers into the magical world of a cloud forest in the Andes of Ecuador. We discover the bounty of plants, animals, and other organisms that live there as we help a zoologist look for the elusive olinguito, the first new mammal species identified in the Americas since 1978. It has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews, which called it “a breath of fresh air in the too-often-contrived world of bilingual books.”
We asked Lulu to take us behind the scenes of her exquisite art process to make the cloud forest come alive:
I spent an average of ten days working from eight to ten hours per day creating each spread.
The first thing I did was to transfer the sketch to the Arches watercolor paper. Then I decided which areas would be collaged printed patterns and which would be painted in flat acrylic colors.
I prepared the patterned backgrounds pressing leaves gathered in the cloud forest dipped in ink and stamped onto rice paper.
With an X-Acto knife I cut out the shapes of texturized paper and pasted them into the background. I used archival glue and micro tweezers to affix the collage elements in their precise positions.
Next I prepared all the shades of acrylics that I would need for the spread and stored them in small clear jars. Each section of a color required several thin coats to achieve the rich look I was looking for.
Once the spread was entirely painted I had fun selecting pressed ferns from the forest to affix to the art. This was a delicate process as some of the pressed leaves and ferns are paper thin.
The last thing was to create the letters for the spread. I wanted a layered look, recreating the natural layers of flora in the forest, so I drew the letters on vellum paper and cut out them out. I taped the letters onto a vellum square and with careful precision affixed the letter in the spot it was intended to be.
Mike Curato’s Little Elliot books are fast becoming a favorite of children and parents alike. The author and illustrator has created a little polka-dotted elephant with a big heart. The Little Elliot series — Little Elliot, Big City; Little Elliot, Big Family; and Little Elliot, Big Fun — is heavily influenced by the zeitgeist of the1930s and conveys wonderful messages about family and friendship.
Mike Curato and MerryMakers president Clair Frederick joined StoryMakers host Rocco Staino to talk about the series of Little Elliot books and the huggably soft plush products created by the toy maker. Little Elliot is one of the newest members of the MerryMakers family.
We’re giving away three (3) signed copies of Mike Curato’s Little Elliot, Big City; Little Elliot, Big Family; and a MerryMakers plush toy. Enter now!
Little Elliot, Big City
Written and illustrated by Mike Curato
Published by Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers
Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy like cupcakes And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter a friend.
When Mouse heads off to a family reunion, Little Elliot decides go for a walk. As he explores each busy street, he sees families in all shapes and sizes. In a city of millions, Little Elliot feels very much alone-until he finds he has a family of his own.
Little Elliot, Big Fun Written and illustrated by Mike Curato
Published by Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers
Available August 2016
In this third story of Little Elliot and Mouse, the friends head off in search of adventure . . . and lots of fun. Little Elliot, the polka-dotted elephant, and his friend Mouse go to the amusement park to see the sights and ride the rides water chutes, roller coasters, carousels, and more. But Elliot isn’t having much fun the rides are too wet, too fast, too dizzy, and just plain too scary until Mouse figures out a way to help him overcome his fears. Together, Mouse and Little Elliot can do anything.
Worm Loves Worm Written by J. J. Austrian with illustrations by Mike Curato
Published by Balzer + Bray
Perfect for fans of And Tango Makes Three and The Sissy Duckling, this irresistible picture book is a celebration of love in all its splendid forms from debut author J. J. Austrian and the acclaimed author-illustrator of Little Elliot, Big City, Mike Curato. You are cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of a worm . . . and a worm. When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married but their friends want to know who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux? The answer is: It doesn’t matter. Because Worm loves Worm.
Mike loves drawing and writing almost as much as he loves cupcakes and ice cream (and that’s a LOT!). He is the author and illustrator of everyone’s favorite polka-dotted elephant, Little Elliot. His debut title, Little Elliot, Big City, released in 2014 to critical acclaim, has won several awards, and is being translated into ten languages. The follow up book, Little Elliot, Big Family, was just released in October, 2015, and has received several starred reviews. At least two more Little Elliot books are forthcoming. Meanwhile, Mike had the pleasure of illustrating Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, which is available January 5, 2016. He is also working on several other projects, including his first graphic novel. Mike lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
One of my newest projects is to illustrate a book, written by Kenny Loggins. He re-wrote the song, FOOTLOOSE, as a kids song and the book will have a CD in the back so readers can read along, follow the story with illustrations and dance to this great Kenny Loggins song.
Acrylic paint on a gessoed bristol board.
Here are two finished interior pages.
Here is the final art for the cover and end papers. The CD (FOOTLOOSE song) will be placed where the moon is positioned, inside the back cover. So, the moon will be the CD.
The new song sounds great. Kenny did a fantastic job of adding a kid spin to the original version. This is a lot of fun but I have a hard time painting, while dancing. Believe me, you'll be putting on your dancin' shoes, too!