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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Picture book month, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 56
1. Picture Book Month: The Great Thanksgiving Escape

The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing

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About the Book: What's a kid to do when it's another Thanksgiving at Grandma's full of relatives? Try to escape to the back yard and the swing set! Can they do it?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Escaping Thanksgiving family drama can be hard for anyone, especially if you're a kid. There are guard dogs, overly affectionate aunts, zombies, and the great hall of butts! Giving a kids-eye view of family gatherings, Gavin and his cousin Rhonda try to make a break for it through a family filled obstacle course.

These two kids who aren't babies anymore but are too old for the teenager table weave their way through family to find their place at Thanksgiving. It's a humorous take on surviving family gettogethers when you're that pesky in between age and can't seem to fit anywhere. Some of the humor I think will be understood more by adults than the kids but it's a silly book to enjoy together and a funny take on your usual Thanksgiving read.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from library copy

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2. Picture Book Month: Kids Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea, illustrated by Lane Smith

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About the Book: The Terrible Toads are causing havoc all over Drywater Gulch. They are in need of a hero to solve their toad problem. Enter Sheriff Ryan, riding into town on his turtle. He might not know a lot about robbery and roping, but he sure knows a lot about dinosaurs. And that has to come in handy when catching criminals.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: This is a perfect picture book pairing bringing together a hilarious duo. Lane Smith captures the Western-style wonderfully with brown and beige hues makes the reader feel as though they've landed in Drywater Gulch. Bob Shea's text is written to be read aloud. This book just begs to be read aloud with various accents and voices.

The reader will laugh along as the oblivious (or is he really?) Sheriff Ryan makes many observations about dinosaurs along the way. The humor comes from the Toads wanting the credit for their crimes and Sheriff Ryan and the Toads each outdoing each other with what really caused each incident.

Is Sheriff Ryan a smart sheriff who knew who to catch the criminals all along? Or does he just love dinosaurs? The book has such a hilarious twist that readers will be laughing and talking about it long after the book is finished. This is the perfect read aloud for school visits!

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from advanced copy sent by publisher for review

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3. Picture Book Month: Hooray for Hat by Brian Won

Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won

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About the Book: Elephant wakes up feeling grumpy. Until a delivery arrives at his door and a new hat cheers him up. Elephant wants to share his hat and along the way cheers up his friends.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I'm a sucker for retro-style illustrations. There's just something about them that make me feel happy. Hooray for Hat! features what could be called some retro-style illustrations and it fits the book perfectly.

Elephant is grumpy but his hat cheers him up. He visits his friends throughout the day and cheering them up with a hat of their own. The text is simple and the illustrations are bright and simple and not distracting making this a great storytime book. There's also a nice repetitive refrain of "Hooray for Hat" that kids can cheer along as the animals become happy.

This is a great story of how a simple act of kindness can make someone's day. This would be a great book to talk to kids about being kind, helping others, and paying it forward.

I've used this one in storytime a few times this year and each time I've read it it's been a bit hit. The kids catch on quickly to saying "hooray for hat" excitedly with each animal. And the joy the animals experience in sharing their gifts expands to the kids. The illustrations catch the expressions of the animals perfectly and the kids can see that and they get just as happy as each animal gets a new hat.

A fun picture book debut that is a great storytime addition.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from final copy borrowed from library

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4. In which I talk with Katie Davis about gaming, writing, marketing, and 85 or so other things

Podcast Archives - Author Katie Davis  Video Marketing for Writers

I’m a few days late to the party, thanks to my participation in the YALSA and ILF events, but I’m happy this morning to share with you this recently recorded interview I did for Katie Davis’ kidlit podcast, Brain Burps About Books.

In addition to discussing Shark Vs. Train and Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!, Katie and I talked quite a bit about my email newsletter, Bartography Express, which I wrote about earlier this year for Cynsations. And in fact, while I was listening to our interview, I was actually putting the finishing touches on this month’s edition.

The November edition includes, among other things, a Q&A with K.A. Holt and a giveaway of her new book, Rhyme Schemer. If you want to receive this issue in your very own inbox and get in the running for the giveaway, you can sign up on my home page.

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5. Picture Book Month: Mac Barnett

Mac Barnett is having a very good 2014! He has three picture book releases this year, all of which are delightful! Be sure to check them out!


Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

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About the Book: Sam and Dave are digging a hole and they won't give up until they find something spectacular.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Mac Barnett teams up with Jon Klassen for another winner. Klassen's illustrations match the text perfectly and gives the feel of an outdoor adventure. Readers will spot the spectacular treasure that is hiding just out of Sam and Dave's reach and are sure to laugh when the get so close but then change directions. They'll also be sure to notice the dog is the only one who seems to have a nose for treasure hunting. A fun tale that is sure to inspire some digging of your own.

President Taft is Stuck in the Bath

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About the Book: President Taft is stuck in the bath! How will he get out?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Mac Barnett takes on a presidential tall tale with humorous results. The president is stuck in the bath and everyone has an idea of how to help. The ideas get more and more ridiculous, from butter to explosions. There are also plenty of textual humor from the secretary of the treasury who responds with "throw money at the problem" to "the answer is inside you" from the secretary of the interior.  Chris Van Dusen's illustrations are cartoonish and add to the humor of the tale. The end of the book provides some historical facts about President Taft and his bathtub. This would pair with King Bidgood's in the Bathtub for a silly bathtime storytime.

Telephone

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About the Book: It's time for Peter to fly home, but his message about dinner gets scrambled along the telephone line.

GreenBeanTeenQueen: Remember the game telephone? Where what you start out saying ends up completely different? Mac Barnett and Jen Corace re-imagine the telephone game with a flock of birds on a telephone wire with hilarious results. Each new message gets more and more mixed up which is sure to leave young readers howling with delight. Each bird hears something new that makes sense to them and matches their own interests and hobbies. The illustrations reflect the each birds interests and helps the reader find clues as to why each bird heard what they did. A hilarious take on a the game of telephone perfect for reading aloud.

Full Disclosure: Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and President Taft is Stuck in the Bath reviewed from finished copies sent by the publishers. Telephone reviewed from library copy.


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6. Picture Book Month: Picture Book Biographies

This year we've seen lots of picture book biographies! Here are a few of my favorites:


A Boy and A Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz, illustrated by Catia Chein

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About the Book: A shy boy who stutters find comfort in talking to animals.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Oh how I have my fingers crossed for a Schneider Award win for this book! (If you don't know about the Schneider Award, it is given to a book that "embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience." I believe that A Boy and A Jaguar does that perfectly. It's a powerful story told in a simple way. Alan Rabinowitz describes how he always had trouble speaking, that no one knew what to do about his stuttering and how he felt most at home when he was with animals. He talked to animals at the zoo and he practiced speaking to his pets at home. His love of animals combines with his desire to give animals a voice. As he studies jaguars and remembers the jaguar he saw and spoke to at the zoo, he becomes a powerful advocate for saving the jaguar. What I love most about this book is that it isn't a story about growing up and getting over a disability. It's a story of living with a disability and not letting it stop you from your dreams. 


Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson


About the Book: The fascinating story of entertainer Josephine Baker.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I was vaguely aware of Josephine Baker before reading this book, but only as someone who was a performer. I learned so much from this book and I was dazzled by the text and the art. It is the perfect tribute to such an eccentric and fabulous star. The text is told in a verse, poetic format that makes you feel the jazz and rhythm of Josephine. The illustrations match this perfectly adding the perfect amount of spark and energy. The illustrations jump off the page and dance before the readers eyes. It's a dazzling picture book biography that is absolutely stunning. I would have put this on my library's Mock Caldecott list if I didn't think the length would deter some of the younger readers (it's a longer picture book biography, coming in at just over 100 pages). But maybe Josephine will surprise us all with an award win this Winter!

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

About the Book: The story of Peter Roget, who created Roget's Thesaurus, the most widely used and continuously published thesaurus. 

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I feel like the theme of picture book biographies is sometimes "here's a quirky person and some facts that make them stand out and show that quirky is special." That's not a bad thing at all, but it sometimes gives picture book biographies a feel of simplicity and sameness (which I am sure Roget could have thought of better words!) And while that might be part of the message of The Right Word (Roget prefers to be alone, is shy, and loves to make lists of words), it feels different. The combination of text and illustrations blend together perfectly. Melissa Sweet uses letters, book pages, and a scrapbook style to create a visually stunning biography. Jen Bryant's text give insight into Roget's life without sounding too easy or simplistic. It's the perfect balance of fact and heart and brings readers into Roget's life. The Right Word was a book I finished and immediatly wanted to give to someone else to pour over, read, and enjoy all the illustrations. It's a beautiful package.

Full Disclosure: All titles reviewed from library copies

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7. Picture Book Month: Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin

November is Picture Book Month! To celebrate, throughout the month I will be sharing about picture books!

Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin

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About the Book: It's time for bed but two little nuts, Hazel and Wally are having too much fun! Will they listen to Mama Nut?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I love Pete the Cat (let's be honest, I love the original four written by Eric Litwin). They are in my go-to storytime collection. I can recite I Love My White Shoes and Four Groovy Buttons from memory.  So I was excited about The Nuts because I couldn't wait to see what fun and groovy book Mr. Litwin would come up with next.

And I'll be honest, the first time I read this one, I wasn't sure what I thought. It was cute, but did it meet my high expectations and was another good storytime book? Then I read it aloud to my niece and I had my answer-yes!

The key to Bedtime at the Nut House is that it needs to be read aloud. The song needs to be sung and you need to have an audience to enjoy Wally and Hazel's antics.

When I read this one in storytime, the kids really enjoyed it. I had them practice Mama Nut's song "all little nuts need to go up to bed" and Hazel and Wally's refrain of "we're nuts, we're nuts, we're nuts!" and then we were ready to read. The kids had a lot of fun singing "we're nuts!" and the parents laughed at Hazel and Wally's refusal to go to bed and the various ways they try to put off sleeping. Be sure to sing Hazel's part of "fig-a-nut"-it always gets a big laugh. And listen to the nut lullaby on www.thenutfamily.com-it's very sweet and I even sing it to my son at bedtime!

When you have a one on one reading with a child or a small group, you can point out all the jokes in the illustrations. The "dipped nuts" in the ball pit, mama as a "roasted chestnut" when she's upset, and my favorite, the "Nutvana" poster in Hazel and Wally's room. There are so many funny things to find in the illustrations it's a book you'll want to read over and over.

I would add Bedtime at the Nut House to your storyhour collection and gift to every parent and child who have had the battle over bedtime. Another winner from Eric Litwin!

I can't wait for the next Nut adventure


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8. Celebrating Picture Books!

We all have cherished picture books, the ones read to us, the ones we read to others: Madeline, Green Eggs and Ham, This is Not My Hat, The Hungry Caterpillar, The Lion & the Mouse, Good Dog, Carl

November is Picture Book Month, so prepare to read, reminisce, and revel in the stunning richness and variety of picture books.

Now in its third year, Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book, founded by author and storyteller Dianne de Las Casas. Co-founders Katie Davis, Elizabeth O. Dulemba, Tara Lazar, and Wendy Martin helped build it into a worldwide event.

Partners in the initiative include the Children’s Book Council, Reading is Fundamental, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Scholastic, Better World Books, The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), Friends of Tennessee Libraries, and others.

For a page of fun ways to celebrate picture books this November, visit Picture Book Month’s Celebrate! Page, here.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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9. Celebrating children’s picture books!

  Below, a sweet picture book trailer by author-illustrator Peter McCarty for his incomparable Chloe (HarperCollins Childrens).   You can see art samples from the winners of the New York Times Best Illustrated Books Awards for 2014 here and enjoy best-selling picture book author Chris Barton’s post about why children’s picture books are important here. Picture Book Month is an international literacy... Read More

The post Celebrating children’s picture books! appeared first on How To Be A Children's Book Illustrator.

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10. Picture Book Month: Buddy and the Bunnies In: Don't Play With Your Food by Bob Shea

November is Picture Book Month! To celebrate, throughout the month I will be sharing about picture books!

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About the Book: Buddy is a monster who wants to eat some bunnies. But these are smart bunnies who know just how to escape being monster dinner.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Ok, so I will probably say that anything Bob Shea writes is wonderful and hilarious. But trust me, Don't Play With Your Food is wonderful and hilarious!

Bob Shea masters writing humor that is appealing to kids and adults and I think he hits the perfect balance with this book. The bunnies are clever and adults will catch on quickly to the bunnies tactics. Kids might be a bit slower to understand exactly what the bunnies have in mind, but they will soon figure it out and be laughing along with the bunnies as they district Buddy with their plans.

Bob Shea also includes lots of clever jokes in the illustrations. It took me a few times reading it to notice the bunnies multiplying throughout each day. It's a small joke that works masterfully in the story.

Don't Play With Your Food is an absolute treat to read aloud. I've used it in storytime multiple times and each time it's a big hit. I love that you can create different voices for the characters. It also works well as a partner reading. I used this with a co-worker on an outreach event and one person played Buddy and one person played the bunnies. It was lots of fun to pair up. I think it could also be a fun speech or reader's theater piece for older students.

Add this one to your storytime and personal collection now if you want to be laughing out loud! It never fails-I crack up every time I read it!

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from library copy

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11. Picture Book Month: The Orchestra Pita by Johanna Wright


About the Book: A snake finds himself in the wrong pit. Instead of a snake pit, he winds up in an orchestra pit and learns about the various instruments that make up an orchestra.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I have a music teacher mother so I was raised on music and books about music. I love finding books that I can use in storytime to introduce instruments and music to kids. Sometimes books that talk about the orchestra are a bit too long or detailed to use with a young audience. Johanna Wright fills that void with The Orchestra Pit.

As our snake finds his way through the orchestra pit, he discovers the various instruments and sections of the orchestra. He even discovers what the instruments sound like comparing the percussion to a gorilla and the horns to a elephant. 

Younger readers might need a bit of help understanding that where an orchestra plays is called an orchestra pit and that each instrument has a unique sound. But The Orchestra Pit is the perfect starting point for that introduction. Read this one before you visit the symphony (or have the symphony visit the library for an instrument petting zoo and concert!) for an extra special treat.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from galley sent from publisher

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12. Get caught up on Picture Book Month

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My post on “Why Picture Books Are Important” went up on the Picture Book Month blog this past week — but my insights are just one-ninth (at most!) of what’s been shared so far by a host of authors and illustrators.

If you haven’t stopped by yet and enjoyed what Arree Chung, Robin Preiss Glasser, Kelly Bingham, and others have had to say on the topic, what are you waiting for?

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13. Picture Book Month: Cheers for a Dozen Ears by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, illustrated by Susan Swan

Cheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, illustrated by Susan Swan

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About the Book: A family visits the local farmer's market to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I always think it's fun to read books that introduce fruits and veggies to kids. It's a nice way to read about food and help them understand that fruits and vegetables are good to eat. (I don't know that reading about them makes them eat them at home, but I can try and help the parents out at least!)

Cheers for a Dozen Ears is the perfect book to add to my food themed storytime. It pairs wonderfully with Rah, Rah, Radishes. You can even add in the board book We're Going to Farmers Market for a full storytime about fresh foods.

With rhythmic, rhyming text, the kids make sure to get all the items on their list. From eggplant to squash, peaches and green beans, the family counts as they add items to their cart. The bright colored illustrations capture the feel of a hot summer day.

A fun book that incorporates counting and food that makes a nice addition to storytime.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from finished copy sent by publisher for review

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14. Picture Book Month: Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato

Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato

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About the Book: Little Elliot is a little elephant who lives in a big city that is so much larger than he is. Elliot would love a cupcake but he's too small to reach. Will he get his treat?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Every year a book is released that is so adorable and sweet I just sigh with happiness each time I read it. Little Elliot, Big City is that book for me in 2014.

Elliot is adorable-there's just no better way to describe him. I would love a little polka-dotted elephant friend and I would love to share a cupcake with Elliot.

Not only is the story of Elliot finding a friend in the big city sweet, but the illustrations add to the tenderness. Mike Curato captures emotion on Elliot's face as he has to be careful in crowds or when Elliot is too small to reach what we wants. But Elliot doesn't let his size get him down and he takes notice of the small things. The two page spread of Elliot looking sad after he can't get his cupcake is heartbreaking. I also think it's appropriate that the only person that notices Elliot in a crowd is a small child. Of course a child would have the innocence and wonder to notice Elliot. It's a picture that is so simple and also speaks volumes. When Elliot meets mouse and learns he can help someone else, the spread of Elliot feeling big and proud captures Elliot's monumental achievement.

Little Elliot, Big City is Mike Curato's debut picture book and I can't wait to see more from him. I think Elliot would make a nice storytime book and would pair wonderfully with A Sick Day for Amos McGee about a storytime on sweet and tender friendship.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from galley sent by publisher for review

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15. And What Is This Supposed To Be?

I received It's a Book by Lane Smith for my birthday. I recall it getting a lot of attention when it was published in 2010, and I can remember something else, too, though I'm having some trouble putting my finger on it. Was there just a little bit of controversy over this thing? Maybe because of the text on the last page? Because some considered it too adult?

I think the whole book is kind of adult. It's all about a monkey trying to get through to a jackass that a book is a book, not an electronic device. The whole issue of children being too plugged in too early seems to be a very adult concern to me, not one that children are even aware of. You could make the argument that that is the point, to make children see this before they become too enamored of electronics. But if kids haven't yet become enamored of electronics will they understand terms like "text," "tweet," and "Wi-Fi?"

There's an overt message in It's a Book, I think, one that adult readers concerned about keeping reading a traditional book-centered activity will embrace. That's okay. I'm a big fan of picture books for adults. In fact, it could be a fun read-aloud for them with their little ones. I don't know how many young picturebook readers will get this on their own, though.

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16. Those Adult Picture Books I Was Talking About

When Picture Books and Adult Literature Collide at  Cultivating Culture deals with the issue of picture books for adult readers, which I was talking about yesterday. It doesn't go into the subject very deeply, covering mainly parodies (I have a copy of Goodnight iPad) and adult writers writing picture books. It doesn't address straight picture books written on subjects of interest to adults rather than children or using vocabulary or a voice that adults will appreciate more than children will.

I hope that before the end of Picture Book Month I'll find some more on this subject.

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17. Picture Book Month

November is Picture Book Month. I love that there is a month dedicated to picture books! All month long, on the official Picture Book Month site http://picturebookmonth.com/, picture book authors and illustrators have shared their thoughts on “Why Picture Books Are Important”. I thought it would be fun to post my own thoughts on the subject right here on Frog on a Blog.

 

 

Why Picture Books Are Important

 by Lauri Fortino

Between the covers of every picture book there is a world of wonder waiting to be discovered. It’s a world of color, imagination, and new friends. It’s also a starting point for literacy because a picture book has the magical ability to instill the love of books and reading in a child. Reading is something that many of us take for granted. But for those who struggle to read, it can mean the difference between success and missed opportunity or the difference between feeling accepted and feeling lost. If children are introduced to books and reading early on and throughout their growing-up years, I know that they will become strong readers. The best way to begin the journey toward literacy is by reading picture books. So parents, and grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, and brothers, read picture books with the children in your lives often. By doing so, you will help those children grow up to be successful, thriving adults who in turn will have the opportunity to introduce their children to the wonderful world of picture books.

The ability to read is the jump-off point from which all of life’s successes take flight.

 


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18. Oh, Look. An Article About A Picture Book With "Adult Appeal"

The current issue of The Horn Book includes an article called Hey, Al and the Choice by Kathleen T. Horning. Hey, Al, illustrated by Richard Egielski and written by Arthur Yorinks, won the Caldecott in 1987, even though it is, according to Horning, "clearly an adult's fantasy."

The entire article deals with the issue of Hey, Al being signaled out for an award for children's books when its protagonist is an adult. Horning says, "...I'm not sure it's a completely satisfying story for children. Essentially, it's a retelling of their mentor's masterpiece, Where the Wild Things Are, told from the perspective of a middle-aged man."

It's not a definitive article on picture books for adults, in general. Think of it more as a variation.

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19. More Gender Issues With Picture Books

Last month I posted here about Barbara McClintock's presentation at UConn on the imbalance between the number of women illustrators in children's publishing and the number of women who win the Caldecott Medal. They dominate the profession but have only won 22% of the Medals, according to McClintock's figures.

Today author Laurel Snyder has a post at her blog relating to the Goodreads Best Picture Book of 2013 nominees, which are almost all written by men. (In defense of the list, this is the final round. There were more titles originally, though I have no idea how well women were represented.) She points out that the Goodreads' final round list was made by Goodreads' readers (after voting on that earlier list.) The earlier list that the final round list came from may have been determined through some kind of popularity figures available to Goodreads from its readers.

Laurel asks, "WHAT’S GOING ON? Do men actually just make better picture books than women? Do men get better marketing and publicity budgets than women for picture books?  Or… as I’m beginning to fear… do we, the (largely) women who buy and blog about picture books have a tendency to elevate books by men?"

She then lists picture books published by women this past year, recommended to her by readers posting in comments.

If you are a children's litblogger who belongs to the Kidlitosphere community, that group has been discussing this issue today at its listserv.

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20. How Long Can You Work On Something?

Years ago, I met a guy in a hiking group whose wife had just had a baby. When he heard I wrote children's books, he said his wife was considering writing some children's books while she was home childrearing, to generate some extra income. I didn't know how to respond to that.

If only I'd had Melissa Stewart's timeline to publication for her picture book No Monkeys, No Chocolate. Ten years, folks. Ten years. You can be home with a lot of kids in that time.

Keep in mind that Melissa has written and published many books. Many,  many. And many of them were written and published during the ten year period she was working on No Monkeys, No Chocolate. Projects must be juggled. Sometimes for a long time.


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21. A Picture Book Artist's Obsession

The new issue of The Horn Book includes an article by Leonard Marcus called Northward Bound: The Picture Book Art of Isol. Isol recently won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in children's and young adult literature.

Yes, she's notable for that reason. But what I found interesting about her was this bit from Marcus: "The two most celebrated Argentinian writers of the twentieth century--Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortazar--share with Isol what the artist, in a conversation I had with her in Stockholm this May, spoke of as an Argentinian obsession with the role of chance in every aspect of life."

There's something I don't hear about at many SCBWI events.

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22. You'd Better Be Able To Work A Long Time

Earlier this week, I told you about Melissa Stewart (NESCBWI colleague, by the way) sticking with a book project for ten years. Then I heard about Anne Broyles (whom I also know) working on Arturo and the Navidad Birds for thirteen years.

Now I'm thinking that this should be the test for any project a writer is considering taking on: Do you think you could work on this for at least a decade, maybe more?

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23. Why Picture Books Are Important

Today is the last day of Picture Book Month 2013. What better way to see the month out than with a post by DeWitt Community Library children’s librarian Jennifer Burke on why she believes picture books are important.

After you read Jennifer’s thoughts here on Frog on a Blog, check out her awesome blog Miss Jenny Reads at http://jennythelibrarian.blogspot.com.

Jennifer says she can go on and on about the importance of picture books. That means a lot coming from the chair of the Empire State Award Committee of the Youth Services Section of the New York Library Association.

Why Picture Books Are Important

by Jennifer Burke

Why are picture books important? What a question with many answers! I love picture books and using them in story times. Nothing makes me happier than sharing a picture book with a group of children and seeing them interact with the pictures and being read to. One important thing I’d like parents to know is that picture books aren’t just for “little kids”. There are a variety of picture books that can be enjoyed by children all the way up to high school! In my experience as a children’s librarian, some parents try to push their young child into chapter books too early, not understanding that picture books are a valuable tool in learning to read.

Picture books are generally a child’s first encounter with books and it introduces them to reading, even if they aren’t able to read yet. The pictures are a major part of the written story and they expose children to different styles of art, while also enhancing the story with visual cues, like the emotions on a character’s face. Interacting with the pictures while listening to the story helps a child become engaged in the reading process, and helps foster a love of reading. 

From a librarian’s point of view, picture books are important because they are a tool in teaching parents early literacy skills they can do with their child to get them ready to read. Reading picture books is critical in children developing a sense of how words sound, what words mean, and what the letters of the alphabet look and sound like. While reading to a child, adults can talk to them in a way that encourages the child to engage in the story and understand what is being read to them.

Finally – and this is a personal perspective – picture books provide a sense of comfort. When I open up a picture book that I read as a child, wonderful memories of my grandfather and mom reading to me wash over me and I feel like I am returning home. Reading the same books as an adult brings me back to my childhood and I enjoy the book even more because I am experiencing those memories again. And that’s a wonderful feeling.

Thanks, Miss Jenny!


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24.

Teacher/author/blogger Monica Edinger's book, Africa Is My Home, was recently included in a a New York Times Book Review column, 
a very positive response for a first book. But as Monica said in a comment to yesterday's post, Africa Is My Home is another picture book that took thirteen years to write, sell, and publish.

My observance of Picture Book Month is ending on an unexpected note. These stories of the realities facing picture book authors coming one after another like this are inspiring/reassuring for people well into a writing life. But I'm left wondering if people outside writing realize this is the way publishing can work. I think there's an understanding that it's a hard field to break into, but I'm not sure how many people know that just breaking in isn't necessarily getting you "in" to anything. At any stage in their careers, writers can find themselves with a decade or more of work and hurry up and wait on one project or another.

So my Picture Book Month is ending with a detour away from picture books themselves to a little coverage of the picture book writing life.

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25. Picture Book Month starts tomorrow!

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I’m excited to be featured in Picture Book Month this year along with a host of other authors and illustrators. My spot on the calendar comes next Thursday, Nov. 6, but throughout the month the picture book champions will include:

Aaron Becker
Kelly Bingham
Sophie Blackall
Arree Chung
Anna Dewdney
Johnette Downing
Ame Dyckman
Jill Esbaum
Carolyn Flores
Lupe Ruiz-Flores
Robin Preiss Glasser
Deborah Heiligman
Marla Frazee
Stefan Jolet
Kathleen Krull
Rene Colato Lainez
Loreen Leedy
Betsy Lewin
Ted Lewin
Brian Lies
Kelly J. Light
Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Alexis O’Neill
Sandra Markle
Ann Whitford Paul
Aaron Reynolds
Judy Schachner
Linda Joy Singleton
David Schwartz

We hope you’ll join us in this celebration of the print picture book and all it does for readers and families.

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