The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Jill Esbaum

I had the distinct opportunity and pleasure to meet and study with Jill Esbaum at the Whispering Woods Retreat in Iowa, last summer. In an amazing picture book focused weekend, Jill and Linda Skeers work with a small group of writers to study, critique, work, and learn about the business. If this sounds amazing to you, this year’s dates are May 4-6 (3 days) and July 16-19 (4 days). A multiple award-winning author, Jill Esbaum has written over 30 children's books. Her picture book - I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! - was the 2015 Crystal Kite Award winner, Midwest Region, SCBWI. Welcome Jill Esbaum. ME: Tell us a little about yourself. (Where/when do you write? How long have you been writing? What is

Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala - Perfect Picture Friday #PPBF

I can't recommend this book strongly enough. It is a wonderful depiction of the relationship between Malala and her father and an excellent mentor text for illustrators and authors tackling difficult subject matters. Don't miss this wonderful nonfiction book. Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala Author/Illustrator: Lina Maslo Publisher: Balzer and Bray (2018) Ages: 4-8 Nonfiction Themes: Persistence, family, education of girls, freedom, diversity, and activism. Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble): The inspiring true story of Malala Yousafzai, human rights activist and the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, from debut author/illustrator Lina Maslo. When Malala Yousafzai was born, peop

Sister Girl and the Training Wheels - Multicultural Children's Book Day 2018 #ReadYourWorld

This is my second year participating in the Multicultural Children's Book Day 2018 (1/27/18) and I join numerous reviewers in highlighting books which celebrate diversity. The copy of this picture book, sent me from Sister Girl Publishing, for purposes of this review, will be donated to a classroom in Seattle, WA - through Reading Partners Seattle. Sister Girl and the Training Wheels Author/Illustrator: Nicole Fenner Publisher: Sister Girl Publishing (2016) Ages: 5-7 Fiction Themes: Patience, courage, and persistence Synopsis: Even at an early age children quickly learn that life brings challenges. In Sister Girl and the Training Wheels, she learns about patience, support, and growing up. H

Katie Woo, We Love You! - Multicultural Children's Book Day 2018 #ReadYourWorld

This is my second year participating in the Multicultural Children's Book Day 2018 (1/27/18) and I join numerous reviewers in highlighting books which celebrate diversity. The copy of this chapter book, sent me from Capstone Publishing, for purposes of this review, will be donated to a classroom in Seattle, WA - through Reading Partners Seattle. Katie Woo, We Love You! Author: Fran Manushkin Illustrator: Tammie Lyon Publisher: Capstone Publishing (2018) Ages: 5-7 Fiction Themes: Friendship, belonging, being yourself, anger, and perseverance Synopsis (from Capstone): From starting clubs to hosting sleepovers, Katie Woo is one fun friend! Come along on her big adventures and funny mishaps. Wh

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Lina Maslo

Before the "She Persisted" movement and mantra overtook the world, Malala Yousafzai stood up to the Taliban and advocated for the education of girls. Today, I have the honor to introduce you to Lina Maslo whose debut picture book about Malala is a beautiful, poignant tribute to this amazing woman and her devoted, enlightened father. Before this book releases tomorrow, I get to give you an inside glance at Lina Maslo, her process, and her amazing book - Free as a Bird. Lina Maslo is an author and illustrator with a Degree in Art from New College of Florida. Though she spent most of her childhood in Florida, she was born in Ukraine, and came to the United States at the age of five. Lina is in

BUB - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Ever wish you could just disappear? Either as a child, as an adult, or both? That no one would miss you or that maybe this action would change their behavior? No one who knows me would consider me an introvert (and I was the first born), but I've definitely had times - parents fighting, a teacher making an example of me in class, and an awkward social engagement. In a deceptively simple and touching book, a sensitive, middle-child monster, Bub, deals with an exceptionally boisterous family day. Bub Author/Illustrator: Elizabeth Rose Stanton Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2018) Ages: 4-8 Fiction Themes: Family, siblings, middle-child, and monsters Synopsis (by Simon & Schuster): A little monste

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Elizabeth Rose Stanton

During two local book launches, I had the privilege to meet and become friends with a wonderfully talented Pacific Northwest author/illustrator. I'm excited to share with you a peek into her process, inspiration, and art. Elizabeth Rose Stanton began her picture book writing and illustrating adventure a few years ago, after a brief career as an architect, and long career as a parent and fine artist. Her debut book, Henny, starred by Booklist (American Library Association), was named as one of the best books of 2014 for children by The New York Public Library. The School Library Journal called her second book, Peddles, “. . . quietly wonderful” and Kirkus Reviews called her next book, Bub (20

The NEW LiBEARian - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

If you love books and the worlds they open, both fictional and real, then you likely find libraries to be magical places. Where characters seem real and you almost fall into the stories. What if that really where the case, except that the books creep into and play within the libraries? The NEW LiBEARian Author: Alison Donald Illustrator: Alex Willmore Publisher: Clarion Books (2018) Ages: 4-7 Fiction Themes: Magic, libraries, story time, and folk tales. Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble): A visit to the library can be full of surprises. When the librarian is late for story time, the children go off to look for her and follow mysterious paw prints to find a bear sitting at her desk. Is the bear

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Alison Donald

Today, I have the pleasure to introduce you to a picture book author, whose award-winning book is debuting in the United States tomorrow. Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, Alison now lives in Farnham, UK with her British husband and 3 young children. In a great endorsement for SCBWI, she states that "after years of scribbling story ideas on envelopes and scrap paper, [she] finally joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI-BI) in 2014 and with their support, her writing took off." Her debut book, The New LiBEARian, was originally published in the UK in August 2016 and won 2nd Place at the Winchester Writers Festival 2015, the Margaret Carrey Scholarship with SCBW

Hattie & Hudson

A few years ago, my family went camping in British Columbia. We set up our trailer along Lake Okanagan and started exploring. The kids were immediately drawn to a sign and play statute of Ogopogo - a suspected relative of Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. Since we had recently watched the movie WATERHORSE, they were in love with the idea of seeing a lake monster for themselves. They would have loved to be in Hattie's shoes. Even in their twenties, they still smiled at the cover. Who could blame them. Though it was published last May, I couldn't resist featuring it. Largely because, I too would love to be in Hattie's shoes! Hattie and Hudson Author/Illustrator: Chris Van Dusen Publisher: Candle

2017 Cybils Finalists Announced

January brings the announcement of the 2017 Cybils Awards finalists. From over 1400 books, in 12 categories, the Round One panelists have chosen the finalists for each group. Check out all the amazing books at: I am excited, and honored, as a Round Two judge in the Fiction Picture Books and Board Books categories., to read these books and I cannot wait to dive in. Congratulations and good luck to all the finalists.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

2020 Judging Round 2 PBs

Judging Round 2 PB &

Board Books

Follow Me
Contributing Blogger

STEM books, resources, curriculum ideas, book reviews, and more.

Guest Posts
GROG - Goodreads How it Works...
                                 September 22, 2016
Children's Writing Resources
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn Social Icon

© 2015 by Maria Marshall.  Proudly created with

Proud participant in ...
Link to Nerdy Chick's Summer School Badge
Link to RhyPiBoMo Badge
Link to ReFoReMo Badge
Link ReFoReMo Badge
Link to PiBoIdMo 2015 Badge
Link to Chapter Book Challenge Badge