The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Jessica Lanan

Today I have the privilege to talk with the second half of the creative genius of Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet - Jessica Lanan. Jessica is a self-professed “illustrator of stories, creator of worlds, partaker of coffee, tanguera of tango, baker of scones, eater of scones, lover of mountains, and hater of lawnmowers.” This newest picture book of hers releases today! Happy Book Birthday!! Welcome Jessica, ME: Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started illustrating? Where/when do you work? What is your favorite type of book to illustrate?) JESSICA: I kind of fell into illustration by accident when one of my professors encouraged me to apply for a program called

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Curtis Manley

I get the honor to do a second interview with a wonderful author and my friend, Curtis Manley. On his website, Curtis shared why he creates picture books: "I write for young people of all ages and strive to create fun books with facts about the world around us and truths about the worlds within." Welcome back Curtis! It’s so exciting that your fourth book Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet releases tomorrow! Thanks for inviting me back, Maria! For some basic information on Curtis, see our earlier interview in March 2017 (here). ME: So let's jump right in. How does your newest picture book, Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet, differ from your previous books The Summe

Dress Like a Girl - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Who hasn't played dress-up as a child? I remember hours spent imagining I was someone else, somewhere else. Whether it involved putting on performances for family, creating elaborate adventures with my siblings, or just trying on roles. As a parent, I created many outfits, incliding an Ewok, Pooh and Tigger, knights, cats, jedis, and even a cow. I also remember the first forays my kids took into choosing their own clothes. These hours of play and experimenting are so important in developing a strong sense of self. When Patricia Toht announced this title, I couldn't wait to read this book. I was hooked. Then I saw the amazing cover reveal. Oh my gosh! It was with pure delight that I tore open

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Patricia Toht

I am honored today to talk with a very special author and person. She lived in London during Will and Kate's wedding, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and the Olympics, owned a children's bookstore/toy store for seven years, and married a "Happy Meal Toy" designer. It's the amazing writer and poet - Patricia Toht. Her newest book, Dress Like A Girl, releases tomorrow! Patricia, thank-you so much for stopping by to talk about your newest book and writing. I’m so happy to be here, Maria! Thanks for inviting me to The Picture Book Buzz. ME: Tell us a little about yourself. (Where/when do you write? How long have you been writing? How did you get started? What is your favorite type of book to write?

There Are No Bears in This Bakery - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Okay, so it's not Friday. But, I accepted my daughter's request to "play hooky" and went skiing. Unfortunately, that meant this post didn't get done when I wanted. But I discovered, it wasn't the end of the world. Since I fell in love with this book, and I think you will all love it too, I'm posting it now. This book is one of those instances, sung about in the new Mary Poppins movie, where the cover is not the book. The adorable image of a sweet cat and a donut devouring bear just doesn't give the reader any hint about the "film noir" detective who narrates the story. Julia Sarcone-Roach, the author of The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, has masterfully created another great picture book. There Are

The Picture Book Buzz - Nadia Knox and the Eye of Zinnia #ReadYourWorld

Once again, I am participating in the Multicultural Children’s Book Day - MCBD 2019 (1/25/19). It's mission is to "not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries." If you, or someone you know, likes mystery, ancient magic, and anthropologists, this is a great multi-cultural new series for upper elementary or lower middle grade (Hi-Low) readers. Nadia Knox and the Eye of Zinnia Author: Jessica McDougle Publisher: Plum Street Press (2017) Ages: 8-12 Fiction Themes: Adventure, magic, mystery, self-determination, family, and greed. Synopsis: Nadia Knox knows all about secrets, but nothing has prepared her for

The Picture Book Buzz - The Bookshop Girl

This summer, I won a sweepstakes by Peachtree Publishers! The prize was a hardback copy of a chapter book which I found enchanting. The Bookshop Girl, with its two full-page, black and white illustrations per chapter (which ranged from eight to sixteen pages), larger print, and an eleven-year-old main character, is an excellent bridge between picture books and middle grade novels. The Bookshop Girl Author: Sylvia Bishop Illustrator: Poly Bernatene Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (2018) Ages: 8-12 Fiction Themes: Truth, family, mystery, adventure, and the magic of books. Synopsis: A whimsical delight, crafted with quirkiness and a touch of classic charm. The Joneses have just won the Great M

I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

So many of us try to be environmental. We recycle, carpool, use less water, dabble in growing fresh food, and maybe even compost. Some even raise their own chickens. While this helps, a much smaller number work to save the environment and human lives by providing safe water and responsible farming and animal husbandry practices. Miranda and Baptiste Paul have a new picture book, releasing February 1st, that explores one man's life-time dedication to improving the lives and the environment of Cameroon. I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon Authors: Baptise and Miranda Paul Illustrator: Elizabeth Zunon Publisher: Millbrook Press (2019) Ages: 7-10 Nonfiction, Biography Them

Star in the Jar - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

I took a break for the later part of December, to spend time with my family and friends. But I can't stay away from books. Either ones that I have stacked around the house to read for reviews or the Cybils, or adult ones just my own pleasure or escape. Nor can I seem to stay out of bookstores. When my family "loses" me in Barnes & Noble, they always start looking in the kids section. During a gift hunting spree, I stumbled across this precious debut picture book and wanted to be sure it got the recognition and book love it deserves. So, for my first #PPBF post of 2019, I am going feature one final 2018 book. Star in the Jar Author: Sam Hay Illustrator: Sarah Massini Publisher: Sourcebooks Ja

The Picture Book Buzz - A Year of Books (2018)

Looking back through my posts for 2018, I discovered interviews with authors who I admired, many who were, or became, my friends. This was such an amazing opportunity to meet the creators of some special books and learn about their processes, challenges, and successes. I also found an exciting number of reviews of funny, touching, and thought provoking books. I was amazed to find I'd reviewed 45 books, almost one a week. Although, technically, a bit late, I thought I would give them all one last shout-out. So, here are some very special treasures (all linked back to their reviews) from 2018:

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