The Picture Book Buzz

Music For Mister Moon - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Have you ever been shy? Especially about performing or speaking in public. Ever wish you could retreat or disappear into another world? A world where everything would be perfect. I love just about EVERY book that Erin has illustrated and/or Philip has written. Her style if so soft, gentle toned, and distinctive. And they both create such tender quiet books, such as Bear Has A Story to Tell & The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles. When I saw the cover announced, I immediately knew I wanted to add this book to my collection. I was awed and impressed, but definitely not disappointed. The award-wining, Philip and Erin Stead have combined their considerable talents to create a beautiful, lyrical book abo

You Are Your Strong - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Learning to handle negative emotions can be a lifetime challenge for some of us. It is even harder for kids who have less experience and coping skills. Where everything is so intense, immediate, and important. Providing kids with the skills to understand and cope with these emotions can feel daunting at times. Fortunately, there are numerous books, games, and activities that can help kids create empathy for each other and for themselves; helping them develop strong self-esteem and an internal strength. This week's #PPBF is just such a book. You Are Your Strong Author: Danielle Dufayet Illustrator: Jennifer Zivoin Publisher: Magination Press (2019) Ages: 4-8 Fiction Themes: Self-esteem, emoti

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Danielle Dufayet

It's a great day when you get to interview your critique partner on the eve of her debut picture book's release. Danielle Dufayet says she “read her first picture book (Little Raccoon and the Thing in the Pool) when she was 18 whereupon she was blown away by its simplicity, timelessness, and transformative power. That’s when she knew it was her calling. Forty years and a master’s degree later, she's celebrating the release of her debut picture book, You Are Your Strong. HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!! Welcome Danielle, MARIA: 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?) DANIELLE: I was

Four Otter Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Living in the Pacific Northwest, I enjoy hiking and camping. On these trips, I am regularly treated to glimpses of animals going about their routines. Or, as some of you know, I just stay home and photograph the numerous birds, bobcats, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, deer, and black bears as they amble through my yard. Sometimes, I even get the honor of seeing the young tagging along. Last summer, four woodpecker species brought their young to my feeders. It is so important to share these moments with children, to develop their appreciation and respect for these precious, and all too quickly disappearing species. This week's #PPBF book is a stunning, lyrical, concept book about a mountain stre

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Mirka Hokkanen

Mirka Hokkanen is an amazing illustrator who uses a variety of printmaking, drawing, painting and digital techniques in her art. “Her love for line and drawing underlie her style no matter which media she is working in and her favorite subjects to illustrate are quirky animals and inquisitive little people.” Her debut picture book, Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book, releases March 15th (or, if believe Amazon April 1st). Welcome Mirka, 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?) MIRKA: I’m a mom of 3 during the day and an artist at night (and during nap time). My work has al

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Vivian Kirkfield

Nothing is impossible if you can imagine it! Although her "official" bio follows, I think we can all agree that Vivian Kirkfield is an extra-ordinary friend, mentor, and enthusiastic kidlit community participant. Writer for children – reader forever...that’s Vivian Kirkfield in five words. She’s got a bucket list that contains many more than five words – but she’s already checked off skydiving, parasailing and banana-boat riding (plus visiting Australia and New Zealand). When she is not looking for ways to fall from the sky or sink under the water, she can be found writing picture books that she hopes will encourage young kids to become lovers of books and reading. Vivian lives in the quaint

When You Are Brave - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

We've come to expect amazing, touching books from Pat Zietlow Miller. Her newest one is no exception. Written, as she told me in Monday's interview, as "the book that [she] needed most as a kid. . . and a bit of a pep talk to [herself] when [she] was going through a rough spot in [her] life." I'm glad she shared it with the rest of us; as self-doubt, struggles, and change are universal in everyone's life. When You Are Brave Author: Pat Zietlow Miller Illustrator: Eliza Wheeler Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (2019) Ages: 4-8 Fiction Themes: Bravery, internal strength, confidence, and positive attitude. Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble): An inspiring picture book affirmation about having co

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Pat Zietlow Miller

She's back! I just couldn't resist doing a second interview of Pat Zietlow Miller when she announced the book cover of When You Are Brave. I fell in love with the starry butterfly wings and the confident stance of the little girl. I was dying to know the inspiration and inside story of this book. Welcome back, Pat! It is so exciting that your tenth book When You Are Brave releases tomorrow! For additional information on Pat, and her nine other books, see our earlier interview, on February 4, 2019 (here). How does When You Are Brave differ from your other picture books? When You Are Brave is, perhaps more than any of my other books, the book that I needed most as a kid. So that makes it speci

SCBWI Sydney 2019 Conference

Here are some highlights from the amazing conference I recently attended in Sydney, Australia. I was fortunate to accompany Vivian Kirkfield on her first speaking engagement at an SCBWI conference as a published author. We did sneak in 2 days of sightseeing. First, and foremost, I discovered the Australian SCBWI to be full of warm and welcoming authors and illustrators. As much as it was about gaining information and sharpening skills and knowledge, it was also about making friends and discovering our numerous, and often hysterical, cultural differences. Don't get me started on the coffee! The Australian SCBWI is extremely fortunate to have the generous, caring, and hardworking RA - Susanne

Little Doctor and the Fearless Beast - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Gumption, persistence, and compassion for all creatures, these are things I aspire to. (Okay, except for big spiders.) Though sometimes it is so hard to be brave, to take a leap and try something new, to really stick your neck out for yourself or for another. And if pop culture (music and movies) is any indication, it is a challenge for many people. Even if we never had to worry about legal ramifications. Well, I found a wonderful picture book with a main character that embodies all of these characteristics. One that also highlights the dangers of first impressions, rumors, and misunderstandings. A picture book that subtly carries an important environmental message as well. This beautiful pi

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