The Picture Book Buzz

The King of Kindergarten - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Are you ready for a sneak peek? Have I got a doozy for you this Friday. Okay, now I know school is out, but you can never be too early to lay the foundation for a child to have a great experience on his/her first day in school. I found a delightful new book on making friends and being kind. A book about empowering a child's self-esteem. You don't want to miss this new book by two powerhouse creatives. It releases next Tuesday - July 2nd. The King of Kindergarten Author: Derrick Barnes Illustrator: Vanessa Brantley-Newton Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (2019) Ages: 3-6 Fiction Themes: Starting Kindergarten, friends, confidence, and kindness. Synopsis: A confident little boy takes pride in hi

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Have I got a treat for you! The amazingly warm and welcoming Vanessa Brantley-Newton. I had the privilege to meet her at the Oregon SCBWI Conference in 2018. Her keynote speech was inspiring and heartfelt. But what made the conference special for me was Vanessa's generosity with her hugs and time (she ate and talked with a group of us for two hours!). That warm, welcoming smile in the picture below and her easy conversation is entirely genuine! Vanessa is a multi-award-winning illustrator and author/illustrator of twenty-five books. Her books span the gamut from fiction to nonfiction, picture book to middle grade, but almost all of them feature music or dance in some fashion. “As an illustra

Ghost Cat - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

You know you've found a treasure, when a story resonates deep within your heart. Over the years, I've lost pets and dearly loved family members and friends. The strangest things will trigger memories, both happy and sad. But as time passes, the grief slowly eases a bit. When we lost our beloved cat (and my kids were in 3rd and 5th grades), I wish this book had existed. A book that acknowledges how large a hole loss can leave and how, eventually, you discover that while you'll never forget the ones you've lost, the heart has an infinite ability to stretch and love. Ghost Cat Author/Illustrator: Kevan Atteberry Publisher: Neal Porter Books (2019) Ages: 3-6 Fiction Themes: Lost pet, dealing wit

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Ioana Hobai

I love finding new books to love and exciting authors and illustrators to get to know and follow. Today, you're all in for an amazing treat! Ioana Hobai, author of Lena's Slippers (#PPBF review here), is not only sharing with us some "behind the scenes" information about herself and her two picture books (so far), BUT she has generously invited us into her workshop and provided some amazing illustrations. I know you'll agree; she is so talented! Ioana grew up in Bucharest, Romania and first learned to paint with in her uncle’s art studio. After becoming an architect, she discovered the joy of making picture books while taking a children’s illustration art class. Her debut book as an illustra

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Kevan Atteberry

Sorry folks. Due to technical difficulties, this post was a bit delayed. But, better late than never, right? I am so fortunate to call today's guest a friend. Kevan Atteberry is an illustrator/writer living in the Seattle area. He has been drawing since he was knee-high to a crayon. He has designed and illustrated many things including award-winning children's books. He asserts his biggest claim to fame is creating Clippy the paperclip helper in Microsoft Office which still annoys millions of people every day. But, I think his newest picture book, Ghost Cat, which released June 11th, will give Clippy a run for his money! ME: Tell us a little about yourself. (Where/when do you write/illustra

Lena's Slippers - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Quick announcement - Erik Ammon is the winner of a signed copy of Gayle Krause's Once Upon A Twisted Tale! While there are a number of ballet picture books on the shelves, I haven't found a book like this one. Sure, it's about a little girl who wants to dance in her school's recital, but it is also provides a peek into an unspecified country whose citizens are struggling with poverty and hardships. And it includes boy ballet dancers. Even if you never experienced such financial hardship, I'm fairly confident that many can empathize with the desire to want something so badly with all your heart and have it seem impossible to attain. No matter what you tried, it just brushed your fingertips; y

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Deborah Abela and Review of Chapter Book The Most Marvelous I

Okay, so here's the second combination post I promised. When I attended the Australia SCBWI conference this year, I met this amazing author. I'd like to introduce her and share with you her fun chapter book series. After completing a teaching degree, Deborah Abela went to Africa where she was caught in a desert sandstorm, harassed by monkeys, and thrown in jail…twice! She produced and wrote a national kids’ TV show before leaving to write twenty-six books including the Max Remy Superspy and Jasper Zammit (Soccer Legend) series and Grimsdon, New City and Final Storm, about kids living in a climate-changed world. Teresa, A New Australian was inspired by her dad who was born in a cave during WW

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Gayle Krause and Review of Once Upon A Twisted Tale + Giveawa

So, I'm shaking things up a bit this week. Good thing it's my blog. I'm going to do a combination interview/book review post on both Monday and Wednesday this week. To start us off, I have the amazing Gayle Krause. Gayle has served on the Rhyming Revolution Selection Committee, choosing the “best” rhyming picture book for 2015 to 2018. A Master educator, she’s taught Children’s Literature to prospective teachers at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Ms. Krause writes fiction for Young Adult, Middle Grade, and young children. Rebecca Angus of Golden Wheat Literary represents her. Gayle's first middle grade poetry collection, Once Upon a Twisted Tale, releases next Tuesday, June 18th! We

Your First Day of Circus School - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

I've lost count how many "first day of school" picture books exist. I know some of my favorites have been the more unusual ones, such as: School's First Day of School (the school's POV); First Day Jitters (the teacher's POV); and The Day You Begin. It takes a pretty special premise, author, or POV to soar above the crowd these days. I've found just such a book. Now, I realize that it is currently, or about to be, summer break. I can't control the release dates of books. But, if you are facing kindergarten or a new school, there's nothing to say you can't get it in advance. And if you love Tara Lazar's, and/or Melissa Crowton's, sense of humor, you probably should check out this book. Tara an

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with the "Notable 19s"

Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to thirteen authors and illustrators - The Notable 19s - who joined together to celebrate and help promote their books releasing this year. I promise, it's not too long a post. I do hope you enjoy this peek at some great books and fascinating creatives. "A group of writers and illustrators who have debut books (actual debuts , debuts as author-illustrators, or debuts with medium/large publishers) forthcoming in 2019. " Welcome to all of you! Tell us a little about yourself. (Where/when do you write/ draw? How long have you been writing and illustrating? What is your favorite type of book to write or illustrate?) *[Note: Their photos link to their w

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Tara Lazar

Tara Lazar’s biography is as fun as her books: “Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things TARA LAZAR has never been (though she was a champion figure skater!). Instead, she writes quirky, humorous picture books featuring magical places that adults never find. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two young daughters. If they had a dog, it would be a small white fluffy thing named Schluffy.” Such a sense of humor! Who wouldn't want to spend time with her? In addition, many of you know Tara as the creator of Storystorm (formerly PiBoIdMo), her January challenge to create 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. Her newest picture book, Your

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