The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Dimity Powell

I want my words to matter; for my picture books to remain in children’s hearts like well-loved tunes and my stories to resonate integrity. ~ Dimity Powell One of the most wonderful things about an SCBWI conference is the people you meet. I had the privilege to meet this amazing author this February, at the SCBWI Sydney Conference. I am so pleased to introduce her and her work to you all. Dimity Powell lives in Queensland, Australia. She “writes for children because she believes being a kid is one of the coolest things you can be…next to riding dragons and lying under palm trees. She believes in magic and that ice cream tastes divine in any flavour, except maybe rainbow sherbet. She hopes th

Moon's First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

What a fun month! The anniversary of the Apollo 11 Launch resulted in so many great books on the astronauts, the moon, and space exploration. In addition to the twelve newest ones I love (here), I want to shout Phillip and Erin Stead's Music for Mr. Moon and Laura Roettiger and Ariel Boroff's Aliana Reaches for the Moon which released earlier this year. But today, I want to focus on the adorable picture book created by Susanna Leonard Hill and Elisa Paganelli. It was genius of Sourcebooks to seek out Susanna and ask her to create a story from the moon's POV. When combined with Elisa's tender, child-friendly illustrations, it's no wonder this book is on the NY Times Best Seller's list! Before

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Susanna Leonard Hill

Hooray! Are you all in for a treat! Today, I get the privilege of interviewing amazing Susanna Leonard Hill. Susanna Leonard Hill is and award-winning author of twenty books for children, including Punxsutawney Phyllis (A Book List Children's Pick and Amelia Bloomer Project choice), No Sword Fighting In The House (a Junior Library Guild selection), Can't Sleep Without Sheep (a Children's Book of The Month), Not Yet, Rose (a Gold Mom's Choice Award Winner and an Itabashi Translation Award Finalist), and When Your Lion Needs A Bath (Parents Magazine #1 Board Book 2017, CYBILS Award Finalist, CBC Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year along with When Your Elephant Has The Sniffles). Her

The Picture Book Buzz - Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Slice of moon cake, anyone? © Javier Jaén Before we get into this post, let me recommend that you check out the Google doodle and the narrated story by Mike Collins, the perhaps often overlooked astronaut, who remained in orbit so Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin could land on the moon. It is worth watching a couple of times, for the story and then the illustrations. This year has seen a number of books - biographies, nonfiction, and fiction - released celebrating the astronauts and the moon. As you've probably guessed, I have a couple of favorites that I would like to highlight. Especially as the Cybils nominations are just around

Sorry, Grown-ups, You Can't Go to School! - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Starting in May this year, there have been so many books released about the first day of school, starting a new school, or school field trips. Are the publishers taking a page from Target's playbook and releasing books a season in advance? I always wondered about selling bikinis in March when it was 40 degrees! Why publish all the "back-to-school" books as the school year winds down and everyone starts the beginning of summer vacation? I guess they're just things to puzzle over during insomnia episodes. Regardless, here is another fun book that's a kind of parental wish for a FREAKY FRIDAY moment, when they can go to school and have fun and play instead of going about their adult, responsibi

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Christina Geist

Christina Geist is a brand strategist, entrepreneur and children’s book author who lives in New York City with her husband, NBC and MSNBC host Willie Geist, and her two children. Christina also runs two companies: True Geist, a branding and design firm, and Boombox Gifts. Christina’s first children’s book, Buddy’s Bedtime Battery, was published by Random House Kids in September 2016 and – for a beautiful moment – eclipsed Harry Potter as the #1 children’s book on Amazon. Her second picture book – Sorry Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go To School! releases tomorrow. Happy Book Birthday Welcome Christina! Thank you so much for stopping by to chat about your books and writing. ME: Tell us a little about

Not Quite Snow White - The Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Has anyone noticed the uproar over having a diverse Ariel. I can't remember any such commotion for one of my favorite films - Cinderella. This amazing 1997 musical starred Brandy (Cinderella), Whitney Houston (Fairy Godmother), Whoopi Goldberg (Queen), & Paolo Montalbán (Prince). We didn't question the ethnicity, it just was. After all, shouldn't the quality of the acting and the voice be more important than the color of the actor's skin? Maybe instead we could harness this fervor for use toward meaningful societal issues. Anyway, into the midst of all this hullabaloo, sashays a picture book that looks exactly at the issue of body typing (color, size, height) for roles and discrimination wit

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Susanne Gervay and Review of The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses

“I love being an author, creating stories that can change your world.” ~ Susanne Gervay Susanne Gervay, "grew up in beautiful Sydney with my older brother Thomas and younger sister Elizabeth. My parents were refugees who escaped from war, communism and terrorism in Hungary. They hoped to be accepted by a democratic county. Australia offered them a new home. I married an engineer and became a teacher and educational consultant. I have two wonderful kids. But life gets complicated. My father died of cancer, my marriage broke down and I got cancer. But life is about meeting challenges, friendships, being all you can be. So, I started writing for my children, so they’d laugh and feel safe. Then

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Katy Hudson and Review of The Golden Acorn

Due to technical issues, this is going to be a busy week for posts. But I was so excited when Katy Hudson agreed to an interview. I have loved her picture books, since I discovered Too Many Carrots three years ago. Katy was raised in Middlesbrough, UK and started her Illustration career as a small child drawing on freshly emulsioned walls around the house! Her parents quickly dissuaded this medium and encouraged drawing with pencil and paper instead. The idea stuck (the pencil was updated to an ink pot and pen in some cases) and after some lovely time at Art College and a degree in Illustration Katy is now a freelance Illustrator based in London. She’s the illustrator of Animal Teachers (201

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Ashley Franklin

Growing up, Ashley Franklin initially aspired to be a doctor, journalist, and cartoon character. As you can see, those didn’t quite work out. However, she always loved writing, so Ashley received her M.A. from the University of Delaware in English Literature. Since education has always been very important to her, she became involved in the classroom with students ranging in age from three to adult. As a result, you can pretty much say that she has seen reading and writing skills across the learning spectrum! In 2015, she realized she missed writing and decided to give children’s writing a try. Ashley remembered how "books taught me to love words and the magic they can create. It’s simple whe

Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

I was so intrigued by this cover and the unsusual title, when I first saw it's announcement, I couldn't wait to read it. It is a perfect book for the beginning (and all too soon ending) of summer and all the changes that these moments bring. Friends gone on vacation or moving away, new classrooms or schools in the fall, the shift from lazy, warm summer days to cooler (rainy), scheduled fall days. While ultimately an uplifting and empowering story, it doesn't shy away from some intense and painful emotions and experiences. A beautiful and touching book that encourages kids to accept changes as they come, because change often opens the door for something unexpectedly wonderful. Goodbye, Friend

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Cori Doerrfeld

Although many of you think may think you know about her, I like to introduce you to the award-winning Cori Doerrfeld. She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband and two children. She received her undergrad degree in Studio Art from St. Olaf College and her Post Baccalaureate from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Cori is perhaps best known for her picture book The Rabbit Listened (2018), which was named a Notable Children’s Book of 2018 by The New York Times and winner of the third annual Anna Dewdney Read Together Award. But she has written and/or illustrated nineteen picture books, her own MG graphic novel series, as well as two other graphic novels. Her newest picture book, G

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