The Picture Book Buzz

Railway Jack: The True Story of An Amazing Baboon - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Every once in a while you come across a story too fantastical to be true. If you found it when cruising the internet, there's a good chance that it could be hoax. The modern-day equivalent of the tall tale told around the table or campfire. So, when I heard of a story about a baboon that worked for the South African Railways, I was ready for an entertaining fiction read. Imagine my surprise to discover that this brilliant baboon, Jack, and his inventive, caring friend, Jim, actually existed and really worked on the railways. My #PPBF choice this week is the nonfiction story of their life together. Railway Jack: The True Story of An Amazing Baboon Author: KT Johnston Illustrator: César Saman

Sophie Washington: Mismatch - Multicultural Book Day #ReadYourWorld

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. Seven years in, MCBD’s mission to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. I've participated for the past three years and have had the privilege to read: Nadia Knox and the Eye of Zinnia; Sister Girl and the Training Wheels; Katie Woo, We Lo

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with KT Johnston

I feel my stories advocate for unheard voices whose lives may not have been inherently spectacular, but nevertheless made a mark on history. ~ KT Johnston I'd like to introduce you to an exciting debut author. KT Johnston writes historical narrative nonfiction. KT's interest in the past developed from a sweeping curiosity about the way things were and how history has impacted the way things are. She enjoys feeding her interests by traveling, whether she's touring a historical site, experiencing a foreign land, or mind-wandering in a good book. Born in Minnesota, KT earned a degree in biology and conducted wildlife studies before settling into a corporate career as an analyst. KT hopes to i

Fred's Big Feelings - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Thinking back to the few shows that my mother allowed us to watch as young kids, I remember Sesame Street - especially the mysterious Mr. Snuffleupagus that none of the adults could see. The Electric Company & School House Rock - I still remember the songs for Conjunction Junction & I 'm Just A Bill! Talk about earworms. (Sorry if I just one stuck in your head!) But I especially remember Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. I loved all the places he visited, in person or through Picture-Picture. The way he talked straight to me, but not as if I was "just" a child. But as if I were someone he was truly interested in; someone he wanted to know and spend time with. And he introduced me to so many fun and

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Laura Renauld

I have loved books for as long as I can remember. Picture books, poetry, chapter books, series. I love them all. Books nourish my soul. ~ Laura Renauld Prior to becoming a children’s writer, Laura Renauld shared her love of books with her third-grade students. After experiencing first-hand, the power of story to captivate, amuse, and encourage, Laura knew that she wanted to create books for kids. When she is not writing picture books about porcupines, pirates, and pickles, Laura can be found on a trail, at the library, or in the kitchen. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and their two sons. Laura is the author of Porcupine’s Pie (2018). Her second picture book, Fred’s Big Fee

Making Their Voices Heard - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Life is full of surprises and wonderful coincidences. Sometimes, you're in the right place at just the right time. When Vivian Kirkfield stumbled across a photograph of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe animatedly talking, she was captivated and curious. So, she dug into their history. Vivian's discovery of a possible friendship between Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe required that she exhibit the characteristics which she admired in these two women - persistence, stubbornness, and an ability to seek and accept help to make one's dreams come true - in order for her to successfully create a beautiful and inspiring nonfiction picture book. One I hope will encourage children to see past ext

The Picture Book Buzz - January Interview with STEAM Team 2020 members

Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to four authors from the STEAM Team 2020 - who joined together to celebrate and help promote their books releasing this year. I do hope you enjoy this peek at some great books and fascinating creatives. "STEAM Team 2020 is a group of authors who have a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math book releasing in 2020. It includes fiction & nonfiction, as well as trade & educational books.” Welcome everyone, Tell us a little about yourself. (Where/when do you write? How long have you been writing? What is your favorite type of book to write? What drew you to STEAM books?...) Lisa Amstutz - Amazing Amphibians: 30 Activities and Observations for E

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Vivian Kirkfield

Magic Happens When You Make Every Word Count. I love interviewing authors and illustrators. Especially when the author is a dear friend. Today, I get the privilege to spend some time with one of my best kidlit friends - Vivian Kirkfield. Vivian is an amazing cheerleader and supporter of all children’s authors and illustrators. She's interviewed innumerable debut authors and highlighted their books on her website/blog - Picture Books Help Kids Soar. She created the #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge, the companion #50PreciousWordsforKids Challenge, and was a mentor for Justin Colon's #PBChat Mentorships. She’s the author of three books that published in 2019 - Pippa’s Passover Plate (Holiday

A Ride To Remember: A Civil Rights Story - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

The civil rights movement is more than a few notable named and studied individuals. It's a societal uprising by blacks and whites, young and old against unfair and unjust, mean and arbitrary rules. Though many of the participants remain unknown and unsung, this Spring a couple of picture books are remedying this and bringing fascinating stories and people to light. I wish I could say that our society is better now. But the recent experiences of very close and dear friends says otherwise. Unequitable treatment is widespread and wide-reaching. This week's #PPBF choice, written by one of the youngest participants on August 28, 1963, is a story that most kids can relate to. A story of fearful ad

The Picture Book Buzz - Joint Interview with Sharon Langley & Amy Nathan

Monday, I was honored to talk with Floyd Cooper, the illustrator of A Ride To Remember: A Civil Rights Story. Today, I get to chat with the amazing duo who wrote the book. And boy are you in for a treat! Sharon Langley is an author, playwright, and voice actor who lives in Los Angeles. Her debut picture book, A Ride to Remember, is about her historic ride of the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park carousel in 1963. Amy Nathan is an award-winning author of books for adults, teens, and young readers, who lives in Westchester County, New York. All of her books “introduce readers to amazing people whose stories have inspired” her. In 2011, she wrote a middle grade book on the Gwynn Oak carousel - Round And

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Floyd Cooper

“Giving kids a positive alternative to counteract the negative impact of what is conveyed in today’s media is a huge opportunity.” ~ Floyd Cooper I hope you are ready for an amazing treat! The multi-award-winning Floyd Cooper is in the house. Floyd is the illustrator of about 96 children’s books and the author/illustrator of 8 books. After he graduated from the University of Oklahoma, he worked in advertising and making greeting cards for Hallmark. In 1984, he got an agent and illustrated his first book, Grandpa’s Face. Since then, he has earned numerous awards, including 3 Coretta Scott King Honors, 10 ALA Notables, 2 NAACP Image Award nominations, the Jane Addams Peace Award Honor, and the

Cowie - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Sneak Peek! Have I got a special #PPBF post for you all today. Elizabeth is letting me give you all an early glimpse of her newest picture book. It is so adorable; I am sure it will be hard to wait for the release on January 7th. You might just have to pre-orer it. Although this appears to be a sweet, silly book, both Cowie and Elizabeth's illustrations could be regarded as a wee bit rebellious. Cowie Author/Illustrator: Elizabeth Rose Stanton Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2020) Ages: 4-8 Fiction Themes: Self-discovery, friendship, and perseverance. Synopsis: Cowie was born a donkey but he knows he’s meant to be a cow. He wants to be a cow. Cows can graze in the meadow all day long and no one

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