The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with June Smalls

Writing and Illustrating is magic. Don't forget you are making things appear out of thin air. ~ June Smalls June Smalls writes books that are funny, educational, odd, and entertaining. Living in Virginia with the Hubby, The Kid, and an ever-growing number of animals June writes whenever and wherever possible. Hungry to always keep learning, and just plain hungry a lot of the time, June loves zoos, aquariums, museums, nature, and food. She's the author of: Odd Animal ABC’s (2019), We Need Prairie Dogs (2019), and Celtic Gods, Heroes, and Mythology (2018). Her newest nonfiction picture book, She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch, releases May 26, 2020. Welcome June, Tell us a little about yoursel

Construction People - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

I remember when our neighborhood was being built. My kids were little and one of our fun activities was go "peeking" and watch as the rough outlines became houses. We'd try to guess which rooms would be where. It was a lot of fun to see the wiring and plumbing that ordinarily hides behind the walls. While generally we can't wander through a skyscraper under construction, many of us have watched one being built. This week's #PPBF choice gives readers a close-up glimpse of this process; of the numerous jobs that are obvious and many that happen quietly behind the scenes. In Monday's interview of a number of the poets and the illustrator, Matt Forrest Esenwine, commenting about writing the poem

The Picture Book Buzz - The Soaring 20's Spring Releases

The Soaring 20’s High Flying Picture Book Debuts is a group of authors and illustrators hailing from California to New York (and Canada!), who’ve joined together to help promote their 2020 debut picture books. Be sure to visit their website to “discover picture book talent on the rise.” Their website includes “behind-the-scenes posts about how these books were made; resources for using these books in your classroom or library; places you can meet these talented authors and illustrators in person; and of course, GIVEAWAYS!” Welcome Everyone, ME: Tell us a little about yourself. (Where/when do you write or draw? How long have you been writing and/or illustrating? What is your favorite type of

The Picture Book Buzz - Tribute to Lee Bennett Hopkins by the Illustrator & Poets of Constructio

“I’ve always maintained that more can be said or felt in eight or 10 lines than sometimes in an entire novel.” ~ Lee Bennett Hopkins The award-winning poet and anthologist, Lee Bennett Hopkins, published more than 100 anthologies of poetry for children over a half-century. He considered it his mission in life to get poetry into the hands of children. In one of his last anthologies, Lee compiled fourteen poems about various construction people who "collaborate to create a high-rise hotel building, from architect to crane operator to glaziers and more." He began this book of poems in 2017. Lee got to see the final layout of the book, but to our great sadness, he died August 8, 2019. This post

A Whale of a Mistake - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

I sincerely doubt there is anyone alive (now or ever) who hasn't made some mistake, at some point in their lives. After all, as Alexander Pope said, "To err is human." Take a moment and think of the last mistake you made. Was it a teeny-tiny oops, a very minor mistake that didn't affect things very much? Too big a squirt of shampoo or perhaps too enthusiastic a rinse of a dish that soaked the counter? Or was it perhaps a gigantic, immense mistake, one that had significant consequences that you couldn't stop thinking about. One that seemed poised to take over, if not ruin, your life. What do you do when you make such a BIG mistake? How do you handle it? How would you help a friend, sibling, p

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Lisa Robinson & Review of Madame Saqui: Revolutionary Rop

Most recently, I have taken up aerial silks and you can find me flying through the air at my local circus gym. ~ Lisa Robinson Lisa is a psychiatrist who works with children, teens, and adults and a children's book author. She has an MFA in Creative Writing for Young People from Lesley University. She lives in the Boston area with her family and three cats. When she's not working or writing she's flying through the air with her daughters on aerial silks at her local circus studio. She lives in Massachusetts with my scientist husband, two daughters, and a family of cats, the Spice Cats—Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Paprika. Her picture books include, Pirates Don’t Go to Kindergarten, (8/2019) and Pip

Bonaparte Plays Ball - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

First, I'd like to announce that the winner of Whoo-ku Haiku by Maria Gianferrari. is David McMullin! Now on to this week's #PPBF selection. I absolutely fell in love with the creative geniuses of Margery Cuyler and Will Terry in Bonaparte Falls Apart. Where the most adorable little skeleton is afraid of attending school because of his propensity to lose his bones. It contained lots of word play, endearing illustrations, and an unusual resolution - Bonaparte's friends solved his problem. Which, as Margery notes, is reflective of life where we do often rely on friends for help and support. I was so excited when I saw the announcement for the sequel Bonaparte Plays Ball. If you haven't seen th

The Picture Book Buzz - March 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?...) Gillian McDunn – The Queen Bee and Me (3/20/2020) - Hello! Thanks so mu

Whoo-ku Haiku - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

The subject of this week's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick is near and dear to my heart. Anyone who knows me, knows I love animals and nature. And that I have a particular fondness for birds. I have been a bird watcher and amateur scientist, for more years than I care to acknowledge; actively participating in The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Feeder Watch citizen science project and the Great Backyard Bird Count. So, it is no surprise that I adore Maria Gianferrari's Hawk Rising (2018). I also have a very deep love for Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends. So, it should be no surprise that I fell in love with Jonathan Voss' Brave Enough for Two (2018) and Imagine That (2019). These stories feel l

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Valerie Bolling and Review of Let's Dance

I write because I want all children to feel at home in a book. I want them to smile, laugh, think, and question. Most of all, I want them to celebrate the diverse world in which we live. ~ Valerie Bolling Valerie Bolling has been an educator for over 25 years and a writer since age 4. She is a graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University, Teachers College and currently works as an Instructional Coach. In addition to writing picture books, Valerie writes a Monthly Memo for teachers that she publishes on Twitter, Her nieces inspired her to write picture books. Her desire is for children of all backgrounds to see themselves in her stories and feel valued and heard. Valerie and her hus

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Maria Gianferrari (+ a surprise) and a Giveaway

I love talking with kids of all ages! ~ Maria Gianferrari Maria Gianferrari is a picture book reading/writing, tea-drinking, dog-loving, birdwatching resident of Virginia who writes both fiction and nonfiction books. A dog lover, she’s the author of five fiction picture books, including the Penny & Jelly books (2015/16), Officer Katz and Houndini (2016), Hello Goodbye Dog (2017), and Operation Rescue Dog (2018), and five nonfiction picture books, including Coyote Moon (2016), Terrific Tongues (2018), and Hawk Rising (2018). In April, Play Like an Animal, arrives in stores. Her newest picture book, Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story, releases tomorrow. Welcome Maria, thank-you so much fo

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