The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Simona Ceccarelli

I love colors and stripes, characters, stories and making children smile. ~Simona Ceccarelli I am honored that Simona Ceccarelli has come back for a chat. She is a wonderful person and a talented illustrator you need to keep on your radar. Simona describes herself as: “a potluck children's illustrator: half British, half Italian, half Swiss and more than a quarter French. I had a different career for many years, but art eventually lured me back to follow 'the road not taken.' I studied illustration and visual development at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University. Upon graduation I hopped into children’s book illustration – occasionally straddling into advertisement and concept art for ch

This Way, Charlie - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

These days, many of us are finding interesting and unique ways to stay in touch and help family, friends, and neighbors. From creating masks to, cooking "together" via phones, or learning how to do video conferencing. My family discovered that Skype enables us to play Yahtzee with Grandma. We haven't quite figured out how to do card games (yet), but we're still thinking about it. This seems like the perfect time for a story on friendship. Today's #PPBF choice is a story based on a very special, true friendship that developed between a crotchety goat and a gentle horse with increasing blindness. The team that created the beloved Ida, Always returns with another, touching friendship story to t

The Picture Book Buzz - 10 Picture Books Dealing with Death and Grief

Besides the increased stress of not understanding the reasons & requirements for the "shelter-at-home" orders and their parent's anxiety, one big fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic is the loss of friends and family. It is highly likely that many will be touched, either immediately or remotely, by this virus. Kids will need help understanding their own, their family's, and their friend's emotions as we pick up the pieces. I've chosen ten picture books which touched my heart. These books are all wonderful resources for starting a discussion, exploring diverse and confusing emotions, and starting the healing process after any death. One of the toughest losses is the loss of a child; it can tear

The Picture Book Buzz - April Interview with STEAM Team 2020 Authors

Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to five authors from the STEAM Team 2020, with books releasing in April. I do hope you enjoy this look at some great books and fascinating creatives. "STEAM Team 2020 is a group of authors who have a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math books releasing in 2020. It includes fiction & nonfiction, trade or 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?...) Jen Malia – Too Sticky! Sensory Issues with Autism (Albert Whitman, 4/1/2020) - I started out writing peer-reviewed literary criticis

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Caron Levis

Caron Levis enjoys writing fiction and plays for children, teens, and adults. She is the author of several picture books including Mama's Work Shoes (2019, Abrams); Stop That Yawn! (2018, Athenuem); May I Have A Word? (2017, FSG/Macmillan); the award-winning Ida, Always (2016, Atheneum) - which The New York Times Book Review called, "an example of children's books at their best.” Caron is a professor at NYU and The New School's Creative Writing MFA program where she is the advisor for the Children/YA concentration. Caron has an LMSW from Hunter College and facilitates young people's loss and bereavement groups. After many years as an arts educator, Caron now loves using acting and writing to

Tiny Bird: A Hummingbird's Amazing Journey - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

One of my favorite birds is the hummingbird. I love their personality, fierceness, and tenacity. A favorite childhood memory of mine revolves around a rare, special stop for pie at a mountain pass lodge. Glancing outside, as we waited, I watched about 30 hummingbirds swarm around three feeders. I was totally mesmerized. When, as an adult, I finally had a place to put out feeders, I eagerly anticipating hordes of hummers massing in my yard. However, I attracted a very defensive Anna's Hummingbird pair who chased off any and all other hummingbirds. Although initially dissapointed, because they remain year-round in the Pacific Northwest, I've been lucky to watch them raise their young and condu

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Robert Burleigh

"My guiding principle is that every child has in him or her the wish to grow and the ability to express things that matter." ~ Robert Burleigh Robert Burleigh was born and raised in Chicago. He graduated from DePauw University (Greencastle, Indiana) and later received an MA in humanities from the University of Chicago. He is the award-winning author of poems, reviews, essays, many filmstrips and videos, and more than 40 children's picture books, including: O Captain, My Captain: Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War (2019); Night Train, Night Train (2018); Sylvia's Bookshop: The Story of Paris's Beloved Bookstore and Its Founder (As Told by the Bookstore Itself!) (2018); Solving t

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

It is so relaxing to lie on my back and watch the clouds drift and spiral past. Years of finding shapes replaced with deep breathing exercises and attempts to clear my mind (and emotions). I'm finding this particularly helpful these days. Precious, stolen moments to let wishes and dreams free. While bright blue, cloudless days are a valuable commodity in the Pacific Northwest, I do love photographing the glowing, vibrant colors of a sunset dancing among clouds. My #PPBF choice has some of the most Exquisite sunsets and it's written by one of my favorite authors. I love Suzanne Slade's books. Her skill at finding fun stories and unusual formats is something to aspire to. With 140 books publis

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Lesléa Newman & Review of Remembering Ethan

"CHANGING THE WORLD, ONE BOOK AT A TIME" ~ Lesléa Newman Lesléa (pronounced “Lez-LEE-uh”) Newman was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up there and on Long Island. She now lives in western Massachusetts, and from 2008-2010 served as the poet laureate of Northampton, MA. Currently she teaches writing for children and young adults at Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing program. She is the author of 75 books - from picture books to young adult novels, in addition to a number of poems and magazine articles. Her newest picture books are, Welcoming Elijah (Jan. 2020, Charlesbridge) and Remembering Ethan, which released yesterday. Welcome Lesléa, thank-you so much for stopping by to ta

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Suzanne Slade

"Research is the most exciting and challenging part of my job." ~ Suzanne Slade Suzanne Slade is the award-winning author of more than 140 books for children. As a mechanical engineer who used to work on rockets, Suzanne shares her passion for science in many of her books. Such as A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon (2019, Little, Brown) and The Inventor's Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford (2015, Charlesbridge). She also enjoys writing about inspiring figures from her hometown of Chicago. For instance, Dangerous Jane, (2017, Peachtree) the story of Chicago’s own Jane Addams, Hull-House founder and first American woman to win the Nobel Pe

She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

As promised, here's a sneak peek at June Smalls' book, which releases May 26th. Knowing how much I love animals and nature; it is probably no surprise that I immediately fell in love with this cover when the book was announced. The power, grace, and emotion of the elephant matriarch is palatable. June Smalls and Yumi Shimokawara have created a beautiful, touching, and educational picture book that not only looks at the family lives and special characteristics of elephants, but also trumpets girl power! She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch Author: June Smalls Illustrator: Yumi Shimokawara Publisher: Familius (2020) Ages: 4-8 Nonfiction Themes: Elephants, family, nature, compassion, and girl powe

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