The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - ABDO Publishing Pollinators Picture Book Series

As a contributing blogger on STEMTuesday, I helped create the book list for July's posts on pollinators. Be sure to check out these great Middle Grade books next Tuesday, July 7th. Included on this list is a book from ABDO Publishing's "Team Earth" series* - Pollinators: Animals Helping Plants Survive by Martha London (ABDO 2020). This book examines the insects, birds, and bats responsible for the majority of plant pollination. Large color photographs, cross-curricular extension activities, and sidebars on topics like prehistoric pollination, mammals, and artificial pollination make this an engaging and educational book. While researching that post, I discovered that ABDO Publishing also ha

Odin: Hero Dog of the Fires - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

After I watched Bambi as I child, I had nightmares about fires for years. Sweat drenching, scream inducing nightmares. I never remembered the actual nightmare, as much as the terror I felt and the need to hug my mom. A small, deeply hidden, part of me was concerned when I first looked at this book. How scary would this be for the next generation? For me? But, ultimately, my love for dogs, and dog books, overcame any hesitancy. I was relieved and excited to discover a touching tale of a devoted dog who battled one of the worst fires in California history to save a herd of goats. I am privileged to offer you a sneak peek at a wonderful informational fiction book about an amazingly brave dog -

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Emma Bland Smith

The best thing about writing books is getting to visit lots of cool places for research, like Alcatraz. ~ Emma Bland Smith Emma Bland Smith is the award-winning author of Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West, as well four other picture books, two chapter-book series, as well as an older book on San Francisco. Emma is a librarian and author who lives in San Francisco with her husband, two kids, dog, and cat. She was born in Scotland, grew up in San Francisco, and lived in New York, Santa Barbara, and Paris. Now she’s back home, living a block away from my childhood house. Her newest book, Odin: Hero Dog of the Fires, releases June 30th. Welcome Emma, thank

Play Day School Day - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

It's always tough to be the youngest, to watch siblings go to that mysterious place, "school," for the whole day. They want to do everything the older kids "get" to do. Even pretending to go to their own school - although I'm not sure how much fun sitting in the garage with a lunch box actually was. I was already at school. Toni Yuly has created an amazing book to not only intrigue but allay the fears of younger siblings about to head to school. As well as remind everyone about the joy and possibilities of getting outside and exploring each day. Play Day School Day Author/Illustrator: Toni Yuly Publisher: Candlewick Press Ages: 4-8 Fiction Themes: Play, school, curiosity, and getting outside

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview With Toni Yuly

Today, I get the privilege to feature a dear friend of mine. Toni Yuly has been an early bird all her life and loves to start the day in the studio listening to other early birds sing outside her window. She was born in Seattle and now lives in Bremerton, Washington, in a small house by the water. She studied painting at the University of Washington, where she worked with the great American painter Jacob Lawrence. Toni spent a year in Sendai Japan as a cultural exchange student and worked for over 30 years at the King County Library System. She is the author and illustrator of six books - The Whole Wide World and Me (2019), Thank You Bees (2017), The Jelly Bean Tree (2017), Cat Nap (2017), N

The Starkeeper - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Our towns, country, and world are reeling from Covid and senseless violence. It all feels dark, oppressive, and gloomy. But just like in this week's #PPBF choice, people are standing up, caring about others, sharing their light and their gifts to make a difference. This week's choice is especially poignant and needed right now. It's interesting the connections one's brain makes. The idea of sharing one's light made me hum the song, This Little Light of Mine, I haven't thought about that song in a long time. This book is a wonderful reminder that everyone has the ability to bring about hope and change. The Starkeeper Author/Illustrator: Faith Pray Publisher: Random House (2020) Ages: 3-7 Fict

The Picture Book Buzz - June Interview with STEAM Team 2020 Members

Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to three authors from the STEAM Team 2020 with books releasing (mostly) in June. 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?...) Darcy Pattison – Erosion: How Hugh Bennett Saved America's Soil and Stopped the Dust Bowl (6/9/2020) - I write both fiction a

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Faith Pray

Look around! We are surrounded by lights! ~ Faith Pray Faith Pray is an author-illustrator from the Pacific Northwest who regularly wrangles four wildebeests - twins plus two - and two cats. She is excited about books, rainstorms, kids, and sharing kindness. Several years ago, following a stroke and surgery, Faith struggled to find her writing again. So, she took visual storytelling classes in hopes of finding a back door to stories. Her illustrator debut picture book, Once Upon A Timely, by Lynn Parrish Sutton published in 2019. In addition to writing and illustrating picture books, Faith has created a mural for Twisters Gymnastics & Tumbling, in Jefferson County, WA. © Faith Pray, 2020. H

Lift As You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

What a week! When I arranged for Patricia's interview and this #PPBF post in January, I had no way of knowing how timely and relevant this book would be. I can only imagine how frustrated and sad Ella Josephine Baker would be if she could see our country now. Sad that despite some progress, there is still so far to go. Frustrated that so many years later, we are still "fighting for the freedom of the human spirit." Though, the increasing number and determination of the multi-racial protesters hopefully offers a glimmer of hope that we may see long-overdue, real change occur. I have a sneak peek for you of a book which highlights a dedicated, lesser known activist who fought her whole life to

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Michael J. Armstrong & Review of Best Day Ever

Michael Armstrong began his career as a marketing professional. Changing course, he served as the Executive Director of The ALS Association, The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, and other nonprofit organizations. When his daughter was born, Mike changed course again to become a stay-at-home dad. Soon after, he began writing children’s books (and rekindled his love affair with Play-Doh). Mike also rehabs old houses, has an unhealthy obsession with sports trading cards, and ignores the fact that his 80-pound dog desperately needs a bath. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio. His debut picture book, Best Day Ever, released June 2nd. Welcome Michael, ME: Tell us a little about yourself. (Where/when do you w

The Picture Book Buzz - Interview with Patricia Hruby Powell

Patricia Hruby Powell was born & raised in Arlington Heights, Illinois, where she played in barns and prairie-covered hills and tadpole-filled creeks created by piles of dirt from the slow construction of neighborhood houses. She currently lives in Champaign-Urbana, IL with her husband, Morgan Powell (a composer and jazz trombonist) and one tree walker hound, Lil. Patricia is the award-winning author of - Struttin' With Some Barbecue: Lil Hardin Armstrong Becomes the First Lady of Jazz (Charlesbridge 2018) winner of SMA Nonfiction for Youth, Loving vs. Virginia (Chronicle 2017), Josephine: the Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker (Chronicle 2014) (Sibert, CSK, Boston Globe Horn Book, Ragazzi In

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