Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems

janeczko_firefly july2

Before we start chatting about specific 2014 picture books, take a moment to read the Caldecott criteria. They’re posted over there on the right, but I will help you find the important parts. Here they are, in part: In identifying a “distinguished American picture book for children,” defined as illustration, committee members need to consider: […]

#we need diverse (picture) books

little melba

Of course we do. Last year’s amazing crop of picture books included those illustrated by artists of color such as Yuyi Morales, Brian Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney, Angela Dominguez, Bryan Collier, Don Tate, and Kadir Nelson. This year we will see picture books illustrated by Christian Robinson (two of ‘em), Yuyi Morales, Raul Colon, Duncan Tonatiuh, Jason Chin, Susan […]

Does one size fit all?

illus. by André da Loba from the New York Times

Leonard Marcus gave a swell talk about Robert McCloskey last night, but what’s really sticking with me is a response he gave to a question at the end about ebooks. Size matters, he essentially said, when it comes to picture books and other books for young children. Of course, we all know this, but I […]

Review of Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

uegaki_hana hashimoto, sixth violin

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki; illus. by Qin Leng Primary    Kids Can    32 pp. 8/14    978-1-894786-33-1    $16.95 Despite her brothers’ teasing, little Hana plans to play her violin at the talent show. True, she’s only a beginner, but Hana is a stalwart and determined young lady, practicing every day and performing for any […]

Now you know what we think

Bookshop for Boys and Girls

So, now you know where the three of us are in September. I wonder where we will be in January? Now that Lolly, Martha, and I know one another’s favorites, we will put our schedule together and start yapping about books soon. Go through our three lists here, here and here if you want a hint […]

Early days yet

farmer and clown

Hello! Welcome back to all you Calling Caldecott devotees — and welcome to those here for the first time this fall. This is the final post of a week in which Robin, Lolly, and I are making preliminary lists of the picture books eligible for Caldecott recognition that have, early in the process, struck a chord with each of us. Perhaps a book looks like […]

Reviews of selected books by Marla Frazee

frazee_roller coaster

Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Harcourt     32 pp. 5/03     0-15-204554-6     $16.00 Once a roller coaster is all loaded up, and the operator releases the brake to start the cars slowly chugging up the first hill, that’s that. “Now it is too late for anyone to change their mind,” Frazee […]

Taking stock

Josephine and Viva Frida

Now it’s my turn, and I find myself not quite as ready as I’d like to be. My job here involves looking at every picture book we review in search of the perfect art with which to illustrate the review. This means I have leafed through lots of books but only spent quality time with the […]

Review of Draw!

colon_draw

Draw! by Raúl Colón; illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    40 pp. 9/14    978-1-4424-9492-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-9493-0    $10.99 A young artist, inspired by his books about African animals, is transported to an imaginary safari in this dreamy wordless book. Armed only with his pencil, sketch pad, and easel, this budding Leonardo finds his models […]

Picture book sequels you’ve been waiting for

becker_quest

Young children often latch on to particular characters or stories they love, so it’s little surprise that we see many familiar faces return in new picture book adventures. Here are four entertaining sequels sure to delight fans. Quest — the second in Aaron Becker’s planned wordless trilogy — opens in the present-day city where we […]