It’s Picture Book Listmania Time! — AKA August 10 for 10 (#pb10for10)...

Aug 10, 2013 by

August 10 for 10 began in 2010 when Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek decided it would be a great idea, and wonderful resource, for people to share their 10 favorite picture books on the 10th of August. Cathy speaks about the history of  how the event started on her blog, and I’m sure there are going to be many, many awesome lists being put together to celebrate. And in that spirit, let me share mine. I have been waiting for an opportunity to talk about  picture books I love, so I might go into somewhat of a fervor; forgive me. I’ve decided to share two lists: one of my favorite picture books that I’ve read so far in 2013 (some are published earlier than that, but I read them only this year), and one of my top 10  picture book creators. To...

read more

More than just a novelty: the art of die-cut picture books...

Jul 1, 2013 by

I think  ‘novelty’  is a rather unfortunate term commonly used to reference certain types of children’s books. I suppose books that use die-cuts or other techniques in their printing process are seen as ‘jazzed up’, and hence have a novelty factor. It still bothers me that just because these books have something more than the regular printed page, they are often times considered slightly better because of their  bells and whistles. It is very similar to how many people equate good apps as those with more animation and interactivity, losing track of the fact that at its core a successful kid’s app is one with a great story. A lot of the time these types of ‘special effects’  distract from, rather than focus on, the essential storytelling aspect. However, when creators have a unique story,...

read more

More picture books: Spring brings kindergartners and other beasts...

Apr 4, 2013 by

The cherry blossoms are in bloom all over Seattle. Daffodils everywhere, tulip bulbs emerging and leaves slowly re-appearing on the trees. There could not be a more fitting time to talk about And Then It’s Spring, an enchanting new picture book written by Julie Fogliani and illustrated by Erin E. Stead. Since I don’t understand the concept of ever borrowing one book at a time from the library, I also got a few others. One amongst them was Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! , written and illustrated by Hyewon Yum. Incidentally, both these books were recently awarded the 2013 Ezra Jack Keats Award for New Writer and New Illustrator , which I spoke about in this recent post.   Let’s start with And Then It’s Spring. Too often picture books and children’s books are littered with horribly bad...

read more

Celebrating “The Book”: The works of Suzy Lee...

Mar 18, 2013 by

I can safely say that one of my favorite picture book creators of all time is Suzy Lee. I own every book she’s made expect for the few that don’t have English editions. I’m hoping that there will eventually be translations, and that I can read them someday. But I’m thrilled that I got my hands on her latest work as illustrator called Open This Little Book. It’s only a few weeks old, and I managed to get one of the new, crisp copies that just arrived at the Seattle Public Library. The concept behind this gem came from the imaginative mind of the author, Jesse Klausmeier. This great little interview with the author/illustrator duo will give you some background on their creative and collaborative process. The result of their combined efforts is the most innovative book...

read more