Archive for January, 2020

A Story About Afiya

h1 Thursday, January 30th, 2020

“Always Afiya is amazed, just like when she comes home and finds herself covered
with windswept leaves of October, falling.”

Today, I’ve got a peek at a book coming to shelves in April from Lantana Publishing — A Story about Afiya, originally a poem written for young people in 1991 by the late Coretta Scott King Award-winning Jamaican poet James Berry and now in picture book form with art from Brazilian illustrator Anna Cunha.

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The 2020 Outstanding International Books list

h1 Tuesday, January 28th, 2020


Yesterday was a big day with the announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards. You can read the winners here.

Be sure to take a look at the 2020 Outstanding International Books list from the United States Board on Books for Young People, which you can find here. I look forward to this list every year, and they have made some great choices. (Pictured above is Krystia Basil’s A Sky Without Lines, illustrated by Laura Borràs and which I actually reviewed last year for the Horn Book.)

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #675:
Featuring a Picture Book Stack

h1 Sunday, January 26th, 2020

I’ve a feature over at BookPage that includes some new picture book selections for Black History Month, which is just around the bend. These are also books to be read and shared all year, ones that pay tribute to the lives of African Americans who have contributed to the arts, sciences, and the written word.

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Hannah Salyer’s Packs

h1 Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Today, author-illustrator Hannah Salyer visits to share some preliminary images and final art from her debut picture book, Packs: Strength in Numbers, published this month by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (See how I hyperlinked her name to her website, by the way? It will improve your day significantly to go check out the art there at her beautiful site.)

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Blankets of Blossoms Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

“Some friends are more than friends. They grow like twin cherries from the same stem. Just like Dina and Adin, who knew what the other one was thinking,
even without talking.”

(Click to enlarge illustration)

Want to read about a picture book import this morning? Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes (Floris) is from Belgian author Jef Aerts and is illustrated by Dutch artist Sanne te Loo. Originally published in Dutch in 2017, it’s on shelves here in the U.S. this month.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #674: Featuring Beth Waters

h1 Sunday, January 19th, 2020

It may be 2020, but here’s one more 2019 picture book, this one released back in September — Beth Waters’s Child of St Kilda (Child’s Play). This is the detailed, 64-page story of a “lost way of life,” a book that took Waters over two years of research and was nominated for the 2020 Kate Greenaway Medal.

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Welcoming Elijah

h1 Thursday, January 16th, 2020

“Inside, the boy heard the tale of the Israelites leaving Egypt.
Outside, the kitten heard leaves whispering in the trees.
Still the boy waited. Still the kitten waited.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Today, illustrator Susan Gal visits to share some work-in-process images and final art from her illustrations for Lesléa Newman’s Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail, coming to shelves from Charlesbridge at the end of this month.

It’s the first night of Passover, and a family welcomes their friends and family to a Seder. From inside the house, a young boy spots a kitten outdoors. A compassionate story unfolds, one of the traditions of a Jewish holiday, happening indoors, and a small stray kitten, doing his best to survive outside. How the boy and the kitten meet — and how the kitten finds a home and a name — is the heart of this story. Appended are an author’s note, providing more information about Passover, and a list of some traditional rituals of a Seder. Read the rest of this entry �

Nithya Sivashankar’s 2020 CaldeNott titles

h1 Tuesday, January 14th, 2020


I’m sending you today to the Horn Book’s website — specifically to Calling Caldecott, a blog I help run. Over there, Nithya Sivashankar visits to write about international picture books; what books she would choose as her favorite 2019 “CaldeNott” choices (that term was coined by Thom Barthelmess); and citizenship status, access, power and how they all relate to picture books and the Caldecott Award.

I love to see international picture books and really enjoyed Nithya’s piece. (Pictured above is a book she mentions in that post.)

Her thoughts are here.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #673:
Featuring a Blizzard of Picture Books

h1 Sunday, January 12th, 2020

Know one reason I appreciate the picture books in this BookPage picture book round-up I wrote? They are books about snow, and at this point, snow is something I can only dream of here in Tennessee. (It’s a record-breaking 70 degrees outside as I type.) Okay, we did have some flurries before the holidays. Just a bit. For that, I’m grateful. I hope we see some more.

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A Girl Like Me

h1 Thursday, January 9th, 2020

“I swam on by the people onshore hollering,
‘A girl like you needs to be stay out of the water
and be dry, like everyone else.'”

(Click spread to enlarge)

A collaboration I like to see is this one — author Angela Johnson and illustrator Nina Crews. Their new book is called A Girl Like Me and is coming to shelves early next month (Millbrook Press).

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