Junior Library Guild has selected Pura Belpré-winning author Ernesto Cisneros’s FALLING SHORT as a gold standard title.
Ithaki Publishing has licensed Turkish rights to award-winning Antoinette Portis’s A SEED GROWS.
Happy Book Birthday
Back matter includes creators’ notes, photographs, and a timeline of Alma’s life alongside events in the U.S.
in Children’s Painting Books
THREE STARRED REVIEWS!
Meet an incredible woman who broke down barriers throughout her whole life and is now known as one of the most preeminent painters of the 20th century.
Trailer link above
“This charming biography’s title describes not only Alma Thomas’ signature paintings but the book’s radiant artwork, which emphasizes how the colors of the natural world inspired her unusual, iconic works. Neatly encapsulating a long life that saw social and personal upheaval, as well as gorgeously showcasing the art produced along the way and the natural world that inspired it, this title is a must for art and biography shelves.“
“Harvey rectifies an enormous wrong with this spirited biography of Black painter Alma Thomas (1891-1978), who is not nearly as renowned as she ought to be. An inspiring introduction for artists and appreciators…”
This superb picture-book biography profiles Alma Thomas (1891–1978), the first Black woman to have art displayed in the White House’s permanent collection. Harvey’s (Maya Lin, rev. 7/17) poetic text is imagistic and deftly paced; Wise’s (The People Remember, rev. 11/21) digital artwork is boldly, fittingly colorful.
“Harvey employs a poetic voice, rich with alliteration and rhythm … Wise’s fluid digital art employs vivid strokes, patterns, colors, and reproductions that pay winning homage to Thomas in this comprehensive biography of a celebrated, trailblazing 20th-century painter…”
“That “Alma did not live to see the momentous day—when the first Black president and First Lady chose Alma’s painting asthe first artwork by a Black woman to be displayed in the White House” closes her story with a single bittersweet episode in a tour de force career.”
“I hope our book inspires children to seek joy on their own creative paths and overcome their own challenges.”
“Check out these fun activities which you can download on my website at https://www.jeanneharvey.com/projects. Not only is there a terrific comprehensive Guide for Educators, Librarians and Parents, there’s also an Alma Thomas Activity Kit with a Create Your Own Collage and a Colorful Paper Puzzle. And I’d love for anyone to share what they create and I can post it on my website. Or send me a photo of any of your pets working along with you. My cat adores stretching out on these project pages when I’m creating.”
“Working with Megan Ilnitzki, my editor at HarperCollins, was a dream. She edits with finesse, grace and talent. I explain to students that receiving editing notes from an editor is like getting feedback from a teacher on a paper or story. I tell children that the teacher’s suggestions are like keys that can unlock treasure chests because the comments provide ways to make the writing even better. Let’s hear it for editors and teachers! I’m also grateful for the team at Harper Collins: Chelsea C. Donaldson – art director, Caitlin Stamper – designer, Shona McCarthy – copy editor, Aubrey Churchward – publicist.“
“Loveis Wise’s illustrations surpass anything I envisioned when I wrote this book. They are STUNNING! Loveis’ illustrations are artworks displaying creativity, vibrancy, power and poignancy. Their illustrations not only embody Alma Thomas’ joy and passion for beauty, but also create a sense of time, place and experience which is integral to sharing Alma’s story. I love the way Loveis’ illustrations burst forth with color and power when the seventy-year-old Alma is inspired to paint in her new style.”
Jeanne Walker Harvey has been a longtime docent at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Just like Alma Thomas, Jeanne believes that art brings us joy. ABLAZE WITH COLOR is her third picture book biography after MY HANDS SING THE BLUES: ROMARE BEAREN’S CHILDHOOD JOURNEY, and MAYA LIN. Stay tuned for her next book this fall, DRESSING UP THE STARS: THE STORY OF MOVIE COSTUME DESIGNER EDITH HEAD (Beach Lane Books).
Mehrdokht Amini’s gorgeous and vibrant illustrations bring a wonderful sense of drama to Irene Latham’s lyrical and rhythmic read-aloud text. Together they tell the story of two brave snails who, with the help of a small miracle, embark on the journey of a lifetime in this timeless and classic tale of friendship and perseverance.
“(A) Noah’s Ark story of perseverance and friendship. . . Amini’s hand-drawn and digitally layered acrylic-gouache collages convey the rushed forward-movement of the creatures and the progressively darkening skies. The interior of the ark and the animals’ faces are full of warmth and golden tones contrasting with the cool and tumultuous storm that rages outside… a refreshing new angle on a familiar tale.”
“A sweet retelling of the story of Noah’s
ark, from the snail’s perspective… Dramatic illustrations of the billowing skies and storm and then serene waters about to recede will seed some exciting story hour discussions… This tale has a lot to offer for little-snail-that-could devotees… [and] works for children of any faith.”
Joys, troubles, and journeys
are best shared.
“…the previous collaborators (DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD) conjure a snail’s-eye view … written in Latham’s rhythmic prose and rendered with visual urgency via Amini’s digitally enhanced acrylic-gouache collages … the creators capture the many emotions of seeing a big event through small eyes.”
Also Available from the Collaborators,
including Charles Waters:
Mehrdokht Amini is an Iranian British children’s book illustrator living in London. She has a degree in graphic design from Tehran University, where she worked for children’s magazines and books while still a student. In 2016, CHICKEN IN THE KITCHEN won Best Book at the Children’s Africana Book Awards, was put on the White Ravens Honour List, and was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal. GOLDEN DOMES AND SILVER LANTERNS (written by Hena Khan) was selected for the ALSC Notable Children’s Books list. Stay tuned for the upcoming book in the trilogy, ONE SUN AND COUNTLESS STARS: A MUSLIM BOOK OF NUMBERS.
“As someone from LA, I thought I knew all about Walt Disney. This biography introduces young readers, like my son, to unknown fun facts about Walt’s life and legacy. Disney fans will love this book.”
—Karen Ehrhardt, children’s book author and former children’s librarian
Happy Paperback Release
LIST OF TEN
(Union Square Kids)
It’s Kind of a Funny Story meets Turtles All the Way Down in this harrowing yet hopeful account of a teen living with Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder while contemplating his own mortality.
A 2023 Oklahoma Library Association High School Sequoyah Masterlist title
A 2022 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nominee
2021 NC Young People’s Literature Award
Halli Gomez‘s neurodivergent debut YA novel LIST OF TEN is the winner of the 2021 American Association of University Women North Carolina Young People’s Literature Award. Click image above to hear Halli’s acceptance.
“I hoped people with similar issues would connect and feel seen. I hoped it would bring a greater understanding of misunderstood neurodivergent individuals. What I didn’t expect was an even greater audience. I’ve heard from people who see books like List of Ten as a way to connect with their own children and family members, and others who are sharing it to promote inclusion and respect, and even others who have found themselves questioning their own behavior toward neurodivergent individuals.” —Halli Gomez
Halli Gomez, who was diagnosed with these neurological disorders at the age of eight, teaches martial arts and writes for children and young adults. She has written several stories with neurodivergent characters including her #LivedExperience debut YA, LIST OF TEN.
Our February Illustrator Highlight
features images by
Luciana Navarro Powell (see below), Kirk Reedstrom, Gela Kalaitzidis, Linh My Nguyen, Lisa Johnston Hancock,
Heather Brockman Lee, Ruth E. Harper, Z. B. Asterplume, Shiho Pate, Kelly Crull, John Ledda,
Nora Hilb, Chad Hunter, and Thomas Gonzalez.
Megan Hoyt’s debut JLG PB bio, BARTALI’S BICYCLE (Quill Tree Books; illustrated by Iacopo Bruno)—a 2022-23 Texas Bluebonnet nominee, a NYPL Best Book of 2021 and a finalist for the 2021 National Jewish Book Awards (among other accolades)—is a #CYBILS2021 winner!
Further to PB bios: thank you, Books of Wonder, for hosting both Jeanne Walker Harvey and Dow Phumiruk and boosting their books this month!
Specific to HER NAME WAS MARY KATHARINE …
… don’t miss Margie Myers-Culver’s Librarian’s Quest blog mention:
“…Think of people representative of the word courage [and] Mary Katharine Goddard will come to your mind. You will want to place this book in the who-knew-but-grateful-to-know-now category of titles to be read and shared widely.”
We’ve ALWAYS known that Dow is “notable!”
Helaine Becker’s AN EQUAL SHOT, a nonfiction picture book introduction to the history and importance of Title IX as civil rights legislature, featuring illustrations by Dow Phumiruk—included in the 2022 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List and a 2021 Mighty Girl Book of the Year—was chosen as a 2022 Notable Social Studies Trade Book.
And it was not “alone.”
CONGRATS, Megan E. Freeman, on ALL of ALONE’s accolades and honors this year!
Check out what Meg Medina’s looking forward to reading!
“Medina says she is looking forward to this release, which will hit shelves on March 15, 2022. It centers around sixth graders Isaac and Marco, who already know this academic year is going to be a tough one. How will it change their lives at home, though? They need to team up to find out.”
Readers at the younger end of the grade range will enjoy searching the images for the items shown beneath each photo and learning how to make their own art from trash, while a section of more advanced activities, such as keeping a field journal, might appeal more to older students. An excellent work on an unusual topic and a must for school and library shelves. —Booklist
We’re seeing stars!
Marino’s gorgeous artwork is on full display in this sweet book narrated by a baby emperor penguin still inside its shell for the majority of the story. Papa Penguin keeps the egg warm and safe between his belly and his toes, while Mama Penguin goes off to hunt for food. Papa and Baby await Mama’s return as cold winds blow. Marino’s expressive penguin faces and Antarctic landscapes in blue, pink, orange, yellow, and white pair perfectly with the brief, well-balanced prose, making this perfect for repeated readings, one-on-one and during story time. Back matter includes further information.
VERDICT A first purchase for all libraries. –SLJ
Speaking of NYT-bestselling creator Gianna Marino—
save the Date!
East/Westers—be sure to RSVP for our “3rd Saturday”
March 19th ZOOMtacular…
Where’s East West?
We spy Sibert Honoree Patricia Newman.
We spy NYT-bestselling author Stacia Deutsch.
Pura Belpré Winner, Ernesto Cisneros
North Texas Teen Book Festival (virtual) 3/4/22