January 2022

January 31, 2022

“Leaping into Year of the Tiger—may 2022 bring us all growth and great joy!”

Luciana Navarro Powell



Happy Book Birthday(s)

to two AH-dorable board book odes to the day and night about waking up (and staying up), and the daily routines we establish with the ones we love

by award-winning & NYT Bestselling

Antoinette Portis


(Clarion Books)

Chinese language rights in simplified characters licensed to 
Ginkgo (Shanghai) Book CoRights

in Baby & Toddler Time Books

An exuberant way to celebrate each new day: say, I’m up!

Perfect for babies and their loved ones, I’m Up! is an ode to a new day, and a celebration of everything and everyone that gets up each morning.



(Clarion Books)

Chinese language rights in simplified characters licensed to 
Ginkgo (Shanghai) Book CoRights

A soothing and humorous bedtime story with a baby who is still up! 

Perfect for babies and their loved ones, I’m Still Up! is a joyful story about the age-old struggle of bed time, and a soothing reminder that when Mommy and Daddy, the cat and the dog and even the sun are sleepy, baby might be, too.

The sun is DOWN but the moon is UP, and so is the baby! They are not sleepy…not at all.

By repeating shapes, words, and language, I’M UP! and I’M STILL UP! will help your baby learn new words and routines.

Sweet, humorous, and adorable, Antoinette Portis‘s illustrations and simple text are perfect for fans of the Sheep in a Jeep and Llama Llama series, and Leslie Patricelli’s board books.

Kate O’Sullivan, Senior Executive Editor, Clarion (L), Deborah Warren, and Antoinette Portis (R)

Antoinette Portis is the creator of many inventive books for children, including NOT A BOX, a NYT Best Illustrated Book and a Geisel Honor Book and the Sibert Honor book HEY WATER!, which received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and SLJ. Other titles include A NEW GREEN DAY which was a JLG selection and a PW Best Book of the Year, as well as the ALA Notable Books WAIT and NOW. A recipient of the Prestigious Sendak Fellowship, she lives in Southern California.

Next up: 
, a nonfiction picture book marking Antoinette’s eighth collaboration with Neal Porter.




by Kimberly & James Dean
(Harper Collins) 


as of 1.2.22

Marking East/West’s

277th week




as of 1/15



10 Sweet Valentine’s Books for Kids to Help Spread Love This Year

10 Sweet Valentine’s Books for Kids to Help Spread Love This Year (bookriot.com)

Image by Linh My Nguyen.

Image by Lisa Johnston Hancock.

Happy Book Birthday


The Only Woman Whose Name Is on the Declaration of Independence

by Ella Schwartz

and Award-winning Illustrator
Dow Phumiruk

—her 4th book with Christy-OH!


As a businesswoman and a newspaper publisher, Goddard paved the way for influential Revolutionary media. Her remarkable accomplishments as a woman defied societal norms and set the stage for a free and open press. When the Continental Congress decreed that the Declaration of Independence be widely distributed, one person rose to the occasion and printed the document—boldly inserting her name at the bottom with a printing credit: Mary Katharine Goddard.


The story of the printer, postmaster, and patriot whose choices played a significant role in American history….Accessible and engaging.…A solid resource for examining historical perspectives and concepts of inclusion, exclusion, justice, and fairness.”

Here is an important biography of a groundbreaking woman who had the courage to write herself into the history she helped create.

Read about Dow’s process (and how she created images of Mary Katharine Goddard when there were NO photos!) in this Book Birthday Blog via Erin Dealey. 

Christy Ottaviano (L), Deborah Warren, and Dow Phumiruk (R)

Interview with Mr. Schu (excerpted):

ES:  Dow Phumiruk’s illustrations are bold and breathtaking. I literally gasped the first time I saw them.

DP:  Ella Schwartz’s manuscript intrigued and captivated me by sharing a piece of United States history not represented in our school textbooks. I am grateful for talented authors like Ella. Her meticulous research shines a light on Mary Katharine’s life and accomplishments. I am also grateful for our editor Christy Ottaviano (Christy Ottaviano Books), who champions so many stories of influential and brave women like Mary Katharine. What an honor to be part of this team!

Betsy Bird’s 31 Days, 31 Lists:
2021 American History Titles for Kids

“I’m a sucker for a good story no one’s told before and this one is a doozy.”

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2021 American History Titles for Kids – A Fuse #8 Production (slj.com)

For each of the five titles that launch the imprint, please tell me what first drew you to the individual project and, in your mind, what makes each book exceptional.
CO: Upon reading the manuscript I was struck by the question—why didn’t I know about this incredible woman? Ella Schwartz gives voice to this hidden figure story of a courageous woman putting her life on the line for her country—a fearless patriot, and so much more. Dow Phumiruk is especially talented at capturing both emotion and historical accuracy in her compositions. I thought of her immediately upon reading the manuscript as the perfect artist for this project.

Inspired Publishing: Close-up on Christy Ottaviano Books (publishersweekly.com)



Dow Phumiruk is the award-winning illustrator of COUNTING ON KATHERINE, which won the Bank Street College of Education Cook Prize and was named an NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book as well as an NCTM Mathical Honor Book, among many other honors; AN EQUAL SHOT, and MAYA LIN, which was an Amazon Best Book of the Year and an NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People.

Next up:


Happy Book Birthday 


A Celebration of the Enduring Power of Love

by Karen Kilpatrick

Illustrated by Germán Blanco

(Genius Cat Books)

How do you let your child know they are loved?
With a SMOOCH!

Big or small, near or far…
…smooches stay right through it all.

This reassuring picture book highlights the permanence of love through lyrical rhyme and kid-friendly art. Humorous, heartwarming, and relatable, SMOOCH! will delight both kids and parents alike with its timeless message about the enduring power of love.


Creative team Karen Kilpatrick and Germán Blanco work together to successfully build children’s brands through storytelling – from the WHEN PENCIL MET ERASER series to plush toy brand, MeBears, launched through Russ. Kilpatrick is a mom of three, runs a nonprofit called Authors4Education, and is the Marketing Chair on the board of directors for Women in Toys.  Blanco is a graphic designer, a former Creative Director for a global toy company, and a member of the board of directors for Authors4Education.

Next up:
the third in the PB trilogy launched by WHEN PENCIL MET ERASER (Holt; Macmillan):


Happy Book Birthday(s)


An Anna Dewdney Book

in Children’s Water Sports Books

Based on the Llama Llama
animated series on Netflix!

Additional Llama Llama
Little Golden Books:




in Early Learning Beginner Readers

(Random House BYR)

Based on an episode of Llama Llama’s animated Netflix television series, perfect for celebrating Valentine’s Day!

Additional Llama Llama early readers:


Up next:

by Anna Dewdney
& Judy Schachner 

(Viking Books)

The bestselling creators of Llama Llama and Skippyjon Jones team up to bring warmth and humor to a story with a comforting message we could all use when times are tough:
everything will be OK.

Featured in 

The Most Exciting Picture Books Coming in 2022

“Little Rabbit is having a bad day, but a friend reminds him that while things may not always go his way, it will be okay in the end. Gentle rhymes and the comforting storyline give this book a cozy tone, making it a perfect read-aloud while snuggling with a loved one.”

From the dedication page.

Happy Book Birthday

to the Italian edition of 
Megan Hoyt‘s


illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

(Quill Tree Books/Harper Collins)


Happy Book Birthday

to the Chinese Complex edition of 
Ana Crespo‘s and Dow Phumiruk‘s


(Babel Publishing Group)


Babel Publishing has licensed Complex Chinese (Taiwan) to Gianna Marino’s upcoming PB, WAITING FOR MAMA (Viking BFYR; March).

FLYING OVER WATER by Shannon Hitchcock & N. H. Senzai has been selected by Scholastic Education for their streaming eBook program for classrooms, Literacy Pro.

Lauren Kerstein’s ROSIE THE DRAGON AND CHARLIE MAKE WAVES is now a featured title through Amazon Kids+.



A Mighty Girl’s 2021 Books of the Year | A Mighty Girl

Our January Illustrator Highlight

features images by

Nora Hilb, Linh My Nguyen, John Ledda, Dow Phumiruk, Lisa Johnston Hancock, Shiho Pate, and Gela Kalitzidis

See full Highlight here.





Happy Book Year!

Click image above to watch video.

… already full of GOOD NEWS


Halli Gomez‘s neurodivergent debut YA novel LIST OF TEN (Union Square Kids) wins the 2021 American Association of University Women North Carolina Young People’s Literature Award. 

Click image above to hear Halli’s acceptance. 

 Stay tuned for the paperback next month!

Alexandra Alessandri’s ISABEL AND HER COLORES GO TO SCHOOL (Sleeping Bear Press), is a Bookstagang Best Read Aloud Picture Book of 2021. 


Stay tuned for Alexandra’s debut MG, soon!


Award-winning Ana Crespo’s LIA & LUIS: WHO HAS MORE? 
is a PBS Favorite Book of 2021.
111 of Our Favorite Kids Books in 2021 | PBS SoCal

Stay tuned for LIA & LUÍS: PUZZLED!


Thanks for the love!
Colby Sharp named Megan E. Freeman‘s debut MG NIV ALONE (Aladdin/S & S)
his #1 favorite MG novel of the year on The Yarn.
The YARN’s Year in Review


Freeman’s ALONE, a 2022 NCTE Notable included on the @TXLA 2022 Lone Star Reading List and nominated as a Best Book of 2021 by Goodreads, has been selected for a 2021 Nerdy Book Award as well.
Look for the paperback edition soon!

Megan Hoyt’s debut PB bio, BARTALI’S BICYCLE (Quill Tree Books; illustrated by Iacopo Bruno) –a 2022-23 Texas Bluebonnet nominee and a NYPL Best Bookof 2001 — is a finalist for both the 2021 National Jewish Book Awards and the #CYBILS2021.


Speaking of nonfiction gems…



Another CONGRATS to BARTALI’S BICYLE and Shiho Pate’s ANIMATED SCIENCE PERIODIC TABLE (Scholastic), both of which are MASL 2022-2023 Readers Award Final Nominees in the non-fiction category. 

Stay tuned for the companion title:


In addition to Dow Phumiruk’s HER NAME WAS MARY KATHARINE [2021 American History Titles for Kids], Shannon Hitchcock’s SHE SANG FOR THE MOUNTAINS [2021 Unique Biographies for Kids]…

…and Bob McKinnon’s THE THREE LITTLE ENGINES [an “anti-pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootraps book we’ve looked for” / 2021 Books with a Message] all got some love from Betsy Bird.
31 Days, 31 Lists: 2021 Books With a Message – A Fuse #8 Production (slj.com)


KUDOS to award-winning author/illustrator Alma Fullerton’s NO MORE PLASTIC – “among the best of the recent books about ocean plastic” (Kirkus; starred)—nominated by the Ontario Library Association.
Blue Spruce Nominees – Forest of Reading

Stay tuned for Alma’s MG upcoming from Peachtree:



As to (selected) February titles, look for:



Jeanne Walker Harvey



Mehrdokht Amini


“As the sky darkens and the air swirls, the previous collaborators (Dictionary for a Better World) conjure a snail’s-eye view of the desperate in-gathering, written in Latham’s rhythmic prose and rendered with visual urgency via Amini’s digitally enhanced acrylic-gouache collages. . . A sweet biblical retelling with deep resonance, the creators capture the many emotions of seeing a big event through small eyes.”

Next Up:


And upcoming in March:

(Quill Tree Books/HC, March 2022)

Complete entry form for a chance at the Harper Collins Giveaway


Andy Myer


“A humorous, wonderfully illustrated tale of animal hijinks.”



Where’s East West?

at our 2nd Saturday New Year’s CHEER ZOOMtacular…

Check it out!



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