July 2023

July 1, 2023

 Good News–from East to West 
and everywhere in between!


Happy Book Birthday

by debut Author / Illustrator

Z.B. Asterplume

(Feiwel & Friends)

In a world where imagination and generosity can be as scarce as food in some pantries, here is a reminder for readers of all ages that kindness nourishes all of us.


“Asterplume has a perfect grasp of the give-and-take between pictures and text. …”

“… whimsically rendered (visuals) … 
will delight young readers.”

“There is little food in the pantry at Dario’s house, which means he is often hungry. But Dario also has a very active imagination. He dreams up a tiger in the pantry, who follows him around all day and represents that one’s community can work to bring one nourishment. Other children and animals arrive to support the community, and Dario’s hunger is sated. The beautiful illustrations in SOMETIMES A TIGER are inviting, and they normalize the issue of food scarcity.” 
—Kate Brasch,
Tattered Cover children’s book buyer


Erin Dealey:  What do you hope readers will take away after reading SOMETIMES, A TIGER?

Z.B.Asterplume: I like to leave a lot of room in my stories for readers to get what they want/need out of them. It was my editor that told me I had written a book about food insecurity. I thought I had written a book about optimism: looking at challenges through the most fun lens possible. My two sons and I were struggling to put food on the table at the time, so naturally that made it into the book, but it was not what I thought I was writing about.

I hope readers see that we all have struggles: bakers, grocers, teachers, hungry children, hard-working moms. Imagine if you had a tiger or an octopus to help you though. Seriously, just imaging that makes it better. I promise.

An excerpt with Z.B.’s interview on Erin Dealey’s Book Birthday blog.

The star of this book is Empathy, along with the stunning art by debut creator Z.B. Asterplume.
In a world where hope can be as scarce as food in some pantries, SOMETIMES, A TIGER is a reminder for readers of all ages that generosity nurses us all.

Z.B. Asterplume’s Illustrator Highlight

(week ended Sunday, July 16, 2023)


As of 07.06:



Exclusive Simplified Chinese rights have been renewed by Macmillan Century for Jeanne Walker Harvey’s award winning MAYA LIN, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk (Henry Holt/Macmillan).

  • The Horn Book, starred review
  • A NSTA Best STEM Book
  • A NCSS Notable Social Studies Book
  • An Evanston P.L. Best Book
  • A Texas Topaz List Selection
  • An NCIBA Book Award Nominee 
  • A CCBC Master List Selection
  • A Chicago P.L. Best of the Best
  • An Amazon Best Book

Sanha has licensed Korean rights—the fourth for this title—to Antoinette Portis’s 5-starred NOW (Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan)

Five Starred Reviews
 Kirkus  SLJ  Horn Book
 Booklist  Shelf Awareness

Happy Book Birthday

by Pura Belpré award-winning

Ernesto Cisneros

David Bowles / Translator

(Quill Tree Books/Harper Collins)

Winner of the Pura Belpré Award, now available in both a Spanish paperback edition and a Spanish language audiobook.

The English-language edition of Ernesto’s critically acclaimed debut novel won the Pura Belpré Award; was named a Best Book of the Year by KirkusSLJ, ALA Booklist, NPR Books, the New York Public Library, the Chicago Public Library, and Project Lit; garnered glowing praise (including 4 stars) from trade publications, and earned lots of bookseller and author love:

“We need books to break open our hearts, so that we might feel more deeply, so that we might be more human in these unkind times. This is a book doing work of the spirit in a time of darkness.” 
Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street 

Ernesto’s parents celebrate the emotional unboxing of EFRÉN DIVIDIDO in this video from Instagram.

 “I’m thrilled that both my parents are finally able to hold a copy EFRÉN DIVIDED (in Spanish) and finally feel seen and represented in Literature
(in this case, literally).

I feel like the book belongs more to [my parents] than to myself. They are the ones who left Mexico as teenagers to make a better life for themselves and their children. Any success I have is because of their continuous sacrifice.
They risked everything to come to this country and change the trajectory for all our future generations.”
Ernesto Cisneros


Happy Book Birthday 

Now available in Paperback
and as an Audible Audiobook
(Listening Library)

by award-winning 
Alma Fullerton

Illustrated by Sarah Mensinga 


A MG novel in verse featuring a protagonist struggling with dyslexia, written from the author’s own experience.

“Printed in a typeface formatted for those with reading challenges, Fullerton’s flowing verse adeptly captures what dyslexia is like … This insightful story carries a strong message for teachers, caregivers, and children alike, and Mensinga’s emotive illustrations provide depth throughout.”

Interior illustrations by Sarah Mensinga 

Fifth grade gymnast Claire excels on the mat but struggles in the classroom.  When she needs a learning disability diagnosis, she must find a way to advocate for herself.

“The quick-moving plot comes with a satisfying ending, and the free-verse narrative provides plenty of helpful white space for reluctant readers.


“A positive representation of perseverance.”

“The short poems, liberal use of dialogue, and the focus on gymnastics make this a high interest, quick read that would make an excellent choice for both beginning chapter book readers and reluctant readers.

Photo credit: Chantale Viens
Alma Fullerton couldn’t read until she was in the fourth grade. Today she works with students who have learning disabilities. She is the author of several middle grade and young adult novels that garnered acclaim and awards in her native Canada. Alma is also the author/illustrator of several picture books, including NO MORE PLASTIC (Pajama Press), which received many accolades, including a 2022 Green Earth Book Honor Award.


Happy Book Birthday

(Pajama Press)

The bestselling picture book now in an enhanced edition with four pages of activity prompts and discussion questions

Using rollicking verse with echoes of “Mary had a Little Lamb,” award-winning author Alma Fullerton tells a lively story about communal projects and finding creative solutions that help everyone contribute. This lively story for young readers is graced with Alma’s stunning primitive paper sculpture art—the first book she chose to illustrate herself using this unique style. Don’t miss the soup recipe at the end of the story!

NEW in this edition: four pages of extra back matter on growing food, celebrating communities around the world, creating collage art, and making connections beyond the text. 

“The full-color, mixed-media collages steal the show.”

“The recipe for [COMMUNITY SOUP] involves a bit of ‘Stone Soup,’ a dash of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb,’ and a rural Kenyan setting…there’s much to enjoy in Fullerton’s textured illustrations…”

“A nourishing choice.”

Happy Book Birthday 

by award-winning author

Erin Dealey

Illustrated by Kayla Stark

(Sleeping Bear Press)

A delightful twist on the holiday counting and rhyming book. 

Holiday learning abounds in this adorable book … A counting component supports math skills … a problem with Santa and the reindeer makes things even more interesting. Cheerful, folkloric style artwork lends a happy, family-oriented air. VERDICT A fun, colorful addition to holiday shelves.

Featured backmatter:

Christmas Ahoy Book Trailer – YouTube

Sandra Nickel’s
Erin Dealey’s …

As we go from 1 to 10, each boat outdoes the next with its lights, decorations, and inventiveness.  Even Santa does his best to outshine the others!

ED:  “Once I realized that a picture book about Holiday Boat Parades did NOT exist …  [I discovered] there are holiday boat parades everywhere—not just in northern California.  In SoCal, I found 14 annual events from Santa Barbara to San Diego – as well as lighted boat parades in Washington state, Hawaii, Texas, North & South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and the British Virgin Islands.”

John Schu’s
Erin Dealey: I love the color palette, all the boat details (even in the back matter), and the excitement and humor in Kayla’s illustrations.It’s a counting book + LOTS of boats + holiday adventure for young and old.

Happy Christmas in July!

Next up from Erin Dealey:


Happy Book Birthday

by 3x Tony award-winning actor/producer


Illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Brian Pinkney

(Square Fish/Macmillan)

A show-stopping story about a day in the life of a little diva with big Broadway dreams. 

Now in paperback!

“All young ones who dream of dressing up and performing will find a kindred spirit in Nena. This should play to sold-out audiences.

LaChanze, a star of stage and screen herself, supplies a peek at the life of a Broadway performer in this enticing story … Youngsters, girls in particular, will pore over the pictures and imagine themselves right into the story. Look out America–this book is sure to increase its numbers of D.I.T.s [Divas in Training].

“Imagine a triple billing of Fancy Nancy, Olivia, and Eloise, and you’ll have a sense of the energy, ambition, and sheer (yet still-to-be-fully-honed) talent of Little Diva.”

LaChanze sings the Little Diva song

Three-time Tony winner LaChanze, an award-winning producer (Kimberly Akimbo and Topdog/Underdog) and star of stage, film, and television, won her first Tony Award for best leading actress in The Color Purple. Her numerous credits on Broadway include The WizOnce on this IslandRagtimeCompany, and Dessa Rose.



by Alexandra Alessandri

Illustrated by Anastasiya Kanavaliuk,

(Beaming Books)

From AlexandraWhen I first saw Anastasiya’s cover illustration, I was blown away (no pun intended!). It’s sweet and gentle, and captures the tone of the story so well. I also love Lupita’s tenderness as she holds the baby palomitas in her hands contrasted against the impending storm.

Read more from Las Musas here.



Sizzling Summer NEWS

Here’s to making waves!

Book 1 in the 2-book ROSIE & CHARLIE series written by Lauren H. Kerstein & illustrated by Nate Wragg (Two Lions)


We agree:


Reading Lists: 

2023 Summer Reading List For World Languages (Mundo de Pepita)

*… this book is incredible! Written by the same author as ISABEL AND HER COLORES GO TO SCHOOL, this middle grade book blends Colombian folklore, fantasy and adventure together, a must read!

Summer Reading List: 2023 Young Readers Edition (MAR)



The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Kids Ages 3 – 5

The Best Summery Board Books for Babies and Toddlers



ALONE, by Megan E. Freeman, is also included in the
99 Mighty Girl Books for Tweens’ Summer Reading List



Disability Pride Month!


More Disability Pride!


TENACIOUS: FIFTEEN ADVENTURES ALONGSIDE DISABLED ATHLETES (Lee and Low), by three-time Paralympian and two-time gold medalist Patty Cisneros Prevo, and illustrated by Dion MBD. 

As featured in the Wisconsin Public Radio’s The Morning Show—
How a storied Paralympian became a children’s book author

Illustration by Dion MBD

in Madison Magazine—
Paralympian elevates the voices of fellow athletes in new children’s book

in The Cap Times—
Stoughton Paralympics champ wants book on disabled athletes to ‘win’

Illustration by Dion MBD

and in the School Library Journal—
8 New Picture Books With Disability Representation:

““Because of my experiences with the disabled community and my Paralympic experiences,” says Prevo. “I knew so many incredible disabled individuals who could…”



July Programs & Events

Horse Tales: Galloping into Children’s Books

Horse Tales: Galloping into Children’s Books | Carle Museum 


















Overheard on TWITTER





We are thrilled and thankful to represent such amazing talent.

Artwork by Danielle Arbour


Thanks for following us on Twitter.
Tweet your good news our way and we’ll retweet.
@EastWestLit .