Fun fact: Before becoming a picture book, HOW TO READ A BOOK began as a poem commissioned by the international literary organization LitWorld, for its annual World Read Aloud Day. Instead, it found a home on a poster promoting the ALA’s National Library Week.
Find a tree—a black tupelo or dawn redwood will do—and plant yourself.
(It’s okay if you prefer a stoop,
like Langston Hughes.)
With these words, an adventure begins. Kwame Alexander’s evocative poetry and Melissa Sweet’s lush artwork come together to take readers on a sensory journey between the pages of a book.
Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2019
(3-5 years old)
“The first time that I met Rosie the dragon and Charlie on the manuscript’s pages, I found myself immediately smitten with their loyal and fun-loving personalities. And when the art came in, I was even more in love.”
“Rosie, a rotund, bright-pink dragon, has all the characteristics of your favorite pet—she’s a little shy at first but eager to please and completely silly, with just a touch of rebellion. Charlie, on the other hand, takes his job as Rosie’s owner and best friend very seriously, and he’s always there for Rosie with a reassuring word or a big hug.”
“It’s not easy teaching a dragon how to swim! But Charlie never gives up on his best pal, Rosie…even if she does cause a few calamities along the way. From ice pops by the pool to cannonballs under the blazing-hot summer sun, this lively romp exudes all the best things that summertime fun has to offer. I hope you’ll enjoy taking a splash with this adorable duo!”
— Marilyn Brigham, Editor
“…young dragon lovers and fans of mischief will revel in this silly romp.” —KIRKUS
“Kerstein’s playful story about friendship, patience, and responsibility for a pet is nicely matched by Wragg’s bold, colorful illustrations, rendered in blocky shapes and a vivid color palette. New pet owners are the natural choice for this one, but kids with younger siblings might appreciate it, too.” —BOOKLIST
Lauren H. Kerstein is an author and psychotherapist. She is a Jersey girl at heart who, as a child, loved underwater handstands and slurping cherry Italian ice at the pool.
Lauren currently lives in Colorado with her husband, Josh; their dragons…er, daughters, Sarah and Danielle; and Hudson, the dog.
Stay tuned for the companion volume,
ROSIE THE DRAGON AND CHARLIE
SAY GOOD NIGHT soon!
Speaking of Dragons…
ADVENTURES WITH DRAGONS
by Joshua Pruett and James Diaz
For HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON fans, a special Dreamworks pop-up book that covers the whole trilogy.
Joshua Pruett is a Primetime Emmy and Annie Award–nominated TV writer, author, and storyboard artist best known for his work on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Phineas and Ferb, Disney XD’s Milo Murphy’s Law, and his debut MG (with Scott Peterson), SHIPWRECKERS …
Recently reviewed by SLJ : “an action-packed ride … recommended.”
We agree: “They say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ but in this case,
it is appropriate to judge this middle grade adventure by its absurd and diverting title.”
“There’s a concept called symbolic annihilation in psychology & sociology, which is the idea that if you don’t see yourself represented or reflected in society or in media (television, movies, #books), you essentially don’t exist…that’s why it’s so important to have L.G.B.T. representations in children’s books.” Dr. Gayle E. Pitman Ph.D Excerpt from June 26th NYT article.
Spring Picture Books On The Radar
“Hey, I wrote about Hey, Water! for the Horn Book, and that review is here. Antoinette Portis brings readers another playful and informative picture book with crisp, unfussy illustrations. This one is about about a young girl named Zoe, who considers the role of water inside and outside of her home.” –Julie Danielson
“…Hey, Water! by Antoinette Portis is one of those extraordinary books. Appealing to older and younger readers alike, Portis has outdone herself with the book’s design and art. A book for everybody…a book that has had care and time poured into its pages exudes that love when you read it.
Portis’s perspective manages to slowly pull in, so that you go from lake to pool to puddle to dewdrop to tear. None of these choices are happenstance.
…this book is supremely smart.
Hey, Portis! You made a really good book.”
UNDER THE BROKEN SKY,a beautifully told MG novel-in-verse about a Japanese orphan’s experience in occupied rural Manchuria during World War II, by Mariko Nagai–coming in October.
(Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt, Macmillan)
Q: What do you hope kids take away from the story?
Gianna: I think siblings are always comparing themselves to one another and trying to be as good or smart or tall as their sibling. They often compete for the attention of parents and friends. But really, all of us need to discover who we are and what OUR strengths, passions and interests are. And with siblings, because we are always with them, it is more intense than friendships.
I hope this story inspires children to see the beauty in their siblings, but also in themselves. And know that, in the end, siblings always look out for each other.
DON’T LET THEM DISAPPEAR (Marino / Clinton / Philomel)
is one of Amazon’s 20 Best Children’s Books of 2019 (so far)
Marino is featured in the July/August Sonoma Magazine
LOOK WHAT I SEE Illus. by Ron Barrett, (Little Simon /Judi Barrett)review from PW, May 27th issue:
“This board book from the creators of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs shows the world from a dog’s-eye view…Each spread shows two perspectives—the left-hand pages examines the dog in the world … On the facing pages, the images give readers the hound’s view…Absurd details, such as a toupee flying off a stately dog portrait, add silly fun to this welcome encouragement to look at life from new, unconventional perspectives.”
ONE TRUE WAY by Shannon Hitchcock (Scholastic) Read an excerpt HERE.
A heartening story of two girls who discover their friendship is something more. But how, among their backward town, will Sam and Allie face what they know is true about themselves?
The paperback version of ONE TRUE WAY was released just in time for Pride Month.
SEWING THE RAINBOW by Gayle E. Pitman
(Magination Press / Illus. Holly Clifton-Brown) Children’s and Teen Choice Honoree!
THE STONEWALL RIOTS by Gayle E. Pitman
Shelf Awareness–Starred review: STONEWALL RIOTS is…”An important look at a major moment in American history. Readers will come to understand why the iconic Stonewall Inn is now on the National Register of Historic Places, a National Historic Landmark, and a National Monument.” SLJ
Sweet Tweet, Michael Portis! (PINKY GOT OUT!
Illus. Lori Richmond/ Crown BFYR)
This June marks a year since the amazing rescue of the Thai soccer team.
TITAN AND THE WILD BOARS (with Illus. by Dow Phumiruk /
Hood & Sornhiran / Harper Collins) is featured on Librarian’s Quest:
“This factual narrative reads like an action-packed thriller regardless of the facts we know about the outcome.
With each illustration…Dow Phumiruk brings us deeply into the emotional moments of this story. We sense the urgency of the rescuers’ endeavors and the stress faced by the boys and their coach. She shifts perspective to accentuate each portion of the story. Every element is placed in her illustrations with intention.
You will find yourself moved to tears more than once at the bravery and teamwork exhibited by these humans.”
“Phumiruk’s digitally enhanced pencil, charcoal, and ink sketches bring this region, the boys, and the rescue efforts into sharp focus. She employs a variety of presentation styles: full-page spreads; composites featuring smaller, captioned scenes; close-ups; and collaged pages containing letters between the boys and their parents. Interspersed with short poems and quotations (some from the Buddha) and appended with further information, this inspiring celebration of teamwork will be popular.” BOOKLIST
HURRAY FOR HOLLYWOOD!
FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD by Mark A. Vieira (Running Press)
“Impressively informative, absorbing, detailed, and definitive portrait of an unforgettable era in American filmmaking, FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD is an inherently fascinating, page-turner of a read that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to both community and academic American Film History collections and supplemental curriculum studies rosters.”
– Midwest Book Review, Reviewer’s Bookwatch
Deborah Warren and Neal Porter at the Holiday House Party, pre-ALA19
With editor Sonali Fry (L / Penguin Random House) and
Philomel Editor Jill Santopolo with poster of Gianna Marino’s DON’T LET THEM DISAPPEAR.
Steve Geck (Sourcebooks) with Jennifer Fosberry’sISABELLA, ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE and Gayle E. Pitman (STONEWALL RIOTS / Abrams) with publisher Andrew Smith and editor Howard Reeves
and Lynne Marie’s MOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE SCARES (Sterling / L) On stage at #ALA2019 Ian Hoffman, Gayle E. Pitman
and Gianna Marino’s HOW DO YOU DO? (L) Books, books, books! ONE TRUE WAY (Shannon Hitchcock / Scholastic), OPERATION FROG EFFECT (Sarah Scheerger / RHBYR), TINY BROWN MONKEY ON THE BIG BLUE EARTH (Luciana Navarro Powell / Amicus Ink) SHIPWRECKERS (Joshua Pruett / Disney / Scott Peterson)
Team Anna Dewdney–aka the Vikings and the Penguins–visit Vermont and Reed Duncan.
Erin Dealey’s SNOW GLOBE WISHES at the Sleeping Bear Booth #BEA19
(L) Luciana Navarro Powell with Kira Lynn and the Kane Miller team. Joshua Pruett’s SHIPWRECKERS (Disney) launch crew–can you spot Deborah Warren and Stacia Deutsch? Sarah and Ian Hoffman (JACOB’S ROOM TO CHOOSE Magination — JACOB’S NEW DRESS / Albert Whitman)
sharing their PRIDE at Books Inc.