“We all help each other grow, and everyone grows up to be
what they’re supposed to be. Everybody in their own way.” —from JACOB’S SCHOOL PLAY… Starring He, She and They
by Sarah & Ian Hoffman and Chris Case
The transformative life cycle of a
sunflower plays out in this bold
read-aloud by Sibert honoree
“A seed falls, And settles into the ground, And the Sun shines, And the rain comes down, And the seed grows…”
Includes a striking fold-out spread of a full-grown sunflower and additional back matter explaining the science of plant life cycles.
“Employing spare language and sunny, stippled multimedia spreads that belie their quiet complexity, Portis gracefully traces a sunflower’s cycle from seed to sprout to plant—and back again… It’s a volume almost as jam-packed as a seed itself.”
New and Noteworthy Children’s and YA Books: June 2022
“Clear, engaging, beautiful, and perfectly pitched to its young audience – simply brilliant.”
“… Readers watch as sunshine and rain help the seed grow into a bud and then a tall flower whose grandeur and height are accentuated by a switch from a horizontal page layout to a vertical one. Youngsters will feel a sense of awe as they witness the magic of a seed’s first tender shoot and the symbiosis of nature … [A] useful primer on one of nature’s miraculous cycles.“
“This beautiful book, with stunning artwork depicting the life cycle of a sunflower, is the work of the gifted Antoinette Portis, recipient of the prestigious Sendak Fellowship, and creator of such other acclaimed nature books as “A New Green Day” and “Hey, Water!” along with the offbeat, but no less wonderful “Best Frints in the Universe.” Portis employed printing techniques “including gel printing, linocutting, potato stamping and printing with a celery stalk” to create the glorious illustrations.”
Antoinette Portis is the author 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 the SchoolLibrary Journal, who said “This simple introduction to water is an ideal read-aloud for the youngest scientists”. Other titles include A NEW GREEN DAY—a Junior Library Guild 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, Antoinette lives in Southern California. A SEED GROWS is her eighth collaboration with Neal Porter.
Always love seeing you, Neal!
Great Holiday House gathering during ALA.
Happy Book Birthday
LIFE IN HOT WATER
The second book in the “Life in the Extreme” series launched by LIFE IN A FROZEN WORLD
by Mary Batten
Illustrated by NYT Bestselling
Award-winning science writer Mary Batten and NYT-bestselling illustrator Thomas Gonzalez, the masterful duo that created LIFE IN A FROZEN WORLD (soon available in paperback), team up again in this impressive overview of hydrothermal ocean vents.
Mary Batten’s clear, informative text coupled with Gonzalez’s unique and eerily realistic paintings of sights never seen on land—gushing “black smokers,” ghostly blind shrimp, red-plumed tube worms—will entice readers to learn more about this once-hidden world at the bottom of the sea.
“A superb choice for students who are studying animal adaptation and how climate change impacts Antarctica. The well-researched text and captivating illustrations work well to convey the importance of conservation.”
Series Overview: LIFE IN THE EXTREME
Life is tenacious, grabbing onto cracks and crevices, taking up residence in the most extreme environments on Earth: the frozen world of Antarctica; the scalding hot vents at the bottom of the sea; the top of the rainforest canopy; the total darkness of subterranean habitats such as caves. This series of books deals with animals and plants in extreme environments and the amazing adaptations they have evolved for living there.
ALA 22: SEVEN AND A HALF TONS OF STEEL, by Janet Nolan,illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez
SoCal (as of 06.08.22)
also an Amazon
Other Indie news:
Happy Book Birthday
BLACK GIRL RISING
by award-winning author
A Black girl’s place is everywhere, and her selfhood is everything she can dream it to be.
This enduring anthem for Black girls celebrates their power, potential, and brilliance—for themselves and for the world.
You are a thousand curls unfurling in your hair. You are a thousand fists standing proudly in air.
“A rhyming picture book highlighting Black girls thriving.
Questions that highlight the upward and forward movement of Black girls are interspersed with sentences that at first seem like admonitions until it becomes clear that they are emphasizing the strength and beauty of the book’s subject. Lines like “You’d better keep quiet; keep still. / So you can know your place” echo social expectations that Black girls shouldn’t be loud and take up space. But Barnes goes on to assert that Black girls’ very existence is a testament to the power of the multihued and broad diaspora of Black people everywhere (“You’re supposed to dim your light / and never be seen. // But you don’t, girl—you won’t, girl— / you know you’re a queen”). …
… Barnes stresses that Black girls have inherited the legacies of Toni Morrison, Mari Evans, Alice Walker, and Zora Neale Hurston, among others, and each illustration is a celebration of this fact. The book begins and ends with Black girls literally rising into the air, on tiptoes and with wings. …
… Black girls using wheelchairs, Black girls wearing hijabs, Black girls embracing each other, wrapped by rainbows—they are all represented in vibrant, lightly textured oil and acrylic paintings. Every page turn brings more brilliant images that encourage readers to move at a steady, rhythmic pace through the book. …
… Proof that Black girls, just by being themselves, stay ready to soar.”
“Employing references to notable Black figures (Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes) through-out, Barnes (Books Do Not Have Wings) begins with conversational lines that speak to oppressive societal messages: “Now don’t you dare climb, climb, climb/ Langston’s crystal stair./ You ain’t gonna make it, girl./ Come, get down from there.” These eventually give way to powerful refuting lines: “You are a thousand curls unfurling in your hair./ You are a thousand fists standing proudly in air.// You are the song of swallows, lifting sun as they sing—/ breaking light with their beaks.”
… a passionate, legacy-focused celebration.”
“Lyrical, timely, and marvelously illustrated, this work extols the beauty, bravery, and possibilities of young black girls. The author explores strong role models, female and male, from the past to inspire readers to envision the prospects of a glorious future. … [T]he rich vocabulary, flowing narrative, and specific word emphasis encourage[s] exuberant read-alouds.”
“A stunning ode to Black girl magic!” —Tami Charles, NYT bestselling author of All Because You Matter
“From its gold-dusted jacket to its melodic verses, [Black Girl Rising] is the song Black girls need now.” —Carole Boston Weatherford, bestselling author,
Newbery Honor recipient
You are the song of swallows, lifting sun as they sing— breaking light with their beaks, breaking sky with their wings …
From graduation to birthdays to other key milestones, this book makes a perfect present for book buyers looking to celebrate, empower, and inspire the women in their lives—whether daughters, granddaughters, nieces, cousins, or friends.
“This is a love letter to Black girls, to Black girlhood, to women everywhere. It’s the book I needed, wanted to read as a girl. This is a tribute to our younger selves and our present selves. Children’s literature has a way of reminding us of all the most important things – to listen to ourselves, our inner voices about what we can do, who we are, and who we can be. It’s not up to the world to tell us who we are; it’s our job to tell the world.”
Brynne Barnes colors the world with her pen, writing stories, poetry, and songs. Her picture books are a celebration of all children everywhere, including the award-winning COLORS OF ME and BOOKS DO NOT HAVE WINGS. Michigan-born, she teaches English at Schoolcraft College and was honored at the State Capitol in a Special Tribute for her service as a Michigan author and educator in March 2021.
Brynne appeared at ALA Annual along with Chronicle editor Melissa Manlove, illustrator Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and their design director, Jennifer Tolo-Pierce.
(Brynne with her Chronicle editor, Melissa Manlove)
A companion picture book,
BLACK BOY RISE
Chronicle / Spring 2025
along with another pb,
WHEN I SEE YOU
Denene Millner Books /
S & S / September 2023
Where is East/West?
We are looking forward to our July 9th
Meet & Greet
Chronicle Executive Editor
and author Brynne Barnes.
Check your email and be sure to RSVP to receive the link.
Ernesto Cisneros‘s MG novel FALLING SHORT was on the TODAY Show’sRead With Jenna Junior: #readinglist (Top left corner! /more below)
Stacia Deutsch discussed the anthology COMING OF AGE at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore.
Patricia Newman, Brynne Barnes, and Deborah Warren attended ALA Annual in Washington DC.
Sarah Scheerger, Megan E. Freeman, and Erin Dealey were among nErDcampCT’s guest authors.
Stay tuned for good news from Megan E. Freeman!
Erin Dealey was the featured speaker at Gift of Literacy, sponsored by Tahoe Community College (photo w/ TCC Pres. Jeff deFranco), where 300+ first graders got to take home NEW books—including DEAR EARTH—donated by the GoL program.
Ana Crespo (HELLO TREE, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk) was part of Boulder Books’ Musical Storytime. *As promised, she did not sing. : )
Patricia Newman (A RIVER’S GIFTSabove / Illus. Natasha Donovan ) and Erin Dealey presented to Texas School Librarians, at a PermaBound virtual summer event.
Brynne Barnes will moderate the panel Literary Lionesses, featuring Jerdine Nolan and Renée Watson, exploring where writers come from, when they know they are writers, and how a poet gets others to hear their powerful words.
Halli Gomez, Ernesto Cisneros, Sarah Scheerger, Kelly Crull, and Lauren H. Kerstein will be at nErDcamp PA. Alexandra Alessandri will be there too!
Happy Book Birthday
ARCHITECT OF IMAGINATION
by award-winning author
Susan B. Katz
Art history conveyed in an exciting and clear way …
Gaudí pioneered Modernisme, the Catalan variety of Art Nouveau.
With an insightful eye into the world of an inspired genius, Katz tells of Gaudí’s life and work. Serafina winner, Linda Schwalbe’s dazzling and powerful illustrations reflect the inventive, daring, and flamboyant style of Gaudí’s work.
“Katz, who is also an artist whose own mosaic art reflects Gaudí’s influence, has written a smoothly flowing overview of the architect’s life… A solid biography of an important artist.“
This book, and the story within it, are both the true definition of STEAM, Science/Math meet Art … The number of connections to curricular content are infinite and the story itself is inspirational. ―Teach Read Inspire Blog
Q: Why did you decide to focus on
Gaudí in your new picture book?
SK: I taught in Spain in the mid-‘90s. Frequent visits to Barcelona made me a huge fan of Gaudí’s mosaic work. I fell in love with the tile work, colorful patterns, and undulated teacup benches in Parque Güell.
…Gaudí was ahead of his time and I admire his use of color and shape—everything from broken dishes to the bottoms of glass bottles. His vision and out-of-the-box thinking inspire me as an artist and writer…
…The entire city of Barcelona is like an open-air Gaudí museum. If you’ve been, you know that there are houses, parks, and cathedrals dotting the city with Gaudí’s brilliance. His work is almost synonymous with the city itself and, some might say, with Spain.
For modern-day artists, I think Gaudí is a testament and a call-to-action to be innovative and cutting edge. In his lifetime, many people questioned his artwork as eccentric, but Gaudí wasn’t afraid to be ahead of his time and create pieces like nobody had before him.
He was a true artist with vision and the willingness to take extreme risks to bring it to life. The ancient art of mosaic making dates back to Roman and Greek times—but Gaudí put a modern twist on square tesserae and tiles, by smashing round, found porcelain plates and empty sea-glass colored bottles.
Also available in German:
GAUDÍ was on display at
ALA 22—alongside SURF’S UP
by Kwame Alexander /
Illustrated by Daniel Miyares.
“We cannot prepare our students to actively engage in complex conversations if we avoid the tough stuff in our classrooms. Students, like everyone else, need to practice this skill. One clear way we can support them is by helping them learn to see the social context surrounding a story, whether that story is in a picture book or YA novel.”
UMESI: [FALLING SHORT is] extra special to me because it’s about male friendships … And it’s just really heartfelt … they (the boys) don’t need to define themselves by society’s, you know, definition of what is smart enough or what is masculine enough.
RASCOE: And it’s so important for boys … because I think a lot of times people will forget that boys go through, like, the social stuff and the cliques.
There are many positive themes including perseverance, empathy, inclusion and helping others throughout [FALLING SHORT]. Isaac and Marco work hard, using a “mamba mentality,” and support each other to reach their goals. They openly communicate about their feelings and fears, cry in front of each other and offer verbal and physical support—hugging and holding hands for comfort. Both classmates and family members are shown apologizing and forgiving one another, and the book ends on a very positive note.
Here’s to a sizzling summer!
The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Kids Ages 6-8
and Books and Resources to Help You Raise Anti-Racist Children
Spread by Dow Phumiruk
The Best Summery Board Books for Babies and Toddlers
… Upgrade Your Summer From Feh To Fab
Summer reading – but make it fun!
Told in eight perspectives–including one in graphic novel form–OPERATION FROG EFFECT is perfect for fans of Andrew Clements, Rob Buyea, and Sarah Weeks, and for anyone who wants to make a difference.
The theme for summer reading in Texas for 2022 is “Oceans of Possibilities.”
Suddenly … it’s summer!
Hats off to Fathers, Grandpas, Pops, Papas, Abuelos,
GrandDaddies, and father figures everywhere!
28 Sweet Picture Books That Celebrate Fatherhood
A Father’s Love: 35 Books About Dads & Daughters
And don’t forget…
JULY BOOK BUZZ
“You’ll be shouting ‘Bravo!’”–Kirkus
“Hoyt pays tribute not just to the renowned violinist but to a unique cultural institution that has hosted many luminaries.” —Booklist
“As Hoyt explains in clear, engaging text … [Stern’s] message—’When you believe in something, you can move mountains!’—is a good one for children to hear, and this story is a great way to introduce the famous fiddler and his favorite performance venue to the next generation of music lovers.”—Horn Book
To learn how a famous concert violinist helped unite the world to save one of NYC’s most elegant architectural treasures, order a signed copy here.
Stay tuned for more from Megan!
READ WITH PRIDE / We read BANNED books***
continued from column 3 above
Gayle E. Pitman‘s A CHURCH FOR ALL and THIS DAY IN JUNE are also included in ColoursOfUs #LGBQTIA