March 2023

March 1, 2023
 Good News–from East to West 
and everywhere in between!
Image by Joey Spiotto
See our March Illustrator Highlight here!

Happy Book Birthday 

by Marie Boyd

in her authorial/illustrator PB debut

(Greenwillow Books)

Harper 360 UK edition


“Worm is more than just a worm in this gorgeous STEAM-themed debut picture book.”


“. . . . preschoolers …  will love the standout in the book: gorgeous paper quilled artwork, which makes the garden jump off the page. . . . 
A lovely first work, and a talent to watch.

Includes a quilling craft for young readers, facts about earthworms, a glossary, and a special message to readers from Worm.

"JUST A WORM has a theme of recognizing our own value, facts about wee beasties, & gorgeous quilled art! Great mix of humor, #nonfiction, & beauty."
—Laura Purdie Salas 

An Amazon best seller
in Children's Recycling
and Green Living

and a

in Children's Bug & Spider Books

Click this link for a quilling tutorial.


Excerpt from Marie's
Book Birthday interview with Erin Dealey:

Using the ancient craft of quilling, Marie Boyd meticulously created each illustration out of strips of colored paper that she shaped, layered, and glued to produce a lush three-dimensional world.
You will love this clever STEAM

What was the inspiration for

Marie Boyd: In many ways, I’ve been preparing to write and illustrate JUST A WORM since I was a child as the book brings together my longstanding interests in art and science.  When my mother saw the completed book for the first time, she even remarked that the book incorporates so many of my childhood interests.

Art + Science

MB: As a child I spent countless hours observing insects and other creatures in my parents’ garden, collecting, pressing, and sketching flowers, and studying seed catalogues. I spent a lot of time making things with my parents and younger brother, including tissue paper flowers and beaded bugs.

In college, my concentration was in chemistry, but I also took biology, children’s literature, and art history courses, and spent time at Harvard’s natural history museum, where I was particularly drawn to its collection of glass flowers and biological specimens.

For full interview click here.


Happy Book Birthday

by award-winning
Ana Crespo

Illustrated by Giovana Medeiros


published simultaneously
in h/c and p/b

Sorting and geometry come into play when twins Lia and Luís receive a puzzle from their grandmother, which they must put together to read a hidden message.

"… age-appropriate introduction to spatial skills that will appeal to kids. … Intellectual lessons and a glimpse at Brazilian American culture fit seamlessly together.” 

As featured in:

New and Noteworthy STEAM Books and Initiatives
Charlesbridge’s Storytelling Math series

The companion book, LIA & LUÍS: WHO HAS MORE?, won the 2021 Mathical Book Prize for pre-K.

LIA y LUÍS: ¿QUIÉN TIENE MÁS? is a 2023 Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year in Spanish.

Happy Book Birthday(s) 

to distinguished creator

Board Books!

(Neal Porter Books/ Holiday House)

A 2020 Sibert Honor Book

"Bold, beautiful…"
—SLJ, Starred

Portis’s main text is spare and accessible . . . crisp, uncluttered."
—The Horn Book, Starred

"The power of Portis’s poems, and the surprise each page turn (offers) nothing less than a new world filled with fresh experiences."
—PW, Starred

 "In its reverence for each finely described detail, A NEW GREEN DAY holds a magnifying glass to the wonders, big and small, that are waiting in nature for all to enjoy."
—Shelf Awareness, Starred

Speaking of embracing spring!

(Neal Porter Books/Holiday House)


Happy Book Birthday 

Illustrated by
Heather Brockman Lee

Written by Mackenzie Porter 

(Little Simon)

In this celebration of motherhood, a mama can be many things—from a captain of adventures to a quiet supporter—but above all else, she will always be Mama.

This heartfelt board book celebrates all the things a mama can be: a silent supporter and an encouraging voice, patience and power, soft and strong.

This lovely book speaks to all mothers, who know that to be one is to be so many different things and also just to be one thing: a mama.

"A rhyming celebration of the many ways mamas love and support their children. Mackenzie Porter’s simple text and Heather Brockman Lee’s stunning illustrations are sure to be a hit at baby showers and anytime you want a heart-filled board book."
–Susan Johnston Taylor  

Heather's Illustrator Highlight

Happy Book Birthday 

by award-winning author
Lezlie Evans

Illustrated by Kate Chappell

(Welbeck Balance)

A thoughtless little jeep discovers the ride is more pleasurable – and friends more plentiful – when you’re kind.

From the press release:
“I thought about the way my energetic four-year-old grandson was often in such a hurry he would forget to use his manners, sometimes causing hurt and havoc in his wake.  Then I pictured him as a little off-roader knocking over everything (and everyone) in his path … that’s when the phrase vroom, vroom, beep-beep came to me.” –Lezlie Evans

Lezlie Evans is the award-winning author of numerous picture books including I’M A FEEL-O-SAURDADDIES DO, and FINDING CHRISTMAS. She has appeared at The National Book Festival, NCTE, ALA, SCBWI regional Conferences, and schools and libraries all over the country. Lezlie's books have been translated into multiple languages, been featured in the Book of the Month Club, Scholastic Book Fairs, and have been part of the Toys R Us Autographed Authors Program. She is a member of The Washington DC Children's Book Guild, and the SCBWI— where she served as PAL (public and listed) Coordinator for over five years. She is the mother of six, and grandmother of ten. 



(in its 15th total week)

also an Amazon
#2 Best Seller
in Children's St.Patrick Day Books


(in its 38th total week)

Marking East/West's
296th week

(as of 3/26) 


in Sculpture Appreciation

Happy Book Birthday

Illustrated by Shiho Pate

Written by Patricia Tanumihardja


*A Junior Library Guild
Gold Standard Selection*

*A March/April 2023
Indie Next Pick*

Bookseller love for

“My stomach growled with every page as I ate up this delectable book!
Rashauna Marie Tunson
Second Star to the Right Children’s Books, Denver, CO

A “Read This Next” Pick for March

Click on image to watch trailer.

Get ready for ramen, handmade to order and delightful to devour! Pate’s spirited, manga-esque illustrations feature diagonal panels and dynamic text (accompanied by near-flawless Japanese translations) rendered in a vibrant palette of eye-catching yellows, blues, greens, and oranges."

Pate’s sumi ink, pencil, and digital illustrations reproduce packaged ramen’s colorful, cartoony designs, establishing a cheerfully chaotic tone across action-oriented panels."

"A hearty serving of Japanese cuisine, resilience, and family fun."

"A fun and lively book about putting your own spin on traditional ramen!"
Andrea Wang,
Newbery Honor-winning author
of Magic Ramen and Watercress


“A story that is as warm,
rich and hearty as ramen itself!”
— Charlene Chua,
illustrator of Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao

Backmatter includes background on the dish, rules for cooking in the kitchen with young chefs, and a recipe for easy miso ramen.

Shiho's Illustrator Highlight

Happy Book Birthday

Illustrated by
Luciana Navarro Powell

written by Kalli Dakos

(Amicus Ink)

 A rhyming celebration of how much we can grow – from funny bones to belly button – in a year.

An exuberant child celebrates being one year older, calling out body parts from head to toe that have grown since their last birthday. When you're young, every inch grown feels like a huge achievement. You're not just one year older, you're one year bigger, too.

Click image above to watch trailer.

Written by veteran children's poet Kalli Dakos and illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell's warm and expressive art, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BELLY BUTTON! is a delightful picture book to read with toddlers and preschoolers growing up.

Excerpt from Luciana’s
Book Birthday interview with Erin Dealey:

What a unique – and totally preschool – perspective on a birthday! Ha—of course, it’s belly button’s birthday, but that’s not all.  From nose to toes, everything is one year older!  This calls for a celebration. Right? Dakos’ rhymed text and Navarro-Powell’s wonderful illustrations are a perfect match in this fun Birthday book. 
—Erin Dealey

ED: What medium/ technique did you use with this project?
LNP: (As below in the sketches) I used pastels, color pencils, watercolor… and real-life cake sprinkles, because a good book about birthdays has to have some real sprinkles in it! 

ED: What is your favorite spread? 
LNP: My favorite spread is the one that shows the child running away from the poor parent who is trying to brush their hair – with brush entangled in hair and bright pink underwear! This scene was very much inspired by my rambunctious 3 year-old niece Emilia.

Happiest #BookBirthday to HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELLY BUTTON! – Erin Dealey

Luciana's Illustrator Highlight


MARCH-ing into spring!

Happy Paperback Book Birthday(s)

by Ernesto Cisneros

Also available as an audio book (HarperAudio), narrated by Timothy Andrés Pabon & Gary Tiedemann.

"Cisneros’ touching sophomore novel is an ideal pick for sports fans and will reel in reluctant readers."
—Kirkus Review, Starred

"At every turn, Isaac and Marco support each other in this affirming story of basketball, middle school, friendship, and family,
and choosing kindness and determination over easy cowardice or cruelty.
—SLJ, Starred

"Cisneros’s story not only captures the anxiety—and at times, humor—of trying to measure up to expectations, it also tackles delicate subject matter, such as parental absence and alcohol reliance, with profound sensitivity and nuance.
A narrative slam dunk …"
—PW, Starred




D.J. Butler’s launch title of the “Witchy War” series, WITCHY EYE (Baen), now available in paperback!



Congratulations, Heather Brockman Lee!


Speaking of Honors…

Erin Dealey's SNOW GLOBE WISHES (illustrated by Claire Shorrock / Sleeping Bear) is a finalist for the

given annually to a picture book that is both a superb read aloud and also sparks compassion, empathy, and connection. 

"The feelings of community and togetherness are palpable."
Kirkus Review, Starred


Felicidades, Alexandra Alessandri:

Book of the Week

Also an Amazon

in Children's Central and South America Books


More Good News!

Look at all the BESTS!


Congrats, Antoinette Portis!

Bank Street Launches Margaret Wise Brown Board Book Award (

The Best Board Books of the Year [2023 edition] (


PW catches Jeanne Walker Harvey DRESSING UP THE STARS in Hollywood!

In Brief: March 16, 2023 (

More pics below!


“I was so excited to be invited during Oscars week to the Academy Museum … in addition to showcasing [DRESSING UP THE STARS], the day included a costume workshop that allowed visitors to create their own designs. During the workshop, a crew filmed an ad about the museum that aired during the March 12 Academy Awards and featured a snippet of (the) book.
‘My book was on the Oscars!’ Harvey beamed.”
Academy Awards event celebrated Sonoma author Jeanne Walker Harvey (


MORE accolades for Sibert honoree Patricia Newman’s A RIVER’S GIFTS:


Add a 2022 Blueberry Honor/nonfiction award – honoring books recognized for their outstanding achievement in rallying kids to climate action –  to the list!  
The Evanston Public Library founded this book award in 2021 to fill a vacuum; there is no national children's literature award for the best nature and climate stewardship books for kids.




More Women's History Celebrations!  



See also:  Reycraft’s feature "Honoring Women Throughout History."










Goldilocks Storytime!


Summer?  Yep:  before we know it!




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