May 2018

May 26, 2018
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Happy Book


Anna Dewdney
Reed Duncan

Illustrated by 




Scholastic Book Fair edition


The most discerning “Llama Llama” fans will approve of this brand-new story from the combined efforts of Duncan, Dewdney’s longtime partner, and Morrow, a master in illustration style mimicry. The story follows Llama Llama to a setting readers will be familiar with, and builds on his previous experiences with classmates, like Nelly Gnu, and his teacher, Zelda Zebra.

Duncan cleverly inserts many fundamentals of phonics and sight words using Dewdney’s signature rhyming style, making this perfect for children who have outgrown Llama’s preschool drama and are learning to read themselves. 


Early literacy advocates will adore this aspect, and public librarians will likely seize every opportunity to incorporate it into parent education programs. Like the other books, the familiarity of Llama Llama’s situations and life lessons are comforting and encouraging without being patronizing or tedious. The narrative respects the innate creativity in children and is the perfect launching point for inspiring new readers to go out and experience the wonderful world of the written word for themselves. 

VERDICT Dewdney devotees and book lovers everywhere will approve and hope to see more from this duo and the Anna E. Dewdney Literary Trust.
–Jenna Boles, Greene County Public Library, Beavercreek, OH – SLJ 

Official Book Launch
in Burlington VT–and many
Independent Book Stores joined in!

Click image to view Launch interview
with Reed Duncan

Speaking of Indies, the Llama Llama Coloring Book was part of Independent Book Store Day celebrations.  

Hot Off the Presses.
Anna Dewdney’s beloved Llama Llama is growing up…recognizing words and can’t wait to show Mama Llama that he’s becoming a reader!

The Best Children's and YA Books of May 2018:
Llama Llama learns at school that letters make words and words together make stories. Sometimes he stumbles, but at the end of the day Llama Llama is so excited to be able to read to Mama! A lovely tribute to Anna Dewdney and her mission to spread the joy of reading.

Anna Dewdney's

is one of 
Indie Best Sellers/

Children's Picture Books. 
and a Best Seller. 

Congrats Dan Santat, recipient of the  2018 Anna Dewdney Read Together Award.


The Llama Llama web site has a brand new look–a READ TO YOUR LLAMA downloadable summer reading kit, lots of reproducibles and
posters at

In addition, B&N hosted
a national #BNBuzz #LlamaLlama
story time on May 5th in all of their 689 stores! 

We LOVE this NYT essay
by Anna's long-time editor
and dear friend,
Tracy Gates:
Anna, Llama, and Me.

check out this 
wonderful tribute from Penguin 
about our
Llama Mama, Anna:

Remembering Anna Dewdney


2nd WEEK
as a 
NYT Best Seller

(as of 5.27.18) 

Congrats also to 

Newbery Award winning


Kwame Alexander
A May NYT Best Seller


(22 weeks)

The week of 5.27.18 
marks East/West's

188th week on the 
NYT Bestseller List

E/W held one or more slots for 88 consecutive weeks!


Happy Book


Feliz Cumpleaños

Siete Toneladas y Media
de Acero

Illus. by NYT-Bestselling 

Thomas Gonzalez
Janet Nolan/ Lectorum 
Spanish edition


"Gonzalez's breathtaking spreads dazzle... The emphasis is not on damage and destruction, but on America's power to recover. Teachers and parents looking for picture books that celebrate the nation and its military will welcome Nolan and Gonzalez's work." —PW

"This beautiful, sober, and hopeful recounting of a difficult chapter in American history [9/11] is a stellar addition to history collections." —SLJ


Happy Book Birthday

and the Groovy Playdate

by NYT Best Selling
Kimberly and

James Dean 

Harper Collins

Click image to Meet
Pete the Kitty!


Groovy Bake Sale

by NYT Best Selling Creator
James Dean 

–the 16th groovy 
I Can Read 
in the
HarperFestival extension line


Happy Book Birthday



award-winning author
Gayle E. Pitman

Albert Whitman
Illus. Laure Fournier

in Children's Tolerance

"… includes gay and lesbian couples, several people with canes, a child using a wheelchair, interracial families, and people with all sort of looks, including shaved heads, mohawks, and tattoos …A humorous, upbeat look at a contemporary church community where all are welcome."

"Joyful…An inspiration in several senses of the word."

Inspired by Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco and other inclusive churches, this book celebrates a spiritual community that embraces all people—no matter their age, race, class, gender identity, or sexual orientation—in love and faith.

"Colorful illustrations by Laure Fournier capture the happy spirit of the people and reaffirm the church’s welcome through rainbow banners and signs on its walls like “Open and Affirming” and “Love – Peace – Joy.” 

MUST READ: This recap of a #TXLA panel that Pitman was on with Ellen Hopkins and E. Charlton-Trujillo: Author, Please Come. Never Mind! Please Don't.


The powerful story of Gilbert Baker and the creation of the rainbow flag. 

By Gayle E. Pitman

Illus. by
Holly Clifton-Brown

Magination Press

Happy Book Birthday


Board Book edition

Newbery recipient 
Kwame Alexander

Illus. Daniel Miyares

NorthSouth Books

Playing tribute to the joys of summer and reading.

Starred Review:” It’s a wild ride on the sea of imagination, and a rousing high-five to the power of reading."
– PW

Starred Review: "A warmhearted tribute to reading." -KIRKUS

Where's East/West?

Fabulous to see editor and publisher Kira Lynn

/ Kane Miller at the
SCBWI San Diego 
MayFest 2018, as well as Henry Herz. (above)

Patricia Newman presented at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum, sharing PLASTIC AHOY and ocean conservation tips during the Young Authors Fair, sponsored by the Ventura County Reading Association.
Newman was also a guest on the Well Woman Show. 
Andrea Alban (HAPPINESS TREE) participated in the 2018 Authors for Earth Day initiative, a grassroots coalition whose mission is to link conservation to literacy. The schools she visited voted to donate half of Alban’s speaking fees to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA and Surfrider Foundation’s national network of chapters. BRAVA!

Dow Phumiruk was a surprise virtual Skype guest for the Minnesota Youth Reading Award program (MYRA). Jeanne Walker Harvey and Phumiruk's MAYA LIN Lin book received a nomination for their Star of the North award.

Sarah Hoffman, Erin Dealey and Gayle E. Pitman were part of the Turn the Page Children's Lit Festival at Children's Fairyland in Oakland CA.
Eileen Meyer was a panelist at the Illinois SCBWI Network Talk: Living by your Inner Compass: How to ignore the negative voices and move on with the revision process.

DJ Butler presented his latest adult title, WITCHY EYE (Baen) at Storymakers
in Provo recently. Stay tuned for his new deal announcement! 

Happy Book Birthday


Chris Gorman's 


Nancy Paulsen Books

Bold, graphic art by indie rocker Chris Gorman of Grammy nominated band, Belly, captures the thrill and challenges of marching to your own beat.

Dare to be different!
Sometimes being unique
feels good.

And other times it can be lonely.

Meet a kid who revels in marching to the beat of his own drum and is also up to meeting the challenges it presents.

With a unique visual style evoking the energy and spirit of punk music, alternative rocker Chris Gorman captures the thrill and struggles of being who you are.

“A picture-book celebration of individuality and community…affirming…
Rock on, kids!.”

ONE OF A KIND book trailer
as featured on
Shelf Awareness

Joyous…Bold, vibrant design showcases the child’s emotions in this picture book with a perennial message of self-acceptance.”

“Readers whose unconventional tastes are at odds with the authorities will enjoy his energy and self-assurance.”

"Five Inspiring Upcoming Books for Kids":
One of a Kind by Chris Gorman is about being different and standing different from the crowd. The little boy in the story enjoys rock music, puts his hair in a mohawk, and dresses in a grunge style making him very different from the world around him. The story shows the fun side and the lonely side of the boy’s uniqueness but ends happily with him finding friends just like him and realizing they can all be different, together.

New Books to Know about:

Exceedingly relatable… A must-have wherever music, especially punk rock, is ­popular.”

Photo Credit:Tony Luong
for The NYTimes

Belly – their acclaimed debut album, Star, earned Grammy nods for Best Alternative Music Album and Best New Artist — will kick off their first major tour since 1995 this summer. After a May 26th spot at Boston Calling festival, their U.K. leg launches June 9th in Portsmouth, U.K. and concludes on the 20th in London; a U.S. jaunt begins August 8th in L.A. and wraps October 6th in Chicago. 

The quartet, recently featured in the NYT, includes singer Tanya Donelly, guitarist Tom Gorman, bassist Gail Greenwood, and drummer Chris Gorman, author/illustrator of ONE OF A KIND.

Belly Would Rather Face Forward Than Navel Gaze.

Happy Book Birthday


award-winning author
Patricia Newman

Art by
award-winning illustrator

Mehrdokht Amini

Lightswitch Learning

"Lyrical and lovely, Neema’s Reason to Smile reminds us that education is the greatest gift we can give a child, and that with enough love and determination, dreams sometimes do come true. Moving, important,
and inspiring."
Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal Winning

Children’s Author

“This is a lovely story about following your heart and working hard to achieve your goals. Neema’s journey is a compelling one that should engage even reluctant readers.”  —SLJ

“Neema’s happy story is brought to life with lush multimedia illustrations that feature traditional fabric and weaving textures. Though fictional, this story is based on the author’s connections with the women at the Jambo Jipya School in the town of Mtwapa, Kenya.” 

 Featured in Erin Dealey's blog post: 3 Picture Book Pairings



"An encouraging, inspirational book about a little girl whose dream to go to school becomes a reality. Based on a real school in Kenya this book is educational as well. Highly recommended."


Happy Book Birthday


Written by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Nora Hilb


Zonderkidz/ Board Book

in Children's Noah's Ark Books

Acquisitions and Licensing

Beyaz Balina Publishing has licensed Turkish rights to Gianna Marino’s TOO TALL HOUSES.

Megan Elizabeth Hoyt 's poem will be part of the picture book anthology THANKu (edited by Miranda Paul/ Illus. Marlena MIles), set for publication Fall 2019, by Carol Hinz at Lerner/Millbrook.

Ernesto Cisneros and Deborah Warren celebrate

his two book MG debut deal!

Stay tuned for full announcement …

CONGRATS to Sarah Aspinall and her Fabric collection based on PENGUINS LOVE COLORS and PENGUINS LOVE THEIR ABC’s (Blue Sky Press/Scholastic)




May the #Kidlit Force Be with You!

Second Starred Review for 
Jim Averbeck's 

Yasmeen Ismail/ Margaret K. McElderry Books

The text deftly balances pithy short lines, dramatic sound effects, and playful polysyllabary (a glossary of the long words is included)… Sophia’s engineering prowess makes her a welcome addition to positive portrayals of young girl STEM enthusiasts, even more so for the fact that she remains a multidimensional character in a story focused on warm family relationships and persistence to solve a problem. This makes an outstanding read aloud, whether the topic of the day is giraffes or engineering, and regular repetition gives opportunities for listener participation. SS

And a star for  Averbeck's TREVOR: 

Congrats Antoinette Portis!

BEST FRINTS IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE was selected as a Black-Eyed Susan Award Winner 
by the Maryland Association of School Librarians. The award seeks to promote literacy and lifelong reading habits by encouraging students to read quality, contemporary literature. The award is librarian nominated and student selected.

Omek and Yelfred have weathered friendship difficulties before (Best Frints in the Whole Universe, 2016), but can their relationship survive Yelfred's picking Q-B as his new best frint?…Portis' pictures and text hilariously contradict each other. "When the bell BLANGS the stroodents sit quietly." In the picture, they bite and kick, and across the gutter, they yell as they "learn to listen when their skreecher spleeks." At recess, "childrinx make new frints"… Portis' illustrations, done with pencil, charcoal, and a Cintiq drawing tablet, once again use a brilliant palette and digital textures to great effect, bringing to vivid life this alien world.

Scholastic Teacher has featured
COUNTING ON KATHERINE: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13
(Helaine Becker/ Illustrated by Dow Phumiruk / Christy Ottaviano Books ~ Macmillan)
in their "50 Magical Books for Summer":

This illustrated bio about Johnson’s journey from child who counted everything to NASA’s “human computer” is beautifully chronicled through succinct text and bold illustrations.


A Star from KIRKUS:

A picture-book biography of a humble genius who excelled in a career once out of reach for most African-Americans…Becker emphasizes Katherine's tenacity, competence, creativity, and intellectual curiosity as she gains the trust of the astronauts whose safety and success depended on the work of the human computers. Phumiruk's stylistically varied, colorful illustrations feature mathematical computations and notes in the backgrounds, emphasizing Katherine's passion for numbers…An excellent biography that will inspire young readers, especially girls, to do what they love.


Although Johnson’s contribution to the high-pressure rescue of the Apollo 13 crew is the climax here, the overall story is one of major historical developments: women mathematicians breaking into a men’s field; Black scientists breaking into a white science world; “computers” signifying humans with calculators; pioneering space journeys undertaken with a knowledge base and skillset that today seem unthink- ably scant. Phumiruk’s digital artwork convincingly portrays Johnson as brainy and imaginative, in keeping with the author note observation that “her role . . . always involved more than mere number crunching. It relied heavily on hunches.” That combination of math and intuition also emerges visually in several embedded graphics that assist readers in understanding the trajectories Johnson calculated. 

Listen to Dow read MAYA LIN on the radio show, 
Tunes and Tales Live, accompanied by a cellist !

(start 3:29)

Patricia Newman's SEA OTTER HEROES (Millbrook/ Lerner/ Annie Crawley photos)
received a 2017 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. 

Now available: 
Llama Llama Red Pajama and 19 Other Anna Dewdney Favorites
audio books
ead by Anna Dewdney and Cassandra Campbell. 


SPLOTCH (Gianna Marino/ Viking) and OUT OF WONDER (Alexander, Colderly, Wentworth, Holmes/ Candlewick) are included in ILA/CBC's Children's choices 2018 Reading List.

Shannon Hitchcock's ONE TRUE WAY 
is in good company:
Bay Area Reporter: Novel Ideas/ Spring Fiction List.

Hitchcock will be signing ONE TRUE WAY at Inkwood Books, Tampa FLA, on June 9th. 

Check out Princess Alethea Kontis' guest post on the Once and Future Podcast about the "Imposter Syndrome" and teaching her online classes. 


"Overheard"  at @EastWestLit on Twitter:

A bit of  GDPR Business:
(With thanks to author Alethea Kontis and her assistant Sarah Simpson-Weiss for the verbiage.)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new EU rule for the European Economic Area (EEA) that goes into effect on May 25, 2018. The goal is to give people ownership of their data, increasing understanding of what information customers are giving to businesses and how its used, and providing them the option to request it be updated and/or deleted. While it’s a European law, those of us outside the EU need to be compliant with data they acquired from customers who live within the EEA.

What does this mean for you?
#Kidlit newsletters are being asked to reconfirm permission from their subscribers, and to let their subscribers know what information we gather and how we use that information.  In East/West's case, we only ask my subscribers for their email address and name. That information is used to send you this newsletter. Period. Please know we have never, and will never share or sell your information.

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We are thrilled and thankful to represent such amazing talent.

Artwork by Danielle Arbour