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this picture book life farewell + picture books on goodbyes and going places
Well, it’s been almost 10 years of This Picture Book Life. 10 years! (Last year’s anniversary post, number 9.) And I’ve decided to retire it in order to give more time to my writing projects. It’ll stay here as an archive and resource, and I may pop in once in a while too.
Thank YOU for reading all these years! This space has brought me so much joy in diving into my favorite form, what feels like my second language, my picture book passion. And it’s brought me so much joy showcasing and sharing beautiful, meaningful, outstanding picture books while making connections with authors, illustrators, publishers, and readers.
I hope you’ll visit and connect with me elsewhere, like these places I frequent:
My website and author newsletter. (Where you’ll also find my picture book, TO MAKE!)
This Writer’s Life on YouTube.
Instagram (lots of picture books and other books I love found there too!):
And now, for this farewell, I give you some wonderful picture books on goodbyes and going places to mark the occasion and to say, see you soon and please do keep in touch!
Room for Everyone by written by Naaz Khan, illustrations by Mercè López (2021).
I Am the Subway by Kim Hyo-eun (translated by Deborah Smith) (2021).
Ride, Roll, Run: Time for Fun! written by Valerie Bolling, illustrated by Sabrena Khadija (2022).
Whatever Comes Tomorrow words by Rebecca Garden Levington, art by Mariona Cabassa (2023).
Show the World written by Angela Dalton, illustrated by Daria Peoples-Riley (2022).
Moth and Butterfly: Ta-da! written by Dev Petty, illustrated by Ana Aranda (2021).
Stroller Coaster by Matt Ringler, art by Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay (2021).
We Dream Medicine Dreams by Lisa Boivin (2021).
Good Night Little Bookstore by Amy Cherrix, illustrated by E.B. Goodale (2022).
On This Airplane by Lourdes Heuer and Sara Palacios (2022).
I’ll Go and Come Back by Rajani LaRocca, illustrated by Sara Palacios (2022).
Sal Boat: A Boat by Sal by Thyra Heder (2022).
The Red Tin Box by Matthew Burgess, illustrated by Evan Turk (April 2023).
Amah Faraway by Margaret Chiu Greanias, illustrated by Tracy Subisak (2022).
The Longest Letsgoboy written by Derick Wilder, illustrated by Cátia Chien (2021).
Hot Dog by Doug Salati (2022).
One more thing: I’m giving away four of these picture books over on Instagram this week!
And all that’s left to say is goodbye. Wishing you all the best in the places you’re going too.
this picture book life turns 9
For This Picture Book Life’s 9th anniversary, I’m giving away two bundles of new, some summery and some fall-feeling, picture books with this theme: people and places. Summer adventures, special relatives, trips, swimming, biographies, first days of school, belonging, identity, siblings, pizza, and more!
The giveaway for Bundle One will be right here! (Rafflecopter below.)
The one for Bundle Two will be on Instagram—here instead!
The First Bundle:
Climb on! Illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara, written by Baptiste Paul (2022).
Ready for the Spotlight! by Jaime Kim (2022).
Clementine and the Lion by Zoey Abbott (2022).
I’ll Go and Come Back by Rajani LaRocca, illustrated by Sara Palacios (2022).
Black Girl Rising by Brynne Barnes, illustrations by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (2022).
Pizza: A Slice of History by Greg Pizzoli (2022).
The Fossil Whisperer by Helaine Becker and Sandra Dumais (2022).
This is a School words by John Schu, illustrations by Veronica Miller Jamison (2022).
The Big Bath House by Kyo Maclear & Gracey Zhang (2021).
My Town Mi Pueblo by Nicholas Solis, illustrated by Luisa Uribe (2022).
A Mermaid Girl by Sana Rafi, illustrated by Olivia Aserr (2022).
The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes and Vanessa Brantley-Newton (2022).
Cycle City by Alison Farrell (2018).
Everything in Its Place: A Story of Books and Belonging by Pauline David-Sax, illustrated by Charnel Pinkney Barlow (2022).
Strong written by Rob Kearney & Eric Rosewood, illustrated by Nidhi Chanani (2022).
One Boy Watching by Grant Snider (2022).
Okay, enter to win below for the first bundle or on IG for the second! And many thanks for following along with This Picture Book Life.
16 picture books for gifting and lifting spirits
I’ve been keeping an eye out for very recent picture books I think would make great gifts this year for those who are able to give this winter holiday season. These will simultaneously soothe and affirm and lift the spirits of anyone who reads them.
Please find below 16 picture books for gifting and lifting spirits!
I Am: Affirmations For Resilience by Bela Barbosa and Edel Rodriguez (2020), a bold, hopeful, beaming “tool kit for children” that teaches mindfulness, emotional regulation, resilience, and positive self-worth.
Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Halls and David Litchfield (2020) is a gorgeous, hopeful poem: “Dark days may shake us and worries creep in, with dragons to duel and battles to win…But…there are footsteps to follow and words that are wise. There’s a map that will guide us when troubles arise.”
All Because You Matter, written by Tami Charles, illustrated by Bryan Collier (2020) is a stunning ode to a child. A Black child. A reminder that they ARE matter, the stuff of the universe. That THEY matter. They matter. “They say that matter is all the things that make up the universe: energy, stars, space…If that’s the case, then you, dear child, matter.”
Layla’s Happiness written by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin Webb (2019) IS happiness, pure joy. Layla’s depiction of all the things she loves is lyrical, inventive, surprising, spunky, and sweet.
Every Child a Song by Nicola Davies and Marc Martin (2020) explores the metaphor of how each child is a unique song, each deserving of nourishment, belonging, and celebration. It was created for the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a list of 54 things every child in the world is entitled to.
Sugar in Milk by Thrity Umrigar, illustrated by Khoa Le (2020) is a call to be the welcoming, inviting country we should be. It’s a story within a story, one modern-day, one a Persian legend, told with absolutely stunning artwork.
I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James (2020) is created by a dream team and is a manifesto that celebrates Black boys. It wraps its arms around them with buoying, bouncing, beautiful language and vibrant pantings, affirming their preciousness and possibility and pride.
I Will Dance written by Nancy Bo Flood, illustrated by Julianna Swaney (2020) celebrates wishes and wishes coming true. A wheelchair user makes a wish to dance with other dancers on her birthday “between, around, while the other dancers glide past me, tumble over me, until we are all mixed together, one beautiful laughing heap.” And her wish comes true when she joins a dance troupe for EVERYONE.
We Are Water Protectors written by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade (2020) is a gorgeous, vital picture book that draws on Native history and culture, ancient and recent, to show how tribal nations are standing up to protect water and the earth. “We stand with our songs and our drums. We are still here. We are stewards of the Earth. Our spirits have not been broken. We are water protectors.”
Neighbors by Kasya Denisevich (2020) is, at its heart, about how imagination leads to empathy when a girl who’s just moved to a new apartment imagines her neighbors and wonders at the ways in which we’re all connected.
You Matter by Christian Robinson (2020) is a super inventive book that tells the reader they are—everyone is—precious: young, old, first, last, stuff too small to see.
Black is a Rainbow Color written by Angela Joy, illustrated by Ekua Holmes (2020) sings the song of the color black and where it’s found in nature and then goes on to sing the song of Black history and people, Black artists, Black culture. “Black is a color. Black is a culture…Black is a rainbow, too.” I featured this book in a post on Ekua Holmes’s picture book life right here.
Our Favorite Day of the Year written by A.E. Ali, illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell (2020) is warm, connective, and charming as it honors the beautiful quilt of traditions celebrated by children in one classroom.
Every Color of the Light: A Book About the Sky written by Hiroshi Osada, illustrated by Ryōji Arai (2020) is a poem and series of paintings about a rainstorm, simple yet sophisticated and one of the most soothing bedtime books ever.
The Ninth Night of Hanukkah by Erica S. Perl, illustrated by Shahar Kober (2020) is a sweet story about two resourceful siblings who’ve just moved and can’t find their Hanukkah box to celebrate! But their lovely neighbors supply substitutions for everything they need and even though they’re not exactly what they were looking for, eventually it feels just like Hanukkah, with new friends in the building to boot!
Intersection Allies by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi, illustrations by Ashley Seil Smith, forward by Kimberlé Crenshaw (2019) is a joyful call for inclusion, joining together, making rom for all.
And for those who are able to give gifts this winter season, I hope we’ll all think of indies first to show support for the work they always do and to help with the challenges they face now. Here are some of my favorite independent bookstores in LA and elsewhere (of course there are more and likely a wonderful one near you!).
Find them online here: Brave and Kind, LA Librería, Skylight Books, Green Bean Books, Brain Lair Books, Vroman’s Bookstore,Once Upon a Time, Avid Bookshop, The Curious Reader.
A few booksellers from these faves have even stopped by This Picture Book Life to share picture book gems they recommend over the years! See those posts here:
Bunnie from Brave and Kind
Jen from Vroman’s
Sallly from The Curious Reader
Hannah from Avid Bookshop
seven years of this picture book life giveaway!
It’s been seven years of This Picture Book Life! A blog anniversary around here always means one thing: a picture book giveaway. I hope the winner will be able to read these with young people in their life whether students or children and also, potentially, pass a few along to someone else to share them around.
One winner will receive seven picture books + two for the older set. Titles and entry form below! (N. America only.)
You Matter by Christian Robinson (2020), a super inventive book that tells the reader they are everyone are precious: young, old, first, last, stuff too small to see. (I featured this title in this post on picture books for now.) Big thanks to Simon & Schuster for a copy of this picture book!
Freedom, We Sing by Amyra Leon and Molly Mendoza (2020), a gorgeous, meaningful poem exploring how we all dream of and deserve to breathe free in a conversation between a parent and child. Big thanks to Flying Eye Books for a copy of this picture book!
Our Favorite Day of the Year written by A.E. Ali, illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell (2020) honors the beautiful quilt of traditions celebrated by children in one classroom. Big thanks to Salaam Reads for a copy of this picture book!
Storyboat words by Kyo Maclear, pictures by Rashin Kheiriyeh (2020) is the story of refugees and how stories offer hope. Big thanks to Penguin Random House Canada for a copy of this picture book!
Don’t Worry Little Crab by Chris Haughton (2020) shows us how Little Crab (and little readers) has the capacity to be braver and stronger than they might think. (Find a crab and coloring page craft from Mayel Creates in this blog post.) Big thanks to Candlewick for a copy of this picture book!
The Old Truck by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey (2020), a gentle book, full of love, about a girl with dreams and determination illustrated with timeless, textured stamps. (Find a stamp craft to go with The Old Truck in this post!)
Like the Moon Loves the Sky by Hena Khan, illustrated by Saffa Khan (2020) is a series of loving hopes for a child as they grow, inspired by the Quran. (I featured this title in this blog post on picture books for comfort.) Big thanks to Chronicle for a copy of this picture book!
Love Your Body by Jessica Sanders, illustrated by Carol Rossetti (2019) is a wonderfully affirming book about embracing and appreciating your body, and honoring others’ too. Big thanks to Quarto Kids for a copy of this picture book!
Say Her Name by Zetta Elliott, illustrated by Loveis Wise (2020) is a compilation of 49 powerful poems and vivid illustrations that empower and speak to Black women and girls while honoring the ones who have been killed by racist police violence and lifting up the activists fighting that violence.