zinnia and the bees book trailer!

I’m interrupting regularly scheduled programming because my debut middle grade novel, Zinnia and the Bees, has a book trailer, and I’m so excited to share it with you!


Enormous thanks to the following wonderful people who made this happen:

Emily Arrow, dear dear friend and gifted songwriter, for the original “Zinnia and the Bees” song that perfectly captures Zinnia’s journey.

Meiko Takechi Arquillos, brilliant photographer, for giving her time and talents to the project.

Stevie Nemazee, animator and puppeteer extraordinaire, for generously lending her skills.

And Todd Davis, my honey, for dreaming this up and making Zinnia and those bees come to life with paper and buttons and imagination.


Look for Zinnia and the Bees August 1st from Capstone. And it’s available for pre-order now! In fact, if you pre-order a copy, I’ll send you some snail mail goodies to thank you! All the details here



















zinnia and the bees cover!

It’s here! The cover of my debut middle grade novel, Zinnia and the Bees, is really here! I’m thrilled to share it with you (and promise to go back to regular blog programming tomorrow).




I owe an enormous thanks to Laura K. Horton for her brilliant illustration as well as a giant thank you to the design team at Capstone.

Vibrant and quirky, I couldn’t be more pleased! (Not to mention that it matches this blog perfectly.)

One of my favorite parts is that Zinnia is upside down—like her world is turned at the very start of the story. Right when she was expecting things to be the best ever, her yarn bomb flops. Next, her older brother—aka her best friend and yarn-bombing accomplice—leaves with no explanation. And then, to massively top off a whopper of a last day of seventh grade, a colony of honeybees lands in her hair!

The cover also captures the magical realism quality of the book as well as the important role the bees play: they actually collectively (and comically) narrate their own side of the story!

If you’d like to add the book on goodreads, you can find it here. Look for the Zinnia and those bees August 1st.



this picture book life turns three + giveaway!


This Picture Book Life is three years old this month. Woo hoo!

The Importance of Being Three by Lindsay Ward (2016) is a joyfully good book to celebrate threes. And while a perfect toddler birthday gift, I think it works pretty well for a picture book blog third birthday too.

“Three bears, three pigs. Three kittens, too!

Three primary colors—red, yellow, and blue…

I’ve learned so much since I was two.”

To thank you for reading along here, I’m giving away a copy of The Importance of Being Three. Just leave a comment below for a chance to win.

(Open to N. America only; ends Saturday, July 23 at midnight PST.)


And cheers to the next year of picture books brought to life! I hope you’ll join me.

all the wonders: a new place for kids’ books and another place to find me

Have you heard? There’s a new website for children’s literature called All The Wonders. It’s “a home for readers to discover new books and to experience the stories they love in wondrous ways.” And I’m happy to be a contributor!


You’ll still find me here at This Picture Book Life on Tuesdays of course, but you’ll also find my crafts and book lists over there sometimes too. I’m delighted to be part of the stellar team and I hope you’ll come along to relish the wonders of books through songs, podcasts, studio visits, storytime posts, videos, and more from these talented folks!


You’ll find picture book songs from Emily Arrow, Matthew Winner‘s conversations, art and book posts from fellow blogger Carter Higgins, videos from Blake Hamilton, and animation from Mike Cicciotello.



your-alien-crafttimeMy latest picture book craft up today: Make Your Own Clay Alien to celebrate Your Alien by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Goro Fujita. And Emily Arrow’s got an amazing, adorable song with my little green guy in the video!






And my latest list: 12 Delightful Picture Books with Diverse Characters.


I hope you’ll come see All The Wonders


Big thanks to Brian Won for designing the gorgeous logo and custom artwork for the site that I’ve included here. 




two giveaways for two years of This Picture Book Life

This Picture Book Life turns two this month!

To celebrate, I have two special giveaways to thank you for stopping by here and reading!  THANK YOU!

Enter to win one of two sets of three picture books.  One batch is three super sweet books published by Penguin; the other, three books from Chronicle that explore nature in some way.





3 SWEET PICTURE BOOKS published by Penguin:

Knit Together by Angela Dominguez.

There’s This Thing by Connah Brecon.

Little Baby Buttercup by Linda Ashman, illustrated by You Byun.





3 NATURE PICTURE BOOKS published by Chronicle Books:

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd.

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner, art by Christopher  Silas Neal.

In This Book by Fani Marceau and Joëlle Jolivet.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway