Tag Archives: awake beautiful child

8 amazing ABC books + giveaway

These ABC books are stand outs, each with a special take on the alphabet in some significant way. Eight in all, here goes!



Daytime Visions 26196128by ISOL (2016).

ISOL brings the intuitiveness of children and the inventiveness of a true artist to this project, making the magic she always makes in my book.


Favorite letter: J. “I was just looking for you.” (But it’s hard to choose!).










ALPHA24727115 Isabelle Arsenault (2015).

An Alpha, Bravo Charlie ABC that explores the NATO alphabet and is mind-blowing in every way.



Favorite letter: Foxtrot.







23129944Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl (2015).


Radical ladies indeed, all the way from Angela Davis to Zora Neale Hurston. This one will teach and inspire the older set.



Favorite letter: X.” …the women whose names we don’t know.” (That spread made me weep the first time I read it.)





3095038ABC3D by Marion Bataille (2009).

A pop-up ABC for the design or paper engineering crowd.



Favorite letters: I and J because of how they cleverly share a dot. 






4450223A Child’s Day: An Alphabet of Play by Ida Pearle (2008)

An ode to childhood carefree moments, the artwork in Pearle’s ABC enchants.



Favorite letter : V for view because of that kaleidoscope!





18167208Eerie Dearies by Rebecca Chaperon (2014).


An alphabet book of mysterious, strange, and sometimes mystical reasons for missing school. 26 of them.



Favorite letters: E for ennui and W for waterlogged.





ABC_CoverAwake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Gracia Lam (2015).


A wordplay take on ABC, true to AKR’s trademark. A series of A-B-C phrases follows  two children’s days with dreamy pastel retro artwork.



Favorite ABC phrase: “Always be curious.”





18209535Adventures with Barefoot Critters by Teagan White (2014).

A seasonal celebration of being outdoors (or adventuring indoors) all year long and being with friends. Plus, the most darling critters to ever grace a picture book.



Favorite letter: N. “But we take nice long naps in the grass once it’s dry.”




And, thanks to Penguin Random House Canada, I’m giving away the Barefoot Critters ABC and counting book pair by Teagan White, pictured below! One is wintry, the other summery. One alphabet, one numbers. All with adorable critters—a perfect set!



Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win Adventures with Barefoot Critters & Counting with Barefoot Critters!

(Enter until July 15th at midnight PST; open to North America only.)


amy krouse rosenthal’s picture book life + giveaway



Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a prolific picture book writer. By reading her books, you know she is someone who loves language. You also know she is someone who likes to PLAY with language. She explores words and phrases in the most inventive ways. But those words and phrases are doing something else too. They are making us smile the kinds of smiles that recognize something true.

There’s a little bit of Ruth Krauss‘s understanding of a child’s mind in Krouse Rosenthal’s voice. There’s silliness. There’s smart. There’s hope.

She’s collaborated with Tom Lichtenheld, with Jen Corace, with Scott Magoon. She has done projects like The Beckoning of Lovely. She’s been a guest DJ on my favorite local radio show. She is full of creativity combined with joy.

Come see some of her books!




Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld. In which unseen characters have an argument about what animal they’re looking at. It’s a wonderful way to play with the idea of different and many and varied visual interpretations of the same thing.



this plus that, illustrated by Jen Corace. This one looks at life as a series of non-literal math problems. It teaches as it plays and explores. Some examples of its wisdom: “good days + bad days = real life.” “Practice + practice + practice = mastering.”




Spoon and Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Scott Magoon. The first, a book about longing to be something other than what you are and discovering that being you is pretty cool. The second, a book about finding your independence in order to be an even better companion. And don’t worry, they’re both hilarious too!




Little Pea, Little Oink, and Little Hoot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace. Each of these is a little animal with a problem every kid can relate to—in reverse. Little pea must finish his sweets! Little Oink must mess up his room! And Little Hoot’s greatest wish is to go to bed early. A way to play with the stuff littles have to do.




I Scream, Ice Cream by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Serge Bloch; The OK Book and Wumbers by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. The first explores “wordles” that sound the same but mean different things. The second takes the idea of OK and makes a character out of it. The third? A gr8 book of word-number brain teasers for the math and language arts crowds.



Exclamation Mark, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. You don’t have to love punctuation to get a kick out of this smart, funny book. The real story is in finding joy in who you are.


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Friendshape and I Wish You More, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld; Little Miss, Big Sis, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.




Awake Beautiful Child, illustrated by Gracia Lam. This gorgeous book, just out from McSweeney’s, is a child’s day told through A-B-C phrases only Amy Krouse Rosenthal could write and illustrated with Lam’s retro/pastel/inviting artwork. Artful Book Creation!

I have to admit: this is my new favorite AKR book! There’s a sheen to the pages that perfectly complements the magic of the text. First, a boy, then a girl, scenes of home and life all told in three word phrases: “Afraid But Courageous.” “Always Be Curious.”

You just have to see and read it to know how truly special it is. And as a bonus, kid readers are encouraged to hunt for all the things portrayed in the book that start with A, B, or C. Apples on the table! Cactus in the bedroom! Blocks on the floor!

And like all McSweeney’s kids’ books, the jacket folds out to a large-sized poster.



I’m giving away one copy of Awake Beautiful Child to celebrate AKR’s picture book life!


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And you might want to check out my last Their Picture Book Life featuring Taro Gomi too!