Tag Archives: this picture book life

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 Second Bundle:

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.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

picture books that feel like a party

Picture books can be slow and still, loving lullabies for nighttime routines. But they can also be containers of boisterous merry-making. Spirited, energetic, gleeful affairs! These ten picture books are like that. To me, they feel like parties. And I hope they make the little readers in your life want to dance, parade, bike, include others, celebrate themselves and everyone, and generally throw confetti.


Boogie Boogie, Y’all by C.G. Esperanza (2021). Community and art are a party.

This picture book gave me the idea for this party picture books roundup post! It’s truly special and pulses with art, energy, and celebration! A stunning tribute to graffiti and murals in Brooklyn that turns into a magical block party all because one child notices the “art on the wall” and everywhere.

 

Whole Whale words by Karen Yin & art by Nelleke Verhoeff (2021). A party is for everyone!

Will an entire blue whale fit? That’s the main question of this book-menagerie. Gathering and acceptance ensue in the answer “when everybody makes some space.”

 

Bisa’s Carnaval by Joana Pastro, illustrated by Carolina Coroa (coming December 2021). Carnaval and music and costumes and, of course, Bisa, is a party!

Clara’s great-grandmother is the secret ingredient to her Carnaval preparations, especially her fabulous fantasia (costume) for parade day. But it turns out, Bisa is also the secret ingredient for the parade itself. This picture book is a sweet joy! “Confete showers enchant and serpentine spirals bedazzle. We mingle with beauty queens, super heroes, fairies, harlequins, and people from all over the world. Different accents, cultures, beliefs.”

 

Bodies Are cool by Tyler Feder (2021). Loving ours and the variance of bodies is a party!

Yes, this book celebrates all kinds of bodies!! Because they’re cool! And that feels like a joyful party too.

 

Bicycle Bash by Alison Farrell (2020). Biking together is a party!

This picture book is a delightful seek and find of animals on wheels in fun and fact-filled museum rooms of discovery and details and, of course, momentum!


Family Reunion by Chad & Dad Richardson and Ashleigh Corrin (2021). A family reunion is a party!

While the main character is initially reluctant to join the shindig, in they end, they’re totally won over. How could they not be? This family get-together is tops with a cook-off, dance-off, cousins, family history, and loving PopPop there too.

 

Pride Puppy! by Robin Stevenson and Julie McLaughlin (2021). Community, acceptance and pride are a party!

Vibrant art and an alphabet-story to accompany puppy’s first pride parade are sure to make any reader smile in this celebratory picture book.

 

How Do You Dance? by Thyra Heder (2019). Dancing is always a party!

A brilliant, bobbing, boogie-ing, body-loving book.

 

Stack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani (2017). Eye-catching design and playful arithmetic with cats are a party!

This is one of my all-time favorites—so much so that I made a cat clay craft on this blog a few years back in its honor! It’s about cats. It’s about stacks of cats. It’s about math. And it is pure pure playful fun!

 

How to Have a Birthday by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Cindy Derby (2021). A day that’s all yours is a party!

A slower kind of party awaits readers in this beautiful picture book that encapsulates the childhood magic and love and hope I wish everyone had. A birthday doesn’t always mean a party, but it’s always a day to celebrate in your own way.

 

 

You might also enjoy my craft for the delightful crowd-pleaser Stack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

picture book giveaway for educators for 8 years of this picture book life!

I love giving away books and this is the most to a single blog reader I’ve ever had the pleasure of sending off!  These 16  terrific books from the last couple of years are for an educator’s classroom or library to celebrate 8 years of This Picture Book Life and to celebrate all the vital work teachers do, entry details below!

 

The picture books:

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This is How I Know: a Book about Seasons by Brittany Luby & Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley (2021). Translated by Alvin Ted Corbiere and Alan Corbiere.

Me & Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera (2020).

The Fearless Flights of Hazel Ying Lee by Julie Leung, illustrated by Julie Kwon (2021).

Together We March by Leah Henderson, illustrated by Tyler Feder (2021).

Pride Puppy by Robin Stevenson and Julie McLaughlin (2021).

Amira’s Picture Day by Reem Faruqi, illustrated by Fahmida Azim (2021).

If Dominican Were a Color written by Sili Recio, illustrated by Brianna McCarthy (2021).

Princess Arabella at the Museum by Mylo Freeman (2021).

A Gift for Amma by Meera Sriram and Mariona Cabassa (2020).

The Secret Fawn by Kallie George & Elly MacKay (2021).

Amazing Women of the Middle East by Wafa’ Tarnowska, illustrated by Hoda Hadadi, Sahar Haghgoo, Christelle Halal, Esteli Meza Margarida Esteves (2020).

Sato the Rabbit by Yuki Ainoya (2021).

The Last Tree by Emily Haworth-Booth (2020).

My Bed by Rebecca bond, illustrated by Salley Mavor (2020).

Lift As You Climb by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (2020).

Toasty by Sarah Hwang (2021).

The giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And quick update for any picture book creators out there: I’m super excited to be teaching another round of my online picture book revision workshop series starting August 7th! There are details about this special opportunity to REVISE your manuscript according to your voice and vision, RECEIVE encouragement and inspiration from me and the small group, and REVITALIZE your writing process on my website here! Or simply email me to get more info or sign up. Two scholarships at a significant discount available for participants with underrepresented/marginalized voices in publishing—we need your voices!

 

Cátia Chien’s Picture Book Life + giveaway

Today it’s illustrator Cátia Chien‘s picture book life here on This Picture Book Life!

When I think of Cátia Chien’s art, I think of textures: fuzzy, confetti-ed, rich, circled, splattered, splashed.

When I think of her art, I also think of these words: dreamy, vivid, beautiful.

Each page of a picture book Cátia Chien has illustrated is a discovery, each one varied in vibrant color and shape and experimentation and emotion. Stick around to see!

 

 

 

 

The above PBS video featuring Cátia Chien is extraordinary. I remember the impact it had on me a couple of years ago when it first came out. In it, she is honest about her childhood, her life, her experience as an immigrant and feeling like an outsider. She is honest about her process of being an artist and how making art is an act of empathy for her, and for the children she teaches.

“The feeling of actually belonging, it’s self-created. Arriving at the process of creating something from the inside out, it’s really just a validation of existing. It matters that we add to the conversation so that it’s not just one voice that’s being told in picture books.”

—Cátia Chien

She has art and prints for sale at Gallery Nucleus here in Los Angeles.

Now for her picture books, starting with the newest one, forthcoming The Bear and the Moon (out September 29th from Chronicle Books and our giveaway book) as well as some special process photos of The Bear and the Moon Cátia Chien provided for us!

 

 

 

The Bear and the Moon written by Matthew Burgess (September 29, 2020).

This is a story of surprise. Of companionship. Of loss. And the art is fuzzy, rich, dreamy and beautiful.

 

(click image(s) to enlarge)

Balloons are magic for children, and red ones have a literary and film history. And it turns out they’re magic for bears, too. This bear who is alone but curious and up for an adventure.

 

The red balloon the bear finds becomes not only a novel and wonderful mystery, but a friend. The bear shows the balloon all its haunts and habits, the way you’d tour a friend around too. The balloon is not only real, but feels animate. It’s a thing, yes, but a “wonderful thing! A squishable, huggable thing!”

Just look at those shapes and blended, muted pastel colors!

 

And here, the technicolor blue, the pops of white stars and constellations, the dreaminess of this evening scene as the bear and balloon sit together.

We all know what happens to balloons though. They don’t last forever. Nothing does, really.

The bear makes a mistake. Mistakes, like things not lasting, are something else universal. We all know what that’s like. The regret that follows. The blame. The despair and the wish that it wouldn’t have happened. That we hadn’t done it. That is the hard part.

I won’t give away the details of the ending of this beautiful, tender, reassuring book, but I will tell you that it’s hopeful. Because like anyone who’s made a mistake or experienced loss, the bear finds encouragement. The bear looks to nature. The bear accepts themself.

And like a red balloon and a full moon, the bear’s memories go around and around and around in an enveloping circle of comfort.

 

All the colors come together here, an emanating rainbow of everything will be okay.

 

 

The Town of Turtle written by Michelle Cuevas (2018).

A lonely turtle has a dream and then builds it, builds a whole town, and by doing so builds a whole community. The text of this book couldn’t be more perfectly paired with Cátia Chien’s absolutely fanciful pencil, acrylic, and paper collage illustrations. The turtle’s shell and then town feel like a planet and there are galaxy elements throughout—stars and dark black space and elemental shapes. The book is a dream that mirror’s turtle’s told-of dream.

 


Things to Do written by Elaine Magliaro (2017).

A compilation of poems that explore things to do according to your perspective and place—a celebration of moments and nature and soaking up every small experience.

 

The Sea Serpent and Me written by Dashka Slater (2008).

This one is sweet-sweet-sweet and mirrors what it’s like to find, to love, and to, when the time comes, let go.

 

A Boy and A Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz (2014).

This is the autobiography of Alan Rabinowitz, wildlife conservationist, who found that his ability to speak with animals was his special gift.

 


My Blue is Happy written by Jessica Young (2013).

An exploration of color and feelings and the way two interplay.

 

Big thanks to Cátia Chien and to Chronicle Books for images of The Bear and the Moon!

 

 

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Thanks to Chronicle Kids, I’m giving away a copy of the latest picture book Cátia Chien’s illustrated, The Bear and the Moon, words by Matthew Burgess—out September 29th, 2020!

Simply comment below for a chance to win! (U.S. only; ends Friday, September 4th at midnight Pacific.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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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.

 

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