About

http://threebooksanight.com

I'm Caryn, passionate obsessor of children's picture books and aspiring illustrator. I share my ever-growing knowledge and love of children's books at threebooksanight.com. I'll be reviewing books, sharing tips, and hopefully convincing the world of the loveliness of picture books. Join me if you will!

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25 Days – Book 2: Nutcracker

Day 2 of the picture book countdown to Christmas includes this book which is probably cheating to be called a picture book. At 102 pages, this is much more of a storybook, chapter book, or…? But the Nutcracker story is a classic Christmas tale and this edition by Maurice Sendak is a delightfully unique version of the famous story. Here’s E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Nutcracker, translated by Ralph Manheim, with pictures by Maurice Sendak, 1984.

Read the full post…

25 Days of Christmas Children’s Picture Books! 2017

It’s that time of year! I took a true holiday last year and didn’t do my usual 25 picture books countdown to Christmas. It was lovely to step away for a bit, but I’m ready. So here we go! I will do my best to keep each day short with just a quick post about the book and a picture or two.

And if you want to check out past years: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. Happy December 1!

Book Review: When’s My Birthday? By Fogliano & Robinson

Once again, Christian Robinson’s illustrations have stolen my attention and heart. I’ve had my eye on this book coming out since the first illustration hints I saw on Robinson’s Instagram. I saved it as an idea for potential gift giving for one of my children, but then it came out this September and who am I kidding, I wanted it for me! Take a peek at this marvelous new collaboration between the delightfully poetic author, Julie Fogliano and the brilliantly clever illustrator, Christian Robinson. Here is When’s My Birthday? Read the full post…

Happy Book Birthday, Jerry!

Today is the day! Not So Scary Jerry by Shelley Kinder, illustrated by me, Caryn Schafer, is officially out in the world. I cannot wait for you to meet Jerry! I’ll be back to posting regularly again very soon and have lots to share about the creation of Jerry and other exciting projects. Pick up Not So Scary Jerry at Clear Fork PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble, and ask your local bookstore and library to carry it!

Review & Giveaway! Vampirina At The Beach By Pace & Pham

What a crazy couple weeks of spring we have had. So much sickness and completely missing school and Easter and friends and possibly spring too. But I’m thankful to have a constant pile of new books to look through. Last week I received this book from Disney-Hyperion in hopes that I could review it, and they also offered a really amazing giveaway to one of my readers. How could I turn that down? Thankfully, we liked the story. So let’s take a look at a fun, summery, ballerina beach book, with a crazy unique twist. Here is Vampirina at the Beach by Ann Marie Pace, picture by LeUyen Pham, 2017. (And stay tuned in the post for the fantastic giveaway!) Read the full post…

Review & Giveaway! Happy Dreamer By Peter H. Reynolds

Over a decade ago, I was an illustration and graphic design major, struggling to decide if I could really make it as an artist. I’m not talking about making it as in being successful or even just making a living at it. No, I was and have always struggled with feelings of inadequacy as an artist. I’m the apparently typical, overly critical, self-loathing type of artist who never really loves anything that I create. Why am I telling you this? Well, around that time, I was also extremely obsessed with picture books. I would frequently drive 45 minutes to the nearest big town from my school and get lost in the Barnes & Noble children’s department. It had this amazing forest decoration with benches built into the trees that you could sit with books for hours. I would wander around, grabbing a handful of new books and then hole up to get lost in the picture book world. On one of those trips, I crossed paths with Peter H. Reynolds most recent book, The Dot (2003). The first time I read it, I cried. I was awestruck. It moved me and spoke to me and about me in a way that no other book really has done. I bought it then and there with my limited book purchasing funds. It has traveled with me through design jobs, art jobs, marriage, two kids, three homes, multiple art spaces, and still sits on display above my desk in my tiny art studio in NYC. Every time I look at it, I am reminded to simply create. (But perhaps that is a longer story for another, much deserved post.) But this is where my deep love and admiration for the work of Peter H. Reynolds began.

So today, I am extremely thrilled to not only get to show Peter’s newest book; but also to gift it to someone else! There is something magical about Peter’s books. They don’t just entertain, or educate, or even just tell a story. His books inspire, and encourage, and invite readers to be. This newest book is the epitome of that. It does not hide or disguise its mission. It is bold. This book is Peter and is his invitation to everyone else who is like him, a happy dreamer. Come take a look at Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds, 2017 (and stay tuned for the giveaway!). Read the full post…

Research: Picture Book Bedrooms

An eclectic stack of picture books all chosen for one specific reason: bedroom illustrations!

I have seriously missed blogging! I’m sorry for my consistent absence lately, but all free time is being poured into my book. Yay! The past couple weeks I have been working on background brainstorming for my characters and I needed some serious picture book bedroom inspiration. I filled Pinterest with some ideas, both illustrated and real, and then I realized… this is an excellent thing to post about. It gets the jumbled thoughts and observations from my head into written form and serves for a fun research project. This is in no way exhaustive, (though reading this post will be!) but simply includes every book I currently have on hand that I could immediately think of a bedroom that I liked for some reason or another. So here we go: great illustrated picture book bedrooms! Read the full post…

Book Review: La Madre Goose By Elya & Martinez-Neal

Happy New Year everyone! I’m still continuing my sporadic posting thanks to my book project; but as I still have piles upon piles of books that I am loving and hoping to share, I want to pop in with one today. I grabbed this one at a book festival in Brooklyn and we are in love with it! Breathtaking illustrations, vibrant colors, and delightful bilingual nursery rhymes – this book is a must-add to your bookshelf. Come delight in La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for Los Niños by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, 2016. Read the full post…