2017

25 Days – Book 16: The Nutcracker in Harlem

Day 16 brings another new book this year that is a delightful reinvention of The Nutcracker. Set in Sugar Hill in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance, this familiar, yet completely new story is an amazing tribute to the classic while giving unique honor to the power of jazz on the American soul. Add this one to your shelves immediately: The Nutcracker in Harlem by T. E. McMorrow, illustrated by James Ransome, 2017.

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25 Days – Book 15: The 12 Days Of Christmas (Pizzoli)

Day 15 brings us a brand new book from a favorite picture book creator. You can never have too many counting books and at Christmas, a counting book is most likely in the form of this carol. This carol can be annoying. Really annoying when it gets stuck in your head. And if you really think about what the carol is talking about, what’s happening can actually be perceived as annoying too. Enter Greg Pizzoli and his hilarious animals with their simple exaggerated expressions. This book arrived just in time for the 2017 Christmas season and is here for your enjoyment today. Check out (and then go buy) The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli, 2017.

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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…

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…