Once in a while a debut book comes across my desk and I’m too curious to put it into a to-be-read pile. I glance at the cover throughout the day until I can’t resist opening the book. What is it about? Am I going to like it? Then I keep turning the pages, marveling over the illustrations … and there are no words!… more
When A Map into the World found its way to my desk last year, I had to remind myself to breathe. This gem of a book captures feelings of love and friendship in a way that crosses generations and speaks to each of our hearts. What else had she written, I wondered? Her memoir for grownups, The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir, caused quite a stir when it was published in 2009.… more
As I read each of Lee Bennett Hopkins’ collections of poetry, I find my curiosity piqued: “How does he do this?” When I was a grad student, I came across Mr. Hopkins’ book, Books Are by People: interviews with 104 authors and illustrators of books for young children. Those interviews provoked my imagination and propelled my career.… more
Reading and admiring the books of Paul O. Zelinsky raises my curiosity. How does he work on the illustrations for his own books and those of other authors? What is he thinking about when he evolves his unforgettable characters?
Of his newest book, All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah (written by Emily Jenkins), Mr. Zelinsky says, “Now that I’m done, when I consider how I worked on these pictures, trying to rough them up when they got too smooth, to flatten them out when they got too round, to maintain a sense of texture throughout, I think that perhaps what I was really trying do was represent the qualities of a good potato latke!… more
This month we’re featuring Melissa Stewart, author of science books for young readers and a seemingly tireless advocate for reading nonfiction books, particularly expository nonfiction (“5 Kinds of Nonfiction”). Melissa has written more than 180 books in her career, the first of which was published in 1998 and the most recent of which is Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs (illustrated by Stephanie Laberis, published by Peachtree Publishers).… more
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