As a child, I was shy and scared — of other kids, dogs, almost anything outside my fence. My parents enrolled me in preschool, hoping I’d blossom. I refused to get out of the car. I had everything I needed at home, including a mom who loved reading to me. My first book memory is Three Bedtime Stories: The Three Little Kittens, The Three Little Pigs, The Three Bears, illustrated by Garth Williams.
Phyllis: Winter has come down like a snowy blanket, and animals in our world have migrated, hibernated, or are shivering their way through the months ahead. But animals in picture books have other ideas. Why not be a part of December’s celebrations of Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice or help a friend in frozen need? These books make us feel as cozy as a cup of tea, a lighted tree.… more
This month, Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Phyllis Root, the usual hosts of this column, have invited Kari Pearson to share her recommendations for funny picture books. Let’s play a game! It’s called Funny/Not Funny. It goes like this: Funny: Eating greasy bloaters with cabbage-and-potato sog (see: How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen) Not Funny: Shoveling gigantic snowdrifts out of my driveway into piles almost as tall as myself.… more
by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Phyllis Root Jackie: Ah winter. Season of holidays and snow. Such a richness of stories. Phyllis: I have a shelf full of favorite Christmas books. What most of them have in common is story, not just about Christmas itself but also about families celebrating their connection to each other. They meet my own test for a good Christmas story — take away Christmas from the setting and the story still has a strong heartbeat about love, family, community, and caring for each other. … more
by Melanie Heuiser Hill I have written before about the need for longer picture books in addition to the shorter ones making up the current trend in picture book publishing. I want to stay on the record as saying there’s plenty of reason to keep publishing picture books that are longer than 300 – 500 words. I’m an advocate for 3000 – 5000 words — a story with details!… more