Two for the Show
Julius Lester loved language and he loved story. Language, Lester wrote, is not just words and what they mean; music and rhythm are also part of the meaning. Just reading his books for children makes us want to read them out loud to hear that music and rhythm along with his gift for putting words
Carole Boston Weatherford has been writing since she was in first grade. Her father taught printing and was able to publish those early stories. Weatherford has written dozens of picture books for young readers — and all readers. We cannot be exhaustive here, but we can introduce you to this wonderful writer.
Ashley Bryan’s life has been so full of making children’s books and there are so many wonderful children’s books that we can only call out a few — a few enticements, and encourage you to take yourself on a wonderful journey into Ashley Bryan’s world.
A full moon on December 29 ended the year 2020. New year, new moon, and we are thinking once again about moon books – we’ve looked at some of these before, but good books, like the moon, keep coming back.
In this season of gift-giving we want to look at the gift of poetry, specifically the poetry and writing of Eloise Greenfield. Since publishing her first poem in 1962, she has written more than forty-five books for children and was the recipient of the 2018 Coretta Scott King Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her
We have to confess to book envy — that is encountering a picture book and wishing that we had written it. The book’s approach is so arresting, the heart of the book so big, the images so rich. Such books not only make us wish we’d done them, they change what we want to do and what we
Though our focus this month is on Javaka Steptoe, we want to begin this column with another book by his father, John Steptoe, Daddy is a Monster…Sometimes. This book is narrated by two children, Bweela and Javaka, who begin, “We are Bweela and Javaka and we have a daddy. He’s a nice daddy and all, but he got
This month we want to celebrate the work of John Steptoe, brilliant artist and writer, who was born on September 14, 1950. His work is a year-round birthday present to all of us.
Phyllis: Spring is finally here, and the pollinators are buzzing in the blossoms, so we thought we’d write about bugs this month. Plus, we’ve just finished a book with our good friend and fellow writer Liza Ketchum about the rusty-patched bumblebee, the first bumblebee to be listed as endangered. Once we started looking for buggy books,
Jackie: We decided to honor the nation’s newfound love of baking with a column on picture books focused on baking. We still don’t have libraries (a great benefit of this confinement is the reminder of how special and necessary are libraries in our lives) so we are limited to books we can find read aloud on
Phyllis: e.e. cummings said it best when he described the world as mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. Snow melts and runs babbling away, days lengthen, green sprouts of skunk cabbage and rhubarb poke out. This month we are looking at muddy, squishy, rainy, wet stories in honor of spring. Mud by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Lauren
We have been thinking of trees — green, leafy, blooming, buzzing trees. It’s not that we’re tired of winter. We love winter. Phyllis even has snowshoes — and uses them! Jackie loves walking in the snowy quiet and the nearly monochromatic landscape. We both love candles, sweaters, and hot soup. But every now and then we think of green.
We’re snowed under right now, what with teaching and writing and, well, snow, so we thought we’d offer up a blizzard of books about the white stuff that falls from our skies. Curl up with a child, a cup of warmth, and enjoy winter in the pages of a book. The Snow Party by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers and
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
Jackie: November is a month to celebrate food and family, to celebrate making meals and eating together. Phyllis and I both love pie. And we often review pie books in November but we are running out of pie stories. (Writers out there: more pie stories, please.) So, this year we decided to look for cookie stories. Who