Two for the Show

When the Babies Came to Stay Christine McDonnell

Library Love 

Libraries! We want to look at books about these mag­i­cal places, por­tals to our world, our selves, and oth­er worlds and selves we might become.

How to Write a Poem

Poets and Picture Books 

Poets and pic­ture book writ­ers both know the weight of a word, the sound of a syl­la­ble, the turn of a line, and they both know that every word matters.

Ablaze with Color

Art Will Out 

This month we have been think­ing about the mys­ter­ies of the visu­al arts — how some artists must cre­ate, no mat­ter the circumstances.

Trout Are Made of Trees

Sharing Wonder: April Pulley Sayre 

We have been think­ing about won­der — about the fas­ci­na­tion we have for the beau­ty, the intri­ca­cy, the mys­tery of the work­ings of the nat­ur­al world.

Shirley Chisholm Dared

Celebrating Black Women in the U.S.

We feel called this month to cel­e­brate the many accom­plish­ments of Black women in this coun­try — some of whom are his­tor­i­cal icons, too many of whom we have we have nev­er heard of.



Heard on the news: “No one wants to be a refugee.” Here’s a look at four pic­ture books that share the refugee expe­ri­ence with young readers.

Almost to Freedom

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson: Voices from History 

Books have been a part of Vaun­da Micheaux Nelson’s life since the day she was born. “My moth­er found my name in a nov­el she was read­ing,” Nel­son says. Books and fam­i­ly and his­to­ry form a thread through many of Nelson’s award-win­n­ing pic­ture books.

Sam and the Tigers

Julius Lester 

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 together.

Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom

Carole Boston Weatherford 

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.

Beautiful Blackbird

Ashley Bryan: Brave for Life 

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.

Max and the Tag-Along Moon

Revisiting the Moon 

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.

The Great Migration: Journey to the North

In the Neighborhood of Eloise Greenfield 

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

You Hold Me Up

We Are Grateful 

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

Radiant Child

Javaka Steptoe 

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 some­thin’ wrong with him… .”

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