Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Christian Robinson (#LGBpodcast Ep. 129)

Christian Robinson, illustrator of Last Stop on Market Street (@Penguinkids) by Matt De La Pena, Gaston (@SimonKids) by Kelly DiPucchio, and Josephine (@ChronicleKids) by Patrcia Hruby Howell, stops by to talk about the art of fun, trusting the process, desigining illustrations to bring himself the most joy.

Episode Notes
Christian Robinson' homepage (The Art of Fun)
Gallery Nucleus - Greetings & Salutations: an exhibition in collaboration with Red Cap Cards (April 18 - May 3)
Cards by Christian Robinson (Red Cap Cards)
Ben Butcher (Pixar)
Roger Duvoisin
Purchase Christian Robinson's books from your local independent bookstore

Purchase locally whenever possible.

Monday, March 2, 2015

WRAD15 Blogging Challenge Week 4

I'm participating in the World Read Aloud Day Blogging Challenge. Enjoy my entry in our final challenge and consider joining yourself.

Week 4: March 2 - 8

Speak Your Story

We'll be making lots of connections throughout the week with schools, libraries, authors, and illustrators. We'll be reading from a mixed bag of books including lots and lots of favorites, old and new. I've shared our connections over our library blog, which you can see here.

If you choose to take up the WRAD Speak Your Story blogging challenge, make sure to tweet your weekly posts to @litworldsays and use the hashtag #WRAD15 so that we can retweet your wonderful read aloud stories! Happy blogging!

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Join me and countless others as we celebrate LitWorld's World Read Aloud Day on March 4th, 2015.

For more ideas on how others are celebrating, check out my World Read Aloud Day 2015 post or visit LitWorld.org.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Best Book Ever [this week] - March 1, 2015

Five books reviewed in five minutes.

Outer Space Bedtime Race by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Brian Won (Random House)

First up is Outer Space Bedtime Race by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Brian Won. And this is published by Random House. This is a bedtime book, a race to bed (of course) in rhyming text with a visit to each of the plants along the way and my goodness does this not have the most beautifully designed art by Brian Won. This is the guy who brought us Hooray for Hat earlier this year. And it has so many different charming aliens, spacey pictures, and everything just kind of seems to glow off of the page. It's beautiful. And paired with the Ron's rhyming text that… I've just got to flat out say that there is one point where we talk about the creatures of Saturn going to bed in the buff, which is something that I think kids are not going to be able to forget. This is such a beautifully designed book and one that feels new for space books. It feels new for designing characters from from other planets in making them look unique and cute and adorable. So, really well-done! I love this book! Outer Space Bedtime Race. Check it out!

Beautiful Birds by Jean Roussen and Emmanuelle Walker (Flying Eye Books)

Next up is a book by Flying Eye [Books], which is called Beautiful Birds and it's written and illustrated by J. [Jean] Roussen and E. [Emmanuelle] Walker. This, as well, has some of the most beautiful design I've seen in a picture book. This goes alphabetically through a number of different bird species, and just every single page looks like it could be ripped out and framed. I love the dimensions; It's a very tall book and it covers a great number of birds that I hadn't heard of before and I think will be new to readers. The text rhymes, but really the star of the book here is is the art and how beautifully portrayed these different birds are. to check it out. So check it out. That's Beautiful Birds published from Flying Eye Books. 

Zombie in Love 2+1 by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Scott Campbell (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

Number three this week is a sequel. It's Zombie in Love 2+1 by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Scott Campbell. And this is published through Atheneum Books for Young Readers. In the first Zombie book we found that zombie found someone to love, a partner, a soulmate. And now, wouldn't you know, they have a baby. And there are so many wonderful puns in this book, including one of my favorite which is at the very end. The baby is playing with the father's nose and there, of course, is a line that says,  "Aww! He has his daddy's nose." Which is perfect! Come on? It's like The Naked Gun (movie). It's wonderful! The mom and the dad just don't feel like this is the right baby for them because the baby doesn't cry and the baby doesn't sleep through the day. But wouldn't you know that Kelly's work in her storytelling and Scott's beautiful work in his illustrations pull off a really wonderful, charming zombie book that is equal parts gross and hilarious, so definitely check out Zombie in Love 2+1.

Snoozefest by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Kristyna Litten (Dial Books for Young Readers)

Sticking with the pun theme is Snoozefest by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Kristyna Litten. This is published Dial Books for Young Readers. And Samantha has maybe the strongest control of puns from any author I know. And in this case we have a sloth who is going to the Snoozefest, which is big sleeping party? I don't even know how to call it. Picture Woodstock, only the main goal is to get everyone to go to bed. And everyone buys their shirts and gets the stamps brings their blankets and listens to bands that are meant to soothe you to sleep. And it's just really sweet and charming. I feel like what an adorable bedtime book with so many little puns that kids will pick up on, but also that adult readers will just really love. My favorite part, the highlight of this, is the PJ parade. Watch for the names of all the different illustrators (designers) that Samantha has riffed off of on the theme of sleep. So check that out. That's Snoozefest by Samantha Berger.

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli (Viking)

And finally is The Impossibly True Story of Tricky Vic, the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli. This is the best book ever this week. The design work on here, too. Greg is a screen print designer, if I'm saying that right. And his news story here, a picture book, a nonfiction story, about a con artist... I don't think you can handle the material any better. He's done such a wonderful job of bringing history to life and also saying about how this is bad guy, who swindled people out of lots and lots of the money and even tricked Al Capone, yes, indeed, he sold the Eiffel Tower. Twice, in fact, to scrap metalists at a time when they were going to tear down the Eiffel Tower. It's just pulled off so well here. I love that the art feels like Rocky and Bullwinkle. It feels classic like that. I love the color scheme on here. It's all kind of gray, muted tones. And I love the content because he tells the story so well, Greg narrates the story so well, but also has these great sidebars and other historical information about Alcatraz and about other buildings along the way. And, I don't know, it's just pulled off in a way that I feel like, "Here is a picture book that people will be reading aloud to kids in elementary school or middle or high school. This is going to be a book that really stands up for an outstanding example of nonfiction and he's got such a gripping story, that it's wonderful. When you pick up a copy of his book, make sure that you lift up the flap as well, the jacket. Because there's some hidden art there that I think you'll really enjoy. And that is why I'm calling The Impossibly True Story of Tricky Vic, the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli the best book ever this week. Way to go!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Matthew Cordell (#LGBpodcast Ep. 128)

Matthew Cordell (@CordellMatthew), author illustrator of Wish (@DisneyHyperion) and illustrator of Special Delivery (@MacKidsBooks) by Philip C. Stead, stops by to talk about satisfying two vastly different audiences, throwing lines away if they don't look spontaneous enough, and the immortal work of Fred Rogers.

Episode Notes
Matthew Cordell' homepage
"Special Delivery: A Visit with Matthew Cordell &Philip Stead and Even a Moment with Neal Porter" (Seven Impossible Things blog post)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WRAD15 Blogging Challenge Week 3

I'm participating in the World Read Aloud Day Blogging Challenge. Enjoy my entry in our first challenge and consider joining yourself.

Week 3: February 23 - March 1

Profile Partner

Here I am taking a selfie with two of my favorite pals, Little Owl and Hat Monkey. Little Owl appears in Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton. Hat Monkey is the star of Chris Haughton's iOS app by the same name. I decided to bring these two along for my WRAD15 celebrations for a couple of reasons. First, I absolutely love Chris' books and the amazing design work he puts into visually telling a story. Second, these book characters were handmade through a Fair Trade organization Chris works through. (You can find Little Owl and other cool stuff from Chris HERE.)

I can't wait to see what friends you've invited along into your profile pics to celebrate World Read Aloud Day!
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Join me and countless others as we celebrate LitWorld's World Read Aloud Day on March 4th, 2015.

For more ideas on how others are celebrating, check out my World Read Aloud Day 2015 post or visit LitWorld.org.
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