Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Julie Morstad, is Snyder’s first children’s book biography, and she leaves no doubt that she can craft such a story well. Pavlova, the legendary Russian prima ballerina, was born in the late 19th century and longed to dance. She was accepted at the age of 10 into the Imperial Ballet School in Saint Petersburg but soon discovered that, as Snyder writes in the book’s ...
I have been thinking a lot lately about the different ways in which readers respond to books. That’s because my own 11-year-old daughter, who reads about as often as she breathes, is (what I call) a private reader. And it’s a very different thing from most readers I know.
I have my own blog about books. In this Kirkus column here, I also write about books and conduct Q&As with authors. I teach a children’s literature grad course, where my ...
During Mordicai Gerstein’s fifth year of life, he started kindergarten, his little brother was born and he faced a whole range of other experiences and changes for the first time. Now, over 70 years later, he still remembers the events of that year almost exactly.
Strange as it sounds, this ability has come in handy during his decadeslong career as a writer and illustrator. In fact, Gerstein’s newest book, The Night World, is based on a specific incident from that ...
Ted and Betsy Lewin in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Ted and Betsy Lewin have made a career of writing and illustrating books for children. Each has received the Caldecott Honor—Ted in 1994 for Elisa Bartone’s Peppe the Lamplighter and Betsy in 2001 for Doreen Cronin’s Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type—and, collectively, they have written and/or illustrated nearly 200 books.
Bethany Barton photographed by D'Avello Photography.
If Bethany Barton were a spider, she knows exactly which species she’d be.
“Definitely the peacock spider: he’s colorful, he’s fuzzy, he does a little dance,” Barton says by phone from L.A. “Have you ever seen a peacock spider dance?! You have to go to YouTube right now. It’s cool—I’ll hold.”
I’ve got a wee menagerie in my picture-book round-up this week—pigs, cats, ponies. If you’re looking for other creatures, you’ll have to look elsewhere, but these are three books that won’t let you down.
First up is Marcus Ewert’s rhyming Mummy Cat, illustrated by Lisa Brown and coming to shelves later this month. There are several narrative layers to this sophisticated story about a mummified cat, “who’s passed through Death” and wakes to wander his tomb and be with the ...
The bees are buzzing, the summer winds are soughing: It’s Canada Day
July 1, 2015
The bees are buzzing, the summer winds are soughing, so it must be time for that annual celebration of national identity: Canada Day. Although Canadians typically don’t make as much noise as we Americans do, I have found that they make excellent books, and this year is no exception. Join me for a quick tour.
Montreal author/illustrator Marie-Louise Gay has kicked off a new early-reader/chapter-book series about the indomitable Princess Pistachio, convinced she’s a member of the Papuan ...
The new video by Tad Hills, author of R IS For ROCKET
June 30, 2015
Tad Hills and Rocket
Adorable Rocket the dog and his many pals (including a moonlighting Goose) are returning in R Is for Rocket: An ABC Book, out on July 7. Author Tad Hills explains a bit about Rocket and his friends in this irresistible new video. We feel so sorry for Goose, who finds walking a little difficult. Check out Tad Hills’ new video!
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