Archive | July 2014

Stephen and the Beetle

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Author: Jorge Elias Lujan

Illustrator: Chiara Carrer

Translator: Elisa Amado

Publisher: Groundwood Books

Purchased: N/A – Gift from Hipster Sister

Does your kid like to kill bugs? Then this is the book for you! Ok, in all seriousness, this has a good message about respecting all living things and understanding that even small actions have consequences.  BUT it’s kind of a strange book. Which is fine – I mean every bookshelf needs some story diversity. Every book can’t be all rhymes and trucks and fairy tales, right?

But bear in mind that mixing it up comes with illustrations like this…

Read More…

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Thank You Bob Shea — #inspiredwriter

Not pictured but also owned: I'm a Shark!

Not pictured but also owned: I’m a Shark!

I’m going to take a moment to be serious about picture books.

The thing is, picture books are amazing. And it’s funny because I kind of forgot that along the way. In my experience, the love of reading that picture books initially fostered meant that I quickly left those books behind and moved into the world of Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley High and V.C. Andrews (am I dating myself with those references?). Other than a break when I was practicing law (nothing ruins reading for pleasure like practicing law), I have loved reading from those initial moments spent learning to read.

I have also always loved to write. As a child, after reading Harriet the Spy, I carried around a notebook where I wrote down my observations and feelings (everyone did that after reading that book, right?). I stumbled across those notebooks recently and wow, what a trip down memory lane. In any case, I continued to write: stories in high school, creative writing in college, on and on. But it wasn’t until I had my son that I rediscovered picture books and decided I wanted to write them.

Now, I have to imagine that there are a lot of people who look at picture books and think: wow, these must be incredibly easy to write. Look how short they are! I can do that! And so they write some stories and send them out to agents and expect to be the next big picture book author.

Then there are the Type-A people like me, who research the industry, join the SCBWI, write, go to conferences, join critique groups, revise, and maybe finally work up the nerve to submit. And then never get anywhere. Maybe a form rejection comes your way, maybe not. But in any case, you’re rejected. Over and over and over.

This relates to Bob Shea, I swear… Read More…

The Pigeon Needs A Bath

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Author: Mo Willems

Illustrator: Mo Willems

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Purchased: N/A – Library Check Out

Why: Figured it was time to try another one of these books – the first time was a while ago and my son just wasn’t that interested in them. The library was a safe bet in case it wasn’t a hit but boy, what a change this time around!

Pros: This book is hilarious. Parents will certainly enjoy reading this one as “inspiration” to get their little ones to bathe. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but yeah, this book is awesome. I mean check out this spread:

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Now, one element that I thought was different was the use of small panels on a few pages to add to the story. See partial example here:

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I didn’t want to give away all of the details – just a little hint!

My husband and I both love this one – definitely worth adding to your collection!