Kirkus recently shared “Getting Down to Earth,” a list of three recommended children’s books with strong environmental themes. Included on this list is Gerald Kelley‘s recently published Please Please the Bees. His authorial debut, Please Please the Bees is the story of a bear who loves honey…until the bees that make his honey go on strike! Kirkus called Please “a delightful surprise,” and praised the book for combining pro-union messages with environmental themes. Kirkus recommends it to any teachers wanting to educate children on labor strikes or on the dangers currently facing honeybees. But Please Please the Bees should be an enjoyable picture book even to those not interested in those vital topics, because as Kirkus writes, “It’s funny and thought-provoking, and Kelley’s expressive paintings are sunny and warm.” Kirkus’s “Getting Down to Earth” article is available here, and some awesome spreads from Please are linked here. You can purchase Please Please the Bees here.
The 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards have been released! In the “Children’s Picture Book (6 Years & Up)” category, Over in the Grasslands: On an African Savanna, written by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jill Dubin tied for first place. Set to the rhyme of “Over in the Meadow,” Over in the Grasslands teaches children about the African savanna and the animals that live there. Congratulations, Marianne and Jill! The full list of Indie Book Award winners is available here. Over in the Grasslands can be purchased here.
Summer is here, which means plenty of time for reading! Scholastic recently released a list of 50 Brilliant Books for Summer for children to read. Noah Webster’s Fighting Words, written by Tracy Nelson Maurer and illustrated by Mircea Catusanu, was included in this list under the non-fiction category. Noah is the true story of a little known founding father who compiled the first American English dictionary. Scholastic describes Noah as an “eye-catchingly illustrated biography.” Scholastic full list of recommendations can be found here. Noah Webster’s Fighting Words can be purchased online here.
The larger publishing houses are well known, but don’t forget smaller publishers or indie presses! In order to help spread awareness of these small presses, the SLJ recently put out an article entitled “Celebrating Small Publishers: An Array of Remarkable 2017 Titles From the Smallest Houses.” Included on this list were two picture books by artists/authors represented by Painted Words! Lucía the Luchadora, written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez, tells the story of a young girl who finds the bravery to stand up to bullies when her grandmother shares a secret about their family history. As the SLJ wrote, “What’s not to love?” Purchase Lucía the Luchadora online here. Please Please the Bees, Gerald Kelley‘s debut as an author, is the story of what happens when a group of bees stand up to the bear making huge demands on their honey production. The SLJ praised the bravery of the liberal, pro-union message of the story. You can purchase Please Please the Bees here. The SLJ’s full list of recommended presses and titles can be found here.
Every year, the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education compile a list of the best children’s books of the previous year. Based on criteria such as literary excellence, quality of illustration, diversity, and emotional impact, these books are recommended for parents, librarians, and children. This year, Bank Street has chosen seven of Painted Words’s books as some of the best books of 2016! Under Five: Spare Dog Parts, written by Alison Hughes and illustrated by Ashley Spires Who Wants a Tortoise?, written by David Keane and illustrated by K.G. Campbell Five to Nine: The Quickest Kid in Clarksville, written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Frank Morrison Mouse Scouts: Make a Difference, by Sarah Dillard Don’t Call Me Grandma, written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and illustrated by Liz Zunon Nine to Twelve: Fluffy Strikes Back, by Ashley Spires Echo Echo: Reverso Poems about Greek Myths, written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josée Masse Bank Street’s full list of recommended books can be found here. Congratulations to our Painted Words artists and authors!
Ashley Spires‘s newest picture book, The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do, is available for purchase as of today! The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do tells the story of a brave and adventurous little girl who unexpectedly encounters a new challenge: climbing a tree. Lou doesn’t want to believe she’s afraid of anything, but she sure doesn’t want to climb that tree. Will Lou overcome her fear? You can purchase The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do online here.