Summer is here and we’re nearly halfway through 2017, if you can believe it! It’s the perfect time to look back at the year and pick some of the best children’s books of the year so far. Amazon recently compiled a list of their editors’ books of the year. Two of our own artists’ picture books made it on the list! In the Ages 3 to 5 category, Amazon chose Lucía the Luchadora, written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez. This vivid picture book tells the story of a young girl who draws on her heritage of lucha libre to become a hero on her playground. Purchase it here. In the Ages 6 to 8 category is Mae and June and the Wonder Wheel, written by Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Ashley Spires. A chapter book for young readers, Mae and June focuses on the adventures of two young girls who pick each day’s activities based on a wheel with a list of tasks. Purchase it here. Amazon’s full list of 2017’s Best Books So Far is available here.
The Chocolate Lily Book Awards is a reader’s choice awards that selects some of the best children’s fiction from authors and illustrators from British Columbia in Canada. Every year, they nominate books in categories such as picture books and novels. This year, Canadian author/illustrator Ashley Spires was nominated for two different books (see below)! Congratulations, Ashley! Picture Books – Spare Dog Parts, written by Alison Hughes and illustrated by Ashley Spires Chapter Books/Early Novels – Fluffy Strikes Back, written and illustrated by Ashley Spires The Chocolate Lily Book Award’s full list of nominated books is available here.
Wee Sister Strange is K.G. Campbell‘s newest picture book, written by Holly Grant. In this dreamy tale, a young fairy-like girl in the woods searches for a bedtime story. Kirkus wrote a starred review for this exciting new story. They praised the fantastical imagery and Grant’s rhymes. Kirkus writes of the art, “Campbell’s illustrations give Sister’s nighttime world shape and depth with emphatic splashes of light.” All in all, they conclude that Wee Sister Strange is “An enchanting bedtime tale to be read over and over again. ” Kirkus’s full starred review is available here. Wee Sister Strange will be released in September, but you can pre-order it here.
The blog Archimedes Notebook helps children and parents find books for children that focus on science and environmental issues. Archimedes Notebook recently posted a blog post on picture books that explore science through the medium of poetry. One of the books the post praised is Thunder Underground, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Josée Masse. Thunder Underground explores the concept of the varied things that exist under our feet, from ant colonies to subway lines. Archimedes praised the way the story incorporates a variety of unique aspects of nature as well as the factual back matter. Archimedes’s blog post is available here. You can purchase Thunder Underground here.
From June 13th to October 15th, the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History will be presenting an exhibit of artwork by Vermont natives. Entitled Draw Me a Story — Tell Me a Tale: Vermont Children’s Book Illustrators & Authors, the exhibit features 18 children’s book illustrators/authors. Sarah Dillard, author of Extraordinary Warren and the Mouse Scouts series, is one of these chosen authors! The exhibit includes two images from Warren and several more from Mouse Scouts. The image on the left from Extraordinary Warren is also featured on museum post cards. If you’re in Vermont in the upcoming months, make sure to check out this great display! More information about the exhibit is available here.
As flowers bloom, it’s important to think about the little insects that help make it all possible. Bees are now an endangered species and need humans’ help! To help spread knowledge about bees, Publishers Weekly published a list of “Buzzworthy Books About Bees.” Included on this list is Gerald Kelley‘s new picture book, Please Please the Bees, the story of what happens to one honey loving bear when his local bees go on strike. Please Please the Bees is an adorable story with lots of great lessons on how to make bees thrive. PW’s full list of recommended bee books is available here. Please Please the Bees can be purchased online here.