Coming out in March 2017, If You Were the Moon, written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jaime Kim, is a poetic and scientific exploration of all the things the moon does for the Earth and for humans. To ensure accuracy, it was even reviewed by a real astrophysicist! In their review, Kirkus called If You Were the Moon “inventive and spirited.” They write of Jaime’s art that, “Each illustration is tinged with starlight, making the book a pleasant nighttime read,” and conclude that, “Salas and Kim provide a great addition to a nighttime-window reading shelf and/or early-science classroom.” You can order If You Were the Moon online here!
Thunder Underground, the upcoming picture book written by acclaimed author Jane Yolen and illustrated by Josée Masse, is a collection of poems centering on the idea of what lies underneath our feet, underground. This unique idea takes its main characters and the reader on a poetic adventure through the earth and the things hidden there, ranging from animals to hidden pirate treasure. Kirkus recently reviewed Thunder Underground with high praise and a starred review. They called the picture book, “A thoughtful exploration of nature expressed in poetry that should open the eyes of children to unseen worlds,” and they wrote of Josée’s art that, “Masse’s mixed-media illustrations portray the imaginary points of view with aplomb.” Thunder Underground won’t be released until March 2017, but if you can’t wait for it, you can pre-order it online here.
Charlie Piechart is back and ready to solve more mysteries! This time, his friend’s hat has gone missing, leading to a new mystery and a chance to teach children about shapes. Written by Marilyn Sadler and illustrated by Eric Comstock, Charlie Piechart and the Case of the Missing Hat is the newest picture book in the series. Booklist has written a great review about Charlie Piechart and the Case of the Missing Hat. Describing the hero as “Lovable, circular Charlie,” they praise the educational elements incorporated into the book. Booklist writes of Eric’s illustrations, “Comstock depicts familiar school things—lockers, an art room, a science lab, a teachers’ lounge—with pencil, paper, and digital renderings. The simplistic look of the characters and the monochromatic colors place the emphasis on the shape theme, while sidebars add definitions and examples.” Charlie Piechart and the Case of the Missing Hat can be ordered online here.
The Youngest Marcher, written by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton, won’t be published until January of 2017. But it already has its first review, from Kirkus! The historically based picture book tells the story of Audrey, the youngest protester in the Birmingham civil rights protests. After hearing the adults and civil rights activists in her community, including Martin Luther King, discuss civil rights injustices, Audrey knows what she must do and is unafraid of the consequences…even of being arrested! Kirkus praises the way Levinson “carefully tailors her text to a level suitable for a younger audience,” and they write that Vanessa’s “digital illustrations burst with color against a white background.” Check out the full review here. If you can’t wait to read The Youngest Marcher, you can preorder it online here.
Our Painted Words illustrators are hitting it out of the park with Kirkus this month! Shadra Strickland‘s newest book, Loving Vs. Virginia, written by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Shadra, received a starred review from Kirkus. As indicated by the title, Loving Vs. Virginia tells the story of the case of an interracial couple in mid-century Virginia that fought to make their marriage legal, winning in a landmark case for civil rights and love. Kirkus praised the use of timeline, photographs, quotes, and other educational materials in the story, calling it, “A beautiful model of bookmaking.” They wrote of Shadra’s illustrations, “Strickland’s blue-, gray-, and yellow-toned illustrations have a strong retro feel and tenderly reinforce the written words.” You can find Kirkus’s full review here. Loving Vs. Virginia won’t be released until January 2017, but you can preorder it here.
The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Liz Zunon, is an inspiring picture book based on the life of singer, actress, and civil rights activist Lena Horne. Despite the racism of her time period, Lena Horne won accolades, honors, and the first ever studio contract for an African American Actress. The Legendary Miss Lena Horne won’t be released until January 2017, but just like the actress it’s based on, it’s already winning recognition and praise. Kirkus reviews Lena Horne in its November issue and gives it a starred review! They call Lena Horne, “A memorable life dedicated to music and civil rights, presented with commensurate style.” The review writes of Liz’s illustrations that, “Zunon’s oil paint and cut-paper collage illustrations are more than a match for Horne’s dynamic onstage presence. Their dramatic design showcases a woman of great beauty and extraordinary talent.” Miss Lena Horne won’t be out until January, but you can preorder it online here.