Don’t Call Me Grandma, written by New Mexico native Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and illustrated by Liz Zunon, has won a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award! The New Mexico-Arizona Book Award is run by the New Mexico Book Co-op, an organization that seeks to promote local writing from New Mexico, Arizona, and the American South West. Don’t Call Me Grandma is the story of a young girl’s complex relationship with her prickly and glamorous grandmother. It won the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award in the category of Parenting/Family Issues Book, sponsored by the New Mexico Book Co-op. Congratulations, Liz and Vaunda! The full list of winners of the 2017 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award can be found here. Don’t Call Me Grandma is available for purchase here.
The Great Dictionary Caper has been raking in the starred reviews, and it hasn’t even come out yet! The latest review, from Booklist, is the third starred review for the upcoming picture book. Written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Eric Comstock, this humorous picture book tells the story of what happens when the words escape from the dictionary. Booklist calls The Great Dictionary Caper, “Delightful,” and praises both the humor and the educational worth of the story. They write, “It’s all fun and word games, but in the process, readers will also get a tidy lesson in linguistic concepts.” They also praise the elaborate page spreads which visually depict the textual word play, which are “enhanced by Comstock’s energetic, retro-flair illustrations, which fill the pages with cavorting words and creative details.” In all, Booklist concludes, “In approach and format, this is both entertaining and educational—likely to hold and pique kids’ interest in the topic and provide a fun learning supplement.” The Great Dictionary Caper will be coming out January 2018 and is available for pre-order here.
Martha and the Slave Catchers, written by Harriet Hyman Alonso and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, is now available for purchase! This high-suspense adventure set shortly after the Fugitive Slave Act follows a young girl, Martha, who sets out to rescue her younger brother through the Underground Railroad. Martha has already been greeted with high praise from reviewers. “Alonso pens an informative, easy-to-follow adventure story that nevertheless tackles the persistent issues arising from antebellum America, including race and skin color, situational ethics and their devastating consequences, and allyship and using privilege for justice. A tense adventure about interracial adoption that gets to the heart of what’s most important: love.” – Kirkus Reviews “Alonso and Zunon have both done a masterful job bringing America’s pre-Civil War years to the page. Readers will sit in suspense as Martha risks her life in the Underground Railroad network. . . Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Seeds of America” series will want to pick this up.” – School Library Journal “The fast-paced plot, filled with twists and surprises, will engage readers and spark discussion of these important issues. Alonso breathes life into the sights, sounds, and emotions of travel on the Underground Railroad.” – Elisa Carbone, author […]
The 49th NAACP Image Awards are coming soon. The NAACP Image Award is an awards ceremony to honor the work of artists of color in genres spanning cinema, music, and literature, held each year on MLK’s birthday. This year, two books illustrated by Painted Words’s artists have been nominated! In the “Outstanding Literary Work – Children” category is The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, A Young Civil Rights Activist, written by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. In the “Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens” is Clayton Byrd Goes Underground written by Rita Williams-Garcia and illustrated by Frank Morrison. Congratulations! The full list of nominees for the NAACP Image Award is available here. The Youngest Marcher can be purchased here and Clayton Byrd Goes Underground is available for purchase here.
The New York Public Library recently released a selection of their favorite kids books of the year. They call every book on this list “outstanding.” Five of the books included on their extensive list were written or illustrated by one of Painted Words’s authors or artists! If You Were the Moon by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jaime Kim Noah Webster’s Fighting Words by Tracy Nelson Maurer and illustrated by Mircea Catusanu Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere by Elise Gravel One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance written by Nikki Grimes with illustrations contributed by Shadra Strickland, Frank Morrison, and Liz Zunon Thunder Underground by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Josée Masse Congratulations to all our talented artists! Check out the full list of the NYPL’s recommended books here.
Publishers Weekly shared a starred review of upcoming memoir March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine. Written by Melba Pattillo Beals and illustrated by Frank Morrison, March Forward is Beals’s powerful memoir of her childhood and her experiences being one of the Little Rock Nine who integrated Arkansas schools in the Civil Rights Era. Publishers Weekly praised the “visceral and vital” writing and unflinching depiction of traumatic, racial violence that Beals witnessed and experienced. They call it, “A no-holds-barred reflection of the physical and psychological toll that prejudice, discrimination, and hate take on a young life.” Publishers Weekly’s full starred review is available here. March Forward, Girl is coming out January 2018 and can be pre-ordered here.