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.
Michael Slack has lot of exciting events coming up on his schedule! This May 3rd he will be participating in a Pajama Party Storytime event at Books Inc. bookstore in Laurel Village, CA. Starting at six p.m., he will be reading from his new picture book, Turtle Tug to the Rescue, in which a heroic turtle/tugboat rescues his seagoing friends from a scary storm. To find out more about the event, check out this link. Starting May 5th, Michael will have an art exhibit entitled “We’re All Weirdos, We’re All Wonderful,” at Rotofugi Designer Toy Store and Gallery in Chicago. An opening reception will be held 7-10 pm, May 5th. The following day, Michael will read from his picture book series on rescue animals, including Monkey Truck, Elecopter, and Turtle Tug to the Rescue. He will also be available for book signings. The reading and signing will run from 1 to 2:30 pm. For more information, check out the event Facebook page here. If you’re in the area for any of these exciting events, we’d love to see you drop by!
It’s a busy week for Michael Slack! He has a new book out and he will be doing a book signing this weekend for Independent Bookstore Day. Michael’s newest book, Shorty and Clem, is available for purchase as of April 25th. This sweet picture book tells the story of the friendship between a blue quail and a short dinosaur. When Shorty ruins a package for Clem, he worries that he ruined their friendship too. And what was inside the mysterious package? Shorty and Clem can be purchased here. Independent Book Store Day, a holiday meant to celebrate the hard work of small bookstores everywhere, is this April 29th. In honor of this exciting day, Michael will be reading his two newest books, Shorty and Clem and Turtle Tug to the Rescue, at Napa Bookmine in California. He’ll be available for book signings afterward. If you’re in the area, he’d love it if you dropped by! More information about this event is available here.
The New York Public Library recently released a list of new middle grade fiction that they recommend to young readers. As they write, middle grade fiction is an exciting field these days, with lots of amazing new work being published. Elise Gravel‘s illustrated middle grade novel, Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere is included in this list. A humorous story that tells of a young scientist’s encounter with a mysterious – and stinky – new creature, the NYPL describes Olga as “Cartoony, funny, offbeat.” The NYPL’s full list of recommendations can be found on their website here. Olga can be purchased here.