It’s here at last! Today is the release day for Book or Bell?, the new picture book written by Chris Barton and illustrated by Ashley Spires. Henry is hooked on a brand new book, but when the school bell rings, he has to put it down for the day…or does he? When one boy chooses a book over the school bell, hilarious chaos results. Book or Bell? is now available for purchase online here.
Today is a good day for us here at Painted Words! Two new picture books illustrated by our artists have been reviewed with starred reviews from Kirkus. The second is Let the Children March, written by Monica Clark-Robinson and illustrated by Frank Morrison. This powerful picture book tells the true story of the Children’s March for civil rights in 1960s Birmingham. Kirkus praised the narrative’s factual yet emotional description of the harrowing true events and the use of free verse. They strongly praise Frank’s illustrations, writing, “Morrison’s powerful use of perspective makes his beautiful oil paintings even more dynamic and conveys the intensity of the situations depicted, including the children’s being arrested, hosed, and jailed. The child crusaders, regardless of how badly they’re treated, never lose their dignity, which the art conveys flawlessly.” In all, they conclude Let the Children March is, “A powerful retrospective glimpse at a key event.” Kirkus’s starred review can be read online here. Let the Children March will come out January 2nd, 2018. Pre-order it here.
Coming out January 2018, The Great Dictionary Caper, written by Judy Sierra, is illustrator Eric Comstock‘s newest picture book. This clever tale tells the story of what happens when all the words escape from the dictionary. They just want a day of fun, but without Noah Webster’s help to reorganize them, the dictionary may be in chaos forever. Kirkus reviewed The Great Dictionary Caper and gave it a starred review! Kirkus praises the high energy wordplay, writing, “Teachers will have field day with this wordplay; this caper is clever, capricious, and cunning.” They have nothing but good to say about Eric’s illustrations. They praise the bright colors and the anthropomorphic word characters. Kirkus writes, “Exuberant and energetic design enlivens the letters as they bounce and frolic across the pages, minimalist compositions adding occasional details to amp up the fun.” Kirkus’s full starred review is available on their site here. The Great Dictionary Caper comes out winter 2018. Pre-order it here.
A Child’s Book of Prayers and Blessings: From Faiths and Cultures Around the World, written by Deloris Jordan and illustrated by Shadra Strickland, is now available for purchase! This beautifully illustrated picture book is filled with multicultural prayers and blessings. Featuring traditional blessings and prayers from a variety of religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism, this inclusive book encourages peace in children. A Child’s Book of Prayers and Blessings is available for purchase here.
Art Side of Life is a podcast and Youtube video series that interviews successful artists. The artists share their path to success, inspirations, and tips for other aspiring actors. Recently, picture book author and illustrator Gene Barretta was interviewed by Art Side of Life! Gene is the author of a series of fictional and non-fictional picture books, such as Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin and Dear Deer: A Book of Homophones. In his interview, he shares stories of how he came to be an illustrator, where his inspiration comes from, his favorite projects from the past, and some of his exciting new upcoming projects. Some fun tidbits: his mother knew he would be an artist ever since he drew an elephant on the walls of his childhood bedroom. Gene always dreamed about working with the Jim Henson company, and he and his brother both did. Plus, if you pay close attention, there’s also a shout-out to Painted Words! This fun and enlightening interview is available on Youtube here and can also be viewed below.
Every year since 1950, a select group of books wins the National Book Award. This prestigious award is given to the best books of the year in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s literature categories. This year’s nominees for the awards have been announced, with five potential winners in each category. In the children’s literature category, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground was one of the nominees. Clayton Byrd was written by Rita Williams-Garcia and the cover was illustrated by Frank Morrison. This bittersweet book for young readers tells the story of a boy’s attempts to cope with the loss of his grandfather through music. Congratulations to Rita and Frank for their nomination! The full list of nominees for the National Book Award can be found here. Clayton Byrd Goes Underground is available for purchase here.