The School Library Journal wrote a starred review of upcoming picture book, Noah Webster’s Fighting Words, written by Tracy Nelson Maurer and illustrated by Mircea Catusanu. Noah Webster’s Fighting Words is a humorous biography of American icon Noah Webster, who compiled the first dictionary of English as spoken in America. The SLJ praised the “wonderfully clever and humorous depiction of Noah Webster,” and call the picture book, “engaging and amusing.” They praised Mircea’s illustrations as being an integral part of the book’s charm, writing, “The second element that makes the title so delightful is the collaged illustrations, which incorporate archival images and excerpts from primary documents in a visually appealing, lighthearted way.” Noah Webster’s Fighting Words comes out in April of 2017. You can pre-order it online here.
Angie Karcher, a children’s author and blogger, has nominated her top ten rhyming children’s books for 2016, and two books illustrated by our artists made the cut. Pirasaurs!, written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Michael Slack, tells in rhyme the story of a tiny piratical dinosaur. Mary Had a Little Glam, written by Tammy Sauer and illustrated by Vanessa B Newton, takes the story and rhyme scheme of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and retells it as a story of a fashionable little girl and her attempts to glamorize her classmates. Both have been praised for their fun story and playful rhymes as well as their bright, energetic illustrations. The final award announcements will be streaming on KidLitTV February 12th at 8 pm ET. Make sure to check it out! The full list of rhyming winners can be found on Angie Karcher’s blog here. Pirasaurs! can be purchased here and Mary Had a Little Glam here.
Huffington Post recently released a list of picture books and middle grade books that are great for helping children understand and empathize with the difficult issue of refugees. Included on this list is the picture book Lost and Found Cat, written by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes and illustrated by Sue Cornelison. This touching story, based on real events, tells the story of an Iraqi refugee family who loses their beloved family cat, Kunkush, and the worldwide effort to reunite the cat and family. The full list of recommended books can be found here. Lost and Found Cat was released only yesterday and is now available for purchase! You can buy it online here.
Noozhawk, a Santa Barbara newspaper, has created a list of recommended books for young readers for the upcoming Black History Month. Included on that list were Loving Vs. Virginia and Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born. Loving Vs. Virginia, written by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Shadra Strickland, tells in verse the story of Mildred and Richard Loving, a young interracial couple in the 1950s who fought for and won the right for marriage between races. Noozhawk praises the beautiful poetry and Shadra’s illustrations, which they described as “vintage-style sketches…characterized by a loose, impromptu drawing style that reflects the honesty and energy of the couple’s journey together.” Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born is written by Gene Barretta and illustrated by Frank Morrison. This biographical picture book reveals the story of how the famous boxer got his start in boxing. Noozhawk calls Muhammad Ali, “lighter hearted and super fun…bold and cool,” and praises Gene’s narration for both showing Ali’s beginnings and his later battles for peace and equality. Noozhawk’s full list of recommendations can be found here. Loving Vs. Virginia can be purchased online here and Muhammad Ali can be purchased here.
Every year the Children’s Book Council (CBC) releases a list of children and YA books with social studies themes that they consider to be exceptional in storytelling, themes, diversity, and illustrations. They have recently released the preview for the 2017 list, and three of our authors and illustrators have made the list! Kindergarten to Second Grade: Lincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare, by Gene Barretta Third to Fifth Grade: Grover Cleveland, Again!, written by Ken Burns and illustrated by Gerald Kelley The Quickest Kid in Clarksville, written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Frank Morrison Congratulations, Gene, Gerald, and Frank! The full preview of recommended books for 2017 as well as more information about the selection process can be found here.
Every year, the Texas Library Association selects a list of 20 recommended books for children age two to grade two. This highly selective list is used by school and public librarians in Texas and across the country to select what books to buy for their library catalogs. K.G. Campbell‘s picture book Dylan the Villain, which tells the story of a little boy born to be a supervillain, was chosen to be on the current 2×2 list! Congratulations, K.G.! The full 2×2 list can be found on the TLA site here. Dylan the Villain can be purchased online here.