A Diverse group of award-winning illustrators & authors creating across many industries.

Echo Echo, illus. by Josée Masse

09 Feb 2016

echo echo

Seven of Painted Words’s Authors/Illustrators Books Included in Bank Street’s Best Children Books of the Year 2017

May 2, 2017

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:

Five to Nine:

Nine to Twelve:

Bank Street’s full list of recommended books can be found here. Congratulations to our Painted Words artists and authors!

Echo Echo and The Opposite Zoo Receive Honorable Mentions on Huffington Post’s Best Picture Books of 2016

December 15, 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, it’s time for Best Books of the Year lists! Huffington Post recently published their list of the Best Picture Books of 2016, including two of our author/illustrators as honorable mentions. In the Best Concept Book Category, Il Sung Na‘s The Opposite Zoo, which illustrated the concept of opposites through the medium of a zoo at night, was included as an honorable mention. In the Best Poetry category was Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths, written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josée Masse, which retold Greek myths through a unique poetic form. Congratulations, Il Sung and Josée!

The Huffington Post’s full article can be read hereThe Opposite Zoo can be purchased online here and Echo Echo can be purchased here.

Gene Barretta and Josée Masse Included In NYPL’s 2016 List of Best Books for Kids

November 30, 2016

The New York Public Library recently released their list of the best books of 2016 for teens and kids. They chose 100 books in various categories for kids, and 50 for teens. Two of Painted Words’s authors/illustrators made it to that list! In the nonfiction category was included Lincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare by Gene BarrettaEcho, Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths, written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josée Masse, was included in the poetry category. Congratulations, Gene and Josée!

The entire list of books can be found on the NYPL’s site here.

Echo Echo, illus. by Josée Masse, one of SLJ’s Best Books of 2016

November 25, 2016

The School Library Journal recently released their list of the best books of 2016, and Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths, written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josée Masse, made the list in the nonfiction section. Echo Echo retells classic Greek myths using the poetic format called reverso poems. Only 66 books were chosen this year to be included on the SLJ’s best of the year list. Congratulations, Josée and Marilyn!

You can check out all the books chosen by the SLJ here.

Gene Barretta, Gerald Kelley, Elise Gravel, Vanessa B Newton, and Josée Masse Nominated for CYBIL 2016 Award

October 10, 2016

The Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary (CYBIL) Awards is an award given out every year for juvenile and children’s books that successfully combine literary merit and popular appeal. Every year, a list of nominees is created, and from this list, the winners are chosen. This year, five of our authors/illustrators were nominated for six different books!

Juvenile and Elementary Nonfiction:

Fiction Picture Books/Board Books:

Middle Grade Fiction:


Congratulations to our talented authors and illustrators! To find out more about the CYBIL awards and who else has been nominated, visit their site here.

Advanced Praise for Echo Echo

February 9, 2016

Echo Echo, the third collection of reverso poems from author Marilyn Singer and illustrator Josée Masse, turns its focus to Greek myths. The book comes out February 16th, and has already received lots of advance praise, including two starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal. Echo Echo was chosen as a Spring 2016 Kids’ Indie Next List Pick, and Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast featured it in their 2016 picture book preview. Kirkus Reviews calls Josée’s art “gorgeous,” and Booklist calls it “enchanting.” If you want to check out what all the buzz is about, you can preorder Echo Echo here!


“Masse’s acrylics, dominated by RICH COLORS and vertical symmetries, evoke weathered frescoes… Details about the myths appear across the bottom

of the pages, further boosting the utility of another INVENTIVE exploration of stories readers thought they knew.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This IMAGINATIVE work is a symphony of cannily composed verse intensified by a palette of Aegean blues, sunlit golds, and delicate greens…

The demanding wordplay is DEFTLY HANDLED AND PRETTILY DISPLAYED… For those unfamiliar with the Greek myths, an encapsulated summary

is provided at the bottom of each spread. Verdict: A witty, seductive pairing of poetic imagination and artistic vision.”—School Library Journal, starred review


Watch Josée’s illustration process for one of the pieces from the book below.