Bird, Balloon, Bear and Lucía the Luchadora Included on NPR’s Recommended Kids’ Books of 2017
December 6, 2017
NPR recently released their list of over 350 books they recommend as the Best Books of 2017. In the kids’ section, two of our artist’s works were included! These were Bird, Balloon, Bear and Lucía the Luchadora.
Bird, Balloon, Bear, written and illustrated by Il Sung Na, is the story of a bird who wants to be friends with a bear but finds a balloon getting in the way. NPR praises the “sweet story” and calls Il Sung’s illustrations, “gorgeous” and “warm and endearing.” Bird, Balloon, Bear is available for purchase here.
Lucía the Luchadora, written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez, follows a little girl who wants to be a superhero but is told that it’s impossible for girls. When she learns of her family’s history of female lucha libre wrestlers, she finds the bravery to stand up for herself and others. NPR calls it, “a story of empowerment and doing the right thing.” Lucía the Luchadora is available for order here.
Check out NPR’s full list of recommended books for 2017 here!
Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books 2017 Includes Seven Books from Our Artists
November 29, 2017
The end of the year is approaching at last. That means it’s time for best books of the year lists! The latest one is from the Chicago Public Library, and their list of recommendations includes seven books from our Painted Words authors and illustrators!
Best Picture Books 2017:
Best Fiction for Younger Readers 2017:
Best Informational Books for Younger Readers 2017:
- The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Eizabeth Zunon
- Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey, written by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes and illustrated by Sue Cornelison
- The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist, written by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton
Best Fiction for Older Readers 2017:
Best Informational Books for Older Readers 2017:
- One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance, written by Nikki Grimes and with illustrations contributed by Shadra Strickland, Frank Morrison, and Liz Zunon
Congratulations to all our talented authors and artists! The CPL’s full list of recommended books from 2017 is available here.
Kirkus List of Best Picture Books of ’17 to Give Strength Includes Two Books from Painted Words Artists
November 28, 2017
2017 has been a rough year for many. But in trying times, you can always turn to picture books for inspiration! To that end, Kirkus has composed a list of the Best Picture Books of 2017 to Give Readers Strength. Two of the books on that list, Stolen Words and Lucía the Luchadora, were illustrated by our artists.
Stolen Words, written by Melanie Florence and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard, is the story of a little girl and her Cree grandfather, who lost his ancestral language in the Canadian residential school system. Kirkus calls this story “Unforgettable.” Stolen Words is available for purchase here.
Lucía the Luchadora, written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez, follows a little girl who is inspired by her family tradition of luchadoras to become a hero on the playground. Kirkus calls it, “A KA-POW kind of wonderful.” Lucía the Luchadora is available here.
Kirkus’s full list of inspiring picture books from 2017 can be found on their site here.
Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2017 So Far Features Two Painted Words Artists
June 22, 2017
Summer is here and we’re nearly halfway through 2017, if you can believe it! It’s the perfect time to look back at the year and pick some of the best children’s books of the year so far. Amazon recently compiled a list of their editors’ books of the year. Two of our own artists’ picture books made it on the list!
In the Ages 3 to 5 category, Amazon chose Lucía the Luchadora, written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez. This vivid picture book tells the story of a young girl who draws on her heritage of lucha libre to become a hero on her playground. Purchase it here.
In the Ages 6 to 8 category is Mae and June and the Wonder Wheel, written by Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Ashley Spires. A chapter book for young readers, Mae and June focuses on the adventures of two young girls who pick each day’s activities based on a wheel with a list of tasks. Purchase it here.
Amazon’s full list of 2017’s Best Books So Far is available here.
Please Please the Bees and Lucía the Luchadora Included in SLJ’s List of Recommended Small Presses
May 3, 2017
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.
The SLJ Praises Lucía the Luchadora, Illus by Alyssa Bermudez
April 17, 2017
Lucía the Luchadora has received a great review from the School Library Journal (SLJ). Lucía, written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez, tells the story of a little girl who longs to be a superhero. When the boys at her school tell her that girls can’t be heroes, she feels defeated, but with the help of her grandmother and the Mexican tradition of luchadores, she learns to stand up for herself and others.
The SLJ praised the energetic text and the feminist message of the story, writing, “The narrative encourages girls to trust their own strengths yet is never didactic.” They also praise Alyssa’s art, which they describe as, “Animated illustrations [that] capture the…vibrant main character.” In all, they conclude Lucía is, “A shining debut outing for author and illustrator, this endearing and humorous title is sure to put a bit of KA-POW into storytimes! A must-have.”
Il Sung Na’s Bird, Balloon, Bear and Lucía the Luchadora, Illus. by Alyssa Bermudez, Chosen as Amazon Best Books of the Month
March 6, 2017
Bird, Balloon, Bear tells the story of a shy bird’s attempts to make friends with a bear who is more interested in a mysterious red balloon. Bird, Balloon, Bear will be released March 14th. You can pre-order it online here.
Lucía the Luchadora is the story of a plucky young girl who finds the bravery to stand up for herself and others when her grandmother reveals her family’s secret history of luchadoras, the female members of the lucha libre tradition. Lucía comes out tomorrow! If you can’t wait till then, you can pre-order it here.
The full list of books selected for Amazon’s Best Books of the Month can be found here.
Lucía the Luchadora, Illus. by Alyssa Bermudez, Receives a Starred Review from Kirkus
February 7, 2017
Lucía the Luchadora, a new picture book written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez, is the story of a little girl who wants to prove that girls can be super heroes too. When she uncovers her grandmother’s secret past as a luchadora, she’s on her way to achieving that goal.
Kirkus reviewed Lucía, giving it a starred review! They praised the story’s energy and enthusiasm, as well as its inventive use of page design and sound effects. They write of the illustration, “Bermudez’s colorful, buoyant illustrations radiate pure joy.” In all, they describe Lucía as, “A KA-POW kind of wonderful.”