Monday, October 31, 2016

"I love you complexly like our national story."

Kane Miller Picture Books
Author: Lynn Parrish Sutton
Illustrator: Melanie Hope Greenberg
Age: 3-7 years 
Size: 9 1/2 x 9 1/2
Pages: 30
Copyright: 2016

Written in rhyme, with a quirky use of adverbs for every "I love you," AMERICANLY is a lullaby about the United States.

The sunny illustrations of popular landmarks (the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Bellagio fountains) invite close inspection. Thick pages with rounded corners—like a board book—make AMERICANLY perfect for toddlers.

America is experiencing such a divisive presidential election that reading this cozy book about the entire country made me a little emotional. 
This picture book road trip could not have come at a better time. 

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A new story by Beatrix Potter

"Quentin Blake, best known for his work with Roald Dahl, has illustrated the story, to be published in September."  

Video from

Thursday, October 22, 2015

“The Dog That Nino Didn’t Have”

“The Dog That Nino Didn’t Have” is unsettling and odd. Nino (a boy of about seven) has an imaginary dog, depicted in sketchy lines over the landscape. The pet crawls alongside Nino as they stalk a scruffy cat, then he leaps on Great-Grandma’s lap. When Nino takes a rowboat out on the lake, the dog dives into the deep water.  

Nino’s father (a pilot) phones from faraway, and the dog hears what Nino hears, and loves “the taste of salt water” in the boy's tears. The mother and great-grandmother are pictured, but you don’t see their faces. This enforces the disquieting feel of the book, as does the untidy, retro, lakeside yard. The A-frame house, 1960s station wagon, and toys are drawn with impressionistic looseness. The illustration style resembles silkscreen with its limited earth toned pallet. The world is handsome, mysterious and unanchored.

Nino is shown digging a muddy hole with his imaginary friend, and the text reads, “Sometimes the dog acted so crazy and dumb that people started to notice.” His mother’s back is turned. But presumably she notices Nino’s feelings, for on the following page there is a big gift box—Nino has been given a real dog (a lively terrier). 

But this is not the end. Rather it’s the beginning of a new and bigger fantasy life. A make-believe deer, giraffe, hippo, rhino, bear, zebra, and “a few more dogs!” ward off loneliness and add richness not found in reality. Closing with a powerfully atmospheric scene of the boy dreaming under a full moon, “The Dog That Nino Didn’t Have” is not your typical happy ending story.
HARDCOVER; Published: 10/8/2015
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5451-3
34 Pages
Ages 4 to 8

Friday, October 09, 2015

Thursday, October 08, 2015


Jonathan Bentley has written and illustrated a playful picture book about a toddler who wishes to be big, like his older brother. The boy imagines what it might be like to have "big legs like a giraffe," "big hands like a gorilla," and a "big mouth like a crocodile," and finds that there are strategic advantages to being little.

The images of the large animals are both dramatic and comic. The pictures, created with “watercolors, pencils, and scanned textures,” are loose and lively. This is a fast, fun read aloud.

jpeg from

Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:

Age Range:                          3 - 7 

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Originally published in Dutch, MIKIS AND THE DONKEY takes place on the Greek island of Corfu. Mikis, a boy of about eight, often visits his grandparents on the hill. 

One day his grandfather surprises him with a donkey. To Mikis, Tsaki the donkey is a friend. But to his grandfather she is a “tractor with four legs.” 

The grandfather piles firewood so high in Tsaki's baskets, that her belly is cut by the weight. Mikis and the village doctor force the grandfather to change the cold-hearted way in which he thinks about the donkey.

(spoiler alert)
When Mikis and his friend Elena take Tsaki to meet another donkey, the two donkeys get along “really, really well.” 

Mikis spends his summer vacation making a new stable for Tsaki. But the donkey refuses to enter her new home until her foal is placed inside.

Sketchy brown on ivory drawings depict the countryside, village square, classroom, and funny old faces. The loopy, loose lines are both detailed and airy.

Short chapters and colorful characters make this an easy read. The relationships—between family members, between the sweet/vulnerable teacher and her students, and between villagers—are distinctive and ring true. Love and understanding win out.

HARDCOVER; Published: 10/6/2014
89 Pages
Ages 8 to 12
To see more of Philip Hopman's work visit


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursday, September 03, 2015

City Atlas

Illustrated by the wonderful German artist Martin Haake, 'City Atlas'  takes us on a delightful tour of 30 international cities with Haake's inimitably stylish and witty maps. Written by Georgia Cherry and published by Wide Eyed Editions... 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Free Period Press

What's hot in the publishing world this minute? Coloring books for all ages, and here are a few fun ones from Free Period Press. Full of patterns, scrummy flowers (by Caty Zocco) and animals ('Creative Creatures' by illustrator Melanie Mikecz), and they've also created sets of colorable prints, produced on thicker paper. Teachers can download a free PDF for the classroom, too. Check it all out here

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Friday, August 07, 2015

Tuesday, June 02, 2015