Ooops - I know it's not still technically Monday right here, but I imagine that somewhere in the world right now it is. Have a watch of this video to find out why it's late :)
Now about today's wonderful picture book. After John Szcieska and Lane Smith's ground breaking book "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs," there came a slew of folk tale and fairytale retellings as kind of postmodern fractured fairy tales. These days because of a glut in this genre, it's become really hard to get a folk or fairy tale adaptation published unless it's really fresh and brings something meaningful and unexpected to the table. This "girl power" rendition does exactly that while educating about different martial arts forms and the importance of persistence. Great laugh out loud rhyming text by Corey Rosen Schwartz and butt kicking art by Dan Santat. Three thumbs up!!!
Years ago I worked as a web designer at an international children's book importer where they loved me and I loved them. They gave me LOTS of fabulous books and I also bought many that I totally fell in love with. It was a magical time and I often felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. One of the things that I noticed was how ahead of the curve many foreign picture books were not only in terms of art and design and also in terms of edgy content, e.g. showing grown ups lying down and making out or drinking wine, or including bodily functions.
Now you might think, "But what about Everybody Poops?" Good question - but if you pay attention you'll see that it was originally published elsewhere and after being a big hit there was reprinted here in the US. This is the case with today's book, All by Myself," which although not edgy or that innovative, is very wonderful. Pay attention to how incredibly simple both the art and text is as befits a toddler learning one of life's universal lessons, how to get potty trained.
I also wanted to give a shout out that there are only 9 spaces left in the highly interactive and time-flexible Craft and Business of Writing Children's Picture Books e-course starting March 11th through April 22nd and I'd love to have you. So if you have always dreamed of writing and publishing a children's picture book, go here now!
Here's a book to make you smile (pun intended). In Smile by Leigh Hodkinsons, a young girl loses her smile and goes in search of it. She looks here, she looks there, and in the process does wonderful things that of course help her find it. We find out a lot about our protagonist by what she does and how, always a good thing in a character-driven story that happens to have a sweet plot as well. The review focuses on the fun use of language, different language techniques, and the delightfully simple childlike but sophisticated illustrations. So "Smile :)
I am delighted to be sharing one of my longtime favorite books. Stacey Schuett's lyrical bedtime concept book takes children around the world and then brings them back home safe and snug and ready to sleep. Beautiful art complements the short prose poems of each page as Stacey uses repetition, simile, metaphor and lovely rhythms to lull that child to sleep. The book is an oldie but goodie where she has painted on maps as an underlying visual foundation tying the art together throughout while also educating about different places. You can find out more about Stacey Schuett at www.staceyschuett.com
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays feature funny Aussie author Sharon Giltrow sharing awesome Aussie books.
And 5th Mondays will feature Libyan American author Koloud Tarapolsi sharing wonderful diverse books.