New Voice: Patricia Valdez on Joan Proctor, Dragon Doctor

By Traci Sorell

I love a good picture book biography and read so many in elementary school, especially those featuring women.

So when I learned Patricia Valdez’s debut picture book would feature the work of Joan Proctor, a zoologist researching amphibians in the early twentieth century, I knew there’d be a great story there.

Others think so too because the book has received starred reviews from Booklist,

Continue Reading New Voice: Patricia Valdez on Joan Proctor, Dragon Doctor »

Event Report & Videos: Don Tate Launches Strong as Sandow: How Eugene Sandow Became The Strongest Man on Earth

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Author-illustrator Don Tate hosted a tremendous, successful book launch for Strong as Sandow: How Eugene Sandow Became The Strongest Man on Earth (Charlesbridge, 2017) Sept. 9 at BookPeople in Austin. From the promotional copy:

Friedrich Müller was born sickly and weak, yet he longed to be athletic and strong, like ancient Greek and Roman gladiators. Little Friedrich Müller exercised and exercised but to no avail.

Continue Reading Event Report & Videos: Don Tate Launches Strong as Sandow: How Eugene Sandow Became The Strongest Man on Earth »

Author Interview: Gwendolyn Hooks on Inspiration, the Writing Journey & Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Gwendolyn recently won the
NAACP Image Award for Tiny Stitches

When I saw Jimmy Kimmel’s recent monologue about his son’s surgery, I remembered Gwendolyn Hooks’ picture book biography, Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas, illustrated by Colin Bootman (Lee & Low, 2016).

I tweeted about the book,

Continue Reading Author Interview: Gwendolyn Hooks on Inspiration, the Writing Journey & Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas »

Author Interview: Leda Schubert on Lyrics, a Music Legend & Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome Leda Schubert, author of Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing, illustrated by Raúl Colón (Roaring Brook Press, June 13, 2017). From the promotional copy:

Listen.
There was nobody like Pete Seeger.
Wherever he went, he got people singing. 
With his head thrown back
and his Adam’s apple bouncing,

Continue Reading Author Interview: Leda Schubert on Lyrics, a Music Legend & Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing »

Author Interview: Laurie Wallmark on Clarifying Complex Topics & Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today we welcome Laurie Wallmark to discuss her new picture book, Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, illustrated by Katy Wu (Sterling Books, May 16, 2017). From the promotional copy:

Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader—and rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. 

Continue Reading Author Interview: Laurie Wallmark on Clarifying Complex Topics & Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code »

Author Interview: Michelle Markel Explores the Birth of Children’s Literature

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Each January the kidlit community celebrates the Newbery Medal and Honor Books awarded by the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. Some even have gatherings to watch the webcast of the awards presentation, but do we know about the man the award was named for?

Michelle Markel offers insight in her new picture book: Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books,

Continue Reading Author Interview: Michelle Markel Explores the Birth of Children’s Literature »

Interview: Lee & Low New Voices Award Winners

Roberto Penas

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Lee & Low Books recently announced Roberto Penas of Olathe, Kansas won the 17th annual New Voices Award.


His manuscript, “Pedro Flores: The Toymaker,” is a biography of the inventor of the modern yo-yo.


In the early 1900s, Flores emigrated from the Philippines to the United States,

Continue Reading Interview: Lee & Low New Voices Award Winners »

Guest Post: Susanna Reich & Gary Golio on Social Justice, Music & Picture Book Biographies

Susanna Reich and Gary Golio, photo by Laura Golio

By Susanna Reich and Gary Golio

From intern Gayleen Rabakukk

The power of music to inspire action is explored in two non-fiction picture books out this month: Stand Up and Sing! Pete Seger, Folk Music and the Path to Justice by Susanna Reich, illustrated by Adam Gustavson (Bloomsbury, March 2017) and Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song by Gary Golio,

Continue Reading Guest Post: Susanna Reich & Gary Golio on Social Justice, Music & Picture Book Biographies »