Women in Translation – Picture Book Edition!

August celebrates Women In Translation as an opportunity to discover voices and perspectives beyond the English speaking book world. When could be a better time to start this exploration than as a picture book reader?

While many of our publishers hail from different parts of the world, here we feature a trio of picture books that were written in other languages and translated to English. These represent just the tip of a lovely iceberg we have translated from other languages and from other publishers as well. Be cool: celebrate the kids’ edition of August as WITMonth:

The Visitor coverFirst up is Gecko Press’s much awarded The Visitor, written and illustrated by German Antje Damm. At 46:43 of this video archive from KidLit TV, you can meet the author and illustrator talking about this picture book with Rocco Staino.

Under the Umbrella cover

French language writer Catherine Buquet published her first picture book with Pajama Press. Under the Umbrella offers a peek into a pair of lives gladdened and changed when a gust of wind brings them together.

Inspector Cros's Emotion-O-Meter coverFrom NubeOcho, Inspector Croc’s Emotion-O-Meter is available in its original Spanish as well as English translation. Author Susanna Isern provides an accessible and entertaining guide for small readers that addresses emotions as facts of life that can be recognized and understood.

Take a trip around the world with picture books that come from other places and other languages!

Small Worlds

Summer days invite us to explore nature up close and in detail, including the small worlds of insects, bees and butterflies. All of these make fine topics for picture books as well, so pairing an outdoor reading time with observation and discovery can turn a plain afternoon into magic.  Pack your hat, a magnifying glass, and one of more of these nonfiction books. Find a shady spot for reading and then see what you can find in its vicinity to make that book a lived experience.

A Children's Book of Arctic Butterflies coverAuthor Mia Pelletier and illustrator Danny Christopher present the beautiful and informative A Children’s Guide to Arctic Butterflies, from Inhabit Media. Among the 20,000 butterfly species in the world, here are details about a dozen that live in the far North. Many of these species can also be found further south than the Arctic, so if you live in a cool climate, you may be able to spot some of them in your own environment.

Hello Bugs, What Do You Do?, illustrated by Loes Botman and Hello Bugs, What do You Do? coverpublished by Floris Books, is right-sized and focused for the very youngest entomologist. A board book with 19 pages featuring closeups of common insects like ladybugs and centipedes, the vocabulary is all about bug-based activities: wiggling, crawling, nibbling, and so on. This is an easy invitation to share those activities, so pack a small snack for your outdoor story time!

If you make your outdoor story and exploring time evening or very early World Never Sleeps covermorning, take along Tilbury House Publishers’ The World Never Sleeps, by Natalie Rompella, with illustrations by Schwartz. here’s a look at all that happens across 24 hours in a small garden, including the buzzing and flapping and web spinning of the insects who live there.  The painted illustrations include the suggested perspective here of a housecoat, who wanders through each spread to share what we readers can spot in the leaves and different degrees of light. Plenty of facts are included at the end of the book for those who have more questions. For more backyard science inspiration, and for slightly older readers, check out The Acadia Files, Book One: Summer, by Katie Coppens and illustrated by Holly Hatam.

Eye Spy cover

How do animals, including insects, see their own worlds?  Let’s turn to What On Earth Books’ Eye Spy, by Guillaume Duprat with that question. This oversized picture book shows us how our shared world appears in the differently constructed eyes of 20 different animals, including insect eyes with their multiple lenses. There is a host of information here for budding fantasy writers as well as scientists, with much to show us all about how differently shape and color and other detail appear from one creature’s eyes to the next.

Cartoonist Kevin McCloskey continues to add to his TOON Books collection of scientifically informed graphic novels for young and beginning readers.  Ants Don’t Wear Pants offers abundant facts about what they do that keeps them so busy and how the senses we share with them–like smell and touch–operate very differently in their world than in ours. This new title joins other garden story time titles from the author, including We Dig Worms and Snails Are Just My Speed.


Bank Street College Names Best Spanish Language Picture Books for Spring 2019

Congratulations to NubeOcho Books, appearing no fewer than five times on the brand new Lista de los Mejores Libros Infantiles en Español De Libros Revisados en Primavera 2019, from Bank Street College of Education! These picture books reflect a variety of story types, illustration styles, and countries of origin. You’re sure to find a delight or three among them! Descriptions of each title by Comité de Libros Infantiles, Bank Street.

Buenas noches, mi querido bebé Good Night My Darling Baby

Buenas noches, mi querido bebé/Good Night My Darling Baby
Autora: Alyssa Satin Capucilli; Ilustradora: Annie Bach; Traductor: Alexis Romay NubeOcho; ISBN: 978-1-5344-4289-4

Los animales cantan nanas a sus hijos haciéndoles dormir. Ilustraciones de medios mixtos. Farm animals sing lullabies to their offspring lulling them to sleep. Mixed-media illustrations.

Un poco perdido

Un poco perdido/A Bit Lost  Autor: Chris Haughton; Traductor: Salvador Figueirido NubeOcho; ISBN: 978-84-17673-13-0

Pequeño Buho encuentra a su madre con la ayuda de su nueva amiguita Ardilla. Ilustraciones vibrantes. Little Owl finds his mother with the help of his new friend squirrel. Vibrant illustrations.

¿Quieres ser mi amigo?

¿Quieres ser mi amigo?/On the Night of the Shooting Star  Autora: Amy Hest; Ilustradora: Jenni Desmond; Traductores: Luis Amavisca y Salvador Figueirido NubeOcho; ISBN: 978-84-17673-10-9

Lola la conejita y Simón el perro viven uno al lado del otro, pero nunca se hablan hasta que una estrella fugaz los inspira a acercarse. Bonitas acuarelas con divertidos detalles. Lola the rabbit and Simon the dog live next door to each other but never speak until a shooting star inspires them both to reach out. Lovely and amusing watercolor illustrations.

!Vivan las uñas de colores!

!Vivan las uñas de colores!/I Love My Colorful Nails
Autores: Alicia Acosta y Luis Amavisca; Ilustrador: Gusti NubeOcho; ISBN: 978-84-17123-58-1

Juan deja de usar esmalte cuando unos niños se burlan de él, pero sus amigos muestran su apoyo Ilustraciones vibrantes. Juan is hurt when boys laugh at his use of finger nail polish until his family and friends show their support. Vibrant illustrations.

Adoptar un dinosaurio

Adoptar un dinosaurio/Adopting a dinosaur
Autor: José Carlos Andrés; Ilustradora: Ana Sanfelippo NubeOcho; ISBN: 978-84-17123-62-8

Los padres de Ale no le consiguieron una mascota. Cuando un huevo extraño que ella trae a casa se convierte en un dinosaurio, incluso sus padres se apegan a la bestia grande y amigable. Ilustraciones divertidas. Ale’s parents won’t get her a pet. When she brings home a strange egg it turns into a dinosaur and even her parents become attached to the beast. Fun sketch-like illustrations.

Summer Days Made for Museum Browsing

Did you know that many public libraries in the United States provide free entry passes to museums? And museums can be fine respites when summer temperatures soar or storms threaten to keep us indoors and antsy to get out and about.

To get your family primed for your next science, natural history, art, or even local culture museum, we have a tidy shelf of picture-rich books to engage readers of all ages:

North America cover

What On Earth Books  has been working with museums in both the United Kingdom and the United States to create accurate and engaging timelines and picture books for older readers that can almost serve as stay-at-home museum visits.  Explore the 10,000+ years of North American history, in North America: A Fold-Out Graphic History, by Sarah Albee and illustrated by William Exley, published in partnership with the Smithsonian Institute, itself a collection of museums sometimes called “America’s attic.” In North America, indigenous cultures get both the first and last places along the chronology and all that’s needed is about six feet of open floor space to stretch out the gate-folded pages to see everything in between.

With the American Museum of Natural History, What On Earth  has What On Earth Timelines coversdeveloped three more timeline volumes: The Nature Timeline Wallbook; The Science Timeline Wallbook; and The Big History Timeline Wallbook. And yes, you’ll need and want lots of wall space on which to display these chronologies, and be glad for the magnifying glass packaged with them so you can catch all the details in the image descriptions.

Monument Maker coverFrom Tilbury House Publishers, a brand new picture book biography, developed in association with the Concord Museum, Monument Maker written by Linda Booth Sweeney and illustrated by Shawn Fields, introduces us to the 19th century sculptor Daniel Chester French who created the enormous Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Both the artistic vision and engineering requirements of the memorial are detailed in beautiful soft pencil pages,  making this volume another little paper museum in and of itself.

Tilbury House  also publishes a delightful series of picture books to introduceIf da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur cover the youngest of art museum visitors to the stylistic details of a vast array of world-renowned artists. With text by Amy Newbold and illustrations by Greg Newbold, If Picasso Painted a Snowman and If da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur each hit the sweet spot between fact and fantasy that make for memorable knowledge acquisition. The artists included are from a variety of chapters in art history and from every part of the world, including Mexico, Japan, and, of course, Europe.

Not sure whether free museum passes are part of your community library’s collection?  Check the online catalog and then call and ask! Programs in California and Massachusetts, as well as New York City have created models for other locations to make this a viable local service.

To the Moon!

Today’s post is from Emerson Heflin of Publishers Spotlight’s marketing team.

The Spacesuit interior 1This Saturday, the world will celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most incredible feats known to history. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on lunar soil in 1969, but they could not have achieved their infamous space walk without the help of one woman and her team of seamstresses. This summer, Maverick Publishing presents The Spacesuit: How a Seamstress Helped Put Man on the Moon, the story of Ellie Foraker and her creation of the A7L spacesuit.

Spacesuit interior page spread 3

Born in 1930, Eleanor “Ellie” Foraker learned and loved to sew from an early age. One day at her job at ILC Dover, she was approached by an engineer who challenged her and her team to make a spacesuit that could protect astronauts from the unknown elements of outer space while also being comfortable and soft. Author Alison Donald and illustrator Ariel Landy recount this magnificent tale of hard work, determination, and tenacity with fun facts and vibrant illustrations throughout.

The Spacesuit interior spread 3In order to celebrate The Spacesuit: How a Seamstress Helped Put Man on the Moon and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing, we’re sharing some of our favorite moon and outer space books!

The Far Side of the Moon: The Story of Apollo 11’s Third Man is a 2017 Junior Library The Far Side of the MoonGuild Selection from Tilbury House Publishers. Author Alex Irvine and illustrator Ben Bishop present a grahpic retelling of the Apollo 11’s moon landing mission following astronaut Michael Collins, commander of the lunar orbiter, to the far side of the moon.

The Moon coverThen, discover the science, myths, facts, and fiction of The Moon from Tiger Tales Books’ 360 Degrees imprint. Author Hannah Pang explores many of the artists, astronomers, mathematicians, and poets who’ve gazed up at the moon for inspiration, plus how the Earth’s closest neighbor affects our everyday lives and the world around us.

For younger readers, Flowerpot Press’ board book Space Squadfrom the popular “Finn’s Fun Trucks” series, is perfect for learning Space Squad coverwhat astronauts ride in outer space. From spaceplanes and satellites, to carrier rockets, little space explorers are sure to enjoy learning what each machine does!

In 1961, when President John F. Kennedy announced that the United States would try to land a manCountdown cover on the moon, this barely imaginable feat did not just happen overnight. From award-winning author Suzanne Slade and illustrator Thomas Gonzales comes a powerful free verse, illustrated title that tells the true story of the American effort to land the first man on the moon. Peachtree Publishing Company’s middle-grade nonfiction title Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon, tells the powerful story of the successes, failures, triumphs, tragedies, and lessons learned from Apollos 1 through 10 that eventually led to the first moon landing.

Lonely Planet Kids offers The Daredevil’s Guide to Outer Space for adventurous astronauts in training. Join two intergalactic explorers as they travel across The Daredevil's Guide to Outer Space cover
the Solar System and beyond. Learn about the surface temperature of the moon, the thickness of its crust, and even find out how to drive a moon buggy!

This fall, coming from Barefoot Books is Barefoot Books Solar System, a galactic guide to outer space through interactive flaps, engrossing illustrations, and even a pull-out map! This title for Solar System coverreaders aged 8-12 creates a fascinating introduction to all eight planets and all the moons that surround them. If you think Earth’s one moon is cool, check out one of Jupiter’s 79!

Astronaut Annie cover

Finally, become an astronaut just like Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins with Annie in Astronaut Annie from Tilbury House Publishers. Suzanne Slade returns with a delightful story to encourage young reads to pursue their dreams and reach for the stars. When career day at school is approaching, Mom and Dad have ideas of what Annie will do, but none can expect what she finally reveals as her out-of-this-world dream.

Celebrate the Moon Landing, the expertise of NASA’s seamstresses, the astronauts who waited while their colleagues made the famous landing, our solar system, and the imaginations of people everywhere who make new discoveries possible!


Meet the Authors and Illustrators

We hosted half a dozen folks who create children’s books during ALA Annual 2019. If you couldn’t visit with them during the book signings, you can catch them here in the video interviews we made as each one settled behind the signing desk.

First up: Tilbury House’s Rebecca Evans who created the fun and colorful illustrations for Is 2 a Lot?

Another visiting creator from Tilbury House was author Megan Down Lambert, signing her picture book Real Sisters Pretend:

Middle grade author Michelle Kadarusman, from Pajama Press, talked with us before signing Junior Library Guild selection Girl of the Southern Sea:

Toon Books creator Ben Nadler shared his process for adapting one of the Grimm Brothers lesser known tales, The White Snake, to a comics format:

Teen activist, and author of Zuiker Press’s Activist, shared some thoughts before signing copies of the book:

Children’s librarian and author Martha Simpson introduced us to her picture book, Esther’s Gragger, from Wisdom Tales:

Books to Bring Home Refugees’ Experiences

Today’s post is written by Emerson Heflin, of Publisher Spotlight’s marketing team.

In 2001, to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 20th to be World Refugee Day. Every year, countries across the world celebrate World Refugee Week to rally welcome and support for refugees, and in recent years, an increasing number of books for children feature the incredible stories of refugees that make excellent stories and conversation starters to share with young readers. Visit your library or bookstore today to add to your own World Refugee Week collection with some of our favorites.

There's Room for Everyone cover

Tiny Owl Publishing provides There’s Room for Everyone, a touching allegory for war and the refugee crisis. As he lies awake at night, a young boy sees that there’s enough room in the sky for all the stars and the moon. He notices there is enough room in the ocean for all the fish and even the whales. So why do people and countries fight for space when clearly there’s enough room for everyone?This young child’s reflections carry a profound message of peace and tolerance.

Adrift at Sea from Pajama Press tells the dramatic true story of Too Young to Escape coverAdrift at Sea coverTuan Ho’s recount of the flight of Vietnam’s “boat people” refugees. In 1981 at six years old, he, his mother, and two sisters dodged the bullets of Vietnam’s military police for the perilous chance to board a boat for freedom. Complete with an expansive historical and biographical section with photographs, this nonfiction picture book is an important read as the world responds to a new generation of refugees. Don’t forget to check out its companion title Too Young to Escape to read about Tuan’s sister Van who was too young for the dangerous journey.

Tilbury House Publishers’ Who Belongs Here, can be used to teach compassion for recent Who Belongs Here? coverimmigrants and refugees. Nary, a young boy fleeing war-torn Cambodia for the safety of the United States, is having some issues with classmates who think he should go back where he belongs. But what if everyone whose family cam from another place was forced to return to his or her homeland. Who would be left in the United States?

This Is My World cover

In This Is My World from Lonely Planet Kids, young readers are introduced to over 80 real kids from across the globe, including some who currently live in refugee camps in Algeria, Jordan, and Sudan. This book can be used as a great resource for insight into the lives of children currently in a refugee crisis and perhaps teach other readers that they are not much different than children in the United States.

Barefoot Books’La Frontera: El viaje con papa/ My La Frontera coverJourney with Papa is inspired by the childhood immigration experience of co-author Alfredo Alva to the United States in the 1980’s. Alva tells of the arduous journey he and his father took from Mexico to the safety of the U.S. The book also includes 4 pages of endnotes that unpack facts about Alfredo’s story and other stories like his / borders and borders around the world to help parents and educators talk with children about immigration, resilience, empathy and belonging.

For older readers, The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle from Floris Books offers a story of friendship and belonging through the relationship of twelve-year-old Syrian refugee Reema, and her Glaswegian neighbor Caylin. Reema is struggling to find her place Fox Girl and the White Gazelle coverin a new country with a new language and without her brother. Her neighbor Caylin has her own day to day struggles with loneliness and friendship. When an injured fox and her cubs take up residence in the girls’ apartment complex, their mutual love of animals helps them realize that they might have more in common than they initially realized. Inspired by author Victoria Williamson’s work with the Scottish Refugee Council, this story will speak to anyone who has ever asked “where do I belong?”

For more information about World Refugee Week and how you can take action in your own community, please visit http://www.rcusa.org/world-refugee-day.

Eisner Award Nominations Are In!

Each year at the San Diego Comic-Con, the world’s arguably most noteworthy comic books awards are announced. And each spring before that July event, the nominees are announced and any comics professional–including librarians who work with comics in their libraries–can participate in the voting.  This year, Image Comics  has made quite a showing, with nominations of multiple titles in each of multiple categories. We have other publisher friends in various divisional award lists here, too:

This Is a Taco! coverFrom Lion Forge’s Cub House imprint, This Is a Taco! by Andrew Cangelose and Josh Shipley is a finalist in the Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8) section. Read the interview Brigid Alverson conducted with the team who imagined the squirrelly taco eater tale for School Library Journal. 

One of Image Comics’ many showings among the finalists Norroway Book 1 coveris Norroway, Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway, by Cat Seaton and Kit Seaton, is “a fantasy graphic novel series from the sibling team of Cat and Kit Seaton, is inspired by an old European fairy tale.” (See the School Library Journal in full here.)  This is on the Best Publication for Teens (ages 13 to 17) finalist slate.

We have more comics and graphic novel award news, too! Look for aour next post, featuring the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards‘ finalists announced in Denver earlier this spring.



Green Earth Book Awards Announced

Just in time for April’s Earth Day celebrations, The Nature Generation has announced the 2019 Green Earth Book Awards  for titles published for children and teens. Congratulations to Pajama Press, this year’s winning publisher in the Children’s Fiction category, and publisher of one of the Honor titles in the Children’s Nonfiction category.

The Flooded Earth, by Mardi McConnochie, is described by the Green Earth Book Award judges The Flooded Earth coveraptly as a “breakneck pace adventure that draws readers into a race against pirates, authorities, and the sea itself in a not-so-distant future full of new technology and old human failings.” Congratulations  to Mardi McConnochie for adding this award to the praise her children’s novel (part of a trilogy) continues to collect!

Bat Citizens, by Rob Laidlaw and illustrated by Barry Kent MacKay, Bat Citizens cover“is a book that will both instruct and inspire” said the judges when conferring Honors on it in the Children’s Nonfiction category. Congratulations to author and illustrator, as well as to Pajama Press!

Green Earth Book Awards 2019

Happy National Library Week!

In the US, it’s National Library Week, and we love our librarians! Many of you who follow us here work in libraries or are enthusiastic library users. Let’s celebrate libraries with a few good books–because that’s who we are (even though we recognize that, today, libraries are a lot more than “just books”).

Clive Is a Librarian coverJessica Spanyol’s board book Clive Is a Librarian, from Child’s Play, is our obvious first stop, both developmentally and in terms of straight identification. Clive demonstrates the variety of activities in which librarians take part, including making reading suggestions to visitors and arranging programming!

Library staff do engage in a wide and energetic range of Monkey on the Run covertasks. We think Gecko Press’s Monkey on the Run, by Leo Timmers, does a good job of capturing that pace and wide variation of activities! Library folks, take a break with this wordless wonder (which earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly) and we promise you’ll feel refreshed of humor as you run about your workday.

Absolutely Everything coverSince libraries are where we find authoritative information about just anything at all, Christopher Lloyd’s Absolutely Everything: A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots, and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention, published by What on Earth?, offers a sound reflection! Browse, skim, or plunge right in!

Thank you, libraries and library staff, for keeping the informational and literary lights on!