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Not THIS Bear!

by abby on May 8, 2015 | Comment

picture book by Bernice Myers

Oh happy day friends! It’s Friday, it’s sunny and warm, and there’s a new picture available that I designed! (huge grin)

This is the first book of the renown librarian Nancy Pearl’s new BOOK CRUSH REDISCOVERIES series for children and young adults being published by Two Lions, an Amazon Publishing imprint.

This was a unique book project because it’s a reissue and redesign of a 1960’s picture book by Bernice Myers. It’s really amazing to see that with the addition of fresh modern type the original retro illustrations still seem very current.

retro 1960's picture book

The story is quite humorous and kids will delight in seeing the bear’s mistake at identifying young Herman in his fur coat as cousin Julius! The bear invites Herman home with him to show him off to the entire family. Can Herman convince the Bear family that he is definitely not their cousin and most definitely not a bear? You’ll have to read to find out, but I’m pretty certain there will be lots of giggling!

An introduction, discussion questions and activities, and further suggested reading from noted librarian Nancy Pearl are included as well.

Happy reading!

New Margaret Wise Brown Book

by abby on March 6, 2014 | Comment

picture book by margaret wise brown illustrated by 12 award-winning illustrators
{Just published this week!}

Goodnight Songs is a collection of newly discovered lyrical poems by the legendary children’s author, Margaret Wise Brown—the author of Goodnight Moon. If that wasn’t amazing enough, each of the 12 poems is paired with a different award-winning children’s book illustrator. A few of these artists are: Jonathan Bean, Carin Berger, Melissa Sweet, Christopher Silas Neal, and Isabel Roxas. Here’s the complete list:

Goonight Songs illustrators
{Click on book’s back cover to see sample interior art}

The book’s origin has an amazing story to go with it too. Editor, Amy Gary, of Sterling Children’s Books found these poems in a trunk in Brown’s sister’s barn. They were written in the last year of Brown’s life while she was traveling France for a book tour. WOW! What a find!

Pre-schoolers and Kindergardeners will delight in the rhyming language and double-page spread illustrations. Adult readers will love the packaging and the back story that allowed this book to be created.

Goodnight Songs would make a wonderful baby shower gift too!

Need a laugh?

by abby on January 13, 2014 | Comment

cover of picture book called Grumpy Groundhog
{new picture book!}

I know I need a smile of late and this new picture book I designed for Amazon Children’s Publishing is sure to give you one.

Grumpy Groundhog is about, you guessed it, a grumbly groundhog who won’t get out of bed on Groundhog’s Day. But don’t fear, the towns people all have great ideas on how to change the mood of Mr. Groundhog. The light-hearted rhyming text and whimsical illustrations make this a delightful read aloud book.

Parents and grandparents take note: this is a wonderful book to introduce Groundhog’s Day to pre-schoolers!

What is your favorite read aloud book?

Best Children’s Books of 2013

by abby on November 15, 2013 | Comment

3 children's book covers from the list of the best books of 2013
{A few covers from the Best Children’s Books of 2013}

The kick off to holiday shopping season is only a couple weeks away. Are you ready? My head isn’t truly ready for the holidays, but this weekend my group of friends is continuing a new tradition where we all gather together for our own Thanksgiving or as we call it Friendsgiving . It’s a fun evening of amazing food (as it happens we are all good cooks!) and you cannot image how many laughs fill the air. With this event happening tomorrow I’m hoping my holiday spirit will come to life!

Since I know some of you are early bird shoppers, I wanted to share with you Print World’s Top Children’s Book Picks for 2013. PW breaks the books into 3 categories: picture books, fiction, and non-fiction. They select the 50 best books from thousands of publications in 2013. It’s no small task! But they do pride themselves in finding those books whose stories, characters, and in some cases art stay with us long after we finish the book.

The best book lists are too long to list completely here, but I’ll give you a taste of a few of them that caught my eye.

BEST 2013 PICTURE BOOKS
If You Want To See A Whale by Julie Fogliano, illus. by Erin E. Stead
Rosie’s Magic Horse by Russell Hoban, illus. by Quentin Blake
The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illus. by Jon Klassen
Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett, illus. by Matthew Myers

BEST 2013 FICTION NOVELS
Doll Bones by Holly Black, illus. by Eliza Wheeler
Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by K.G. Campbell
Better Nate Than Never by Tim Federle
Whistle In The Dark by Susan Hill Long
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

BEST 2013 NON-FICTION BOOKS
Locomotive by Brian Floca
Poems to Learn By Heart Edited by Caroline Kennedy, illus. by Jon J Muth
Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth & Cathy Trumbore, illus. by Susan L. Roth
Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin
Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles,
America’s First Black Paratroopers
by Tanya Lee Stone

I hope this encourages you to gift a book this year!
Happy weekend!

It’s Finally Here!

by abby on May 13, 2013 | Comment

children's book week 2013

Wow, time is flying—but it’s finally Children’s Book Week! Hooray! I remember writing about this in cold wintery March and thinking May was a long ways away, but wow did it arrive fast.

In case you have forgotten, Children’s Book Week a nationwide celebration of reading and books that has been happening since 1919. To celebrate, libraries, book shops, and towns have special events planned ALLLL this week. You can find the listing of events by state here.

On the CBW website, they have a few great activities for kids and parents too. One of my favorites are the Story Starters. A handful of children’s authors have started a story and then invite a child to finish it. The Story Starters come as printable PDFs and some like Mo Williams are designed as a comic book where the child can draw and write the conclusion of the story. Cool, right?!

Be sure to share the joy of reading with a child or teen this week!

OH AND….
children's art of shooting star
{Make a Wish digital watercolor print, Size 6″ x 6″}

My Make A Wish print is now available in my Etsy Shoppe!

Star Wars Reads Day

by abby on October 5, 2012 | Comment

lucasfilm books

The force is going to be strong tomorrow Saturday October 6th. Why? Well, more than 1,200 bookstores and libraries across the US will participate in the first Star Wars Reads Day! This event will feature a variety of free activities, including raffles, giveaways, and trivia contests. Lucasfilms and its publishing partners are the brain-childs behind this event. The publishers include: Abrams, Chronicle Books, Dark Horse Comics, Del Rey, DK, Klutz, Random House Audio, Scholastic, Titan Magazines, and Workman.

Select locations will include appearances by authors and artists who have created Star Wars books for either the children’s or the adult market – or both. And of course there’s the high probability with over 1,000 volunteers to dress in costume that you’ll be able to meet a few Star Wars characters, too.

If you are in the Rochester area the Barnes & Noble in Greece is going to host Star Wars Reading Day. Details are below. If you want to find out if Star Wars is happening near you there’s a map on the Star Wars Reads Day website.

Barnes and Noble
330 Greece Ridge Center Drive
Rochester, NY 14626
Event Time: Please visit store website for details.
Event Details: Celebrate Star Wars Reads Day and master the art of reading! This event includes games, trivia, giveaways, and a chance to win great Star Wars prizes.

What is quite unique about this event is its appeal to both children AND adults. Many locations will have kid-oriented activities, but I’m sure there will be fun for all ages of Star Wars fans.

Are you going to attend Star War Reads Day?

Crafty Chloe Picture Book

by abby on September 4, 2012 | Comment

kelly ross picture book

With the start of school means the start of school projects too. I know as a grade school child, I loved to build dioramas and paint posters to further explain my assignments. So to celebrate those crafty kids out there I thought I’d share with you a great (and very funny) picture book. It’s called Crafty Chloe by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Heather Ross.

kid craft book

It’s about a young girl, Chloe, who LOVES to create and build things: macaroni necklaces, colorful flower hats, and even clothing. Yep, Chloe even knows how to sew!

Antheneum Books

Her skills and creativity are put to the test when she has to come up with the most perfect HOMEMADE gift her for good friend, Emma, for her birthday. And it has to be very PURPLE too. Chloe feels the pressure. Can she do it? What will the resourceful Chloe make? You’ll have to read it to find out!

This modern story is charming and Ross’s expressive drawings easily pull you into the characters. You can’t help but root for Chloe. This book is for anyone who loves to receive or make homemade gifts.

Picture Book Month

by abby on October 28, 2011 | Comment

abbydora book design
November is Picture Book Month! That’s right, those beautifully, illustrated printed children’s books are still important for literacy and still needed in our lives. I bet you can name your own treasured picture book from your own childhood without hesitation. These books need our support!

This international movement to mark November as Picture Book Month was founded by a group of motivated authors and illustrators: Dianne de Las Cases (author & storyteller), Katie Davis (author/illustrator), Elizabeth O. Dulemba (author/illustrator), Tara Lazar (author), and Wendy Martin (author/illustrator).

The plan of November is to highlight a daily post from a picture book champion to explain why he/she thinks picture books are a vital part of our society. The founders are doing this because a world where solely digital children’s books are available isn’t the right solution. Printed picture books offer their own unique benefits to early literacy education and cognitive development. Don’t believe me? Try sitting with a young child and reading a printed picture book. I bet you the early reader will ask you questions and pose comments beyond the narrative. Why? Because a printed book allows them to pause, reflect, and think for themselves. The early reader becomes the active component to the book. Sitting together reading a well crafted, printed picture book can truly be a magical experience.
abbydora illustration
Join the celebration and enjoy an old favorite book or see what’s new and exciting in the land of printed picture books.