A Puggle in Paris (2018), written by Dena Fitzpatrick and illustrated by Amelia Gossman, takes readers on a charming romp through Paris, France. Pretty pastel colors, dominated by pink, set the scene with feminine flair as Lucy, a beret wearing puggle, journeys alone to France. Lucy enjoys lunch at the Eiffel Tower, shopping along the Champs-Élysées, and viewing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Less well-known attractions like Sacré-Cœur, the Catacombs, and Napoleon’s Tomb are also on Lucy’s itinerary. Continue reading
47,000 Beads (2017), written by Koja Adeyoha and Angel Adeyoha and illustrated by Holly McGillis, is a Flamingo Rampant publication about a child named Peyton who does not want to participate in her community pow wows because she isn’t comfortable wearing a dress. Her Auntie Eyota acknowledges Peyton’s feelings and works with family and community to help Peyton connect with her cultural traditions while creating an identity she is comfortable claiming. Continue reading
The Duke Who Outlawed Jelly Beans (1991), written by Johnny Valentine and illustrated by Lynette Schmidt, is an early Alyson Wonderland publication full of whimsy and charm.
The first story, “The Frog Prince,” is about a boy, Nicholas, who discovers a talking frog. The frog informs Nicholas he is really a prince and needs to be kissed to be transformed back into his true form. Nicholas begrudgingly plants a kiss on the frog and it does, in fact, transform into a prince. The prince explains that his parents could be cruel and as punishment for a minor offense had permitted a wizard to experiment on him. Continue reading
Written by Robbi Anne Packard and illustrated by Lori Ann McElroy, Two Daddies… and Me! rides the wave of self-published children’s books about gay and lesbian parenting that began emerging in earnest post-2000. Like similar titles, Packard’s book seeks to normalize gay parenting and provide gay and lesbian parented families a book that reflects their family form. Both dads are portrayed as white as is their daughter, the protagonist-narrator. Simple text and images capture the family as they move through their day. To establish the normalcy of gay parenting and dispel concerns that gay men and lesbians will raise gay and lesbian children, the young girl imagines herself grownup with a family of her own comprised of a husband and baby. An unremarkable book that does reflect a particular need that existed before better texts were developed to meet it. Continue reading
I’m excited to announce I am participating in the Cybils Awards again this year. This time as a Round One Judge in the Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction category!
Cybils Awards Mission
The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal. If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussels sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious.
Check back for reviews after October 1st when book nominations start pouring in! In fact, you should prepare to nominate your favorites! I know I will. Find out how.