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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

It’s the Final Countdown (of Picture Books 2010-19)

What if he asked people to rank not their top ten picture books of all time, but their ten favorite picture books of the last decade? That’s right. Just the books published between the years of 2010-19. The results have been tabulated and now they are in.

Review of the Day: Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy by Tara Dairman, ill. Archana Sreenivasan

I honestly think there’s a value in teaching kids the fact that the more you learn, the more you will realize just how much you do not know. That there’s always room for more knowledge. And Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy is a gorgeously wrought, simply written, smart story that does the work of engaging and informing kids alongside their ill-informed parents.

Review of the Day: Overground Railroad by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome

No series of rote facts, Overground Railroad puts you in the shoes of the ordinary people that had to leave everything and everyone they knew in search of a better life. Historical events like The Great Migration are vague. This book hands young readers not just specifics. It hands them people they can get to know and care about.

Review of the Day: Rita & Ralph’s Rotten Day by Carmen Agra Deedy, ill. Pete Oswald

Taking a common hand rhyme and turning it into a story with a satisfying plot would be a difficult challenge for anyone but for Ms. Carmen Agra Deedy’s Rita & Ralph’s Rotten Day it’s a breeze. A marvelous addition to any storytime roster, no matter where you are.

Review of the Day: my best friend by Julia Fogliano, ill. Jillian Tamaki

Kids will love this book. Yeah, it’s a visual/literary masterpiece of picture book art and writing but that means bupkiss if you hand it to a kid, or read it aloud to a group, and they’re bored to tears. Precisely because Fogliano knows how to talk on a kid’s level, precisely because Tamaki has made her art so visually appealing.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2019 Picture Books

Picture books are such a delight to read and discover. This year, I saw so many wonderful ones. As a result, this list is going to strike you as a tad on the longish side. Still and all, I honestly believe that every book listed here deserves its day in the sun.

Review of the Day: My Footprints by Bao Phi, ill. Basia Tran

Want a book that’ll stick in your brain for long periods of time for all the right reasons? Chant along with me then . . . my footprints, my footprints, my footprints . . .

Review of the Day: Small in the City by Sydney Smith

Small in the City is not flashy or gaudy or loud. It is quiet and serious and oh-so very beautiful. Beautiful right down to its little paper soul. Once in a while, a reviewer gets to talk about a modern day classic. Today, I am that reviewer, and this is that book.

Review of the Day: Mr. Nogginbody Gets a Hammer by David Shannon

I don’t know what it took to make Mr. Nogginbody come into the world, but whatever confluence of the planets allowed this madcap exercise in increasing hijinks to happen, I say let’s have more of it! In a sea of picture books that remain unmemorable five minutes after you’ve read them, Mr. Nogginbody hits the nail on the head. Hard.

In Translation: The Marvelous Translated Picture Books of 2019 (So Far)

I believe I’ve noticed a significant uptick in translations recently. To what do I owe this marked increase? Whatever the case, I like what I’m seeing. I particularly like what I’m seeing on today’s list of titles so sit back and enjoy some international fare that’s truly worth locating.

Happy Book Birthday, Great Santa Stakeout!

Folks, I like self-promotion just about as much as I like yanking hanks of hair out of my head. But look, I can promote a book a lot better when I have someone as magnificent as Dan Santat in my corner. Today, I am pleased as punch to announce the publication of my brand spanking new picture book THE GREAT SANTA STAKEOUT! Is it too early for Christmas?

Review of the Day: Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe

There’s something going on in this book. A wry, whipsmart, funny tale that actually may have a thing or two to say about female empowerment. Or not? It’s easy to read too much into this book, but I’d say it’s also just as easy to read into it everything that you need it to be. Intelligent writing for kids that will not just appeal but engage and entice.

Review of the Day: My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, ill. Zeke Peña

Children are forever being picked up and taken to new locations without their input or consent. In today’s book review, you can see a kid taking the initiative. A father/daughter tale unlike any other out there today.

Review of the Day: Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons and Daniel Minter

Maybe I’m a little envious of Kelly Starling Lyons. She knows how to write a killer book. Plus she got paired with the incomparable Daniel Minter, so right there. Right there. But really, I have no time to be envious of anyone. I’m using that time instead to be just so darn grateful this book exists at all. Family rendered in its most beautiful light. A treasure in hand indeed.

Review of the Day: Maybe Tomorrow? by Charlotte Agell, ill. Ana Ramírez González

Today I look at an infinitely gentle take on the feelings we lug around inside of ourselves and why we don’t have to always lug them on our own. Maybe Tomorrow? is, at its heart, about how to be a good friend. A seemingly simple lesson for a deeply complex world.