Friday, February 28, 2014

Newbery Honor-Winning Author Margarita Engle

Michael Leonard introduced me to Margarita Engle's The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom when I was a student in his Library Materials for Children class. At the time, he was busy evaluating books as a member of the 2009 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award selection committee. The Surrender Tree received an Honor citation.  


I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that six years later Margarita agreed to finish my sentences. The library student sitting in Michael's class would never have imagined all the wonderful opportunities that I've experienced because of passionate teachers like Michael who inspired and encouraged me to become involved in the world of children's books. Thank you, Michael! 

Image credit: Margarita Engle
I wrote the words in red, and Margarita wrote the words in black. Thank you, Margarita, for dropping by Watch. Connect. Read. 


Tony and Gabe are the city boy and wilderness search and rescue dog who become great friends in my adventurous middle grade verse novel, Mountain Dog.  Tony’s mother is in prison for dog-fighting.  When he’s sent to live with his great-uncle who is a forest ranger, he learns that dogs can save lives by finding lost hikers, and he learns what it means to be part of a family.




Search and rescue dogs are a big part of my daily life.  The dogs in Mountain Dog and my picture book, When You Wander, are inspired by my husband’s volunteer work with our own SAR dogs.  Search dogs need practice finding a lost person, so I often hide in the forest, serving as a volunteer “victim.”  It’s usually very relaxing.  I’ve only heard the La Llorona scream of a mountain lion once, and there has only been one close call with bullets from a hunter’s gun.  I always take a book, pen and paper.  Quite a few of my poems have been written under a tree.



Silver People: Voices From the Panama Canal, and Tiny Rabbit’s Big Wish, are my 2014 books, both to be released by Harcourt in March.  The first is a historical YA verse novel about tens of thousands of Caribbean islanders who were recruited by the U.S. to dig the canal, then subjected to apartheid, with islanders and southern Europeans paid in silver, while Americans and northern Europeans were paid in gold.  Silver People is also my personal love letter to the tropical rain forest, with poems in the voices of howler monkeys, hummingbirds, snakes, jaguars, and trees. Raúl Colón did the gorgeous cover art.  (There is a simultaneous University of Queensland Press, Australia/New Zealand edition, with a different cover, different subtitle, and different spelling, vocabulary, and grammar.) Tiny Rabbit’s Big Wish is a poem in the form of a picture book for very young children, inspired by a Cuban folktale about a little bunny who wants to grow.  It’s really a story about accepting ourselves, and realizing that we all have different strengths.   David Walker did the adorable illustrations.

Illustration credit: Renee Kurilla
Renee Kurilla is the absolutely fabulous illustrator of my 2015 Holt picture book about orangutans, told entirely in tanka poems.  (Yes, the title is Orangutanka!)  I wrote this book after speaking at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore, during a side trip to Borneo, where we visited a reserve for returning rescued orangutans to the wild.  It was one of the most moving experiences of my life.  Other amazing illustrators I am privileged to be working with on pending picture books include Rafael López, and Aliona Bereghici.



Poetry is music in a wild forest.  It makes the outdoor part of our minds feel like dancing.


Reading is exploration, time travel, telepathy, and shape shifting, all rolled up into one.  It is the only way we can communicate directly with other minds, including those from the past, and from distant lands.  Writing for children is the only way we can communicate with minds of the future.


Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what I am working on now.  The answer is a verse memoir about my childhood travels between California and Cuba during the Cold War.  It’s scheduled for publication by Harcourt in March, 2015.  Writing it was the most challenging experience of my life.


Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of The Surrender Tree, which received the first Newbery Honor ever awarded to a Latino.  Her young adult verse novels have also received two Pura Belpré Awards and three Honors, as well as three Américas Awards and the Jane Addams Peace Award, among others. 

Margarita’s next verse novel is Silver People, Voices From the Panama Canal (March, 2014, Harcourt).  Books for younger children include Mountain Dog, Summer Birds, When You Wander, and Tiny Rabbit’s Big Wish (March, 2014, Harcourt).
Margarita lives in central California, where she enjoys hiding in the forest to help train her husband’s wilderness search and rescue dogs.

I am giving away a copy of Mountain Dog. 


Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 2/28 to 11:59 p.m. on 3/2. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

   

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The 2014 Children's Book Week Poster and Bookmark


I have been obsessively checking the Children's Book Week website to see if this year's poster and bookmark have been unveiled. The wait is over. Click here to view the 2014 poster. Click here to download the 2014 bookmark. Aren't they both wonderful???? 

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE New York, NY — February 27, 2014 – 

The Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader have 
unveiled Robin Preiss Glasser’s official 2014 Children’s Book Week poster at bookweekonline.com, commemorating the 95th annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. 175,000 copies will be distributed nationwide, and may be requested online at no cost beyond shipping. 2014 will be the largest celebration of Children’s Book Week yet, with official events – which give kids the opportunity to connect with their favorite authors and illustrators in person – in  all 50 states for the first time in the initiative’s history. 

Robin Preiss Glasser is the 2013 Children's Choice Illustrator of the Year Award-winner for Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet, part of the Fancy Nancy series which has more than 50 titles and has 
been on the New York Times Bestsellers list for more than 350 weeks. Her poster shows a group of children of all ages reading together on a chair quilted with the covers of classic children’s books including Eloise, Goodnight Moon, The Twits, The Purple Crayon, Call of the Wild, Charlotte’s Weband other favorites. 

“To be a part of Children's Book Week, with its recognition of the joy of storytelling and importance  of reading, is truly an honor,” says Robin Preiss Glasser. “In creating the poster for this year's 
celebration, I follow in the footsteps of so many great children's book illustrators, many of  whose work enchanted me as a child. It is thrilling to have the opportunity to share my art with the 
libraries, schools, and book stores that are part of the Children's Book Council's and Every Child a  Reader’s outreach, as together we share our love of storybooks with young audiences.” 

Each year since Children’s Book Week’s inception in 1919, a distinguished children’s book illustrator has been called upon to create an official Children’s Book Week poster to be distributed nationwide. Over the literacy initiative’s 95 storied years, posters have been created by children’s literature icons including Brian Selznick, Ian Falconer, Jon J Muth, Maurice Sendak, Ezra Jack Keats, Richard Scarry, Ellen Raskin, Laurent deBrunhoff, Tomie dePaola, Rosemary Wells, Garth Williams, Marc Brown, and Jerry Pinkney. The Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader are honored to add Robin Preiss Glasser’s beautiful work to these historic commemorations of Children’s Book Week. 
  

February Sharp-Schu Book Club Meeting

Thank you to everyone who discussed Battle Bunny during last night's Sharp-Schu Book Club meeting. 




Some classes have watched this book trailer 5 times. Well done, Jon and Mac! 



Batttle Bunny's Rapid Rabbit Art





Jon Scieszka presented at the 2013 National Book Festival. 

Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett presented at the Gaithersburg Book Festival. 



Matthew Myers illustrated A is for Musk Ox


Mac Barnett's message to librarians. 



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker Trifecta

The Nerdy Book Club, Mr. Colby Sharp, and I are celebrating Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker. This book dazzles and impresses me more each time I read it. It is one to add to your to-buy list. 


I’m a HUGE fan of your illustrations in Rain! and Harlem’s Little Blackbird, and I am over the moon about your latest book, Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker. When did you know you wanted to illustrate children’s books?

Christian Robinson: Thank you for asking me questions! It’s still kind of new and amazing to have folks interested in what I’m doing/illustrating.

Honestly, it didn’t really sink in until after college. I studied animation, and somehow had taken on a belief that animation was the ultimate form of creative expression for someone who likes making pictures. I mean, what could be more amazing then making your drawings come to life?

Funny thing is even in animation school I found myself going to the children’s book section of the library, and drawing inspiration off various picture book artist. 

After college I interned with Pixar Animation Studios, where I was paired with a mentor, Ben Butcher, who was obsessed with picture books, and encouraged me to trust in my own voice as an illustrator. Long story short it’s almost as if I’ve always wanted to illustrate children’s books, but it was only recently that I opened up to the possibility, or the possibility opened up to me!

Image credit: Christian Robinson 
I vividly remember watching The Josephine Baker Story in 1991. I wanted to learn everything about her. What surprised you while working on Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker? 

Christian Robinson: Just how enormous her heart really was! I’ll share this story that I came across during my own research:



If it were possible to meet Josephine Baker at your favorite coffee shop, what would you ask her? Oh, and what would you order? 

Christian Robinson: Well, I’d ask what she thought of the book? But probably what I’d most like to know is where she drew her strength from, what was her source of inspiration and encouragement? How does one cultivate such an indomitable spirit?

I’d order a creamy chai tea, with just the right amount  of spice and sweetened with honey!



Download this poster here.

What would I see if I walked into your studio right now?

Christian Robinson: A bunch of old and new work pinned to the walls. A copy of Mac Barnett’s picture book manifesto
A small bookshelf filled with vintage children’s books.
And an empty box of Samoas Girl Scout cookies!


Click here to download this activity. 

Please finish these sentence starters:

Picture books are a team effort. One I’m privileged to be a part of.

Reading is an open door to abundance.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked meWhat was the last song I danced to?

Song: When a Fire Starts to Burn 
Artist: Disclosure

THANK YOU!!! 

Thank you, Christian





I am giving away a copy of Josephine. 


Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 2/26 to 11:59 p.m. on 2/28. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 






"Read. Read the kind of books you want to write. Read the kind of books you’d never write." -Patricia Hruby Powell  


"Josephine, at the end of the chorus line, darker than
the other girls, laughed at herself. She rolled her eyes, jutted out her hip, flirted. She was goofy. She was fabulous. She was original." -Patricia Hruby Powell 



Borrow Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February #HoldShelf Gallery

This school year's first and second graders are pretty much obsessed with placing books on hold. Earlier today, a first grader said, "Can I shop for a book on the library website?" Yes, shop. I think it feels a little like shopping to them. Works for me. :) 


My shelf 


Mr. Jonker's shelf 



Kurt's shelf 


Michelle Glatt's shelf



Karie Gregory's shelf 


Anne-Marie Gordon's shelf 


Bill Moczydlowski's shelf 





Mrs. Mattei's hold shelf 


Paige Ysteboe's shelf 


Becky Gorek's shelf 


Gayla's shelf 


CWE Media Center's shelf 


Kathy Kaldenberg's shelf 


Chelsea's shelf 


Debbie Alvarez's shelf 


Cassandra's shelf 


Diane Brown's shelf 


Carter's shelf 



Gayle Rosengren's shelf 



Sarah Lilly's shelf 

Monday, February 24, 2014

#SharpSchu Meets on Wednesday (Includes Giveaway)





Colby Sharp and I hope to chat with you on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. (CST). 


 Enter the Giveaway 

I am giving away a  copy of Battle Bunny


Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 2/24 to 11:59 p.m. on 2/25.

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Author T. A. Barron

I have been a huge fan of T.A. Barron and his books for a long time. I am honored that he dropped by Watch. Connect. Read. to finish my sentences. We chatted about books, reading, and libraries. I wrote the words in red, and he wrote the words in black. Thank you, T.A. Barron! 


Merlin’s Guide to a Meaningful Life is a way of imagining what Merlin would say to give us hope, courage, and meaning in our lives.  I’ve had a lot of fun with this—especially since I’ve written so many books about the great wizard, he now really seems like an old friend whose voice is quite familiar!  To spread the fun (and maybe a bit of wisdom), I’ve produced 3 short videos. 


 The first one, Merlin’s Seven Most Magical Words, reveals his seven favorite words…plus one more word that powers them all.  I’m glad to tell you these videos were seen by well over 100,000 people in just the first month.  So I’m now making Merlin’s Guide into a book which will be published soon!


Ellegandia is the setting for my latest book, Atlantis Rising.  It’s a great vacation place for anyone who loves to travel in the imagination!  This magical place is home to two very different young people—a vagabond named Promi and a mysterious woman named Atlanta.  But their world is about to be destroyed—and their only hope is to work together.  And their adventure results in the birth of the most wondrous island anywhere: Atlantis.


I hope the Atlantis Trilogy will give people a new, authentic vision of Atlantis—in the same way my Merlin Saga introduced a new Merlin, a young man who was very human as well as deeply magical.  Ever since childhood, I’ve loved the tragic tale of that lost paradise.  But I’ve wondered…how was Atlantis created, as well as destroyed?  Who were the key players in that drama?  What was the ultimate source of that island’s magic?  The Atlantis Trilogy will, I hope, answer those questions.


The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is all about one thing—turning the spotlight on some remarkable young people who are making the world a better place.  Each year we honor 25 kids ages 8 to 18, from all sorts of diverse backgrounds.  They have shown amazing courage, energy, and leadership to help people or the environment.  Sometimes it’s hard to feel hopeful about the future—but these amazing young people will renew your hope!  Visit www.barronprize.org.  



The best thing about a walk in nature is how it makes me feel so alive!  All my senses wake up:  I smell the sweet tang of a spruce forest or the briny breeze of an ocean shore; I hear a distant owl hooting, touch moss softer than velvet, taste a sprig of wild mint, and see the iridescent flash of a butterfly’s wings.  Whatever the place, whatever the season…nature is my favorite place for healing and inspiration.  And since I’m lucky enough to live in Colorado, nature is always beckoning!


Libraries are a great big treasure chest full of wondrous places, people, and ideas.  The first book I ever checked out from a library was a biography of Abraham Lincoln—and I remember that amazing feeling that in this library, I could go anywhere and be anyone.  Merlin had his crystal cave for discoveries, solitude, and magical inspiration—and for the same reasons, we have libraries!


Reading is the best way to travel!  With a good book, you can instantly voyage to another continent, another world, or another universe.  And you can travel just as easily through time.  The only limit is our imagination…which means there’s no limit at all.


Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about the magic of words.  After all the books I’ve written, I still can’t explain how words, these simple marks on a page or sounds in our ears, can convey every possible feeling and experience.  Being a writer is a humbling experience—partly because there are so many ways to grow and improve, and partly because I’m dealing with these mysteriously powerful elements called words.  Honestly, no magic that Merlin ever wielded is more amazing than what all of us can do through creating and sharing stories and ideas!  All thanks to the magic of words.



I am giving away a copy of Atlantis Rising


Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 2/21 to 11:59 p.m. on 2/23. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy Book Birthday to Maple!

I'm throwing a virtual birthday party for Lori Nichols' delightful debut picture book, Maple. Please celebrate with me by putting on a party hat, singing "Happy Birthday," watching Maple's book trailer, and reading Lori's responses to my interview questions. Happy, happy book birthday, Maple


Congratulations on the publication of your debut picture book, Maple! How would you describe Maple to a stranger? :) 

Lori Nicholas: Thank you Mr. Schu!  When Maple is tiny, her parents plant a maple tree in her honor. She and her tree grow up together, and even though a tree doesn’t always make an ideal playmate, it doesn’t mind when Maple is in the mood to be loud–which is often. Then Maple becomes a big sister, and finds that babies have their loud days too. Fortunately, Maple and her beloved tree know just what the baby needs.



What planted the seed for Maple?

Lori Nicholas: The seed for Maple was planted a long time ago. I spent my childhood summers barefoot and under a huge maple tree. I remember so much of this time of my life. The moss at the base of the tree, the coolness of the ground, trees trunks covered in ants, and grass on my toes. My most vivid memory of this time is being under the tree’s canopy and looking up at the movement of the leaves. I loved my tree. I never really thought about it as a book though until I had three daughters. My husband and I, both nature lovers, dug up oak saplings (his favorite tree from his childhood) from his hometown yard in West Virginia. We planted a tree for each of our daughters and have watched them grow up together.


What came first: the illustrations or the text?

Lori Nichols: It’s usually a dance between the two. One day my daughter, Zoe, was eating grapes. When she got to a bare stem she held it up and said “Mom, doesn’t this look like a tree trunk?”  I scanned the grape stem into the computer and scanned some Maple leaves from our tree outside and put them together. It was a tree. At that time I was (and still am) in love with Mary Blair’s illustrations for I Can Fly by Ruth Krauss. I had been doing some girl character studies inspired by her and so I scanned one of those drawings in and put the girl and the tree together. There would be hundreds of transformations to her *finished* look but this was the beginning of the book. I then wrote the line “Maple loved her tree.” From here it was a dance of drawing and text, drawing and text. Each one is equally as important. Neither really comes first except for that first grape-stem drawing. 


Please share the titles of the last three picture books that you read.


Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell


Four Hens and a Rooster by Lena and Olof Landstrom (boy do I love this writer/illustrator team. I think I read their books at least once a week)


The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud

Please finish these sentence starters:

Picture books are visual journeys of excitement, humor, sadness, fear, anger, hope and love all experienced on the safety and warmth of the lap of a caregiver.

Reading is food for the brain. Junk food, hearty food, nourishing food, comfort food, yucky food, mmmm-mmmm good food. Sometimes it’s a ripe fig picked fresh from a tree, sometimes it’s frozen steak-uums. Whatever the food, reading keeps us alive and invites us to sit down with strangers and nourish our souls. And reading is travel. I love the Mark Twain quote “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” Reading helps us to travel to other lives and hopefully understand one another a little better.


Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what I do when I don’t have enough room on my bookshelves to hold my beloved books. I make a table!



I am giving away one copy of Maple

 Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 2/20 to 11:59 p.m. on 2/21. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 



Borrow Maple from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Press Release of the Month: 2014 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award Winners Announced




NEW YORK—February 19, 2014—The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation in partnership with the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi announced today the winners of the 28th annual Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. Each year, a new writer and new illustrator are celebrated. The 2014 awards ceremony will be held on April 10th during the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival, at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. The winners receive a gold medallion as well as an honorarium of $1,000. Kathi Appelt, award-winning author of numerous children’s and young adult’s books, will be guest presenter.
“The Book Award provides an extraordinary opportunity to celebrate and encourage exceptional new writers and illustrators, who are rarely recognized early in their careers,” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “These new artists have created books of beauty in the spirit of Keats that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family and the multicultural nature of our world.”
“As the keepers of important children’s literature, including the Ezra Jack Keats Archive of original manuscripts and related work, we enthusiastically embrace these excellent new writers and illustrators, whose own books may one day join Ezra’s in the de Grummond Collection,” said Ellen Ruffin, Curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.

The 2014 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Winner Is:

Ame Dyckman for Tea Party Rules 
Published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA)
Cub has discovered a backyard tea party with cookies to boot. But before he can dig in, the hostess shows up with rules, rules and more rules for playing tea party! Cub tries, but it’s a lot for one bear to take. The two eventually become friends as they learn together about the give-and-take of playtime.
EJKAward_NEWgold_layered
Dyckman said, “I wrote Tea Party Rules so bears would read it and realize we’re really not that different. When you next meet a bear, please pass along my invitation to stop by and play—and let them know I’m willing to compromise on the Rules. I keep hosting backyard tea parties. I keep baking cookies. (You know, for research.) I’m hoping a bear will come along tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m completely moved and honored and honestly, astonished to receive this award. Mr. Keats’ books are childhood and play, and I wish I could have had him over for tea, too.”
Tea Party Rules was illustrated by K.G. Campbell, who received an Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book Award for this book. This is Campbell’s second consecutive Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor Book Award.

The 2014 Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award Winner Is:

Christian Robinson for Rain! 
Published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
It’s a matter of perspective in Rain! when a high-spirited little boy sporting a green frog hat (“Hoppy, hoppy, hoppy!”) and a grumpy man (“dang puddles”) have very different experiences with the weather. Eventually crossing paths, the boy helps turn the man’s day around. Set in the city, the book’s vibrant cut-paper-style artwork brings the story to life.
Robinson said, “It is an honor to receive the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award because Ezra was one of my greatest influences on many levels. Like in his books, I used a cut-paper style for the artwork in Rain! And because Rain! uses few words to tell its story, my challenge as an illustrator was to play and explore, with the purpose of bringing this rainy-day cityscape to life and conveying the contrasting moods of the two main characters.”
Rain! was written by Linda Ashman.
2014-honors-book-press-3

The 2014 Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book Award Winners Are:

2014 New Writer Honor
  • Pat Zietlow Miller for Sophie’s Squash (published by Schwartz & Wade, a division of Random House)
  • Linda Davick for I Love You, Nose! I Love You, Toes! (published by Beach Lane Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
2014 New Illustrator Honor
  • K.G. Campbell for Tea Party Rules (published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group [USA])
  • Aaron Meshon for Take Me Out to the Yakyu (published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  • Marta Altés for My Grandpa (published by Abrams Books for Young Readers)

The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award Criteria

To be eligible for the 2014 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, the author and/or illustrator will have no more than three children’s picture books published prior to the year under consideration.
The selection committee is comprised of early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators and experts in children’s literature, including: Caroline Ward, Chair, Rita Auerbach, Carolyn Brodie, Nina Crews, Pat Cummings, Ginny Moore Kruse, Marisabina Russo, Lisa Von Drasek and Paul O. Zelinsky.
Ex-Officio members are: Deborah Pope, Executive Director, Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, and Ellen Ruffin, Curator, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.
For a complete list of past Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winners, visit Ezra Jack Keats Book Award Winners 1986-2013
For information about submissions, visit Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award • Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award

About the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation

Founded by the late Caldecott award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation fosters children’s love of reading and creative expression by supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries; cultivating new writers and illustrators of exceptional picture books that reflect the experience of childhood in our diverse culture; and protecting and promoting the work of Keats, the preeminent author-illustrator whose book The Snowy Day broke the color barrier in mainstream children’s publishing. Keats. Imagination. Diversity.

I retrieved the press release from here




I think tea parties should be held on alternate Wednesdays—EVERYWHERE! In subways, laundromats, factories, the DMV... everyone would be so happy!


K. G. Campbell’s illustrations for Tea Party Rules are SO funny, I can’t look at them while drinking anything. (Especially not grape soda. Had to repaint the wall.)

Read the full interview here




Rain! is the perfect picture book for opening a conversation about how our moods and energy affect others. Every day we have the opportunity to spread irritability, impatience, pessimism and hostility wherever we go—or we can spread kindness, joy, optimism and understanding. Believe me, I do plenty of the former, but I like to imagine a world where we do more of the latter.  It’s also the perfect picture book for those who enjoy fabulous art—I love Christian Robinson’s illustrations!

Read the full interview here