Category Archives: baby/picture books

Picture Books by Black Creators


There are amazing resources for picture books by Black creators – the links are below. Please visit them! I’m going to share the names of a few Black picture book authors and illustrators with the titles of some of their amazing books. Please click on the titles for more information and to purchase. This is NOT an all-inclusive list. A way you can support Black Lives? Buy books by Black creators.

Here are some authors/illustrators who have created picture books I love:


Floyd Cooper author/illustrator- The Ring Bearer, Max and the Tag-Along Moon, The Blacker the Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas


Kelly Starling Lyons author – Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon, illustrated by Laura Freeman; Tiara’s Hat Parade, illustrated by NIcole Tadgell; Sing a Song, illustrated by Keith Mallett


Don Tate author/illustrator – Carter Reads the Newspaper by Deborah Hopkinson, Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, Hope’s Gift by Kelly Starling Lyons


Alice Faye Duncan author – A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks illustrated by Xia Gordon; Honey Baby Sugar Child illustrated by Susan Keeter; Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop illustrated by P. Gregory Christie


Jacqueline Woodson author – The Day You Begin illustrated by Rafael Lopez, This is the Rope illustrated by James Ransome, Each Kindness illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Baptiste Paul author – I am Farmer by Baptiste Paul and MIranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon; The Field illustrated by Jacqueline Alcantara


Jerry Pinkney author and illustrator – In Plain Sight by Richard Jackson, A Place to Land by Barry Wittenstein


Angela Johnson author – A Girl Like Me illustrated by Nina Crews, Daddy Calls Me Man illustrated by Rhonda Mitchell, When I am Old With You illustrated by David Soman


E.B. Lewis illustrator – Across the Alley by Richard Michelson, All Different Now by Angela Johnson, Coming on Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson


Here are some excellent resources for finding more pictures books by Black authors and illustrators:

The Brown Bookshelf is hosting a summer book club for all ages – Generations Book Club

31 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance

Just Us Books – publishing house founded and run by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County: Black Joy Booklist for Children and Young Adults 

Please feel free to share your favorite books by Black authors and illustrators in the comments below. Thank you!



AAPI Heritage Month Post 14


Ah, it’s the last day of May and officially the last day of Asian American Pacific Islander Month. I managed to post for almost half of it. Again, apologies for not being able to post daily while I was on deadline. I hope that I’ve introduced some new books to you and that you will be buying and reading AAPI books throughout the years, not just during AAPI Heritage Month. It is my greatest pleasure to bring these books to your attention.

Today’s recommended read is a graphic novel by the amazingly talented Gene Luen Yang.

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

From the publisher: In his latest graphic novel, Dragon HoopsNew York Times bestselling author Gene Luen Yang turns the spotlight on his life, his family, and the high school where he teaches.

Gene understands stories―comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.

But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.

Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well.

Buy the book here:

There are many great AAPI books out there and more coming your way. This is good news! I haven’t been able to keep up with all the books (also good news). Here are a select handful I hope to buy/read in the near future – there are many more on my list. Please share in the comments any AAPI books you recommend! Thank you!

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American as Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar

I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee

Lift by Minh Le, illustrated by Dan Santat

Rogue Heart by Axie Oh

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

Almost American Girl by Robin Ha

The Dragon Egg Princess by Ellen Oh



AAPI Heritage Month Post 12


I am so thrilled to be able to share this gorgeous cover for a book I read as a draft. It made me cry, and then again, and again, each time I read this amazing, touching, and heart-filled story. Not only is this story incredible but the illustrations match the tone and emotion beat-for-beat and will sweep you away.

Watercress by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Jason Chin

Neal Porter Books/2021

From the publisher: This beautiful story is inspired by Andrea’s experience growing up as the daughter of Chinese immigrants.

What I Think: Full disclosure, Andrea is a very dear friend, but even if she weren’t, I would be just as much as in love with this emotionally evocative story that starts will the embarrassment of having to pick watercress along the side of a highway and morphs into understanding and empathy as her parents’ history is revealed.

Be sure to keep an eye out for this book in early 2021!

AAPI Heritage Month 2020 post 2


HI again! Forgive me for not posting books daily as I have in the past for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month – I am on deadline – but I will post as often as I can.

Today I’d like to share some AAPI picture books I read recently and have loved.

Magic Ramen by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz

From the publisher: Inspiration struck when Momofuku Ando spotted the long lines for a simple bowl of ramen following World War II. Magic Ramen tells the true story behind the creation of one of the world’s most popular foods.

Every day, Momofuku Ando would retire to his lab–a little shed in his backyard. For years, he’d dreamed about making a new kind of ramen noodle soup that was quick, convenient, and tasty for the hungry people he’d seen in line for a bowl on the black market following World War II. Peace follows from a full stomach, he believed.

Day after day, Ando experimented. Night after night, he failed. But Ando kept experimenting.

With persistence, creativity, and a little inspiration, Ando succeeded. This is the true story behind one of the world’s most popular foods.


Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom by Teresa Robeson, illustrated by Rebecca Huang

From the publisher: When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, most girls did not attend school; no one considered them as smart as boys. But her parents felt differently. Giving her a name meaning “Courageous Hero,” they encouraged her love of learning and science. This engaging biography follows Wu Chien Shiung as she battles sexism and racism to become what Newsweek magazine called the “Queen of Physics” for her work on beta decay. Along the way, she earned the admiration of famous scientists like Enrico Fermi and Robert Oppenheimer and became the first woman hired as an instructor by Princeton University, the first woman elected President of the American Physical Society, the first scientist to have an asteroid named after her when she was still alive, and many other honors.


Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang, illustrated by Charlene Chua

From the publisher: Meet the funny, fierce, and fearless Amy Wu, who is determined to make a perfect bao bun today. Can she rise to the occasion?

Amy loves to make bao with her family. But it takes skill to make the bao taste and look delicious. And her bao keep coming out all wrong.

Then she has an idea that may give her a second chance…Will Amy ever make the perfect bao?


AAPI Heritage Month Book a Day 2019 – 16


Continuing from yesterday, I’m sharing another #ownvoices picture book for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I don’t always see “ninja” picture books (and mentions in media) done accurately or respectfully, so I particularly love the Little Kunoichi: The Ninja Girl books by Japanese American author-illustrator Sanae Ishida. I own both of the first books and was tickled to see there is a third!

Ba-chan: The Ninja Grandma looks to be another winner! And Ba-chan is what my daughter calls my mom! (The proper term for grandma is Obaachan, but we shortened and “cute-tified” it.)

From the publisher:

In this new edition to the Little Kunoichi series, author and illustrator Sanae Ishida introduces us to Ba-chan, Little Kunoichi’s wise, creative, and eccentric grandmother. Anything is possible with Ba-chan!

It’s summer and Little Kunoichi’s friends are away on vacation. After exploring every nook and cranny of her super, super secret island home with her pet, Bunny, she is bored, bored, BORED! Little Kunoichi shares her ideas to spice things up–a new bike, another pet–with her parents. But they have a better idea: a visit to her wise, quirky, and creative grandma, Ba-chan!

Little Kunoichi, joined by her little brother and Bunny, is excited for her visit. They are met with many surprises as they spend time with Ba-chan on an island she made herself and together learn that curiosity, resourcefulness, love, and imagination have more value than things money can buy.

AAPI Heritage Month Book a Day 2019 – 15


It’s day 15 of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and I’m sharing an AAPI book a day that I want to read. I have been mostly focusing on chapter books and novels, since that’s what I mostly write and read, but today I’m sharing a picture book I’m looking forward to!

Sumo Joe by Mia Wenjen with captivating illustrations by Nat Iwata releases on June 11 and is available for preorder. As a Japanese American, I am always on the look-out for #ownvoices books about Japanese Americans and this one looks like it’s going to be great!

From the publisher:

In this sweet and funny story, Sumo Joe and his friends enjoy pretending to be sumo wrestlers. But when his little sister wants to join their boy-only game, what should Sumo Joe do?

On Saturday mornings, Sumo Joe is a gentle big brother to his little sister. But on Saturday afternoons, he and his friends are sumo wrestlers! They tie on makeshift mawashi belts, practice drills like teppo, and compete in their homemade dohyo ring. They even observe sumo’s ultimate rule: no girls allowed! But when Sumo Joe’s little sister wants to join in the fun, Sumo Joe is torn between the two things he’s best at: sumo, and being a big brother.

Fists, feet, and martial art forms collide in this sweet yet spirited rhyming story by author Mia Wenjen and illustrator Nat Iwata.

Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari, Illustrated by Brian Floca


I’m so pleased to have been able to read this book in ARC form, and even more pleased that this book is out in the world for all to read and enjoy! Congratulations Maria Gianferrari and Brian Floca on this spectacular book!

Roaring Brook Press, June 2018

This story centers on a little girl who watches Father Hawk hunt to feed his nest of babies. I used to work as a raptor rehabilitator while I was in college so I have a big affinity for raptors of all kinds, and particularly love red-tail hawks as they are fairly common and easy to spot. Maria Gianferrari does an excellent job sharing facts about this spectacular creature and Brian Floca’s illustrations are spot on. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in nature and wildlife.

The author is generously offering a copy to one U.S. winner. Please comment below if you’d like to be entered in the drawing! Enter by midnight EST Thursday, June 21. Winner announced on Friday, June 22!

EDITED TO ADD: The winner has been chosen! Congratulations, Jen!

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Book Love (2)


In honor of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, I’m sharing some of my favorite books by Asian authors. Please feel free to share your favorites in the comments. I’m always looking for good books to read!

Today’s featured book is the picture book No Kimchi For Me! by Aram Kim. I had the pleasure of meeting Aram at this year’s Kweli Journal’s Color of Children’s Literature Conference. Aram is every bit as nice as she is talented! In this foodie picture book, Kitty is teased by her brothers that she is a “baby” because she can’t handle spicy kimchi – and it seems she can’t, until her grandma makes kimchi pancakes. There’s a yummy recipe at the end of the book! I personally love kimchi, and this is a great book for introducing this Korean treat to readers. The illustrations are adorable (and yummy).

#KidLitWomen – Book a Day in March (31)


Today is my last post for my Book A Day in March in honor of Women’s History Month and #kidlitwomen. It’s been a joy to be able to share some of my favorite books and I’m sad that the month isn’t longer so I could share all the books I didn’t get to. Then I remembered – hey, this is my reading blog! I can get back to posting my favorite reads regularly! I won’t post every day, but I’ll try to post at least once a week, and once things settle down a little for me in my busy life (for which I’m grateful), I will return to a Tuesday/Thursday posting schedule. My goal here is to feature books by women/about girls and #ownvoices, and to highlight books that aren’t getting all the buzz and attention. I want to share books that you might not have heard of. And I hope you’ll do the same in the comments – tell me what books you are reading and loving! Thanks for following along! And now for the Book A Day –

Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko narrative and translation by David Jacobson, Sally Ito, and Michiko Tsuboi, illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri. A fascinating account of Japanese poet Misuzu Kaneko, interspersed with her simple but evocative poetry. Her poems are part of the curriculum for elementary students in Japan. I fell in love with her poetry and hope you will, too. Buy the book!


#KidLitWomen – Book A Day in March (16)


See KidlitWomen for daily links to posts by the children’s lit community, in celebration of Women’s History Month and focusing on improving the climate for social and gender equality. I plan to share my favorite books focused on girl characters and/or written by women through this month.

Today’s featured book is the picture book Lucy’s Lovey by Betsy Devany, illustrations by Christopher Denise.

Lucy has seventeen dolls, but Smelly Baby is her favorite. Lucy takes her lovey everywhere and Smelly Baby is well-loved; a little raggedy and a little smelly. Lucy’s older sister Ivy complains, but when Smelly Baby is lost, Ivy and the family come together to try to first, find Smelly Baby, and then comfort Lucy. Will Lucy get her favorite lovey back? Sweet story with sweet illustrations! Buy the book!