The uproar in response to police brutality against Black people has strengthened the Black Lives Matter movement and has forced everyone to (again) recognize and admit how ingrained systematic racism is in our society and the many areas that lack diversity.
An area where this discussion is also happening is book publishing, which is known for its lack of diversity among authors, the types of books published, and even among the professionals who work in this sector — editors, designers, publicists, agents, etc. Recently, the hashtag #PublishingPaidMe popped up on Twitter to discuss the disparity between how much authors of color are paid in contrast to White authors, who more often receive large advances for their books. In this New York Times article, renown author Jesmyn Ward talks about fighting for a higher advance despite winning several awards for her books.
We all need to work harder to stop and prevent racism in our society. To help, many people have turned to books to learn more, which has caused books about racism and Black experiences to now flood the best-seller lists. To encourage more people to read and engage with content by Black creators, media outlets, social media, bloggers, and booktubers are all recommending books by and about Black people and Black experiences.
While I am grateful to see these recommendation lists, they often solely contain adult books. I want to contribute a list of recommendations, but instead of adult books, I’ve decided to feature children’s picture books. Racism affects all facets of society. To combat it, we must also encourage more diverse children’s literature, including picture books.
Continue reading “Book Recs: 20 Picture Books by Black Authors”
I read these three picture books for the OWLs readathon back in April. It had been a while since I’d read a picture book and since I had one out from the library and many unread on my bookshelves, I decided to give in and read some of my favorite types of books.
These three are very different from each other. Spot & Dot is a wordless picture book and the second in a series, while The Book With No Pictures has nothing but words. However, Hello Lighthouse is like your typical picture book that uses both pictures and words to tell the story.
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
At once disarmingly simple and ingeniously imaginative, The Book With No Pictures inspires laughter every time it is opened, creating a warm and joyous experience to share — and introducing young children to the powerful idea that the written word can be an unending source of mischief and delight. (Goodreads)
Of the three, The Book with No Pictures is my absolute favorite. Oh my gosh! It’s charming, it’s simple, it’s funny. It was a delight to read and is even more fun when read aloud. I didn’t have anyone to read aloud to, so I read aloud to myself. 😥
Continue reading “Illustrated Books: “The Book with No Pictures,” “Hello Lighthouse,” and “Spot & Dot””
A beautifully illustrated children’s book about friendship.
Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book based on his famous quartet of characters. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse explores their unlikely friendship and the poignant, universal lessons they learn together.
Radiant with Mackesy’s warmth and gentle wit, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse blends hand-written narrative with dozens of drawings, including some of his best-loved illustrations (including “Help,” which has been shared over one million times) and new, never-before-seen material. A modern classic in the vein of The Tao of Pooh, The Alchemist, and The Giving Tree, this charmingly designed keepsake will be treasured for generations to come. (Goodreads)
Continue reading ““The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy (illus.)”
The Colors of History is one of the best picture books I read in 2019. It is also the least popular book I read that year, so I hope this review will get more people interested in it to share with kids.
As the title says, this is a nonfiction book all about colors and their impact and use throughout history.
Children’s Nonfiction — Art; History
Why did Roman emperors wear purple? Which color is made from crushed beetles? What green pigment might be used to build super-fast computers of the future?
Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this vibrant exploration of the stories behind different colors, and the roles they’ve played throughout history. From black to white, and all the colors in between, every shade has a story to tell. Each color group is introduced with a stunning and interpretive double-page spread illustration, followed by illustrated entries exploring the ‘colorful’ history of particular shades. With vivid, thought-provoking illustrations and engaging bite-sized text, this book is a feast for the eyes and the mind, ready to enthrall budding artists and historians alike. (Goodreads)
Continue reading ““The Colors of History: How Colors Shaped the World” by Clive Gifford, illus. Marc-Étienne Peintre”
I missed out on doing this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, but the topic so appealed to me that I decided to do a BBC post instead.
BBC is a meme I created to feature beautiful book covers. Since January is often spent reflecting on the previous year, I’ve decided to make this BBC post about 2019 book covers. The following are all great cover designs of books that were published in 2019; but the first three are my favorites.
Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad
cover design by Grace Han
Continue reading “BBC #7: Dazzling 2019 Book Covers”
It’s been a while since I’ve done a BBC post (despite my intention to publish at least one of these per month). BBC is a meme I created to feature beautiful book covers. However, this time I’ll feature eye-catching book spines. After all, when you purchase the book and place it on your shelf, it’s the spine you’ll most often see.
I love beautifully designed book covers, but I also like striking spines. Sometimes it’s the spine instead of the cover that first beckons me, making me pick up the book, read what it’s about, and ultimately buy it. So this post will be all about the spines that call to me from the shelves.
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
Continue reading “BBC #6: Book Spines”
As a kid, my favorite fairytale was Cinderella. I would read the story over and over and would even write what I now know to be fanfic of it. I love stories about good people who are downtrodden and mistreated but are able to escape, work towards, or be rescued and carried off to a better life. For some reason, I strongly related to this. Life in Jamaica wasn’t bad, but it was (and is) hard, and I would often dream of the day my parents would come rescue me and carry me off to live with them in the fabled land of America, where anything is possible.
Now that I’m living in America and saddled with student loans, I now dream of the day that I win the lotto/find a long-lost rich uncle/get a huge raise that will help me pay off my student loans quickly.
My love for Cinderella did not fade over the years. It grew stronger. And although I hardly ever reread the fairytale, I easily fall for its retellings, like Cinder by Marissa Meyer, or stories that have characters who allude to Cinderella in some way, like Harry Potter. So, I was beyond excited when Millie from Milliebot Reads featured this edition of the fairytale in one of her Judging a Book by Its Cover posts. I knew right then that I had to purchase it. The illustrations and book design called to me. And when the NEWTs Magical Readathon came around, I took the opportunity to finally reread one of my favorite fairytales.
Continue reading ““Cinderella: or The Little Glass Slipper” by Charles Perrault, illus. by Camille Rose Garcia”