It’s not out till June, but you’ll want to check out No Party Poopers (little bee books, 2020) by Gretchen McLellan and illustrated by Lucy Semple.
Two friends want to have a party, but everyone bear suggests, panda has an excuse why they shouldn’t be invited. Rhinos? Might pop the balloons. Peacocks? Show offs. Pigs? Hog all the honey buns. PAWSitively no party poopers allowed! But who’s the real party pooper?
Both in text and art this humorous tale will be fun for children and adults. And don’t we all have someone in our lives who finds the negative in everything? I love what bear finally does when panda has turned down every idea. This book could also be used to teach about acceptance and differences.
Check out author Gretchen McLellan’s other books here and read about her here. I love her sense of humor.
Illustrator Lucy Semple is from the UK. Read about her here and check out some of her work here. I love her use of vibrant colors.
Whether it’s a picture book or novel, to succeed narratively your manuscript needs an interesting main character who faces a challenge, bumps into at least one obstacle, solves an age-appropriate problem, is somehow changed by the experience, and brings it all home to ‘THE END’ in a satisfying way. Dianne Ochiltree
Let’s Dance! (Boyds Mill & Kane, 2020) by Valerie Bolling and illustrated by Maine Diaz has recently danced out into the market. I love the simplicity of the rhythmic language contrasting with the beautiful details in the illustrations that together highlight different types of dances. It’s very difficult to pick a favorite spread.
There’s breakdance, West Africa’s kuku, line dance, Cuba’s cha-cha, ballet, Irish step dance, and more. This book will introduce children (and perhaps their parents) to dancers from around the world in such a fun way.
Even Valerie Bolling’s bio starts with rhythm–read it here. This is the author’s first picture book.
Illustrator Maine Diaz shares an online portfolio here (two pages, so click another icon on her page as well) and her bio here.
Conflict is the engine that drives plot forward. You should be creating tension on the page at all times, no matter what else is going on. Mary Kole
If you’re looking for humor, check out Mightier Than the Sword (Penguin Random House, 2019) by Drew Callender and Alana Harrison with illustrations by Ryan Andrews. There’s a lost Prince S, flying pizzas, dangerous dust bunnies, a big ball of poop, rubots (no that is not a typo), a pegataur, and all kinds of creatures and adventures in Astorya to make one laugh. But you get to save the day with your mighty pencil.
Like the Thursday Next novels for adults, this books takes the reader into the fictional world. It is told in second person and encourages “you” to add to the book, which is great for personal copies, but maybe not for library copies. 😉 However, it is in paperback so more affordable for kids to be given their own personal tomes.
Turns out there’s already a sequel out called Mightier Than the Sword: The Edge of the Word. Will have to check it out too.
Authors Drew and Alana are a husband and wife team. Read about them here.
Ryan Andrews is an illustrator and cartoonist. Read about him here and see some of his other work here.