New picture book shares universal feeling: Saudade

New picture book shares universal feeling: Saudade

I’m excited today my friend Ana’s new book Saudade: Our Longing for Brazil is in the world. 

The book has a broad appeal as this emotion is universal whether we’ve called it Saudade or not. 

Saudade: Our Longing for Brazil is illustrated by André Ceolin and published by Neal Porter Books/Holiday House. I read a review copy and it’s lovely. 

Saudade is a Portuguese and Galician word that doesn’t really have a direct translation in English. We’ve all felt it. As the book’s summary says, If your heart has ever ached remembering a place or a person, a smell or a taste, then you’ve felt saudade. 

This is a great book for those who’ve moved away from family and their home — maybe it’s to a different state or country. You may be like the mom and young girl in SAUDADE who have memories of a different home or visits with family. 

André Ceolin’s artwork is perfect as it is realistic with a touch of whimsy as he blends memories with present day. 

While a book birthday is always special for an author, Ana received great news as her picture book Lia & Luís: Puzzled! Written by Ana Crespo and illustrated by Giovana Medeiros (Charlesbridge) won the Colorado Book Award for children’s literature. 

Hopefully you can find a a copy of SAUDADE at your library or bookstore. It’s a quiet book that’s packed with emotion and memories that pull at your heartstrings as both children and adults will think of home and family wherever that is. 

Thomas Jefferson battles faulty facts in new picture book

Here’s a fun nonfiction picture book.

Thomas Jefferson’s Battle for Science: Bias, Truth, and a Mighty Moose! by Beth Anderson and Jeremy Holmes.

It’s a fun book that made me laugh more than expected. Think fun facts and #STEAM! Words and illustrations pair perfectly in this book that pulls you through the end. We all want to know what Jefferson did!

Here’s part of the summary: Thomas Jefferson is one of the most famous founding fathers, but did you know that his mind was always on science? This STEM/STEAM picture book tells how Jefferson’s scientific thinking and method battled against faulty facts and bias to prove that his new nation was just as good as any in the Old World.

The book is for ages 7 to 10, grades 2 to 5. I think it’s great for the classroom, but also for a family read. I believe younger children will get the humor in illustration and text.

I met Beth while living in Colorado. I’ve followed her blog and read her books for many years. She’s written many nonfiction books.

I read a digital copy to read this book. I’m looking forward to a hard copy, so I can really feel those page turns.

Beth shares a Behind the Scenes post about this book at her blog.

It’s available where books are sold or request a copy at your library.

Happy Reading!

It was a dark and stormy Day for picture books

It was a dark and stormy Day for picture books

It was a stormy day in Georgia …

So, my dogs were in and out of my office checking in with me.

I keep picture books all around me.

I left choices for the dogs from books I’ve recently read on the floor.

What books are the dog leaning into?

Maggie: Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry. by Fausto Gilberti. It’s a biography and very funny.

Chili: I’m Not Missing by Kashelle Gourley and Skylar Hogan. A great book for dog owners. Lots of fun humor.

I’m team Balderdash! John Newberry and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books by Michelle Markel and Nancy Carpenter. I re-read it this week. I’m trying to find a resource listed in the book. I need a super hero, so I’ll probably check in with a librarian soon!

Hope you find a good book to read on both stormy and non-stormy days.

Peaches focuses on family, food, determination

Peaches focuses on family, food, determination

Peaches are in season!

At least for your bookshelf.

This delightful book PEACHES by Gabriele Davis and illustrated by Kim Holt released today (May 7, 2024).

Here’s a description:

In Peaches, a hopeful multigenerational story of love and healing from author Gabriele Davis and illustrator Kim Holt, a girl holds her mother’s memory close while carrying on an important family tradition: making peach cobbler together.

Summer Sundays begin with picking.
Rosy-ripe peaches dipping low to the ground,
Sun-warmed and soft like Grandma’s lap.

Side by side with Daddy and Grandma, a young girl is determined to take part in her family’s tradition of baking the perfect peach cobbler–just like her mama used to. From picking fruit to stirring and mixing to kneading the dough, it’s a little bit messy. But with sure hands to guide the girl step-by-step–and her mother’s memory hanging sweet in the air–she has the recipe for making Mama proud.This warmhearted and ultimately hopeful picture book shows that with a house full of love, everything can feel peach-perfect.

I love stories focused on family and food.

You can find a copy of PEACHES where books are sold. Put a copy on hold at your library. If your library doesn’t have a copy yet, suggest they add a copy to the children’s section.

One year away day: Debut picture book Before I Lived Here, set in Colorado

One year away day: Debut picture book Before I Lived Here, set in Colorado

My debut picture book BEFORE I LIVED HERE is scheduled to be published on April 29, 2025.

While that’s one year away, I know the date could be iffy. Why? Because a lot can change. Think disruption of supply chains. Paper shortages. Pirates boarding cargo ships.

Dates can change. Anything can happen. I understand and that’s part of the publishing process.

I saw rough sketches from Illustrator Victo Ngai late last year. Her work is gorgeous.

I made this video to mark the “one year away day” with images from the neighborhood and the state that inspired this story that’s taken many years to get to publication.

I’m looking forward to sharing more about this book with you over the next year.

Before I Lived Here is a picture book about the history of where you live. It’s set in Colorado. I hope young readers will be able to imagine the story of their own neighborhoods before they lived there when they read this book.

Before I Lived Here is a picture book set in Colorado. It’s about the history of where you live.

In Before I Lived Here, a boy peels away each layer of the history of his house, which
may look a lot like yours. Follow along from the construction of the neighborhood back
to the planning of it; from the ranchers and log cabins that predated its modern
appearance back to the region’s indigenous people and their eviction from the land . . .
all the way back to the time of the dinosaurs.

Before I Lived Here reminds us that history isn’t something that happens far away, to
other people—it’s in our own backyards.

Busy parents: Check out time saving tips to find books at the library

Busy parents: Check out time saving tips to find books at the library

Yikes it’s been a minute (or million) since I’ve made a blog post.

I’ve been spending time writing, revising, and social media-ing.

I wanted to share a post I wrote for KidLit Works — a promo group of children’s book authors and illustrators with books being published in 2024 and beyond.

In the post, I share tips for busy parents to make the most out of their visit to the library. When my son was little we made weekly runs to the library to find books. I make several trips a month now as an author.

The post also includes a downloadable reading challenge and a reading recommendation list, so you can track books you want to find.

The library has always been a staple in my life. As a parent and writer, I save a lot of money by reading books from the library. I would never be able to purchase the number of books I read.

Hopefully, there’s a new to you tip in the post.

Happy Reading!