The American Library Association's Booklist Online has reviewed our picture book, Celia, by Christelle Vallat and illustrated by Stephanie Augusseau.
Reviewer Kay Weisman says: ''An older woman named Celia is the town listener. People stand in line to whisper their troubles to her and pay her with seeds, which Celia then transforms into colorful balloons, frosting, stars, fruit, and flowers. One day Celia discovers a seed lost by Julian, a child who was afraid to unburden himself without proper payment. Together the pair plants his seed in a flowerpot, where it grows into a beautiful blossom. First published in Belgium, this quiet story offers much food for thought. The concept of adults and children sharing their troubles as a means of lessening sadness (and bringing beauty into the world) will be new to many children. The story may prompt questions as well, such as, who listens to Celia? Augusseau's black-and-white drawings convey the difficulties people share with Celia, while bright splashes of color illustrate the joy resulting from Celia's magical transformations. Best shared one-on-one, pair with Heinz Janisch's "I Have Little Problems," Said the Bear (2009) for a look at issues resulting from not listening.''
A note to educators and librarians: You'll find a free Common Core Aligned Teaching Guide for Celia on the bottom web page for the book.
School Library Journal has given our new picture book Digby Differs by Miriam Koch a wonderful review!
SLJ Reviewer Susan Weitz states, "'Wherever you go, go with all your heart.' This quote from Confucius introduces the story of Digby, 'a very special sheep.' On a green hillside, all the white sheep huddle together, glancing curiously at another ovine who sports broad maroon stripes. Pretty? Yes—but different. Digby knows he doesn't fit in, and when a similarly striped hot-air balloon floats by, he chases it till it vanishes high above a crowded city. On the streets, Digby finds other kindred stripey objects: a cola cup, a candy cane, a poster of a gramophone. But none of these items is talkative, and a dejected Digby has yet to discover why he's different and where he belongs. But he doesn't give up. He hops a train, is lulled to sleep, and wakes up in a place 'whose soothing sound warm[s] his heart.' He's at the seaside, by a maroon-striped lighthouse, surrounded by plain white sheep who welcome him—'…here, it was okay to be different….He belonged.'
"Digby the book is as distinctive as Digby the sheep. Its elongated shape (7 inches high by 18 inches long) feels luxurious and allows Koch a generous expanse in which to demonstrate her artistic skills. Every page is a masterpiece of perspective and detail, the subtle creams and tans of the high-quality paper elegantly inked and occasionally colored. Digby is a fine addition to, and a sterling example of, the literature of self-acceptance and finding one's true home."
Meet Bruce Arant, author and illustrator of our adorable new picture book Simpson's Sheep Won't Go to Sleep! (ISBN 978-1-4413-1359-1, Ages 4-8, 32 pages, hardcover, $16.99), available next month!
We are very excited about an upcoming starred (!) review from the American Library Association's Booklist Magazine for our new picture book, Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley! (We'll have a link to the actual review soon; it will appear in the May 1st issue, we are told.)
"This original picture book features a fresh look, an endearing main character, and a wordless story that speaks clearly to young children," says reviewer Carolyn Phelan. "Dudley creates and photographs wonderfully detailed, meticulously crafted dioramas . . . This unassuming story holds great appeal for young children, who frequently find themselves too small to accomplish what they set out to do. Hank prevails through his creativity, his persistence, and his ability to work with another to solve a problem. A quietly magical little book to share, one on one, with a small child."