Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: A Nod to the Women of the Supreme Court

This is going to be a short post. I have to admit the last few weeks have been emotionally hard. The Supreme Court confirmation process has made me cry, scream, and get angry. I am going to get a little political for a moment. From where I sit, the current president and the Republican Senators have made a mockery of so many aspects of our democracy, most recently the Supreme Court. Their decision to ignore the voice of women and to plow forward with a nomination of a candidate with very low approval ratings and lots of red flags is disconcerting.

So, in honor of the women on the Supreme Court, I am going to celebrate two amazing women. Here are two recent picture book biographies.


No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Kathleen Krull, Illustrated by Nancy Zhang (HarperCollins, 2018)


Turning Pages: My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor, Illustrated by Lulu Delacre (Philomel Books, 2018)


You can find these and other books about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor at your local indie bookstore and community library.

So, who is going to write the picture book biographies of Justice Elena Kagan and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor?

 Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Don’t forget to link up your nonfiction reviews…

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: Recent, New, and Upcoming Releases

I just realized that I haven’t done a new release post in forever. Since I haven’t done one in awhile, I am going to do my best to get us caught up and highlight a number of great new books. Hope you find lots of new titles to celebrate. 

Check out the previous posts: January | February | March | April | July

Here are a number of recent releases and upcoming releases:


When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana by Michael James Mahin, Illustrated by Jose Ramirez (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, September 4, 2018)


Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World by Gary Golio, Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez (Henry Holt & Co., September 4, 2018)


The Science Comics: Solar System: Our Place in Space by Rosemary Mosco; Illustrated by Jon Chad (First Second, September 18, 2018)


The Unwanted! Stories of Syrian Refugees by Don Brown (HMH Books for Young Readers, September 18, 2018)


Bugs Don’t Hug: Six Legged Parents and Their Kids by Heather L. Montgomery, Illustrated by Stephen Stone (Charlesbridge, September 18, 2018)


An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin & Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution by Beth Anderson, Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddedly (Paula Wiseman Books, September 25, 2018)


Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story by Marc Tyler Nobleman, Illustrated by Melissa Iwai


Pope Francis: Builder of Bridges by Emma Otheguy, Illustrated by Oliver Dominguez (Bloomsbury Children’s Book, September 25, 2018)


Sylvia’s Bookshop: The Story of Paris’s Beloved Bookstore and Its Founder by Robert Burleigh, Illustrated by Katy Wu (Simon & Schuster, September 25, 2018)


When You Grow Up to Vote: How Our Government Works for You by Eleanor Roosevelt, Michelle Markel, Illustrated by Grace Lin (Roaring Brook Press, September 25, 2018)


So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’s Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary D. Schmidt, Illustrated by Daniel Minter (Roaring Brook Press, September 25, 2018)


Sun! One in a Billion by Stacy McAnulty, Illustrated by Stevie Lewis (Henry Holt & Co., October23, 2018)


Fakers: An Insider’s Guide to Cons, Hoaxes, and Scams by H.P. Wood, Illustrated by David Clark (Charlesbridge, October 2, 2018)


Stretch to the Sun: From a Tiny Sprout to the Tallest Tree on Earth by Carrie A. Pearson, Illustrated by Susan Swan (Charlesbridge, October 9, 2018)


Science Comics: The Brain: The Ultimate Thinking Machine by Tory Woollcott, Illustrated by Alex Graudins (First Second, October 16, 2018)


ZigZag Zoo Born! Zoo Baby Colors and Patterns by Andrew Bleiman, Illustrated by Chris Eastland (Beach Lane Books, October 17, 2018)


Backyard Bears: Conservation Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban Wildlife by Amy Cherrix (HMH Books for Young Readers, October 23, 2018)

Look for these titles at your local indie bookstore or community public library. Happy Reading!

 Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Don’t forget to link up your nonfiction reviews…

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: Cover Reveal - Seashells: More Than a Home

Though I love many of Melissa Stewart’s books. one of my favorites is Feathers: Not Just For Flying.


When I heard about a companion book, I selfishly wanted it to be released immediately. Yet, writing and illustrating and publishing takes time. I might want to wish for a book to be released quickly but honestly, I want an author or illustrator to do their best work and if that means waiting, then I wait.

I am excited to share that the creative team of Melissa Stewart and Sarah S. Brannen are back with their companion book, Seashells: More Than a Home.

And now for the cover reveal…

Seashells cover.png

When I first saw the cover of the book, I wanted to reach out and touch the picture. I almost expected to be able to feel the sand on the cover of the book.

Here’s a description of the book:
Young naturalists discover thirteen seashells in this elegant introduction to the remarkable versatility of shells. A dual-layered narrative highlights how shells provide more than a protective home. The informative sidebars underscore characteristics specific to each shell. Elegant watercolor illustrations create a scrapbook feel, depicting children from around the world observing and sketching seashells across shores.

Now for a sneak peak of the inside…


Stewart is a master at crafting engaging text. I always feel like each and every word is chosen with care to communicate content but to also draw readers in and keep them reading. Seashells: More Than a House is another excellent example of Stewart’s skill in writing for young readers. I look forward to sharing this with students and utilizing the book as a mentor text for writing.


Congratulations to Melissa and Sarah. Seashells: More Than a Home was selected as a Junior Library Guild pick. Now mark your calendar for April 2, 2019 so you won’t forget when it comes out.


About the Author: Melissa Stewart is the author of more than 180 science-themed nonfiction books for children, including award-winning A Place for . . . series. She holds a degree in biology from Union College and a master’s degree in science journalism from New York University. Melissa believes that nothing brings nonfiction writing to life like firsthand research. While gathering information for her books, she has explored tropical rain forests in Costa Rica, gone on safari in East Africa, and swum with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands.


About the illustrator: Sarah S. Brannen is the author and illustrator of Madame Martine, Uncle Bobby’s Wedding and the illustrator of Feathers: Not Just for Flying; Digging for Troy: From Homer to Hisarlik; and At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui. She lives in Massachusetts.

 Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Don’t forget to link up your nonfiction reviews…