It Starts With Wonder | Guest blog post from Kate Messner

It Starts With Wonder

by Kate Messner 

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This series started on a school field trip. I taught seventh grade English for fifteen years, as part of a wonderful interdisciplinary team. Every winter, we used to take our students on a snowshoe field trip in the nearby Adirondack Mountains to look for animal tracks and other signs of life in the winter woods. On one of those field trips, we saw this.

Hole in snow
Photograph by Loree Griffin Burns

It was just a little hole in the snow, with some tiny tracks leading up to it. The naturalist guiding us could have walked right on past. But instead, she stopped our group and said, “Oh! Everyone gather around and look at this!” When we were all circled around, she pointed down and said breathlessly, “Do you know what this means?” She paused. Then she whispered. “This means that we’ve had a visitor from…the subnivean zone!”

We stood in hushed silence for a moment until someone said, “What’s that?” And our guide explained that the subnivean zone is the fancy phrase used to describe the secret network of tunnels and tiny caves that exist under the winter snow. All the smallest forest animals knew about it, she told us, and they’d go down there to be a little warmer, a little safer from predators. And then we continued on down the path.

But the rest of the day, as I padded through the woods on my snowshoes, I couldn’t stop thinking about what she’d said. We’d been hiking for three or four miles…and all that time, there’d been a secret invisible world going on down there, under the snow? I asked a lot more questions. We talked more about the different animals who make their winter homes under the snow and the creatures who find their way through the woods above. And when I got back to the school bus, after I took attendance and made sure we hadn’t left any seventh graders out in the woods, I started writing. I didn’t even have a notebook with me that day – my first draft of Over and Under the Snow was written on the back of the attendance list for the field trip, in bumpy, school-bus handwriting. But it couldn’t wait, because I was fuelled by wonder that afternoon.

That’s what we do as writers of children’s books – we wonder. We stop everyone in their tracks. We slow down the day for a few minutes to say, “Look at this! Look more closely… Isn’t it amazing?” And that’s how I know when I have a story idea with the staying power to grow into a picture book. If I’m feeling that sense of awe at how things work, how things are, how amazing this part of our natural world is, then kids are likely to feel that way, too.

After Over and Under the Snow was published and doing well in the world, Chronicle asked illustrator Christopher Silas Neal and I if there might be another hidden world we’d like to explore. We emailed back and forth a bit, talking about the things that made us wonder. And we discovered that we both loved our vegetable gardens. Not just the weeding and tomato-eating part of gardening…but the wondering part. We’re both parents who love getting down on our bellies to look more closely at the critters that inhabit our gardens, and that was the wonder that sparked our second book together, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt.

Our third book together, Over and Under the Pond, starts in that same place – with a familiar setting and a desire to slow down for a closer look. When I was getting ready to work on this book, I went back to the setting of Over and Under the Snow – the trails of the Paul Smiths Visitors Interpretive Center in the Adirondacks – but in a different season. The pond that had been covered with ice and snow in January felt like an entirely different place in July — a green, lush, buzzing ecosystem, just waiting to be explored. So I scheduled one of the centre’s guided canoe trips and spent a day paddling through the reeds. We marvelled at the tiny water striders skating on the pond’s surface, stared up at woodpecker scars on a tall tree by the water, and gasped as an American Bittern fluttered up from the grass.

Over the pond
Photograph by Loree Griffin Burns

There were families along on the trip, and I watched them, too. With their phones turned off and tucked away in waterproof bags, they paddled through the quiet together, whispering about the minnows and wondering what might live in that hollow log on shore. Slowing down in places like this feeds us in important ways. As a writer, I walked away from my canoe at the end of the day full of ideas, full of images and poetry and fresh air. I was ready to hit the library, finish my research, and get to work on Over and Under the Pond. But maybe even more important than that, spending time in the quiet of a cold snowy trail or a warm mountain pond reminds us to slow down. To look. Listen. And wonder. That’s my biggest hope for these books – that they’ll bring families together on the couch for a cozy story and then outdoors to wonder, too.


Over and Under the Pond is out now, order your copy today.

Five Children’s Books that promote gender equality

This collection of children’s books is a must have for your young reader’s shelf – proving to young girls and boys that girls can do anything they put their minds to.

1. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty illustrated by David Roberts

Rosie Revere, Engineer

‘Rosie should indeed be revered: why, she’s practically a poster girl for positivity and empowerment. And we’re all in favour of gals excelling in the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Way to go, Rosie!’ Catherine O’Dolan – My Little Style File

Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her Great, Great Aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal – to fly – Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her Aunt’s dream come true. Her invention complete, Rosie attempts a test flight–but after a moment, the machine crashes to the ground. Discouraged, Rosie deems the invention a failure, but Aunt Rose insists that on the contrary, it was a raging success.

With a message everyone should remember: the only true failure is quitting, Rosie Revere, Engineer is a book that will encourage young girls to believe in themselves and explore all the things they enjoy.

Find out more and order your copy here.

Rosie Revere

2. Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood illustrated by Meg Hunt

Interstellar Cinderella

“Deborah Underwood’s playful text provides god-robots, tools, sprockets, and a heroine who elects to explore, rather settle for marriage and Meg Hunts original, galactic illustrations remind young readers not to limit their dreams to the earthbound.” The Guardian: Picture books that draw the line against pink stereotypes of girls.

Once upon a planetoid, amid her tools and sprockets, a girl named Cinderella dreamed of fixing fancy rockets.

With a little help from her fairy god-robot, Cinderella is going to the ball. But when the prince’s ship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue! Readers will thank their lucky stars for this irrepressible fairy tale retelling, its independent heroine and its stellar happy ending – this bold retelling proves girls can be the heroine of their own stories.

Interstellar Cinderella

3. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty illustrated by David Roberts

Ada Twist, Scientist

“As brilliant and inspirational as the other titles in Andrea and David’s series, and a book destined to be talked about and adored far and wide. Brilliant!” Read It Daddy Blog: Book of the Week

Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. Not afraid of failure, she embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. Touching on themes of never giving up and problem solving, Ada comes to learn that her questions might not always lead to answers, but rather to more questions. She may never find the source of the stink, but with a supportive family and the space to figure it out, she’ll be able to feed her curiosity in the ways a young scientist should.

Flying the flag for both diverse reads and girls in STEM, Ada Twist, Scientist is a must-read for kids everywhere!

4. Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robinson

Ada's Ideas Cover

“Fiona Robinson has created an originally illustrated, empathetically produced tale of a significant character in our history. Highlighting this incredible story of an eighteenth century young woman in complementary mixed media illustrations makes for a truly engaging read.” Picture Books Blogger

This non-fiction picture book about Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer, is a compelling portrait of a woman who saw the potential for numbers to make art and the power of imagination.

Give your young reader a they can look-up-to for her intelligence, perseverance and creativity.

Ada's Ideas

5. Hot Pink by Susan Goldman Rubin

Hot Pink

This non-fiction biography of Elsa Schiapaerelli will inspire and educate. Schiaparelli was one of the most innovative designers in the early 20th century, credited with many firsts: trompe l’oeil sweaters with collars and bows knitted in; wedge heels; shoulder bags; and even the concept of a runway show for presenting collections. Elsa Schiapaerelli defied expectations, tradition and shocked the world.

A bright and bold children’s books that proves that you can still be a BOSS in hot pink.

Hot Pink

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Share your favourite with #InternationalWomansDay, because there has never been a more important time to celebrate womankind and show young readers that girls can do anything.

Today I Feel…

Today I Feel…

Today I Feel

 

Open-up a discussion about feelings with your little reader with the help of Madalena Moniz’s gorgeous alphabet of emotions.

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Beautifully illustrated by Madalena Moniz’s subtle watercolours, Today I Feel… follows a child through a whole range of emotions, from adored to curious to strong. Not all of the emotions are positive and not all of them are simple, but they are all honest and worthy of discussion with a young child.

Today I Feel…: An Alphabet of Emotions is on sale next week – pre-order yours today.

When an Elephant Falls In Love

2016 hasn’t been the most joyous of years, but we are here to help things end with a little hope and a lot of L.O.V.E.

Introducing, When an Elephant Falls in Love by Davide Cali, illustrated by Alice Lotti.

When an elephant falls in love, he does many foolish things…

 

When an Elephant Falls in Love...
© 2016 by Chronicle Books LLC.
He hides when the elephant-object of his affection is around.
He writes dozens of letters that he will never send.
And he tries to be healthy, but ends up finishing the cheesecake…
When an Elephant Falls in Love
© 2016 by Chronicle Books LLC.

This soulful picture book is relatable and revealing; an adorable reminder that love is worth striving for and that the very best things in life will come to those who wait.

On sale 20th December 2016, a perfect last minute stocking-filler.

When An Elephant Falls In Love

When An Elephant Falls In Love by Davide Cali and Alice Lotti, published by Chronicle Books, on sale 20/12/2017.

7 SPOOKtacular Books for Halloween

Here at A&CB HQ we LOVE Halloween and we are lucky to be surrounded by some SPOOKtacular books.

Read on for our top 7 Halloween reads for all ages.

Boo Haiku

Boo Haiku by Deanna Caswell and Bob Shea

Here’s a spooky haiku just for you!
broom across the moon
pointed hat at the window
hair-raising cackle

Can you guess who from this haiku?

A witch, a bat, a skeleton, a jack-o-lantern, a ghost, a black cat, a spider, an owl and a scarecrow are all hiding in the pages of this clever Halloween-themed book. Deanna Caswell’s playful haiku cleverly hint at the creatures revealed after each turn of the page while Bob Shea’s bright illustrations capture the scary silliness.

A perfect introduction to Halloween for a little monster!

Recommended reading age: 0-3 years

Boo Haiku

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Leo

Leo by Mac Barnett , illustrated by Christian Robinson 

“A clever, timeless, quality picture book that will be revisited again and again over many years to come.” Picture Books Blogger

With more gentilesse than ghoulishness, Leo’s brand of haunting takes on distinctly hospitable tones. This one’s a charmer, so whatever you do, don’t call Ghostbusters!” MyLittleStyleFile

You would like being friends with Leo. He likes to draw, he makes delicious snacks, and most people can’t even see him. Because Leo is also a ghost. When a new family moves into his home and Leo’s efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. That is how he meets Jane, a kid with a tremendous imagination and an open position for a worthy knight. That is how Leo and Jane become friends. And that is when their adventures begin.

A charming story of friendship, perfect for a Halloween bedtime story.

Recommended reading age: 4+ years

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Bigfoot is Missing!

Bigfoot is Missing!  by Kenn Nesbitt and J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by MinaLima

Children’s Poets Laureate J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt team up to offer a smart, stealthy tour of the creatures of shadowy myth and fearsome legend—the enticing, the humorous and the strange.

Bigfoot, the Mongolian Death Worm and the Loch Ness Monster number among the many creatures lurking within these pages. Readers may have to look twice—the poems in this book are disguised as street signs, newspaper headlines, graffiti, milk cartons and more!

Dive-in to the world of myths, legends and all things that go bump in the night with this unique collection of poetry.

Recommended reading age: 7+ years

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Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions

Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions by Sheila Grau, illustrated by Joe Sutphin

Welcome to Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions, the premier trainer of minions for Evil Overlords everywhere. No student is prouder to be at Dr. Critchlore’s than Runt Higgins, a twelve-year-old werewolf. (At least he thinks he’s twelve. He was abandoned at the school as a baby, so he can’t say for sure.) Runt loves everything about Dr. Critchlore’s. He loves his classes—such as History of Henchmen and Introduction to Explosives. He loves his friends—such as Darthin the gargoyle and Syke the tree nymph. And he loves his foster family, who took him in when his wolf pack couldn’t.But not everyone loves Dr. Critchlore’s as much as Runt. After a series of disasters, each worse than the next, it’s clear that someone is trying to shut the school down. It’s up to Runt, who knows the place better than anybody, to figure out who’s behind the attacks . . . and to save his home, and Dr. Critchlore himself, from total destruction.

A perfect Halloween read for Despicable Me mad monsters.

Recommended reading age: 8+ years

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The Clockwork Scarab

The Clockwork Scarab: A Stoker & Holmes Novel by Colleen Gleason

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood, so to speak. And when two young society girls disappear—one dead, one missing—there’s no one more qualified to investigate.

Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve a murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The pressure is on and the stakes are high—if Stoker and Holmes don’t figure out why London’s finest sixteen-year-old women are in danger, they’ll become the next victims.

A heart-pounding race around a steampunk re-imaging of Victorian London where danger lurks around every corner: a first-class Halloween read.

Recommended reading age: 10+ years

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The Steep and Thorny Way

The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters

“Rich, compelling, and wonderfully atmospheric, this is the fourth Cat Winters novel where the beautiful, haunting tale has gripped me from the beginning.” Kate Ormand, author of Dark Days

“Haunting, beautifully written and immensely powerful, this is a story that resonates through time and history whilst delivering a clever and compelling thriller.” Lancashire Evening Post

The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.

Curling-up with this re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet is sure to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Recommended reading age: 14+ years

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The Raven Book Cover

The Raven: A Pop-Up Book by David Pelham

Once upon a midnight dreary,
while I pondered weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

While I nodded, nearly napping,
suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping,
rapping at my chamber door . . .

Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem, The Raven, is brought to life by master paper engineer David Pelham. What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a haunting love story?

Share your favourite Halloween reads with us @AbramsChronicle with #SpooktacularReads

The story behind Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robinson.

Ada's Ideas Cover

My latest picture book is called Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer.

I first came across Ada Lovelace in a somewhat circuitous manner. I had seen the play Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, and was enthralled by the lead character Thomasina. Thomasina is a Regency era child genius – a girl brilliant at maths, physics and engineering. I fell in love with her and the idea of a girl like her existing in that era.

Ada as a baby pps 10_11

About a year later I read that Stoppard may have based his character on one Ada Lovelace, little known in the mainstream world, but deeply respected in the world of computer science. Thomasina existed!

Ada in the factory pps 16_17

The more I read about Ada the more I became obsessed with her. Ada, the daughter of the ‘mad, bad, and dangerous to know’ poet Lord Byron and Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke. A girl separated from her father soon after birth by her mother who feared the influence of Byron’s reckless lifestyle. A girl who suffered a long term childhood illness and an over bearing mother who tried to steer her on a safe course (poetry free!) towards becoming a respectable aristocratic lady!

(Ada’s mum and dad pages 8_9)

As a young woman Ada entered the world of the elite. She became friends with the likes of Charles Dickens, Michael Faraday and Charles Babbage. Her friendship with Charles Babbage and her mathematical brilliance led her to write what would become know as the worlds first computer program. And her vision of what a computer might be capable of astounded the pioneers of computing in the 20th century!

(Ada meeting people pages 22_23 )

I learned that Ada found her own sort of poetic experience, through mathematics. And I found this intriguing, uplifting, and a story I had to tell. Like many girls of my time I struggled with maths. I was the kid who got brought back into the classroom at lunchtime to wrangle long division. Maths made me cry.

(Ada sick pages 20_21

I wondered how many other little girls have a negative experience with maths. And as I read more about Ada and her achievement in becoming the world’s first computer programmer, I realised that Ada struggled too. She struggled to write the algorithm for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, but kept on going. She struggled to be taken seriously in a male dominated society, but never gave up.

(Ada last page 34_35 )

I hope Ada might become a heroine for primary school girls, not just in terms of her accomplishments, but because she used her imagination to fuel her work. And imagination is something all kids have in abundance!

(Ada on flying horse pages 6_7)

When I was first thinking about the art for Ada’s Ideas I wanted to try something new – 3 dimensional images, which I hoped would capture the drama and theatricality of Ada’s life. This involved sketching out the images, then colouring them with my favourite paints – Japanese watercolours.

Watercolours

I then cut out the images very carefully with an X-Acto blade which is pretty similar to a scalpel. I used over 500 blades to produce all the cut images for the book!

 X-Acto blade cut outs

Once cut, I layered all the images for each spread to different heights using Lego bricks and glued them in place. Then each spread was photographed.

Cutouts with lego bricks Cutouts with lego bricks

I really enjoyed creating the art, and hope too that it will be enjoyed by many young readers!

Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robinson is available now.

Little Library | Picture Book Biographies

Fill your little one’s library with inspiration

From the story of Charles Darwin aboard the Beagle to a glimpse at the extraordinary life of Josephine Baker, we have a collection of picture book biographies sure to inspire and educate your budding young reader.

Charles Darwin's Around-the-World Adventure

Charles Darwin's Around-the-World Adventure Charles Darwin's Around-the-World Adventure

Charles Darwin’s Around-the-World Adventure by Jennifer Thermes | Abrams Books

Charles Darwin was a scientist by profession but an explorer at heart. At age 22, Darwin embarked on his first voyage aboard a ship called the Beagle. This picture book follows Charles as he explores South America for the first time, collecting insects, galloping with Gauchos, digging up dinosaur bones, eating armadillo for breakfast, and making early discoveries related to evolution and natural selection. He encounters a volcano, a glacier and an earthquake and survives a harrowing five-year journey before returning home to England, determined to devote his life to the natural world. Complete with mesmerizing map work charting his voyage, the biography communicates Darwin’s ideas and discoveries with gentle illustrations that capture his admiration for the world around him.

Ada's Ideas Cover

“Fiona Robinson has created an originally illustrated, empathetically produced tale of a significant character in our history. Highlighting this incredible story of an eighteenth century young woman in complementary mixed media illustrations makes for a truly engaging read.” picture books blogger

Ada's IdeasAda's Ideas

Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer by Fiona Robinson | Abrams Books

Ada Lovelace (1815–1852) was the daughter of Lord Byron, a poet and Anna Isabella Milbanke, a mathematician. Her parents separated when she was young and her mother insisted on a logic-focused education, rejecting Byron’s “mad” love of poetry, but Ada remained fascinated with her father and considered mathematics “poetical science.” Via her friendship with inventor Charles Babbage, she became involved in “programming” his Analytical Engine, a precursor to the computer, thus becoming the world’s first computer programmer.

This picture book biography of Ada Lovelace is a compelling portrait of a woman who saw the potential for numbers to make art.

Josephine

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson | Chronicle Books

In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinsoncreate an extraordinary portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine’s powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

On a Beam of Light

“This inspiring picturebook introduction to the life of Einstein has skilled, stylish, engaging illustrations and simple, lyrical text… It encourages children to look, think, visualise, solve problems, and dare to be different.” Nicolette Jones, Sunday Times Culture

On a Beam of Light

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky | Chronicle Books

Travel along with Einstein on a journey full of curiosity, laughter, and scientific discovery. Parents and children alike will appreciate this moving story of the powerful difference imagination can make in any life.

Manfish

 

Manfish

 

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne | Chronicle Books

Before Jacques Cousteau became an internationally known oceanographer and champion of the seas, he was a curious little boy. In this lovely biography, poetic text and gorgeous paintings combine to create a portrait of Jacques Cousteau that is as magical as it is inspiring.

Cloth Lullaby

“Both sad and heart warming; this is a story worth sharing.”Magpie That

9781419718816.IN02Cloth lullaby

“Such an engaging life story and one we urge you to read. Cloth Lullaby is a sensitively produced biography of a hugely creative woman.”picture books blogger

Cloth lullaby

Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois by Amy Novesky and Isabelle Arsenault | Abrams Books

Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) was a world-renowned modern artist noted for her sculptures made of wood, steel, stone, and cast rubber. Her most famous spider sculpture, Maman, stands more than 30 feet high.

Just as spiders spin and repair their webs, Louise’s own mother was a weaver of tapestries. Louise spent her childhood in France as an apprentice to her mother before she became a tapestry artist herself. She worked with fabric throughout her career, and this biographical picture book shows how Bourgeois’s childhood experiences weaving with her loving, nurturing mother provided the inspiration for her most famous works.

With a beautifully nuanced and poetic story, this book stunningly captures the relationship between mother and daughter and illuminates how memories are woven into us all.

Swan

“The underlying message of undying perseverance is all too abundant and one that will resonate with readers everywhere.” Picture Books Blogger

SwanSwan

“The perfect book to inspire budding ballerinas and guaranteed to have you twirling and pirouetting around the house.”My Little Style File

Swan

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder and Julie Morstad | Chronicle Books

The world is big. Anna is small.
The snow is
everywhere
and all around.

But one night . . .One night, her mother takes her to the ballet, and everything is changed. Anna finds a beauty inside herself that she cannot contain.

So begins the journey of a girl who will one day grow up to be the most famous prima ballerina of all time, inspiring legions of dancers after her: the brave, the generous, the transcendently gifted Anna Pavlova. Beautiful, inspirational, and triumphant, Anna Pavlova’s life is masterfully captured in this exquisite picture book.

Have you got a favourite? Let us know @AbramsChronicle #ACBLittleLibrary

Meet Tinyville Town’s Residents!

Welcome to Tinyville Town!

Tinyville Town
Text and illustrations copyright © 2016 Brian Biggs

Tinyville Town, a new series from the bestselling author and illustrator Brian Biggs, is launching with three books: Tinyville Town Get’s to Work, a world-establishing picture book that introduces the town and its many residents; I’m a Veterinarian, a day in the life of the town vet; and I’m a Firefighter, a day in the life of Charlie the town firefighter.

The series is set in a cozy community where mobile phones don’t exist, the bus is always on time and everyone buys their doughnuts at same bakery. The people are kind and everyone does their part to keep things running smoothly. Tinyville Town is a growing, thriving city full of interesting people. They can’t wait to show you around!

Welcome to Tinyville Town

Tinyville TownsfolkTinyville Townsfolk

Tinyville Townsfolk Tinyville Townsfolk

Available now: 

Tinyville Town: Gets to Work

Tinyville Town: I'm a Firefighter  Tinyville Town: I'm a Veterinarian

Coming Spring 2017: Tinyville Town: I’m a Librarian

 

Pablo and His Chair.

For his birthday, Pablo receives a chair.

What can he possibly do with a chair?

Pablo and His Chair

For his birthday, Pablo receives exactly what he doesn’t want: a chair. Disappointed and angry, he locks himself in his room, determined not to sit on his new chair. But he starts to play around with it and, by the end of the day, becomes a chair acrobat. Pablo sets out into the world, performing in amazing places and drawing great crowds. Eventually, he returns, chair in hand, having learned that the greatest gifts aren’t always the most obvious and often lie in our imagination.

The simple, hand-drawn images; coloured with a brush and ink, give the story a vivid, graphic look and perfectly compliment the story. Take a peek:

Pablo and his Chair internal page
© Delphine Perret
Pablo and his Chair internal page
© Delphine Perret
Pablo and his Chair internal page
© Delphine Perret

Pablo and His Chair is a vibrant, high-design picture book with a gentle message of self-discovery and the power of imagination: a must have for your little one’s library.

Pablo and His Chair by Delphine Perre is out tomorrow. Available from all good bookstores.

5 Questions Monday with Brendan Wenzel

5 Questions Monday

How do you like your eggs in the morning?

I like to switch it up every few weeks. I have eggs almost every morning, and it’s good to keep things interesting. If I had to choose -Poached.

What’s your favourite joke?

My cousin told me this when we were five-

Two tomatoes are sitting on a fence. One tomato looks over to the other and says, “Hey. I’m gonna push you off this fence.” The second tomato looks back and says “no, you’re not”.

Then you just start doing something else, and wait until your audience realizes that the jokes over. No one ever thinks it’s funny but me. I think it’s really funny.

What film character are you most like?

Mothra.

(Psssst, if you didn’t know:  is a Kaijū monster that first appeared in Toho’s 1961 film Mothra. Mothra has appeared in several Toho tokusatsu films, most often as a recurring character in the Godzilla franchise. She is typically portrayed as a colossal sentient caterpillar or moth, accompanied by two miniature humanoids speaking on her behalf. Unlike other Toho monsters, Mothra is a largely heroic character, having been variously portrayed as a protector of her own island culture, the earth and Japan.)

What is the first book you ever read?

The first one I remember is Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen. It’s still one of my favourites.

Would you rather be a cat for a day or a dog for a day?

Given the amount if thought I’v devoted to cats over the past two years, it would feel borderline irresponsible to say a dog. Honestly, either would be great, but if I had to choose, a cat.

They All Saw a Cat

Brendan’s new book; They All Saw a Cat, is on sale tomorrow! Pick-up a copy at any good bookstore and discover a world of curiosity and imagination.