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Tag: Children's Books (1-10 of 20)

'Baby-sitters Club' author Ann M. Martin talks tackling autism in new novel, 'Rain Reign': EXCLUSIVE


There’s much more to Ann M. Martin than the bestselling Baby-sitters Club books. An extraordinarily prolific author, she’s penned over a dozen novels for young readers over the past 10 years — though perhaps none as topical as her latest, Rain Reign. The story follows 11-year-old Rose Howard, a bright fifth grader who’s obsessed with homonyms, rule-following, and her dog Rain — her only true friend, since Rose’s high-functioning autism makes it difficult for her to relate to other people. When a devastating superstorm hits Rose’s hometown and Rain goes missing, she goes on a quest to find her companion — and ends up uncovering secrets that will change her world forever.

Get a first glimpse at the novel’s cover above, and read on to see what Martin has to say about her inspiration for the book, its connection to her own dearly departed dog — and where she thinks one unforgettable Baby-sitters Club character may have ended up.


Julianne Moore on the new app for her 'Freckleface Strawberry' series

Before Hollywood stardom, actress Julianne Moore was just a little girl with a mane of red hair and a face covered in freckles nicknamed “Freckleface Strawberry” by her playmates.

Since then, she’s turned her childhood memories into a bestselling children’s book series starring the spunky 7-year-old Freckleface Strawberry. In the first book, Freckleface tries desperately to erase her freckles and must learn to accept herself and her appearance. In later books, she learns similarly important life lessons through humorous — and touching — adventures with her friends.

The character’s stories have inspired a musical, as well as two apps (with Moore’s daughter Liv voicing Freckleface): Monster Maker, a mix-and-match game, and the just-released Dreamtime Playtime, an app that not only allows children ages 4 and up to play games, but also practice basic math skills like counting and matching. Moore also signed a five-book deal with Random House Children’s Books, and her Freckleface Strawberry series will enter the publisher’s Step into Reading program, aimed at children starting to read.

Moore talked to EW about Freckleface’s appeal, how her childhood experiences inspire her ideas (hint: dodgeball was a challenge), and how the new app attracts children to math: READ FULL STORY

See 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' author Eric Carle's latest work -- EXCLUSIVE


Hungry for more gorgeous, hand-painted collagework from Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal winner Eric Carle? You’re in luck!

The beloved illustrator has collaborated with 13 other award-winning children’s book artists — including Elephant and Piggie creator Mo Willems, Max and Ruby creator Rosemary Wells, and Jon Klassen of I Want My Hat Back fame — for a brand new picture book called What’s Your Favorite Animal, Carle’s first new work in two years. In this anthology, each artist gets two pages to draw and describe his or her own favorite animal; picks run the gamut from predictable (a giraffe) to decidedly whimsical (an “Amazonian Neotropical Lower River Tink-Tink). All royalties from the book will be donated to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Mass., not far from Carle’s old home in Northampton.

Want to know which critter Carle chose to highlight? Hint: It’s not the caterpillar.


Mary Grandpre talks 'Harry Potter' and new children's book


If you think about it, dreamland is kind of like the magical world of Harry Potter. Whimsy is encouraged, and it can seem like anything is possible. So it’s no surprise that Mary GrandPré — the American Harry Potter illustrator whose jewel tones and bright swirls are synonymous with a certain boy wizard for a generation of kids — would be drawn to the real-life dream world in Jennifer Dewing’s latest children’s book, Goodnight Little Elizabeth.

The “Elizabeth” moniker is changeable to your child’s name, making each story about going off to bed a personalized keepsake. “I was hired to create all the pictures and design the book so that various names and name sizes could be incorporated throughout the book,” GrandPré explained to EW. “There has to be enough places for a long name and then a shorter name. A lot of the artwork was done on separate boards so that they could be pieced together according to the child’s name. Every book is printed and put together one at a time as a special order item. So the book you have [Elizabeth] lays out differently than a book with the name ‘Sue’ or ‘Jeff.’ [This uniqueness] is a first time experience for me.”

Read on for a Q&A where GrandPré discusses how her illustrations come together, her aesthetic and even her memories about Potter. READ FULL STORY

'The Battle for WondLa': Cover art finally revealed -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO


After weeks of teasing on his Twitter, Instagram and website, Tony DiTerlizzi is finally ready to reveal the cover art for The Battle for WondLa, the highly anticipated third and final installment in his WondLa trilogy. Readers last saw Eva Nine finding a darker side of New Attica — but what kind of “battle” can they expect to see in DiTerlizzi’s conclusion?

Search for hints in the book’s enticing cover art, revealed exclusively to EW in the video below — in which DiTerlizzi also outlines his creative process for illustrating The Battle for WondLa.


Newly unearthed Richard Scarry book to be published -- EXCLUSIVE IMAGES


There’s a new addition to the busy world of Richard Scarry.

Next August, Random House will publish Best Lowly Worm Book Ever, a charming picture book starring one of Scarry’s most recognizable and beloved characters. Its release will come 20 years after the prolific Scarry — who wrote and illustrated more than 300 picture books — died of a heart attack in 1994. (HarperCollins will release the book Sept. 26 in the U.K.)

Best Lowly Worm Book Ever was discovered by Scarry’s son Richard Jr. — also known as Huck — in Scarry’s Gstaad studio. “Under his drawing table were several grey cardboard portfolios containing rough sketches of book ideas done on tracing paper,” Huck explained to EW via email. “Although most of the sketches were simply rough ideas, one set appeared quite advanced, with typewriter-written blocks of text on each page. It was a book about Lowly, and it looked like something which might be brought to completion fairly easily.”

Celebrate the March on Washington with 'Martin & Mahalia'


On August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of people flooded Washington, D.C., marching in one of the largest peaceful demonstrations in American history — and listening with bated breath to speeches and performances by figures like NAACP leader Roy Wilkins, gospel legend Mahalia Jackson, and, of course, Martin Luther King, Jr.

50 years later, celebrated author/illustrator — and wife/husband — team Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney are celebrating that milestone with a new picture book, Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song. As the title implies, the story focuses on the friendship between Jackson and King, as well as the pair’s shared connections.

“Each of their personal stories kind of mirror each other,” Davis Pinkney explained to EW. “You see young Martin in the church, speaking the gospel, praying the gospel, seeking it, teaching it. And there’s Mahalia as a child — as it says, she sang the gospel, worked the gospel, led the gospel, spread the gospel. Those beautiful ribbons of harmony came together throughout the civil rights movement.”

For more on Jackson and King’s unique relationship and the book itself — not to mention a glimpse at one of Pinkney’s gorgeous painted illustrations — check out the rest of our interview below.

Beatles legend Ringo Starr to release 'Octopus's Garden' as picture book

It seems Ringo Starr would like to be in an octopus’s garden in the shade once more. Simon and Schuster Children’s Books has announced a publication agreement with legendary singer-songwriter-drummer Ringo Starr for a children’s book edition of his famed song, “Octopus’s Garden.” Marking the 45th anniversary of the song’s creation, the picture book is to include a CD containing a narration of the story plus an original, previously unheard song from Starr. Aliens Love Underpants illustrator Ben Cort is set to illustrate the book. READ FULL STORY

'Little House on the Prairie' star Melissa Gilbert to publish first picture book -- EXCLUSIVE

Ma and Pa Ingalls must be so proud.

Actress Melissa Gilbert, best known for playing feisty Laura Ingalls on the beloved ’70s and ’80s TV series Little House on the Prairie, will release her first picture book next year. Gilbert’s first book, the New York Times bestselling memoir Prairie Tale, was published in 2009.

Her latest venture is called Daisy and Josephine. The story follows its two titular characters, a shy little girl and the rambunctious pet who draws her out of her shell. It was inspired by Gilbert’s French bulldog, who shares a name with the puppy in her book. The photo above — a picture of Gilbert in her Little House days — will serve as the actress’s author photo.

Gilbert is collaborating with illustrator Julia Kuo, an artist who has previously worked with Newbery Medal-winning author Cynthia Kadohata and New York Times bestselling author Jenny Han.

Daisy and Josephine will hit shelves January 28, 2014.

Read more:
Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr on their middle-grade debut ‘Loki’s Wolves’ — EXCLUSIVE
‘Good Morning America’ host Robin Roberts to write a memoir
Here’s the title of Laini Taylor’s third ‘Daughter of Smoke & Bone’ novel. Plus, a special trailer! — EXCLUSIVE

Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co.: See the cover and read an excerpt -- EXCLUSIVE


Never heard of Jonathan Stroud? Then stop what you’re doing right now and go pick up a copy of the first book in the Bartimaeus Sequence, The Amulet of Samarkand. Go on. We’ll wait.* Good, right? Fabulous, even? Alas, that trilogy is done (though there was a prequel published in 2010), but thankfully Stroud is back with a brand new series, Lockwood & Co., which has already been optioned for the big screen by Illumination Entertainment. And if it’s half as funny as Bartimaeus, consider us sold. Don’t take our word for it?** We’ll let Stroud himself tell you all about it. But first check out the cover below, along with an exclusive excerpt from Book 1, The Screaming Staircase.

London has become overrun by all sorts of nasty ghosts and specters, but only young people have the ability to see them. Enter Lucy Carlyle, the plucky heroine of Lockwood & Co. Together with Anthony Lockwood, leader of the titular psychic detection agency, and his sarcastic colleague George, Lucy must investigate the mysterious Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in all of England. Can they weather its horrors, including the legendary Screaming Staircase? Take a peek at the cover and preview the first chapter afterwards:

NEXT: Jonathan speaks about his new series, including the potential movie!

*Not that there’s any excuse for this. That book was released 10 years ago! I honestly don’t know how you’ve been functioning.
**Though you really should.

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