By Nicki Richesin, The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 23, 2012

Kate Bernheimer

Kate Bernheimer first enchanted children with her captivating The Girl in the Castle inside the Museum. Her latest The Lonely Book is yet another heartfelt addition to her mesmerizing picture books. Kate’s forthcoming children’s book The Girl Who Wouldn’t Brush Her Hair is being illustrated this spring. She is also the author of fiction for adults, including a trilogy of novels and the story collection Horse, Flower, Bird (Coffee House Press). Kate is founder and editor of Fairy Tale Review, and of three fairy-tale anthologies including the World Fantasy Award winning My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales (Penguin Books). She has spoken on fairy tales as a contemporary art form at such venues as the Museum of  Modern Art, the Chicago Public Library, the Boston Public Library, The Walker Art Center, Ball State University Museum of Art, and Harvard University. We’re delighted to share a conversation about her books, study of fairy tales, and great love of children’s literature.

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 17, 2012

The Cloud Spinner

By Michael Catchpool; Illustrated by Alison Jay

The Cloud Spinner is, as its title suggests, about a boy who makes fine clothes spun from clouds “just as his mother had taught him.” When the greedy King learns of the boy’s talents he demands many outfits be made. Using repetitive and cautionary words, the boy explains over-and-over: “It would not be wise … Your Majesty does not need them.” The clouds eventually disappear and action must be taken. Alison Jay’s signature paintings with the crackle varnish lend themselves well to this clever and fantastical, “green” fairy tale told by Michael Catchpool—the crackling provides an aged feeling of wisdom, while her bright pallet and fanciful placement of animals add a level of freshness that draws young readers in easily. When it comes to delivering a message of conserving resources for our future, a story driven by a child protagonist is the perfect antidote—as gentle as a floating cloud overhead, Catchpool’s tale gives power to the young people!

Author Showcase

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 12, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Author Catherine Y. Fridey has tapped into her love of time travel and archaeology to write the first in a series of books exploring those themes through the journeys of her spunky heroine, Jillian Spencer, and her companion and mentor, Mezradine Bakri. Within the dark labyrinth of an archaeological dig in the Egyptian desert, Jill and Mez open a sarcophagus. They are disappointed to find it was looted in ancient times and only contains a few artifacts. However, one of the artifacts directs them to further clues that lead them to more of the tomb. Jill suddenly finds herself alone in a corridor of the ancient past, where Egyptian myths and customs come alive. Along the way, she fights royal cobras and witnesses an Ancient Egyptian funeral procession and rituals.

By Nicki Richesin, The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 11, 2012

Bonny Becker with Bear and Mouse

Award-winning author Bonny Becker is probably best known for the sensation she created with her Mouse and Bear book series. A prolific writer who has had many jobs over the years, including advising aspiring authors, she found her niche in writing for children. They have truly fallen in love with her stories. Listen in as we discuss her inspiration for her characters, the secret to writing an exceptional story, and even Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz!

Nicki Richesin: Thank you for taking time to chat with TCBR. You have become an outrageous success with your Mouse and Bear book series. Bear seems to be a bear of simple tastes and Mouse is a little more cunning. How did these characters first appear to you?

Best Young Adult Books: Top Picks from YA Bloggers in the Know, #1

By Nicki Richesin, The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 9, 2012

We were excited to read the recent debate over “The Power of Young Adult Fiction” in The New York Times. Together, the contributors pose the question: why should we be reading YA novels and why do they matter? To better explain why YA fiction has become such a phenomenon, even with adults, we’ve asked some of the best YA bloggers around to weigh in with their picks for the best new titles. Could they convince you to read YA? We think they’re up for the challenge! In our first monthly installment of Best Young Adult Books, we’ve asked Andrea Chapman of Reading Lark to share her spring and summer must reads.