Posted in Book Review

Stranger in the woods

By Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick

There is a stranger in the woods after a winter storm. The deer, birds and other animals are trying to figure what he is. The story is what the animals think he is. They never figure out the secret that the reader knows – he is a snowman.

This is a photo illustrated book, so where the story is made up, the animals are real. The photos show kids what forest animals look like in the winter. The photos are really pretty.  My favorite is the owl photo. It is beautiful.

I recommend this to anyone who wants to help the environment. It helps understand how animals get food in the winter. 

Posted in Illustrators, Meet the authors

Author/Illustrator: Lori Richmond


Website/social media
Twitter: @loririchmond
Instagram: @loririchmonddraws

When you were my age, did you like to read?

Yes! I used to stay up late every night and devour the Nancy Drew mystery stories.

What was your favorite story?

My number one favorite was THE CLUE IN THE OLD STAGECOACH. I know what the cover looks like, and I probably read it 100 times. But now I can’t remember the storyline!

How do you get your ideas?

Both of my author-illustrated titles, PAX AND BLUE and BUNNY’S STAYCATION (coming in 2018), came from real life things that were happening in my family or with my children. There is so much inspiration in our everyday surroundings. The most important thing about making books is being a good observer and paying close attention to the world around you. Ideas are everywhere!


Is it hard to write a book?
Since I consider myself an illustrator first, it is very hard for me to write and I have to go through many, many drafts. I’m good at thinking of ideas, but turning them into a whole story is something else. It can be frustrating, but all the do-overs ALWAYS make the book come out better in the end. It’s really important to keep at it and keep trying, especially if you really believe in your story.

As an illustrator, how do you get matched with an author?
An author’s manuscript is received by the editor, who works at the publishing house. The editor then meets with the art director and they go through illustrator portfolios and websites to find an artist they think will be a good fit for that story. The editor sends the manuscript to the artist for review. If the artist likes the story and is available to do the work, it’s great news!

Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated?

That is so hard for me to choose. I love PAX AND BLUE because it is my first book, but I also love BUNNY’S STAYCATION because it addresses an issue that so many modern families face — a parent who has to travel for work and leave their child at home. I hope my book helps little bunnies everywhere with that tough situation!
How many books do you work on at one time?
I have 3 books coming out in 2018, so the past few months were a little tough for me with a lot of work to do. I prefer to only work on one book at a time, but sometimes schedules overlap and I have to get all the work done anyway. It’s a good thing the work is so much fun!

What author do you really like right now?

I am really obsessed with Jon Agee’s book LIFE ON MARS. I love it so, so much. I think it is a perfect book.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?
Are you already writing stores? Well, then, you’re already an author. Keep writing. Keep
drawing. Keep dancing. Keep singing. Keep creating. Don’t lose the joy you find in your art, you’ll carry it with you all the way to being a grown-up.

Annoying Little Brother question: how excited are you to be working with Tim Kubart? How did you get matched with him?
Haha! That is not annoying at all. I am VERY excited to be working with Tim! I haven’t met him yet but I can’t wait to! Our editor Nancy Inteli at Harper Collins thought my art style would be a nice fit forTim’s story. I read it and loved it, and the rest is history. Look for our book, OOPSIE-DO, next spring!



Posted in Book Review

One Child, One Planet


Written by Bridget McGovern Llewellyn

Photos/Illustrations by Carl R Sam II & Jean Stoick

This is a book for children conservationists. It is a poem about how a child fits in the world. “Earth so big and me so small.”  But even if we are small, we can do a lot to help the Earth. It talks about the bad things happening to the earth like greenhouse gases and the ways we can change our lives to help, like recycling.

I liked it because it is really good for kids who don’t know what they can do to help the world. It tells them stuff they can do.  The photos are very pretty and make you want to go for a hike. It makes you want to help the animals. I learned a lot from this book.

I just think this is a book everyone should have on their shelf, so I recommend it to everyone!


Posted in Book Review

Night Night Groot

By Brendan Deneen

Illustration by Cale Atkinson

This book is about Baby Groot going to sleep. Rocket is like don’t go to sleep there is a mission to do! These characters are from Guardians of the Galaxy and other Marvel characters make appearances. I won’t tell you who so I don’t ruin the surprise.

This book is funny. I can’t wait to read it to Annoying Little Brother tonight.

Kids and parents who like comic books will think this is great and love, love it. My parents thought it was so funny they bought it! I totally recommend this for anyone who needs a fun bedtime.

Posted in Book Review

That’s me loving you

By Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Illustrated by Teagan White

This the story about we love people. It reminds you that everything around you is a sign someone loves you.  The persistent mosquito bugging you is funny and just like my mom asking me to clean up.

I like it because I live far away from my grandparents and I like having reminders in my heart they love me. This is like The Invisible String. The illustrations are very nice. I could see this being a quilt pattern for baby quilts.

I recommend this book to people who live far away from people they love.

Posted in Meet the authors

Meet Caroline Starr Rose


Tell me a little about yourself:
I’m a children’s author who lives in Albuquerque, NM. I’m the mom to two teenage boys, am a former teacher, and a pastor’s wife. I love to read, to run, and marvel at this gorgeous world we live in!
When you were my age, did you like to read?
I loved the Little House on the Prairie series and any book about Ramona Quimby. I also looked forward to reading a chapter of a Nancy Drew book with my mom each day after school.

What was your favorite story?

I loved thinking about Laura Ingalls Wilder as a young girl — how nervous she was when she went to school for the first time, how she traveled across the country in a covered wagon, how she lived in cabins and dugouts and houses her Pa had built, what it must have been like to grow up at a different time in history. I thought about Laura so much, I talked about her without using her last name. I’d tell my mom, “Laura did this” or “Laura did that,” and she’d think I was talking about someone in my class. Laura felt so real and so close that the fact she’d been born 106 years before me didn’t matter. She wasn’t just a girl from my story books. She was my friend.

What environmental book(s) do you recommend for kids?

Because I’m such a fan of poetry, I thought I’d share these picture book poetry collections with you:

How do you get your ideas?

Sometimes I have to work really hard for ideas to form, and other times they just come to me. Over in the Wetlands grew out of the years my family lived in Louisiana, from 2007-2010. I was fascinated by the animals and plants of this very unique part of the country and wanted to share them with readers everywhere. I was also surprised to learn about the loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. This was well-known throughout Louisiana and often discussed, but I’d never heard about it before moving there. I wanted to be sure the rest of the country understood how important wetlands are as ecosystems and how vital it is that we care for the ones that are threatened.


Why do you write about the environment for kids? 

The world is a beautiful, amazing place. Everyday I find something to appreciate. I want to bring that same joy and appreciation to young readers.

Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated?

That’s a really hard question to answer! All my books hold a special place in my heart.

What author do you really like right now?

I think Kwame Alexander is incredible.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?
Read and read and read and then read some more. Writer stories that matter to you. Stay curious! Ask questions! Wonder and enjoy.