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Hayley Barrett and Juana Martinez-Neal

The Children's Book Podcast

Release Date: 03/31/2019

Valerie Bolling show art Valerie Bolling

The Children's Book Podcast

Valerie Bolling () shares LET'S DANCE! with a team of 5th grade student co-hosts. Valerie’s debut picture book is called LET’S DANCE  and it’s illustrated by Maine Diaz. All told, there are less than 75 words in the main text, but with those selectively chosen verbs and adjectives Valerie leave a lot of space for the illustrator to bring the movement of dance to the page, and that’s exactly what happens. Valerie talks with us about growing up the only child in a house of seven adults. She shares her favorite dance, which is kuku in case you’re curious. And she shares how she’s...

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Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (2020) show art Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (2020)

The Children's Book Podcast

Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw () shares PAPA BRINGS ME THE WORLD with a team of 5th grade student co-hosts. There’s a part in all of us that longs for opportunities granted with age, but for now held just-out-of-reach. In this story, Lulu’s dad is a photojournalist. His work takes him all over the world, but he always sends bits of his experiences home to his daughter in the form of these gifts. Lulu longs to travel with her papa, but for now these treasures must suffice. But what Lulu holds most closely in her heart are the stories in which her papa envelopes these items. You can access even...

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Derrick Barnes (2020) show art Derrick Barnes (2020)

The Children's Book Podcast

Derrick Barnes () shares I AM EVERY GOOD THING and We're joined by my 4th and 5th grade podcast cohosts. CROWN: AN ODE TO THE FRESH CUT was received widely with praise and fanfare and awards and state book lists and my students, as well, were fully enamored with the story of the confidence carried along with a fresh haircut. So when there was an opportunity to speak with Derrick about I AM EVERY GOOD THING, his next book with longtime friend and illustrator Gordon C. James, I thought bringing on my students would be extra special. Derrick talks about the importance to see each other through...

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Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (2020) show art Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (2020)

The Children's Book Podcast

Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow () shares YOUR NAME IS A SONG and my 4th and 5th grade podcast students join as cohosts! Jamilah’s newest picture book is illustrated by Luisa Uribe, and Luisa’s art absolutely dances all across the pages to help bring this story to life. The girl who leads our story is upset after her teacher and classmates struggle to pronounce her name. As they walk home, the girl’s mom shares that her name is a song, and that names can stretch out like love songs, they can come from your chest and your heart, they can be fire, or strong like a storm. For any child who has...

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Sonja K. Solter show art Sonja K. Solter

The Children's Book Podcast

Sonja K. Solter () shares WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT I KNOW. Tori, our young protagonist, tells us her story, beginning with why she does not want anything to do with uncle Andy. But it’s those around Tori whose job it is to believe her, and that does not come easily at first. Sonja’s book is as much about being a survivor as it is about believing the victim. It is about sexual assault, but it’s also about the ripples traveling outward from trauma. It is a story I read, was challenged by, and returned to several times, and it’s a story I think belongs in your awareness and on your bookshelves...

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Seamus Kirst show art Seamus Kirst

The Children's Book Podcast

Seamus Kirst () shares PAPA, DADDY, & RILEY, which is illustrated by Devon Holzwarth. This book, I think, speaks to a question many of our kids ask themselves: “Is my family right? Is this how families are supposed to look?” That question is one no child should ever have to ask, but it can come up as kids form their understanding of the world. We compare. We learn. We try to figure out what’s right, what’s wrong, and what is just different from our own experience. In the case of this story, a classmate questions Riley, who is dropped off at school by her two dads. The classmate...

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Danielle Dufayet show art Danielle Dufayet

The Children's Book Podcast

Danielle Dufayet () shares YOU ARE YOUR STRONG and FANTASTIC YOU!. I first connected with YOU ARE YOUR STRONG, Danielle’s debut picture book, when I was moved by the way her text gave space for readers to acknowledge their feelings. Using language that affirms difficult or confusing feelings and exploring where we find our strength or what pulls strength out was, to be frank, an approach I found quite disarming as I read. It was as if I hadn’t realized what feelings I was holding onto and encountering YOU ARE YOUR STRONG held up a mirror to what emotions I was afraid to face. Her next...

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Anastasia Higginbotham show art Anastasia Higginbotham

The Children's Book Podcast

Anastasia Higginbotham () shares NOT MY IDEA: A BOOK ABOUT WHITENESS. Anastasia’s Ordinary Terrible Things book series has taken on the topics of divorce, death, and sex using straightforward language and respecting the reader with each page. Her most recent entry in the series is called NOT MY IDEA: A BOOK ABOUT WHITENESS and it has been one of my most-talked about books ever since a colleague shared it with me at the beginning of this school year. Anastasia talks at length about the work that went into creating this book, laying the art from found materials, handwriting the text, and...

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Michael Genhart show art Michael Genhart

The Children's Book Podcast

Michael Genhart () shares ACCORDIONLY, a picture book about two grandfathers with, at first glance, not a whole lot in common. What they do share is not only a love of the accordion but, more importantly, a family. Michael’s work tends to live in a space of welcoming and family. I know him previously from RAINBOW: A FIRST BOOK OF PRIDE, a soft introduction to rainbow families, as well as LOVE IS LOVE, a picture book that reminds us, as Lin Manuel Miranda once said, that love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, and that love is for everyone and between anyone. You can...

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Jewell Parker Rhodes (2020) show art Jewell Parker Rhodes (2020)

The Children's Book Podcast

Jewell Parker Rhodes () shares BLACK BROTHER, BLACK BROTHER. In her new middle grade novel, Jewell explores colorism, the school-to-prison pipeline, the history of Alexandre Dumas, and the sport of fencing. Donte and Trey are brothers, but Donte’s skin is dark, like his mom’s, and most new people have a hard time believing that they’re brothers, especially because Trey’s skin is light. Donte’s school, it’s fair to say, labels him as a problem because of the color of his skin. The people in Donte’s life all play critical roles in his survival, for help or for harm, and when Jewell...

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Hayley Barrett (@hayleybwrites) and Juana Martinez-Neal (@juanamartinez) are the author and the illustrator of BABYMOON, a new picture book about that period just after a baby is born, when time is intentionally set aside for a new family to rest and to fall in love together. The experience of motherhood is complex and our guests talk about their memories of wanting to do it all just right or perfect for their children. You can access even more information about this book and its author and illustrator by visiting www.matthewcwinner.com/podcast.