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The Children's Book Review: Growing Readers Podcast

The Children's Book Review: Growing Readers Podcast

By The Children's Book Review
"Not every book is for every child, but for every child there is a book." The Children’s Book Review, is a resource devoted to children’s literature and literacy. In the Growing Readers Podcast, we produce author and illustrator interviews focused on the best books for kids of all ages. We help parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, and librarians to grow readers.
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Bianca with Jaimal Yogis and Vivian Truong on City of Dragons: The Awakening Storm
In this episode, I talk with Jaimal Yogis and Vivian Truong, the creators of City of Dragons: The Awakening Storm. So many of you wrote in with questions and I got them answered for you! Jaimal Yogis is the author of Saltwater Buddha, The Fear Project, All Our Waves Are Water, and the children's book series Mop Rides the Waves of Life and Mop Rides the Waves of Change. His writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, ESPN Magazine, and The Washington Post. He lives in San Francisco. Vivian Truong is a comic artist who has created artwork for Riot Games,  miHoYo, Rebellion, and more. Her work includes the Punches and Plants webcomic series for the popular MOBA game League of Legends. She also works as a storyboard artist for game studios, a digital production studio, and a children’s book publisher. She currently lives in London. Order copies of City of Dragons: The Awakening Storm on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review (coming soon). Resources: Follow Jaimal Yogis on https://www.instagram.com/jaimalyogis/. Visit Vivan Truong on https://www.viviantruong.com/. Discussion Topics: About City of Dragons: The Awakening Storm. The seeds of inspiration for the story. What do dragons mean to Vivian Truong? The diverse characters and how they came to be. The female hero, Grace. The book's setting, Hong Kong, and future locations in upcoming books. An exploration of grief in children's books. The graphic novel medium and the artwork. Jaimal Yogis' biggest life influence. Vivian Truong's art background and the artists who inspire her. A discussion on courage and empathy. Jaimal Yogis and Vivian Truong's hopes for City of Dragons.
44:33
August 01, 2022
Bianca with J.T. Michaels on Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
This episode is brought to you by our guest, author J.T Michaels. He's here to talk about his first book in an epic fantasy series, Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone. Author J.T. Michaels has always loved storytelling, no matter the medium. Being immersed in a different world, whether it’s through books or video games, has also been an obsession for him. Years after writing for his school magazine, he discovered he wanted to create his own worlds for readers, and his journey to fantasy writing began with Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone. When he isn’t writing enchanting fantasy novels for teens, J.T. enjoys running and spending time outside in the sunshine and hunkering down in a bookstore or library on rainy days. He lives in  British Columbia, Canada, where he likes to indulge in a great cup of coffee. Order copies of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone on Amazon and Bookshop.org. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review (coming soon). Resources: For more information on the series, visit https://www.jtmichaels.ca/. Discussion Topics: About Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone Get to know the two main characters, Jimmy and Tess Developing the relationship of the characters Advice from books for young and old Understanding bad guys and villains The editing process for Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone Tips for self-published authors What teens can learn about friendship from story J.T. Michaels hopes for readers of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
25:39
July 19, 2022
Bianca with Trudy Ludwig on Brave Every Day
In this episode, I talk with the highly sought-after speaker and children's book author Trudy Ludwig! We discuss her new book, Brave Every Day, and how reading books can promote empathy and kindness. Trudy Ludwig is a nationally acclaimed speaker and an award-winning author who specializes in writing children's books that help kids cope with and thrive in their social world, including The Invisible Boy, My Secret Bully, and The Power of One.  She has received rave reviews from educators, experts, organizations, and parents at schools and conferences around the US for her passion and compassion in addressing peer aggression and friendship issues. An active member of the International Bullying Prevention Association,  Trudy also collaborates with organizations like the Committee for  Children and ConnectSafely.org, and has served as a content adviser for  Sesame Street Workshop. Trudy's books have won the Mom's Choice Gold  Award, the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award, and the NAPPA Gold Award,  and have also been recognized as NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade  Books for Young People. Order copies of Brave Every Day on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review (coming soon). Resources: Visit Trudy Ludwig at trudyludwig.com. Follow her on Twitter at @TrudyLudwig. International Bullying Prevention Association Committee for Children https://www.connectsafely.org/. Dawn Huebner's Ted Talk: Rethinking anxiety: Learning to face fear What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors by Rudine Sims Bishop Why American Teens Are So Sad by Derek Thompson, for The Atlantic Discussion Topics: About Brave Every Day Find out what motivates Trudy Ludwig to write books for children The social-emotional impact that children's books can have on kids and adults Addressing anxiety, fears, and worries in children The experience of bravery Accommodative parenting The picture book illustrations created by Patrice Barton The affirmation that can help children cope with anxious feelings Calling the Wind: A Story of Healing and Hope, Trudy's upcoming book with illustrator Kathryn Otoshi How reading transformed Trudy Ludwig's life and the story that opened her world Raising changemakers and kindness warriors
36:55
June 27, 2022
Bianca with Chris Wieland on The Crabtree Monster: A Kat Dylan Mystery
This episode is brought to you by our guest, award-winning writer and filmmaker Chris Wieland. He's here to talk about his first book in the Kat Dylan Mysteries, The Crabtree Monsters. Chris is the father of two fierce children, including a tough, smart tween who helped him find the voice of his protagonist, Kat Dylan. He lives in Southern California with his family. Order copies of The Crabtree Monsters on Amazon. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Resources: For more information on the series, visit https://www.thesmartaleckpress.com. Discussion Topics: About The Crabtree Monsters A look at the character development of siblings Kat and Alec Dylan A talk through the funny moments in the book from pre-baby to parent The importance of having strong female characters for kids to identify with Rewriting a screenplay to become a middle-grade novel Inspiration from the family-adventure movies of the 80s Kat's resemblance to Ruth Langmore from Ozark How reading inspires and influences Chris Wieland's writing Great mystery writers Why kids love reading mystery books What's next for the Kat Dylan Mysteries
28:40
June 21, 2022
Bianca with Bob Shea on I Am a Baby
In this episode, I talk with your favorite author and illustrator, Bob Shea. We talk about many things, including the importance of reading for fun and his latest funny picture book, I Am a Baby. Bob Shea is the author, illustrator, or author-illustrator of many well-loved picture books and chapter books, including the Ballet Cat and Dinosaur vs. series as well as Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great; Unicorn Is Maybe Not So Great After All; Crash, Splash, Moo!; and Who Wet My Pants?, which was illustrated by Zacharia OHora. Bob Shea’s characters and animations have appeared on Nick Jr., Playhouse Disney, and PBS KIDS. He lives in Connecticut. Order copies of I Am a Baby on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Resources: Visit Bob Shea at https://www.bobshea.com/ and https://www.instagram.com/bobsheabooks/. Chez Bob Who Wet My Pants Adurable: Little Pups in Big Trucks Ballet Cat Procreate Adobe Fresco Article from the Pew Research Center: Among many U.S. children, reading for fun has become less common, federal data shows. Discussion Topics: About I Want a Baby Bob Shea's reflections on being the parent of a baby A talk through the funny moments in the book from pre-baby to parent Can dads really sleep through anything? Behind the scenes on making art with Bob Shea Using Procreate to create children's book illustrations Tapping into the true essence of childhood What is Bob Shea working on now? Statistics on how many kids read for pleasure How to encourage kids to read A big secret is accidentally revealed Bob Shea's hopes for I Am a Baby.
37:57
June 14, 2022
Bianca with Julio Torres and Julian Glander on I Want to Be a Vase
In this episode, Bianca talks to the awesome duo Julio Torres and Julian Glander, creators of the picture book I Want to Be a Vase. With its themes of confidence and embracing one's true identity, this book makes for a dynamic and important conversation starter. Julio Torres is a comedian, the creator of the HBO special My Favorite Shapes, and has written for Saturday Night Live. He’s also one of the masterminds behind Los Espookys, HBO’s Spanish-language comedy about a group of horror enthusiasts. Julian Glander is  a 3D animator, designer, and illustrator. Mostly self-taught, he has created work for Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Adult Swim, and The New York Times. He is also the creator of the video game Art Sqool and the squishy comics collection 3D Sweeties.  Order copies of I Want to Be a Vase on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Resources: Visit Julio Torres on Instagram @SpacePrinceJulio. Visit Julian Glander at Glander.co. HBO special My Favorite Shapes. Discussion Topics: About I Want to Be a Vase and how it came to be a book. Julio Torres talks about being who you want to be and bringing kids into this conversation. A discussion on Julian Glander's uncanny 3D artwork. Celebrating the uniqueness of others. Breaking the typical book character mold. Julio's path to becoming a comedian. Julian's path to becoming an animator. Guidance counselor humor. The difference between writing a Saturday Night Live sketch versus a children's book. Julio Torres and Julian Glander's hopes for I Want to Be a Vase.
28:26
June 06, 2022
Bianca with Glenn Boozan on There Are Moms Way Worse Than You
In this episode, Bianca talks to WGA-winning and Emmy-nominated comedy writer Glenn Boozan about her picture book for adults that sheds some humor on parenting, There Are Moms Way Worse Than You: Irrefutable Proof That You Are Indeed a Fantastic Parent. Glenn Boozan's credits include Conan, Comedy Central’s Lights Out with David Spade, Sarah Silverman’s I Love You, America on Hulu, and TruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything. She lives in Los Angeles, a 30-minute drive from her mother, which apparently is still too far. Order copies of There Are Moms Way Worse Than You: Irrefutable Proof That You Are Indeed a Fantastic Parent on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Resources: Visit Glenn Boozan here: https://www.instagram.com/glennboozan Sh*tty Mom by Laurie Kilmartin Discussion Topics: About There Are Moms Way Worse Than You: Irrefutable Proof That You Are Indeed a Fantastic Parent. How to become a comedy writer (Does a letter arrive at your door announcing you're a comedian?). How Glenn Boozan's sister inspired the original poem. The nasty little things that animal moms do to their offspring. Some things that some really famous comedians had to say about this book. Overcoming negative selftalk. Glenn Boozan's hopes for There Are Moms Way Worse Than You: Irrefutable Proof That You Are Indeed a Fantastic Parent.
24:35
April 29, 2022
Bianca with I'm Your Neighbor Books and AudioFile Magazine on Immigration Stories
In this episode, Bianca talks to two amazing guests about The Welcoming Library, an initiative that sparks conversations on immigration through the reading of picture books. It's a program led by the non-profit organization I'm Your Neighbor Books, so Bianca talks with Kirsten Cappy, who co-founded I'm Your Neighbor Books in 2012. She brings 20 years of experience using children's books and the companion tools she creates to increase curiosity, empathy, and cultural competency. Kirsten was named one of the Boston Globe's Everyday Heroes for her work on The Welcoming Library. Bianca first learned about I'm Your Neighbor Books and their signature project, The Welcoming Library, from our friends at AudioFile Magazine. Each month on The Children's Book Review, we feature a curated list of the best new audiobooks for kids, as selected by the editors at AudioFile. These lists are constantly blowing us away with the inclusion of incredible stories, diverse characters, and fantastic casts of voices and music. So, when the AudioFile team mentioned they are now a proud supporter of The Welcoming Library, Bianca wanted to learn more and share it with you. So also joining the conversation is AudioFile Magazine's editor and founder Robin Whitten. Robin is passionate about audiobooks and the magic of the listening experience.  Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review (coming soon). Resources: Visit The Welcoming Library website: https://imyourneighborbooks.org/welcoming-library/ The Welcoming Library audiobooks list: https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/lists/welcoming-audiobooks/ AudioFile Magazine on the audiobooks in the project: https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/articles/listen-to-welcome-listen-to-belong/ Visit the In Her Presence website: https://inherpresence.org/ Discussion Topics: About The Welcoming Library and the importance of sharing stories of immigration AudioFile Magazine's partnership with The Welcoming Library The Wonder audiobook format Survey statistics on reading stories of immigration The items you'll find in The Welcoming Library kit A discussion on the picture books featuring the experience of immigrants How to obtain a Welcoming Library kit How to donate to I'm Your Neighbor Books
34:56
April 25, 2022
Bianca with Aaron Blabey on The Bad Guys Movie and Books
In this episode, Bianca talks to Aaron Blabey, the #1 New York Times Bestselling Australian author with around 30 million books in print. He is also the co-executive producer of The Bad Guys movie by DreamWorks Animation and that’s what we’re here to talk about—the adaptation of the illustrated children's graphic novel series. The book series and the movie center around a gang of anthropomorphic animals known as the Bad Guys who attempt to perform good deeds to change society's perception of them as criminals, despite their efforts usually going wrong. Order copies of The Bad Guys on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Resources: The Bad Guys official movie website. Watch The Bad Guys movie trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpDuBXB_glk&t=2s. Aaron Blabey's website. Order copies of Pig the Pug and Thelma the Unicorn Discussion Topics: About The Bad Guys movie and books. From the idea to the rise of The Bad Guys series. Adapting The Bad Guys books into a movie. Converting reluctant readers. The Bad Guys characters. Aaron Blabey's hopes for The Bad Guys movie and books.
23:52
April 21, 2022
Bianca with Shannon Hale on This Book Is Not For You
In this episode, Bianca talks with New York Times bestselling author Shannon Hale about her new picture book, This Is Not For You, and the implications of applying genders to book—that's a girl book or that's a boy book. Shannon Hale is the author of over thirty children's and young adult novels, including graphic novel memoirs Real Friends and Best Friends, and multiple award winners The Goose Girl, Book of a Thousand Days, and Newbery Honor recipient Princess Academy. She also penned three books for adults, beginning with Austenland,  which is now a major motion picture starring Keri Russell. With her husband, Dean Hale, she co-wrote over a dozen books, such as the Eisner-nominated graphic novel Rapunzel's Revenge and illustrated chapter book series The Princess in Black. They live with their four children near Salt Lake City, Utah. Order a copy of This Book Is Not For You on Bookshop.org, Amazon, or Audible. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Resources: https://shannonhale.com/ Real Friends Best Friends The Goose Girl Book of a Thousand Days Austenland Rapunzel's Revenge Marvel Unlimited Discussion Topics: About Shannon Hale About This Book Is Not For You The implications of applying genders to books How Shannon and Dean Hale foster a love of reading with their kids Writing the picture book This Book Is Not For You
42:55
April 18, 2022
Bianca with Gregory Maguire on Cress Watercress
In this episode, Bianca talks talk with bestselling author Gregory Maguire about his latest novel for kids, Cress Watercress. Gregory is the author of the incredibly popular books in the Wicked Years series, including Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, which inspired the musical. He is also the author of several books for children, including What-the-Dickens, a New York Times bestseller, and Egg & Spoon, a New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year. He lives outside Boston. Order a copy of Cress Watercress on Bookshop.org, Amazon, or Audible. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Resources: https://gregorymaguire.com/ Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West What-the-Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy Egg & Spoon https://www.davidlitchfieldillustration.com/ The Once and Future King The Sword in the Stone The Diamond in the Window The Wizard of Oz Wind in the Willows Harriet the Spy Discussion Topics: About Gregory Maguire About Cress Watercress The feelings and success of the Wicked Years series Writing for children versus adults The seed of the idea for Cress Watercress Exploring emotions in children's books with forest and woodland animals The character development of Cress Watercress: Lady Agatha Cabbage, Mama, and Cress Watercress Working with illustrator David Litchfield The books Gregory Maguire read as a child and the moment he identified as a reader Writing rituals and exercising the writing brain The literary parents Gregory Maguire would pick for himself—hint, it's not Virginia Woolf Gregory Maguire's hopes for Cress Watercress Chapter One: Cress Watercress (Audiobook sample used with permission from Recorded Books)
37:05
April 11, 2022
Bianca with David Litchfield on Cress Watercress
In this episode, Bianca talks with multi-award-winning illustrator and author David Litchfield about his artwork in Cress Watercress, a novel written by Gregory Maguire, the author of the incredibly popular books in the Wicked Years series, including Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, which inspired the musical. David Litchfield started to draw when he was very young, creating comics for his older brother and sister. Since then his work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, and books and on T-shirts. His first picture book, The Bear and the Piano won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. He is also the illustrator of Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and War Is Over by David Almond. David lives with his family in Bedford, England. Order a copy of Cress Watercress on Bookshop.org, Amazon, or Audible. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Resources: https://www.davidlitchfieldillustration.com/ https://gregorymaguire.com/ When the Sky Glows Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder Cosgrove Hall The Bright Agency Camberwell College of Art Easy Riders, Raging Bull by Peter Biskind Discussion Topics: About David Litchfield About Cress Watercress The influence of classic books, such as Wind in the WIllows The significance of using both dark and light artwork David Litchfield's creative process and character development The characters of Cress Watercress Staying motivated creating books for children Advice on becoming a children's book illustrator The art teacher and life moments that have inspired David Litchfield Writing for the middle middle-grade audience Identifying as a reader David Litchfield's hopes for Cress Watercress
47:29
April 05, 2022
Bianca with John Schu on This Is a School
In this episode, Bianca talks with the one and only John Schu about his debut picture book, This Is a School—a moving celebration of school and all it may signify: work and play,  creativity and trust, and a supportive community that extends beyond  walls John Schu is the creator of the popular blog Mr. Schu  Reads, was the Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs, a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University,  and a former classroom teacher and school librarian. He has visited schools worldwide and has met with over 130,000 students,  teachers, and administrators as he advocates for the people and things he cares about most: kids, books, schools, and the libraries — and librarians — that connect them. This Is a School is his picture book debut. John Schu lives in Naperville, Illinois. Order a copy of This Is a School on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Resources: https://www.johnschu.com/ http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/ The Gift of Story Scholastic Book Fairs Discussion Topics: About John Schu About This Is a School How school visits inspire John Schu Writing This Is a School The artwork of Veronica Miller Jamison The focus on community in This Is a School John Schu discusses his upcoming books and The Gift of Story The art of joy walking Does John Schu prefer being a teacher, librarian, or author? The books that John Schu read as a kid
29:06
March 25, 2022
Bianca with Diana Farid on Wave
In this episode, Bianca talks with Diana Farid about her glorious coming-of-age novel written in verse, Wave, set in 1980s Southern California, about a Persian American girl who rides the waves, falls, and finds her way back to the shore. Diana Farid is also the author of When You Breathe, published by Cameron Kids. She is a poet and a physician at Stanford  University. She lives in the Bay Area. Order a copy of Wave on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Resources: Visit Diana Farid at https://dianafarid.com/. When You Breathe, by Diana Farid The Essential Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks Surfer Magazine: https://www.surfer.com/ Discussion Topics: About Diana Farid About Wave Diana Farid discusses the characters and writing Wave Diana Farid talks about writing poetry A brief chat about The Essential Rumi and Coleman Barks Diana Farid talks about surfing as a child Diana Farid talks about how writing and being a physician go hand-in-hand for her Diana Farid's hopes for Wave
49:55
March 22, 2022
Bianca with Kristin Chenoweth on What Will I Do with My Love Today?
In this episode, Bianca talks with Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth about her debut picture book What Will I Do with My Love Today? A wonderful addition to children's books by celebrities and picture books about love and friendship, Kristin Chenoweth's whimsical adventure about adopting a dog reminds young readers they have an abundance of love and kindness to share with all. Kristin's career spans film, television, voiceover, and stage. She received an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Pushing Daisies, won a Tony Award for You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, and received a Tony Award nomination for her original role of Glinda the Good Witch in the Broadway smash-hit Wicked. Kristin stars in the Apple TV+ musical comedy series Schmigadoon! She also starred in the Netflix comedy feature Holidate, voiced the character Daisy in the HBO MAX film The Witches, and hosted the Food Network series Candy Land. Kristin remains a passionate supporter of charities, including the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center Foundation in her home state of Oklahoma, where she launched an annual Broadway Bootcamp providing young Broadway hopefuls with the opportunity to learn from mentors in the field. Order a copy of What Will I Do with My Love Today? on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Resources: Visit Kristin Chenoweth at https://officialkristinchenoweth.com Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center Foundation Kirstin Chenoweth's Broadway Bootcamp My Moment: 106 Women on Fighting for Themselves Discussion Topics: About Kristin Chenoweth About What Will I Do with My Love Today? Get to know Kristin Chenoweth Kristin Chenoweth talks about writing the book What Will I Do with My Love Today? The illustrations of Maine Diaz Things we have for which to be grateful Thoughts on creating books for kids Kristin talks about upcoming books, including My Moment: 106 Women on Fighting for Themselves Kristin Chenoweth's hopes for What Will I Do with My Love Today?
30:09
March 08, 2022
Bianca with Cedella Marley on Marley and the Family Band
In this episode, Bianca talks with Grammy-winning singer, designer, entrepreneur, and the first-born daughter of reggae singers Bob and Rita Marley, Cedella Marley. They chat about her newest picture book Marley and the Family Band, which was inspired by a childhood growing up with music in her life. Cedella is the CEO of Bob Marley's recording label, Tuff Gong International, and the author of multiple children's books including One Love. A life-long advocate of philanthropy, Cedella is the director of the Bob Marley Foundation and is a Global Ambassador to the Jamaica Women's Football Program. Cedella Marley is a living embodiment of the way the ethics and values instilled during her upbringing carry forward the belief that, with passion and purpose, we can all make a difference in our communities, our country, and ultimately the world. She lives in Miami with her husband and three children. Order a copy of Marley and the Family Band on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Visit Cedella Marley at https://www.cedellamarley.com. Resources: Marley One Drops: https://marleyone.com. Picture book versions of One Love and Three Little Birds and Get Up, Stand Up. Lion Forge Animation: https://www.lionforgeanimation.com/. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Discussion Topics: About Cedella Marley About Marley and the Family Band Get to know Cedella Marley A discussion on Marley and the Family Band How Cedella's childhood inspired Marley and the Family Band Marley and the Family Band coming to the screen Taking care of the physical body to help keep the mind healthy Learning and celebrating music in the home Cedella Marley's favorite childhood books
21:51
March 01, 2022
Bianca with Jeanne Walker Harvey on Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas
In this episode, Bianca talks with Jeanne Walker Harvey, the author of Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas. Jeanne has been a longtime docent at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Just like Alma Thomas, she believes that art brings us joy. Her other picture books include Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines and My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey. Jeanne studied literature and psychology at Stanford University. She lives in Northern California. Order a copy of Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Visit Jeanne Walker Harvey at https://www.jeanneharvey.com/. Resources: Educators Guide and Art Activity Projects: https://www.jeanneharvey.com/projects. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: https://www.sfmoma.org/. Loveis Wise: https://loveiswise.com/. See some interior artwork from Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas here: https://www.jeanneharvey.com/ablaze-with-color. East West Literary Agency: https://eastwestliteraryagency.com/ Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Discussion Topics: About Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas Get to know Jeanne Walker Harvey Working as a docent at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art A discussion on painter Alma Thomas Researching for picture book biographies Jeanne Walker Harvey reads an excerpt from Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas The modern art of children's book illustrator Loveis Wise Jeanne Walker Harvey's creative life Using Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas in the classroom
31:50
February 18, 2022
Bianca with Marc Brown on Believe in Yourself: What We Learned from Arthur
In this episode, Bianca talks with Marc Brown, the creator of the bestselling Arthur Adventure book series which has over 160 million Arthur books in print. He also is the executive producer of the longest-running children's television series, Arthur, on PBS. We talk about the conception of Arthur, how the Arthur Adventures became a book and TV series, and, most importantly, we discuss Believe in Yourself: What We Learned from Arthur. He lives in New York City and Martha's Vineyard. Order a copy of Believe in Yourself: What We Learned from Arthur on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Visit Marc Brown at http://marcbrownstudios.com/. Resources: https://pbskids.org/arthur https://www.fredrogers.org/ When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death Project Zero: http://www.pz.harvard.edu/ Music:  Special thanks to wgbh.org for permission to use the Arthur Theme Song. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Discussion Topics: About Believe in Yourself: What We Learned from Arthur The conception of Arthur: Arthur's Nose How the Arthur Adventures became a book series and TV series Meeting Mr. Fred Rogers Behind the scenes of creating Believe in Yourself: What We Learned from Arthur Marc Brown on becoming a reader
27:59
February 08, 2022
Bianca with Eva Chen and Sophie Diao on I Am Golden
In this episode, I talk with New York Times bestselling author Eva Chen and illustrator Sophie Diao about their picture book I Am Golden, a moving ode to the immigrant experience, as well as a manifesto of self-love for Chinese American children. Eva Chen is a first-generation Chinese-American who grew up in New York City. She blames her deviation from pre-med at Johns  Hopkins University on a love of fashion and beauty instilled in her by her mother, whose perfect bob and lipstick made a permanent imprint on her impressionable young mind. Previously the editor-in-chief of Lucky, Eva has also written for ELLE, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Vogue China, the New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.  She is currently the head of fashion partnerships at Instagram, where she is guilty of the occasional duck-face selfie. Eva lives in New York City with her husband and two children. She is the author of Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes, A Is for Awesome, and Juno Valentine and the Fantastic Fashion Adventure. Sophie Diao is an artist in San Francisco. As research for the book Sarah and the Big Wave,  she surfed a wave that she's pretty sure was over one foot tall. She loves illustrating natural wonders and is the talent behind many a  Google Doodle. Order a copy of I Am Golden on Bookshop.org or Amazon. Visit Eva Chen at https://www.instagram.com/evachen212/. Visit Sophie Diao at https://www.sophiediao.com/. Resources: Chinese Tomato Egg Stir-fry: https://thewoksoflife.com/stir-fried-tomato-and-egg/. Scholastic Book Club: https://clubs.scholastic.com/. Books of Wonder: https://booksofwonder.com/. Book Con and Book Expo: https://www.bookexpoamerica.com/. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Discussion Topics: A story summary of I Am Golden. Asian-American Identity Asian-American Hate Crimes All about I Am Golden Creating the book cover artwork The author and illustrator collaboration Becoming readers.
48:00
January 28, 2022
Bianca with Dr. Cole and Nelda LaTeef on African Proverbs for All Ages
In this episode, I talk with noted anthropologist and educator Dr. Johnetta Betsch Cole and award-winning illustrator Nelda La Teef. We discuss their picture book, African Proverbs for All Ages, the first Oprah Book. It is a beautifully-illustrated, engaging picture book about the power of proverbs, how they evolve over time, and the wisdom of various cultures in Africa. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Dr. Cole grew up during the days of racial segregation. She holds a B.A. in sociology from Oberlin College, and masters and doctorate degrees from Northwestern University. Dr. Cole has conducted anthropological fieldwork in Liberia, West Africa, and traveled to 17 African countries. She is the only person to have served as president for both Spelman and Bennet Colleges; she was also the  Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art from 2009 to 2016. Dr. Cole serves as the Chair of the Board and the President of the  National Council of Negro Women, an organization with a membership of over two million women of African descent. Throughout her career, she has worked on issues of racial, gender, and other systems of inequality. Nelda LaTeef is the award-winning author and illustrator of The Hunter and The Ebony Tree, Animal Village, and The Talking Baobab Tree.  She grew up in a US Foreign Service family and spent her childhood attending schools in Europe, Africa, and Asia. She has traveled throughout West Africa conducting field research and has even been to the fabled city of Timbuktu. She holds a degree in social anthropology from Harvard University. Nelda lives in Virginia with her family where she enjoys traveling, tennis, and cycling. Order a copy of African Proverbs of All Ages here. Visit Nelda Lateef at https://www.neldalateef.com/. Resources: National Council of Negro Women: https://ncnw.org/ https://www.spelman.edu/about-us/office-of-the-president/past-presidents/johnnetta-cole Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Discussion Topics: A story summary of African Proverbs for All Ages. What is a proverb? Why are we drawn to proverbs? All about African Proverbs for All Ages. Favorite proverbs. Becoming readers.
44:34
November 29, 2021
Bianca with Faith Abraham and Family on Superhero Faith
In this episode, I talk with child-author Faith Abraham and her family about Faith's picture book, Superhero Faith. We talk about how when Mama (her grandmother) was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was inspired to create a story with the help of her mom. This book, Superhero Faith, is a demonstration of ways a young child can support a family member in need. Faith is creative, curious, adventurous, and loves life. She enjoys learning new languages (French and Spanish), reading, making music,  experimenting in Mad Science, studying jiu-jitsu (she is in ninja training), and being outside. Faith is loving, caring, and kind, and loves dreaming up her next adventure with her grandma and her dog,  Sparkle. Order a copy of Superhero Faith here. Visit Faith Abraham at https://www.faithandsparklesworld.com. Resources: The Terry Fox Foundation: https://terryfox.org/. Canadian Cancer Society: https://cancer.ca/en/. LeapFrog 2-in-1 LeapTop Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Discussion Topics: A story summary of Superhero Faith All about Faith Abraham The things Faith Abraham and her family do to raise awareness for breast cancer. How writing the story helped Faith and her family get through Mama's breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. How Faith's mom acted as a scribe to write the story. How the help of an editor and the illustrator helped the story become the best that it possibly could. Faith's favorite illustration and vegetable. The simple benefits of love are shown in the book. Is Faith's favorite book Superhero Faith?
32:25
November 23, 2021
Bianca with Elaine Vickers on Thankful
In this episode, I talk with acclaimed author Elaine Vickers about her tender picture book Thankful. Elaine is the author of the middle grade novels Like Magic and Paper  Chains, which have received starred reviews, Whitney Award nominations, Mighty Girl’s Book of the Year picks, PJ Library licenses, and sold translations in four languages. She is also the author of the YA novel,  Fadeaway. In her non-writing life, Elaine teaches college chemistry, and she lives with her family in Utah. In this conversation, we dig into the topic of gratitude and the making of Thankful,  in which stunning, diorama illustrations bring to life this lullaby of a  picture book about celebrating everyday things that make life wonderful. Get ready to have your heart filled! Order a copy of Thankful via Bookshop.org.a great Order a copy of Long Road to the Circus via Amazon. Visit Elaine Vickers at https://www.elainevickers.com/. Resources: You can find the links to the activities discussed in this episode here https://www.elainevickers.com/books/thankful/ and here https://www.samanthacotterill.com/resources.html. Transcription: You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review. Discussion Topics: A story summary of Thankful The science of gratitude. Middle grade novels Paper Chains and Like Magic. The things kids are grateful for. The artwork of Samantha Cotterill: 3-D Art. The difficulties of practicing grattitude. Bedtime poetry. Young adult novel, Fade Away. Having more than one vocation: Scientist, teacher, author, and mother. The Ramona books. Crafts for practicing gratitude.
36:56
November 11, 2021
Bianca with Betsy Bird on Long Road to the Circus
In this episode, I talk with award-winning writer and librarian Betsy Bird about Long Road to the Circus. Betsy Bird’s books include Funny Girl, an anthology of humorous stories; and the picture books Giant Dance Party and The Great Santa Stakeout. Illustrated by Caldecott Medalist David Small (Imogene’s Antlers), Long Road to the Circus is the story of a girl who rides an ostrich straight to her dreams. In this super fun chat, we discuss the story, the characters, and Betsy’s inspirations for writing it. As the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library and the former Youth Materials Specialist of New York Public Library,  Betsy also shares her answer to a wonderful question from a fellow librarian. Order a copy of Long Road to the Circus via Bookshop.org.a great Order a copy of Long Road to the Circus via Amazon. Visit Betsy Bird at https://www.betsybirdbooks.com/. You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
33:10
October 23, 2021
Bianca with Gayle Forman on Frankie and Bug
In this episode, I talk with Gayle Forman, an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, and Elle in the US. Gayle Forman’s novel, If I Stay, was released as a blockbuster movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz in 2014. Her most recent YA novel is We Are Inevitable. Gayle lives in Brooklyn, New York with her family. Today we're going to talk about her debut middle grade novel Frankie and Bug. Order a copy of Frankie and Bug via Bookshop.org. Order a copy of The Beatryce Prophecy via Amazon. Visit Gayle Forman at https://www.gayleforman.com/. You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
36:49
October 08, 2021
Bianca with Kate DiCamillo on The Beatryce Prophecy
In this episode, I talk with two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo, one of America's most revered storytellers. Today we're going to talk about The Beatryce Prophecy, a fantastical meditation on fate, love, and the power of words to spell the world. A few episodes back, I talked with two-time Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Sophie Blackall. Among many things, we discussed The Beatryce Prophecy, for which Sophie created the artwork. Now I get to share my conversation with Kate about the many splendors and joys of reading. Order a copy of The Beatryce Prophecy via Bookshop.org. Order a copy of The Beatryce Prophecy via Amazon. Visit Kate DiCamillo at https://www.katedicamillostoriesconnectus.com/. You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
28:43
October 02, 2021
Bianca with Jessica Vitalis on The Wolf's Curse
In this episode, I talk with the debut author of The Wolf's Curse, Jessica Vitalis. Narrated in a voice reminiscent of The Book Thief, this fast-paced adventure is perfect for fans of fantasy such as The Girl Who Drank the Moon and A Wish in the Dark. We discuss The Wolf's Curse, an adventure that tackles heavy themes like death, grief, tradition, and community while ultimately providing hope. We also talk about Jessica's Cinderella story of becoming a published author. For a special surprise, we finish with the first chapter from the audiobook version of The Wolf's Curse. Join us! Order a copy of The Wolf's Curse via Bookshop.org. Order a copy of The Wolf's Curse via Amazon. Visit Jessica Vitalis at https://jessicavitalis.com/. You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
01:00:51
September 27, 2021
Bianca with Beth Ferry on Stick and Stone: Best Freinds Forever
In this episode, I talk with Beth Ferry, the author of several picture books, including the NYT-bestselling picture book Stick and Stone (2015), illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. She lives with her husband and three children by the beach in New Jersey, where she loves to wander, explore and mainly laze on the shore, but only in the summer. She says: Words, to me, are like bees and butterflies, buzzing and fluttering inside my head, sparking my imagination. Today we're going to talk about her latest collaboration with the very talented illustrator Tom Lichtenheld, STICK AND STONE: Best Friends Forever! It's a story that demonstrates how our friends can truly become family. Order a copy of Stick and Stone: Best Friends Forever via Bookshop.org. Order a copy of Stick and Stone: Best Friends Forever via Amazon. Visit Beth Ferry at https://www.bethferry.com/. You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
29:42
September 06, 2021
Bianca with Sophie Blackall on Negative Cat and The Beatryce Prophecy
In this episode, I talk with Sophie Blackall, the two-time Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator of over forty books, including The Baby Tree, Hello Lighthouse, Finding Winnie (by Lindsay Mattick), A Voyage in the Clouds (by Matthew Olshan), Pecan Pie Baby (by Jacqueline Woodson), Big Red Lollipop(by Rukhsana Khan), and the Ivy and Bean series (by Annie Barrows). Her many honors include a BCCB Blue Ribbon, Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award, Society of Illustrators Founders Award, and Charlotte Zolotow Honor. Sophie's art has also been part of the NYC MTA's "Arts for Transit" program. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. We discuss many amazing things, including her new creative retreat for the children's book community, Milkwood Farm. We also talk about her artwork for two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo's The Beatryce Prophecy (this book is A-mazing). The podcast community joins in the fun and asks Sophie questions, too. But to kick things off, we focus on her latest solo picture book, Negative Cat. Order a copy of Negative Cat via Bookshop.org. Order a copy of Negative Cat via Amazon. Visit Bianca Schulze at https://biancaschulze.com/. You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
53:07
August 30, 2021
Luisa with Bianca Schulze on Just Be Yourself, Dragon!
In this episode, I talk with Bianca Schulze about her latest picture book, Just Be Yourself, Dragon, the third book in a delightfully fun series, Dragon is nervous about her first day of school! Bianca is the author of Don’t Wake the Dragon and Who Loves the Dragon? and the founder and editor of The Children’s Books Review—a resource devoted to children’s literature and literacy. She is also the bestselling author of 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up.  We dive into the inspiration behind Dragon, coming up with plots, the artwork, and the importance of kids getting to show up in their classrooms just as they are! Order a copy of Just Be Yourself, Dragon! via Bookshop.org. Order a copy of Just Be Yourself, Dragon! via Amazon. Visit Bianca Schulze at https://biancaschulze.com/. You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
29:33
August 20, 2021
Bianca with Lydia M. Sigwarth on Dear Librarian
In this episode of the Growing Readers Podcast, I talk with author and children's librarian Lydia M. Sigwarth about her debut picture book Dear Librarian, a "thank you" to anyone who has offered a child love and support during a difficult time. Wisconsin librarian Lydia is working her dream job of talking books with budding bookworms. Dear Librarian is her debut picture book that covers her personal experience with homelessness and the connection she formed with the library and a special librarian during this time. We discuss the book, overcoming adversity, the importance of libraries and librarians, and the stunning artwork from illustrator-newcomer Romina Galotta. I hope you enjoy our conversation! Order a copy of Dear Librarian via Bookshop.org. Order a copy of Dear Librarian via Amazon. Visit Sharice Davids at https://shariceforcongress.com/. You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
36:51
June 14, 2021
Bianca with Sharice Davids on Sharice's Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman
In this episode of the Growing Readers Podcast, I talk with Sharice Davids, one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, and the first LGBTQ congressperson to represent Kansas. We discuss her picture book autobiography Sharice's Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman. When Sharice Davids was young, she never thought she’d be in Congress. And she never thought she’d be one of the first Native American women in Congress. During her campaign, she heard from a lot of doubters. They said she couldn’t win because of how she looked, who she loved, and where she came from. But here’s the thing: Everyone’s path looks different and everyone’s path has obstacles. And this is the remarkable story of Sharice Davids’ path to Congress. Order a copy of Sharice's Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman via Bookshop.org. Order a copy of Sharice's Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman via Amazon. Visit Sharice Davids at https://shariceforcongress.com/. You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
39:19
June 02, 2021
Special Spanish Edition: Luisa con Juana Martinez-Neal sobre La selva de Zonia
Edición especial en español En este episodio del Growing Readers podcast, hablo con la increíble y galardonada autora e ilustradora Juana Martinez-Neal. Hablamos sobre La selva de Zonia, un libro ilustrado que es visualmente impresionante y que ilumina el día de juegos y aventuras de una niña en la exuberante selva tropical de Perú. Solicite una copia de La selva de Zonia a través de Bookshop.org. Solicite una copia de La selva de Zonia a través de Amazon. Visite Juana Martinez-Neal en https://juanamartinezneal.com/.
16:21
May 05, 2021
Bianca with Juana Martinez-Neal on Zonia's Rain Forest
In this episode of the Growing Readers Podcast, I talk with the absolutely incredible, award-winning author-illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal. We discuss the heartfelt, visually stunning picture book Zonia’s Rain Forest, which illuminates a young girl’s day of play and adventure in the lush rain forest of Peru. Juana Martinez-Neal is one of my all-time favorite illustrators. We talk  about the idea of home and how different people experience home, in  particular, how Zonia, an Asháninka girl, experiences her home and how  we are all connected. We also discuss how the idea for this book crept  up on her and the different techniques she used to create the gorgeous  mixed-media artwork that pulls the reader into the pages. This book, also available in Spanish: La selva de Zonia, is both a conversation starter and a feast for the eyes! Order a copy of Zonia's Rain Forest via Bookshop.org. Order a copy of Zonia's Rain Forest via Amazon. Visit Juana Martinez-Neal at https://juanamartinezneal.com/. You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
27:41
May 03, 2021
Bianca with Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant on Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides
Inspired by a story their daughter wrote, Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides was written in 2016-2017 when the US suddenly felt very divided and  polarized—even among neighbors, friends, and within families. The pair  have created a book for children that addresses this animosity.  Not  only is it a delightful story, but it will help initiate conversations  with our kiddos on how to maintain a friendship with someone you often  disagree with or who has a very different worldview. I hope you enjoy  this discussion about the importance of perspective and finding common  ground. Order a copy of Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides via Bookshop.org Order a copy of Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides via Amazon Visit them at www.annakang.com and www.christopherweyant.com. You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
40:21
April 26, 2021
Bianca with Rajani LaRocca on Bracelet's for Bina's Brothers
In this episode of the Growing Readers Podcast, I talk with author Rajani LaRocca about Bracelets for Bina's Brothers, a picture book that celebrates diversity, math, and the power of storytelling! Rajani LaRocca has burst into the world of children's books with a bunch  of incredible titles and there are many more on the way. Born in India,  raised in Kentucky, she now lives in Boston, where she practices  internal medicine and writes her heart out, sharing stories that connect  us to other people across distance, time, and culture. We talk mostly  about her latest picture book, Bracelets for Bina's Brothers, part of the Charlesbridge Storytelling Math series. We also chat briefly about her stunning middle-grade novel, Red, White, and Whole, written in verse about an Indian American girl whose life is turned upside down when her mother is diagnosed with leukemia. Order a copy of Bracelet's for Bina's Brothers via Bookshop.org Order a copy of Bracelet's for Bina's Brothers via Amazon Visit Rajani LaRocca at https://www.rajanilarocca.com/ You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
28:29
April 19, 2021
Bianca with Jasmine A. Stirling on A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice
In this episode of the Growing Readers Podcast, I talk with debut author Jasmine A. Stirling about A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice, a picture book biography about the beloved and enduring writer and how she found her unique voice. This conversation with Jasmine is equally as inspiring as it is empowering. You'll very quickly realize that her knowledge of Jane Austen is extensive. We learn why this historical figure is such an important role model for our children—both girls and boys. Jane Austen is known for her swoony romances, but there is so much more to her than we are sometimes led to believe. Jasmine wants young people to see that creative mastery is the product of experimentation, persistence, and life's hard-won battles. Order a copy of A Most Clever Girl via Bookshop.org Order a copy of Nicky & Vera via Amazon Visit Jasmine A. Stirling at https://jasmineastirling.com/ and https://www.instagram.com/jasmine.a.stirling/ You can read the transcription on The Children's Book Review.
35:36
March 29, 2021
Bianca with Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham on Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn
In this episode of the Growing Readers Podcast, I talk with bestselling superstar duo Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham about Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn, a delightful kitty and unicorn story that celebrates the magic of friendship—and being exactly who you want to be! Is there anything that this pair of incredible women cannot do? Besides the multitude of books they have created individually, they have collaborated on a middle-grade graphic novel series (Real Friends), an early chapter book series (The Princess in Black), and now a picture book series. In this conversation, we take a deep dive into the adorable Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn and how their friendship led to its creation and allowed them to make a truly meaningful picture book. Order a copy of Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn via Bookshop.org Order a copy of Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn via Amazon Visit Shannon Hale at https://shannonhale.com Visit LeUyen Pham at https://leuyenpham.com
47:21
March 23, 2021
Bianca with Peter Sís on Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued
In this episode, Peter Sís and I talk about 'Nicky & Vera,' an incredibly poignant story of a quiet hero and the resilience of a young child of the Holocaust. We never intended to turn this over-the-phone chat about Nicky & Vera into a podcast, but it begged to be shared. We talk about what it means to be a hero, the research and history behind his new book, creating art during a pandemic, and so much more.  Order a copy of Nicky & Vera via Bookshop.org Order a copy of Nicky & Vera via Amazon
50:09
January 21, 2021