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.
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.
September 6, 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.
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.
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.
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.
June 2, 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/.
May 5, 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.
May 3, 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.
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.
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.
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
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
January 21, 2021