Book Birthday!

Today is the release of my Holiday book, CHRISTMAS IS HERE!!! I couldn't be more excited about this project, and am so grateful for the opportunity to illustrate the true meaning of Christmas. A BIG thanks to my two editors and art director at Simon and Schuster for all the love and hard work that went in to making this special book.

Also, School Library Journal (October edition) has just given the book its second starred review! Here it is:
CHRISTMAS IS HERE: WORDS FROM THE KING JAMES BIBLE. illus. by Lauren Castillo. unpaged. S & S. Oct. 2010. RTE $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-0822-7. LC 2009045979. PreS-Gr 3
The only text in this book is a few sentences from the King James Bible, and many of the ink and watercolor illustrations, in soothing tones of brown and gray with bold outlines, are wordless. They show a modern family—mom, dad, babe in arms, and dog-walking child—out for a stroll on a snowy evening, when they come across a small, outdoor Christmas pageant. As the child peers into the manger, readers are taken back in time to Bethlehem, with illustrations of sheep grazing over a dry Middle Eastern landscape as the shepherds learn of the birth of Jesus. As light from the star streams down over the holy family and shepherds leaning over the manger, the scene switches with a turn of the page back to the modern family singing carols in the snow in front of the manger. The theme—that the most basic meaning of Christmas has remained the same over the centuries—is conveyed with a warm and captivating simplicity that even the youngest child will understand. -Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library

If you want to get a head start on your Christmas shopping, here's one suggestion :)