reviews

THE READER Blog Tour!

Today is DAY 1 of a two week long blog tour for THE READER. First stop, the awesome illustration blog Pen & Oink, where I talk book making process!

Here's the full two week tour schedule, if you'd like to follow along:

Monday, November 5: Pen & Oink and A Mom’s Take

Tuesday, November 6: Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns

Wednesday, November 7:Susan Heim on Parenting

Thursday, November 8: 5 Minutes for Books

Friday, November 9: The Children’s Book Review

Monday, November 12: Media Darlings

Tuesday, November 13: Kid Lit Frenzy

Wednesday, November 14: Cracking the Cover

Thursday, November 15: Adventures in Mommydom

Friday, November 16: Momma Drama

Pub week for The Reader!

This Tuesday my latest book, THE READER, hit shelves. Hooray!! I've been waiting a long while for this one to come out. I had such a fantastic time illustrating Amy Hest's sweet story. And really, there is nothing I like to draw more than dogs, snowscapes, and teeny children :)

Our publishing house threw an amazing luncheon to celebrate the release of the book on Tuesday. Delicious food, wine and fantastic company. How wonderful to be able to gather together with all the people who put their hearts in to this project, and toast to the special day. It certainly isn't often I take time to celebrate my book releases. I should do it more :) When I arrived home Tuesday evening, this beautiful bouquet was waiting at my doorstep. Thank you ACP for everything you have done to make this a successful and memorable launch! ♥

And here is a fantastic review that just came in from Booklist:

"The reader" is a small boy, all bundled up for the cold conditions outside. He has a brown shaggy dog, a red sled, a small suitcase, and the snow-covered world at his fingertips. Hest's quiet, lyrical prose matches the stillness of the landscape, as she describes the reader's journey: "Up and up he climbs, tilting in the wind, pulling in the blowing storm." The little dog, who has bounded ahead, waits patiently at the top of the hill for his boy to join him. Once there ("the hill is very, very tall. The top is far, far away"), boy and dog make snow angels and a "snow dog" and snack on toast. Finally, the reader clicks open the mysterious suitcase, which contains not just any book, but "the very best book," titled Two Good Friends. Perfect. This sweet story is beautifully imagined by Castillo, as her boldly outlined, colorful characters pop against the brilliance of a total whiteout. Share this with other pint-size readers who understand the joy of reading, anytime, anyplace. —Ann Kelley, Booklist Aug 2012 

A Happy Like Soccer nomination! Plus some lovely blogger reviews

Great news! Happy Like Soccer has been nominated for the Amelia Bloomer 2013 Project List. What exactly is this list you ask? Here's a description straight from their blog: 
We create an annual booklist of the best feminist books for young readers, ages birth through 18. We are part of the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association.

Awesome! Thanks so much for the nomination~



I also wanted to thank this handful of wonderful bloggers who had such kind things to say about our book:

 "I'm using this story to validate children who might not be living with their parents and to teach other kids that all families have a different make up. What a great new book!"
"One of the most important skills for girls to learn is self-advocacy. For Sierra, the desire to join the two things she loves most – family and soccer – helps her speak up for herself. Author, Maribeth Boelts, and illustrator, Lauren Castillo, are perfectly paired in Happy Like Soccer. The inviting call and response of words and pictures bring both the light and shadows of Sierra’s story to life."
“Happy Like Soccer  is a story about the joy of family support. It also shows how empowering and wonderful it can feel to figure out a solution to a problem instead of succumbing to despair."
"Sometimes words are not enough to describe beauty and excellence. That is the case with this book."
"A lovely story extolling the virtues of family and resolution, this story with its bold, seemingly simple drawing style will appeal to many children. All of those who love soccer will be absorbed while those who live in the city and know the problems of getting a spare space to play in will also read it with pleasure. "
"A celebration of a small family, an urban community and sports, this picture book glows with love." 
 "This is a book that should be a must on every classroom bookshelf."
"With honesty and rare subtlety, author Maribeth Boelts and illustrator Lauren Castillo portray an endearing character in a moving, uplifting story that touches on the divides children navigate every day- and remind us that everyone needs someone to cheer them on from the sidelines."
"I really liked the message in this story. It presents the challenges that a working single guardian faces in order to attend the Saturday soccer games of her niece."
 "Several years ago, Maribeth (Boelts) brought together all kinds of elementary school kids, teachers, coaches, and volunteers to take part in some soccer. My first two children were born during this time (I remember running around on the field with a pregnant belly!), and the fruit from those few seasons of soccer continues to grow in the lives of many."


Hooray for Happy Like Soccer! And thanks again to Maribeth Boelts for writing such a fantastic, important text for children :)


Melvin has PA fans!

I was super excited to learn that The Pennsylvania Center for the Book named MELVIN AND THE BOY a 2012 Best Children's Book for Family Literacy!

This from their website:
The Pennsylvania Center for the Book works with hundreds of children's books each year while preparing booklists, activities, and curriculum materials. Our Family Literacy Activities Web page is designed to help parents and caregivers fill each child's world with a love of books. We consider these 13 titles—a Baker's Dozen—to be the very best picture books published in 2011. They fulfill the goals of family literacy programs across the nation: to create lifelong readers and lovers of books and to start with the youngest audience—preschool children.


Huge thanks to The Pennsylvania Center for the Book for selecting Melvin as one of their Baker's Dozen — I am so honored to be a part of this list.