Our Picture Book Advent Calendar

Two years ago, when Carter was just four months old, I started collecting Christmas books to create a picture book advent calendar. Our collection has grown and changed over the past two years as I add new books and put some on hold for later years. I’ve made an effort to include books with children of color, classics, religious themes, and humor. Each year, I wrap and number the books and put them under our tree. This year’s collection includes: Continue reading

Book Review: One for this Election

An inspiring portrait of Hillary Rodham Clinton from her childhood through her tenure as the United States Secretary of State. This biography showcases the Democratic Presidential Nominee’s barrier-breaking accomplishments and touches on many challenges she faced along the way. Continue reading

Three Books Featuring Asian Kids

A special jar helps a young girl find new friends and adventures; a young boy prepares to climb a mountain; a young girl overcomes the embarrassment of the ugly vegetables her mom grows in their garden. You can find these books at your local library! Continue reading

Two Books About Interracial Families

The Case for Loving is the story of one family’s fight for the right to their interracial marriage. One Family is a counting book that celebrates many different types of family. Continue reading

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Decluttering My Home and Writing

On an impulse last spring, I purchased Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Much to Andy’s horror, I made us read a few pages every night after dinner. He made it seem like torture, but secretly, he loved it.

Around this time, I began taking The Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books, a writing class offered by The Children’s Book Academy (CBA). It was a fabulous course and I learned a ton about writing picture books. One of my favorite lessons was about editing for brevity – or, getting the word count down. Continue reading

The Power of Diverse Stories

This is one reason diverse stories are important. It is not because they are trendy. It is because they are necessary. We need them to shape society today and for generations to come. They teach us to see a reality beyond stereotypes. They make it difficult to define any one group by a single false narrative. They allow us to see the diversity within diversity. They build empathy and remind us of our common humanity. They create change. Continue reading