Kid Lit Odds and Ends

Here are a few odds and ends from the Kid Lit world this week:

  • First and foremost, we were sorry to hear that Ann Jonas, author and illustrator, passed away this week. Her picture book Round Trip is a favorite of ours because of its ingenious use of positive and negative space. Once you read the book, you turn it upside down and then continue reading it from back to front. It’s simply delightful and, like her other books, will continue to stretch children’s imaginations for generations to come.
  • Chip Kidd, the designer behind tons of book covers, including Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, has written a guide to graphic design for kids (ages 10 and up). It’s a great read for a budding artist or designer. To get a sense of what GO! A Kidd’s Guide To Graphic Design is all about, watch the trailer.
  • Next Tuesday marks the release date of a new book by William Joyce, who brought us The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore in both film and book form (among other great stories). The new book is titled The Mischievians. You can get a peek at it here, and pick up your own copy next week.

Do you know of anything cool that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Have a great weekend everybody!



Kid Lit Odds and Ends

Here and there we’ve collected odds and ends from the Kid Lit world that we find interesting. Here’s what this week brought us:

  • Make mischief and mayhem today! It’s Roald Dahl Day (aka Roald Dahl’s birthday)! He was one of the world’s best storytellers, so go to your library or local bookstore and pick up one of his books. Even better, read his stories aloud to the little ones in your life. We’re willing to bet they will be riveted and thoroughly entertained. On a related note, his grandson, Luke Kelly, just put out a picture book of his own, and Vogue interviewed him about it.
  • We discovered this self portrait by Eric Carle, accompanied by this Carle quote: “Ever since I was very young, as far back as I can remember, I have loved making pictures. I knew even as a child that, when I grew up, I would be an artist of some kind. The lovely feeling of my pencil touching paper, a crayon making a star shape in my sketchbook, or my brush dipping into bright and colorful paints — these things affect me as joyfully today as they did all those years ago.”
  • We already knew author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers was super cool based on his children’s books alone. Now we have another reason to like him–he has Duck Hunt ducks adorning his walls. Last week The Guardian posted a piece about interior design, and they featured Oliver Jeffers’ home in New York. Take a look at the piece; the Duck Hunt ducks aren’t the only cool things about his home/workspace.

What odds and ends have you discovered in the kid lit world this week? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo credit: Francis Marie Photography

The Best of 2012, Our Top 21 Favorite Children’s Books from this Past Year

Okay, the blog post title is a bit dramatic. This list is certainly not all-encompassing. There were many other books we loved in 2012, and we probably forgot a few other favorites that we should have included here. Nonetheless…

If you follow Lookio Books on Twitter, for the past few days we’ve been tweeting our 21 favorite children’s picture books from 2012. Here we’ve compiled the list and tweets (with some minor editing) into one nice, neat package. Each has a link to purchase from our favorite bookstore – Book Cellar in Chicago. If you want to buy one of these books, order from  Book Cellar and support an amazing local business.

No, of course we did not include any of our own Lookio books on this list. That would be super lame. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t proud of the work we accomplished with the launch of three books of our own in 2012. So please do check out our personalized, custom books for kids and support another small business who would greatly appreciate your patronage!

Here’s our top 21 favorite children’s books of 2012, in no particular order:

William Joyce's picture book "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" is as good as his Oscar-winning short film.

"Hang Glider & Mud Mask" from @mcsweeneys, with two covers, kept us reading in circles. Awesome!

Henry Cole's "Unspoken" doesn't need a single word to tell a powerful and touching Civil War story.

"Green" by @lauravseeger is a beautiful and cool look at a color. We're hoping for a series.

A vegetarian sasquatch seeks out a buddy in "Larf" by @ashleyspires. Lots of great wit.

Loved "The Insomniacs" by @wolfandfox and @BrothersHilts. Best work happens after midnight.

"I, Too, Am America" by Langston Hughes and Bryan Collier. Stunning art + poetic genius = a must see.

Bobo and Earl are back in Eileen and Marc Rosenthal's "I'll Save You Bobo". Gotta love poor Earl.

Being different is all good in "The Hueys in the New Sweater" by @OliverJeffers.

Color flies off the page in "Chloe, Instead" by @MicahPlayer. A sweet story with a sweet ending.

Our son is obsessed with the moon, just like the girl in Naoko Stoop's "Red Knit Cap Girl". Love this tale!

No words needed in the gorgeous "The Island" by Marije and Ronald Tolman. Do Polar bears dream?

Team Emberley is back with another little slice of sweetness in "The Ant and the Grasshopper".

Kali finds an unexpected use for his bow in "Kali's Song" by Jeanette Winters.

How great is a boy feeding applesauce to a powered-down robot? "Boy + Bot" = gem.

Another hat thieved in "This is Not My Hat" by Jon Klassen. Worthy follow-up to his 2011 gem.

Something meta and cool is going on in Kate Banks "The Bear in the Book". Read it, you'll see.

We are thankful for everything from @toddparr, including 2012's "The Thankful Book".

The limericks pop in @MargaretMahy's charming "The Man from the Land of Fandango".

A girl comforts Honest Abe's ghost in "Abe Lincoln's Dream". Another Lane Smith gem.

You can't get much better than "This Moose Belongs to Me" by @OliverJeffers. So awesome.