Friday, May 28, 2010

pretty pics of books

There's lots of books on how to take pictures, but how 'bout how to specifically take pictures of books?
If books are pretty enough, why not give them the pleasure of their own photo shoot?
Here are the pretty pics back of The Boy in the Oak by Jessica Albarn, that highlights the vellum pages in the book.

Check out Book by its Cover for lots of gorgeous books from around the world and all their pictures.

There's a good article here on how to photograph books!
(Some photos below!)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kalevala wins two more awards!

Double yay!
It was just announced at BEA in New York that our book, The Kalevala: Tales of Magic and Adventure, retold Kirsti Mäkinen, translated by Kaarina Brooks, and illustrated by Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin, won 2010 Benjamin Franklin Awards, Juvenile/Young Adult - Fiction

It won Silver in the Book of the Year Awards, Forward Magazine, in the Junior Fiction Category

This book of the Finnish epic stories is a must have for all those who love mythic tales. J. R. R Tolkien claims that the tales heavily influenced his creation of Middle-earth.

If you are in New York, definitely check out our BEA booth at 4314!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

new books!

Some of our new Fall titles are now up on our website, just in time for Book Expo in New York! What do you think?

Calling all Animals by Matthew Porter

Dotty by Paola Opal

Singing Away the Dark by Caroline Woodward and illustrated by Julie Morstad

The Boy in the Oak by Jessica Albarn

The Melancholic Mermaid by Kallie George and illustrated by Abigail Halpin

Runaway Alphabet by Kari-Lynn Winters and Ben Frey

Thursday, May 20, 2010


This seems like it must be from a fairy tale, but it really happens. A rare type of bee actually makes its nests out of flower petals. Here's the amazing article.

The bee's flower petal nest made me think at once of our book, The Boy in the Oak by Jessica Albarn. The queen of the Faeries in the book is half bee. At last we have a few finished copies of the book. It isn't out until the fall, but you can pre-order it here.

The cover is lovely, and I am going to have photos of the book taken today. (It gets its own mini-photo shoot).
The amazing line drawings are below, but they are inter-mixed with photos printed on vellum so it's hard to get a sense of the full book without some pretty pics!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

a mini day

Inspiried by the fact that work has begun on a third book for When You Were Small by Sara O'Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad, I thought how much fun it would be to have a mini day.

Make a mini book. The tinier the better!

(Image from Bella's Pockets -- a Simply Read/ Read Leaf title yet to be released, but very cool!)

Make some mini toys:

A mini origami star. A simple how-to is here.
And if you get really into it... you could always make a whole rainbow:

A mini toy parachute. (I always loved these!) There is a good how-to here.

Or, if you have some time: a mini house out of a shoebox here.

Make some mini food (you may have to eat a lot of it!) Like these cute mini bagels. (Recipe here)

Or some mini carrot cakes. (So cute!)

Or some mini raspberry cupcakes!

And look at some mini food for dollhouses, at this super cute "mini food blog"

And of course, read some books of tiny things (or of tiny size):

A Hole is to Dig

The Borrowers

(The Borrowers is soon to be a Miyazaki anime!)

When You Were Small

in the mood to make things

What better way to spend drizzly spring days than making things?

Make some little stickers.
Perhaps draw your favorite book character!

Windy and Friends has a great post on how to make easy stickers, by simply drawing on the bottom back of an envelope flap (sticky part on the back of your drawing). Cut it out and lick and stick!

Or make some little paper creatures.
Here is a beautiful book on paper crafts called "Paper Wonderland" by Michelle Romo.
It is full of adorable characters that you can cut out and make 3-d. Thanks to Book By Its Cover for the inspiration.

Monday, May 17, 2010

read aloud treats

Sometimes nothing is as fun as reading aloud. Especially if you go for a read-aloud picnic in the park.
And nothing is better than reading aloud kid's books, whether you're reading to a child, or to an adult, or just to yourself!

Mem Fox has great tips for reading aloud which include:
- Read aloud with animation
- Read with joy and enjoyment
- Spend at least ten wildly happy minutes every day reading aloud

Here are some fave read alouds -

Letters to Anyone and Everyone by Toon Tellegen (possibly the cutest stories ever)

The Witches by Roald Dahl (the Grand High Witch's norwegian accent is particularly fun)

And of course, for the younger tikes, Foggy by Robin Mitchell-Cranfield & Judith Steedman (who can resist hooting like an owl, croaking like a frog, and saying lines like "Oh, Foggy. We're really in a pickle now.")