A Letter to My Mom

My mom is getting a pretty cool Mother’s Day gift this year…

A few months back, I got a very unusual invitation. I was asked to contribute to an anthology titled A Letter to My Mom, a book of letters written by celebrities and normal folk (like myself) in which we all take a moment to thank our moms for, well, being moms. (It was the continuation of a series started by Lisa Erspamer – the previous volumes were A Letter to My Cat and A Letter to My Dog.)

I like my mom. A lot. She has sacrificed a lot for my sister and I over the years and she loves and nurtures my daughter in the tradition of the best kind of grandparents, so I was very happy to be given such a unique opportunity to say “thanks” to her in such a public setting. (She’s really pretty great.) Well, the book was just released and it’s now on sale. I am 100% biased when I say that it would make a great Mother’s Day gift, but I’m allowed, right? It’s my first legitimate book credit.

And, oh boy, the company I get to keep in this book is SURREAL. Not only does the book collect my heartfelt letter to my mom, but it also collects letters from celebrities like Melissa Rivers, Shania Twain, will.i.am, Christy Turlington, Kristin Chenoweth, Mariel Hemingway, Josh Groban, Monica Lewinsky, Dr. Phil McGraw, Suze Orman, Kelly Osbourne, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York… the list goes on and on.

A Letter to My Mom

A brief excerpt from my letter, in which I compare my mom to Keyser Soze from “The Usual Suspects”…

The book is sentimental and sweet and wears its heart on its sleeve, which is easy to do when you’re talking about people that you love. So, if you’re so inclined, seek out A Letter to My Mom. It’s a celebration of all things “mom” and I had a great time contributing to it.


April 2nd is International Children’s Book Day, an annual event that celebrates reading, literacy, and the million-and-a-half wonderful things about children’s literature. So, as I was trying to think of something to say on the topic (that I haven’t already said), I kept coming back to one recurring thought – I LOVE READING IN BED.

I do. I really do.

The Under-Appreciated Art of Bedtime Reading

Normally, when we read in bed, we’re both in our pajamas and firmly tucked in, but we don’t invite photographers to those events…

I don’t think beds get enough credit from the publishing industry. They are the IDEAL environments for reading, particularly for reading with your kids. Case in point: There’s a new start-up company in New York, Casper, which sells mattresses made of latex and memory foam – a friend has one and digs it. But the thing that I LOVE about this company that is they not only send you your bed, but, with each mattress, they send you a book to read IN your new bed. (And you can sign-up for email bedtime reading updates on their site too.) They KNOW that their mattresses have more than one use.

I think that’s genius. I mean, I know that’s ultimately just a marketing campaign, but it’s a GREAT ONE. Why don’t more people market books and beds together? Beds and books should always be seen as symbiotic entities. Yes, my kid reads everywhere — at the breakfast table, on the toilet, on a shelf in one of our closets that she calls her “reading nook.” Reading isn’t only for bedtime, BUT some of our best, most memorable reading moments have occurred in bed.

When I bought the final Harry Potter book the morning it was released, I retreated into our guest room, sprawled out on the bed, and only came out for bathroom breaks and to loudly annoy my wife with comments like “OH MY GOD, YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE WHO JUST DIED!” When I was first introducing our infant daughter to books, we started in our rocker next to the crib (which was intimate and amazing), but I still remember the day she got her first big-girl bed and I could finally squeeze into it with her and read a pile of our favorite picture books until I could feel her fall asleep on my right shoulder. (Her side of the bed is right, mine is left. No idea why, but we never deviate.)

My daughter has been introduced to Hogwarts, Narnia, Oz, and thousands of other precious literary landscapes in her little twin bed, with a hodgepodge pile of pillows behind us, her discounted Muppets sheets from Target below us, and her fire-engine red IKEA desk-lamp next to us, giving us just enough mood lighting to always try for “one chapter more.”

You’ll see a lot of talk online about the importance of creating safe reading spaces for kids and I couldn’t agree more. Kids needs places where they really feel comfortable to curl up with a good book and let themselves explore. But, personally, I think beds are often overlooked as reading spaces, which is a shame. Not only are beds comfortable – sometimes they’re too comfortable and you do more sleeping than reading (I get that criticism) – but they also represent these inviting, safe places, where we spend almost a quarter of our lives. We’re open in bed, we relax in bed, we let our guards down in bed.

Those are just a few of the reasons why bedtime reading with your kids is so important. It’s that symbiotic relationship between bed and books. Lying in bed can make you more open to the ideas, images, and emotions of a book, BUT the right book can also act as the perfect guide into a really restful night of sleep. The rhythms of reading are soothing – they can both expand your mind and relax it. Reading in bed can either give you a mental workout that knocks you out or it can give you a mental massage that lulls you into a deep, deep sleep. I will say that, without a doubt, my daughter always, ALWAYS sleeps better if we read to her before bed.

So, for International Children’s Book Day, here’s what I want you to do – Grab a children’s book, an old favorite, and read it in bed tonight. If you have kids, great. Revisit a classic with them and enjoy the togetherness. If you don’t have kids, no big deal. Find one of your childhood favorites and just try to lose yourself in the images and cadences and the memories of reading in your pajamas.

OH, and, if you are a parent, make sure that your kid has enough pillows, a good bed-side lamp, and a flashlight, so they can keep reading long after you told them to stop. (Some things are more important than sleep.)



Fair question. Here are a few of my favorite bedtime kids’ books. Some are soothing, some are beautiful, some are uproariously funny and actually wake your kid up, which sounds counter-productive (which it is), but it’s a whole lot of fun too… [read the rest of the post…]


Brightly: A Great New Resource for Raising a Reader

It takes a village to raise a reader (or, at the very least, a few good websites)…

If you follow the Building a Library Facebook page (and, if you don’t, you should!), you’ve probably seen me share quite a few links from a site called Brightly lately. It’s a new site from Penguin Random House that brings together book recommendations, seasonal inspirations, and helpful tips for parents who are taking an active interest in the reading lives of their children. Now, full disclosure, I’ve been writing a lot for Brightly lately, so, am I biased? Yes, I am. But, even with my bias, I definitely think you should check Brightly out.

It’s not just Penguin Random House recommending their own books. The site collects all kinds of book recommendations, from all kinds of publishers, and it has some really excellent contributors writing for it. And I don’t even mean me this time. OK, if you want to read my pieces for Brightly (bias!), here’s a selection of some of my recent articles for them:

Mystery-Solving Siblings: 5 Action-Packed Books for Kids
Why Should Dads Read With Their Kids? I’m Glad You Asked…
All the Presidents Books: Fantastic Kids’ Books About U.S. Presidents
5 Unconventional Love Stories for Kids
5 Books That Are Perfect for Your Junie B. Jones Fan
One Dad’s Reading Resolutions for the New Year
Why It’s Okay That Your Kids Want to Read Books You Hate
5 Legitimately Funny Books to Read Aloud with Your Kids

BUT I am proud to say that the site also has a bunch of really smart, thoughtful contributors who are much better writers than I am (which is both inspiring and vaguely annoying). Here are some of my favorite, not-written-by-me pieces:

6 Tips to Make Reading Fun, Not Frustrating
Why Parents of Teens Should Really Read YA
How to Encourage a Love of Books and Reading in Preschoolers
Get Them to the Shelves: Young Adult Books for Boys
Understanding the Common Core: A Primer for Parents
Ask the Librarians: What Should I Be Asking My Librarian?
The Importance of Reading Aloud to Big Kids

So, yeah, I’m biased, but I definitely think you should give Brightly a chance. It gathers a lot of truly engaging and interesting material for parents who are working their hardest to inspire a love of reading in their kids, which is something to be applauded. (And, if they employ me as well, that’s even more cause for applause…. I keed, I keed…)


How to Make Sure That Your Baby Shower Book Won’t Get Returned

Don’t follow the leader! Find a way to make your baby shower book stand out from the pack…

There was recently a post on Brightly (a site I’ve been writing for) that I really liked – “8 Baby Shower Books That Won’t Get Returned” by Janssen Bradshaw. Not only did it offer some great gift book suggestions, but it also got me thinking about the subtle politics that go into buying a friend a really great gift book for their baby shower. Because, let’s be frank, you WANT your book to be the favorite. You want your book to be the hit of the shower. And, more than anything, you don’t want your book to suffer that fate worse than death for a gift book – to be returned, with a stack of similar books, for (shudder) store credit.

So, how do you make sure that your baby shower book stands out from the pack? For starters, don’t buy anyone Goodnight Moon, Runaway Bunny, Guess How Much I Love You, or any other standard shower staple. Yes, they’re fantastic books, but they’re PREDICTABLE. Any bookish parent worth a damn is going to get ten copies of those titles from ten different people. They’re the baby shower equivalent of the letters Pat Sajak gives you as freebies during the final puzzle of Wheel of Fortune.

What other advice can I give you? After reading Bradshaw’s article, I took to Twitter the other day to list off some of my favorite tips for buying baby shower books. Some are no brainers, some are super-passive aggressive, and a few are borderline evil. But they should give you a decent idea of how to plan out your baby shower book purchase and ensure that your book finds a place of honor on their child’s bookshelf for years to come.


If you want any specific ideas for other superior shower books, here are a few suggestions I’ve had in the past:

Five Great Board Books That Aren’t Goodnight Moon or The Runaway Bunny
Building a Library for Friends: Great Starter Books for Your Best Friends’ Baby


[read the rest of the post…]


The Bedroom Companion and Dr. Seuss

This is NOT the new Dr. Seuss book you’ve been hearing about…

There was considerable hubbub this week about the discovery of a “lost” Dr. Seuss bookWhat Pet Should I Get? (scheduled for release on July 28) – and, while I’m all for more of Theodor Geisel’s linguistic mayhem being unleased onto the world, lately, I’ve been dealing with a very different sort of Dr. Seuss discovery. Because, while a new Seuss kid’ book is undeniably exciting, earlier this year, I discovered that Dr. Seuss occasionally worked “blue” – that’s right. Dr. Seuss used to pen risqué cartoons for our grandparents’ generation. And if that either a). grosses you out or b). blows your mind… join the club.

My unexpected discovery came after a friend of mine showed me some books he found in his grandparents’ basement (they’d recently passed away). He wasn’t sure if they were valuable or not and wanted to get my opinion. Our focus immediately turned to one of the titles — The Bedroom Companion or A Cold Night’s Entertainment (1935, Farrar & Rinehart), a book with the over-the-top subtitle “Being a Cure for Man’s Neuroses, A Sop to His Frustrations, A Nightcap of Forbidden Ballads, Discerning Pictures, Scurrilous Essays in Fine, A Steaming Bracer for The Forgotten Male.”

I will admit – our first reaction to the book was “Oh my god, did we just find your grandfather’s ‘secret’ stash?” However, upon flipping through the pages, The Bedroom Companion turned out to be a much more interesting (and less salacious) book than we’d originally thought. It was a “War Edition” of the book (produced “in accordance with paper conversation orders of the War Production Board”), and it’s a collection of bawdy essays, cartoons, and songs for men. (There are even instructions at the beginning, loudly declaring “Women Must Not Read This Book!”) It’s basically Maxim for the Greatest Generation.

The material inside is a weird mix. Some of it is surprisingly literate (almost academic to a fault), and some of it is surprisingly gross and sexist. (There are songs inside that no man, particularly not anyone’s grandparent, should ever, ever sing.) But the thing that REALLY caught our attention in the table of contents was the name DR. SEUSS. Apparently, Geisel contributed two cartoons to the collection and, while his cartoons are probably the least racy cartoons in the whole book, they’re also WAY more adult than anything I’d ever seen from the author of The Cat in the Hat.

Here’s the first (and probably most suggestive) cartoon:

The Bedroom Companion and Dr. Seuss

This is MUCH more racy than what I saw on Mulberry Street… (click to enlarge)

It’s… well… jeez… how do you talk about this cartoon without making a million bad Hop on Pop puns? For my part, beyond the vicarious thrill of watching one of my childhood idols tell a slightly dirty joke, I have to say that what really delights me is that, while this scene plays out, two unmistakably Seussian birds – that could’ve come right out of Horton Hears a Who — are sitting on that palm tree, watching the incident play out. [read the rest of the post…]


Every year, my wife and I have the same problem around Christmastime – “How many books are too many books?”  We’re lucky enough to have a kid that actually, honestly appreciates books as a gift (provided that there are other gifts as well), so she’s come to both expect and love the books she receives on Christmas morning. (Don’t believe me? Check this video out.)

Our only issue is making sure that we’re not overloading her with SO many books that she gets overwhelmed and the really good ones get lost in the crowd. So, this year, we tried to restrain ourselves, but… we still got her some very, very cool books. These are the ones we landed on and, if you somehow run into my daughter between now and the 25th (which would be super-weird), just play along and don’t spoil the surprise, OK? Here’s what we got her:

The Search for WondLa and A Hero for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

These were my daughter’s most requested books for the year. She’s a HUGE fan of Tony DiTerlizzi, a fantastic author and illustrator who (along with Holly Black) is responsible for The Spiderwick Chronicles, which are among my daughter’s favorite books of all time. AND we checked out The Search for WondLa from the library a few months ago and she LOVED IT. It’s a really cool, very engaging science fiction story about a resourceful girl named Eva Nine, who is raised in an underground sanctuary by a robot and eventually ventures out into the strange outside world. Eva is a great character and it’s a fun, classic quest with beautiful illustrations and, I realized later, it is one of the first sci-fi stories that my kid ever read all the way through. (They make a lot of fantasy for younger readers, but not a lot of science fiction.) She loved the first WondLa book and wanted to know where the story went, so now she’ll have her own copy of the first book along with the second chapter, A Hero for WondLa. I think she’ll adore them.


The Animal Book by Steve Jenkinsanimal

I’m excited about this one. We discovered The Animal Book at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor and my wife and I knew we were going to buy it immediately. Steve Jenkins makes some of the coolest nonfiction books I’ve ever seen. He’s a remarkable scientist and artist and his book Never Smile at a Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to Remember is one of the most read titles in our home library. This encyclopedic look at the “fastest, fiercest, toughest, cleverest, shyest, and most surprising animals on Earth” is BEAUTIFUL and I know my daughter will spent hours combing over every page.


Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan, illustrated by Nancy Carpenterqueen

I will be 100% honest with you – I have not read this book. But I can tell you why I bought it. First, my daughter LOVES weird true stories from history. She loves knowing about how President Taft got stuck in the bath, she loves hearing about Annie Taylor, the woman who went over Niagara Falls in a barrel, and, as such, I think she’ll love this true story about Queen Victoria’s real-life bathing machine, which allowed her to swim in sea water in private. The second reason I think she’ll love the book (and the main reason why this title caught my eye) is the fact that it was Nancy Carpenter who illustrated it – Carpenter illustrated two of my daughter’s most beloved picture books, 17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore and 11 Experiments That Failed. [read the rest of the post…]


I love the variety of book spines on my kid's bookshelf...

I love the variety of book spines on my kid’s bookshelf…

I’ve never been a big fan of lists like “50 Books Your Kid HAS to Read” or “The 100 Best Children’s Books OF ALL TIME.” Typically, they make my blood pressure spike, tossing me between joy (“Ooh, good pick!”) and rage (“No Sylvester and the Magic Pebble? Those Philistines!”), and I spend more time debating their selection criteria and omissions than enjoying their recommendations. That said, I do think there are certain TYPES of books that every kid should be exposed to, the kinds of books that truly introduce them to the best of what the written word has to offer.

Here are my (very subjective) picks for the EIGHT essential kinds of books that every kid should have in their home library:


Board books are more of a format than a literary genre, but their impact can be profound. They are the training wheels of literature. They can be given to crazy little toddlers and those ankle-biters can browse them, chew on them, do whatever they want with them, and those thick cardboard pages will ENDURE. They teach kids that books are there to stay AND they allow their chubby little fingers to perfect the art of the page flip, which is possibly the greatest technical innovation in the history of reading. (Sorry, eReaders, but you can’t compete with the awesome power of the perfectly-placed page turn.)


Our world has a ridiculously rich and involved cultural history and it would be a shame not to introduce your child to it at a young age. And I’m not just talking about Greek Myths, which, granted, can have a bit too much god/animal coupling for young readers. I’m talking about the stories, the BIG STORIES, that everyone in our world knows. The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Cinderella, Noah and the Flood, Scheherazade’s One Thousand and One Nights, stories of Anansi, King Arthur, Superman, and Strega Nona – the foundational stories. The stories that are referenced throughout every other story your kids will be reading for the rest of their lives. That foundation HAS to be laid somewhere and it should start at home.


Yes, you can’t expect that your child will have the exact same taste as you do, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to share your favorite books with your kid. At the very least, it will show them what it looks like when a book truly has a profound effect on a person, when a book is treasured and loved. And who knows? They may surprise you.


This may be hard to hear, but, if your kids love talking about farts, burps, and boogers, you should buy them some books about farts, burps, and boogers. That doesn’t mean that you should ONLY let them read about what they want, but, if you really want your child to enjoy reading, they have to know that their interests are represented in the books they read, even if those interests are completely incomprehensible.

Reading only one kind of book is boring...

Reading only one kind of book is boring…


I know a lot of adults who don’t enjoy reading poetry personally, but I can’t stress enough how powerful poetry can be for young readers. If normal prose is a Volvo, poetry is a Lamborghini – it takes language, floors the accelerator, and really shows you what words can do. Poets like Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein teach kids that, when assembled correctly, even in ways that don’t seem to make sense, words can make a person feel a ridiculously deep range of emotions, and kids LOVE THAT. [read the rest of the post…]


The Death Eaters are coming for you!

The Death Eaters are coming for you!

Two weeks ago, my daughter’s elementary school had their annual Fall Festival and I got talked into… I mean, I got the privilege of helping head up the haunted house. Actually, it’s called The Haunted Hallway because, basically, we have a few hours to transform two sections of school hallway into something that can creep out a K-6 audience. But WEEKS of planning happens before that short set-up time, particularly regarding the “theme” of the haunted house, which has to be both appropriate and interesting for elementary school kids. This year – and I couldn’t have been happier about this – the theme was HAUNTED HOGWARTS. That’s right. A Harry Potter Haunted House.

It made the kidlit/Potter-nerd in me completely geek out and it couldn’t have been more perfect because my daughter is currently reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. (She’s almost done. ______ _____ just died. She’s sad. We’re dealing with it.) Originally, we hit onto the idea because we thought that it would be really creepy to have Dementors going after the kids, but, after a few weeks of planning, we didn’t end up having Dementors at all. (The costume was tricky and we couldn’t figure out a good “Dementor Kiss” effect.)

Instead, the students entered a hallway in Hogwarts (complete with floating candles and talking pictures) where Professor McGonagall warned them that Voldemort and the Death Eaters were on the rise. Next, they went through a pitch-black Forbidden Forest, where they got whomped by parents in Whomping Willow costumes and almost got eaten by a giant spiders. They then moved onto Diagon Alley, getting harassed by goblins all the way, until they ended up in a graveyard where Voldemort and some masked Death Eaters were waiting for them. (I was a masked Death Eater who jumped out from behind a curtain, yelled “Avada Kedavra!”, and pointed my wand at them – which was really an air-compressor hose that loudly sprayed a stream of air at them, making the kids scream and run out the exit.)

It was a whole lot of fun and I’m proud of what we accomplished on a very small budget in a very small amount of time. Here are some pictures of our nerdy parents having DIY fun in J.K. Rowling’s world…

This was the first Hogwarts Hallway. Isn't that backdrop painting cool?

This was the first Hogwarts Hallway. Isn’t that backdrop painting cool?

Our very own Acromantula (i.e. big-*** spider)

Our very own Acromantula (i.e. big-*** spider)

Our homemade Diagon Alley...

Our homemade Diagon Alley…

... complete with creepy Kreacher-esque goblins (yes, I know Kreacher was a house-elf, but they're still creepy)

… complete with creepy Kreacher-esque goblins (yes, I know Kreacher was a house-elf, but they’re still creepy)

[read the rest of the post…]


rexhallow_0004Before I get started, let me say that I know that saying anything is the “best EVER” is one of the internet’s most heinous and frequent sins. Everything online has to be the greatest or the worst. People can’t disagree on the web — they either destroy their opponents or come off as an epic fail. Everything is heightened and over-the-top, which means that nothing is really heightened or over-the-top, so, when someone online tells you, “This is the best ever,” there’s no real reason why you should think that they’re talking about anything special. EXCEPT THIS TIME… because Adam Rex’s Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and its sequel, Frankenstein Takes the Cake, are seriously the best Halloween books for kids EVER.

If you haven’t been overwhelmed by incredulity yet, let me explain. Yes, I realize that people like sharing spooky books with kids around Halloween time and I love that. For younger kids, you can give them something clever (but safe) like The Wizard by Jack Prelutsky or Substitute Creacher by Chris Gall. (Both great.) For older kids, you can go classic like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving or modern classic like Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. (Super creepy.) But, for me, Halloween is really all about that sweet spot where unbridled fun and playful spookiness collide and I don’t know of any other kids’ titles that tap into that crazy tone overlap better than Rex’s Frankenstein books.franksandcover

For those unfamiliar, Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and Frankenstein Takes the Cake are two insanely creative illustrated poetry collections that utilize a breathtaking variety of art styles and rhyme schemes to tell short stories about some of the most famous monsters of all time – Dracula, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Wolfman, the Mummy, witches, yetis, zombies, Godzilla, and, of course, the titular Frankenstein.frankcakecover

If that sounds cool, yes, these are incredibly cool books, but you also need to know that the poems are FUNNY. The Frankenstein books are among the funniest kids’ books we own. Get a load of the titles of some of the poems: [read the rest of the post…]


Eric Wight’s Frankie Pickle Books

Pickles. Why’d it have to be pickles?

Early readers can be a tricky kids’ book genre. I’m not actually sure that’s the preferred term – sometimes they’re called early chapter books, beginning books, easy readers – but you’d know one when you saw it. They’re the books kids read in between picture books and chapter books. They’re the books that they cram into long, low shelves at the bookstore, because they’re usually series titles, so there’s a million of them, BUT they’re so damn thin, it’s almost IMPOSSIBLE to actually read their spines and find the title you’re looking for. (Am I alone in this?) When I think of an early reader, I think of titles like Junie B. Jones or My Weird School, and kids of a certain age LOVE THEM. They can be great gateway books into the world of chapter books, but, like in most kids’ genres, they can also be really, really mass-produced, lazy, and terrible.

So, when I see a truly superior example of an early reader, it stands out, which is one reason why I think the world of Eric Wight’s Frankie Pickle series.

There are only three books in the series – Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom, Frankie Pickle and the Pine Run 3000, and Frankie Pickle and the Mathematical Menace – and, man, I wish there were more.

The concept is familiar. There’s a kid, Frankie Pickle, who has an overactive imagination, and, while doing rather mundane tasks (cleaning his room, building a model car, taking a math quiz), he imagines himself as a hero on fantastic adventures that have some nice thematic ties to what he’s doing in the real world. I’m going to say something that might sound like an insult, but, if you’re a true child of the 1980s, you’ll know that I mean this as a high compliment – the tone of the Frankie Pickle series reminds me of The Muppet Babies. (One of the best Saturday morning cartoons EVER.)

But two things really help distinguish Frankie Pickle from its competition: words and images. First, regarding the words, Wight is a very clever writer with a good ear for dialogue and the kinds of fun alliteration and nonsense language that new readers really love encountering. The stories aren’t anything groundbreaking, but they’re short, sweet, and very well-told. When my daughter reads a Frankie Pickle book to herself, she laughs. Even just saying the name of Frankie’s family – the Piccolini family – tickles her funny bone and Wight does a nice job of making the text quick and interesting without making it difficult for newer readers to digest.

However, while the stories are fast and fun, I have to admit, for me, the real draw of the Frankie Pickle books are the images. Let me just put this out there – The three Frankie Pickle titles are the BEST-LOOKING early readers I’ve EVER seen. They’re gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.Eric Wight’s Frankie Pickle Books

Wight is a beyond-talented illustrator and each Frankie Pickle book is ingeniously designed as a hybrid between a typical early reader and a comic book. The effect is that each title feels vividly alive. Wight’s artwork pulls readers through each page and, suddenly, they’re rewarded with Frankie’s flights of fancy brought to life in expertly rendered comic book panels. And can I just say – as a longtime comic book fan, I am a big, big kids’ book art snob. I can be extremely critical of the illustrations in my daughter’s books, particularly in the early readers, where, so often, the art feels like an afterthought. [read the rest of the post…]