You Read to Me, I'll Read to You

Did you know that April is Poetry Month? I’ve been celebrating with extra poetry reading —including, naturally, picturebooks. Because my favorite picturebook texts are always lyrical, layered, and — rhyming or not — poems...

Read the rest in my recently mailed eNewsletter — here.*

 " Brother " © Mary Ann & Norman Hoberman 1959, from Hello and Goodbye, Little, Brown & Co.

"Brother" © Mary Ann & Norman Hoberman 1959, from Hello and Goodbye, Little, Brown & Co.

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The Original Art

I am honored that art from my latest book, This House, Once, is included in The Original Art — an annual exhibit "celebrating the fine art of children’s book illustration" at the Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, New York, now on display until December 30, 2017.

Founded in 1980 by illustrators’ agent and art director Dilys Evans, this exhibit showcases the original art from the year’s best children’s books. The 2017 exhibit features a diverse list of books selected by a jury of outstanding illustrators, art directors, and editors...

Some of my favorite illustrators working today will have art from their beautiful books represented here — if you are in NYC, do swing by!

 From  This House, Once , ©Deborah Freedman 2017

From This House, Once, ©Deborah Freedman 2017

The Power of the Picture Book

In honor of Picture Book Month, teacher Kurt Stroh is hosting on his blog a wonderful series called "The Power of the Picture Book," through the whole month of November. I'm so pleased that he invited me to join in today — take a look at the whole series and my contribution, "The Secret of It". At www.strohreads.

 From  The Little Island , by Golden MacDonald and Leonard Weisgard, 1946.

From The Little Island, by Golden MacDonald and Leonard Weisgard, 1946.

This House Was Once Paper...

I always have fun drawing and painting with children at schools, libraries, bookstores & festivals... whether splashing blue paint á la Blue Chicken, or simply drawing and making up stories.

Since This House, Once was released, we have been making "houses" together, and I thought I'd share this little project because it is engaging and so super-simple (and not messy!). We just fold paper or card stock in half, cut and fold a door — and then kids can draw, color, decorate inside and out. For the littlest house-makers, you can do the cutting and folding.

Take a look at these houses — and then try it!

Back to School


It’s that time of year again — my books are going back to school.
What will the new school year bring? ...

Read the rest in my latest eNewsletter — here. And be sure to scroll all the way down, for a special offer for my eNews subscribers!


Chatting about This House, Once

In anticipation of the publication of This House Once, I had the honor of chatting recently with two wonderful picturebook friends about my newest book. We talked about things like inspiration, making one's home an art-friendly environment, and if I weren't writing books, what would I be doing? You can read those interviews here:

 ©Deborah Freedman 2017,  This House, Once , Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

©Deborah Freedman 2017, This House, Once, Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

The World Through Blue-Tinted Eyeballs

February 18th was World Read Aloud Day. What fun! I Skyped with eleven school all around the U.S. Here's a class whose teachers prepared for our visit by looking at the world through blue-tinted eyes... inspired by Penguin Young Readers' "Educator's Guide to the Works of Deborah Freedman". 

 Many thanks for this image, to  Stephanie McCreary  and  Allison Stout  of  Pattonville Schools  in Missouri!

Many thanks for this image, to Stephanie McCreary and Allison Stout of Pattonville Schools in Missouri!

Let's Talk SHY

I chatted this week with the lovely Mel Schuit about my latest book, Shy, on her blog Let's Talk Picture Books

I've made no secret about how much I love Deborah Freedman's latest picture book Shy. In fact, I might be a little TOO excited about it: I've talked about it here on Let's Talk Picture Books, as well as on Instagram, Twitter, and everywhere else people will let me stand on a soap box and rave about it. 

And now I get to share her process with you!!

You can read the rest of the interview here. Thanks, Mel!

Reading, Shyly

"Shy was happiest between the pages of a book... "

Shy's favorites were books about birds. But what else might the title character of my newest book, SHY, like to read? Do you have any suggestions? Here are a of few my top-pick books about shyness:

Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty. “Jeremy lived on the top floor of a three-story apartment building… He never left. He never went outside.” Until one day, when he decides to draw a monster — which, humorously, threatens to take over Jeremy’s life. This is a deceptively simple book, in which the text and gently witty illustrations leave plenty of space for readers to discover an unspoken connection between shyness and imagination.

Amandina by Sergio Ruzzier. “Amandina was a wonderful little dog… But nobody knew that, because nobody knew Amandina.” Then one evening, this quiet actress, singer, and acrobat “promised herself that she would stop being so shy.” And that is when Amandina bravely attempts to connect through her art, and along the way, she helps us to understand how touching even one, small creature can open up a whole world. 


Shy Charles by Rosemary Wells. Pity the poor child whose parents are as unsympathetic as Charles’s.  Or admire Charles, who resolutely refuses to change in spite of them, and by the end of the book has taught the adults around him something that young readers have probably already intuited: he was strong all along.

The Boys by Jeff Newman. In this wordless book, a boy is too shy to approach kids playing ball in his new neighborhood. So instead, he sits down on a park bench with a bunch of old timers. He goes back day after day, humorously turning into one of them — trading his cap for slicked back hair and a derby hat, his shorts for plaid pants and bowtie, his baseball bat for a walking stick — until one day, when they aren’t there. Then, in a neat and sweet bit of role-reversal, the oldsters wisely teach one youngster how to be a proper whippersnapper. Simple, expressive, and subtly affecting.

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo. One reading friend has suggested that the character Raymie Clarke might like my new book, SHY. Naturally, I'm ridiculously flattered by this suggestion, although I don't know how Raymie would feel about it. But I do know this: if given the chance, Shy would love her — and Kate DiCamillo — right back.