Author Archives: carterhiggins

The Skunk

by Mac Barnett and Patrick McDonnell (Roaring Brook Press, 2015) The Skunk is a book I’ve been wanting for ages but I had no idea that I was. I’m going to spoil this podcast interview for you, and you should still listen to it anyway, but when asked where he got the idea for this book, […]

The Slant Book

by Peter Newell (Tuttle Publishing, 2001; originally published in 1910) This book hopped back on my radar during my 2014 visit to the NYPL’s exhibit, The ABCs of it: Why Children’s Books Matter. (Check out the second to last picture in that post for cold, hard proof.) It’s strange and silly and a playful use of […]

Summer Reading 2015

How about some summer reading lists? I made these for school, and the caveat is that books are for whoever wants to read them, so take the age ranges with a grain or two of salt. These were books we’ve loved over the year, and ones I think they would like based on our billions […]


by Jo Empson (Child’s Play, 2012) Here’s a book that’s deceptively simple in text, in color, in motion. An average rabbit, doing average rabbity things. White space, dark spot illustrations. Calm and steady. But then. The page turn is the miraculous pacing tool for the picture book, and this one is a masterpiece. Swiftly, from the […]

Architecture According to Pigeons

by Stella Gurney and Natsko Seki (Phaidon, 2013) Do kids’ books have room for one more smart pigeon? You’ll be glad you let this one in, because Speck Lee Tailfeather is another flier with a healthy confidence and a chatty nature. Speck’s mission is world travel, focusing on buildings from a bird’s point of view. He sees things differently. His words are […]

Everything Under a Mushroom

by Ruth Krauss and Margot Tomes (Four Winds Press, 1973) I’m not a real wild-and-crazy kind of person. Last Saturday I took a Pilates class at 3:30, and the teacher said it’s always such a weird time because most people like to spend their afternoons at the beach or the ballpark. Or perhaps they have to get […]

A Lion in Paris

by Beatrice Alemagna (Tate, 2014) First of all. This book opens the wrong way. I mean, it’s completely right, but it is unusual in all of the most wonderful ways. Also, it’s huge. It’s the size of a cookie sheet or a throw pillow, which is also unusual in all of the most wonderful ways. After […]

Beastly Verse

by JooHee Yoon (Enchanted Lion, 2015) (click to enlarge) This book is something. A mashup of poetry and pictures, washes of color and words. (click to enlarge; this is an example of a spread that folds out to reveal an entirely new and more expansive illustration.) Some thoughts from JooHee on the art and creation […]

Once Upon a Cloud

by Claire Keane (Dial Books, 2015) Here’s one to hand to any kid that still can’t get enough of Frozen. And when you do, give them a little wink-nudge that this book’s creator worked on what Elsa and Anna’s world looked like. And she worked on Tangled. And then they will see the lush purple […]

Blog Tour: The Water and the Wild

by K.E. Ormsbee, illustrated by Elsa Mora (Chronicle Books, 2015) From the publisher: A green apple tree grows in the heart of Thirsby Square, and tangled up in its magical roots is the story of Lottie Fiske. For as long as Lottie can remember, the only people who seem to care about her are her best […]