The Green Umbrella


by Jackie Azúa Kramer and Maral Sassouni (NorthSouth, 2016)

Here’s a gorgeous book that’s got it all. Beautiful language, lovely pictures, and a story that is rich in both originality and familiarity. It’s out early next month, and I’m so excited to bring you this sneak peek today.

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An umbrella. An ordinary thing. But this particular umbrella has been around the block and had many adventures with other animals. It is, then, something that belongs to everyone. An ordinary thing with an extraordinary job.


Here’s a note from illustrator Maral Sassouni about her process for this book:

My work is mixed media, a hybrid of traditional and digital methods. Specifically, the images are a mélange of cut paper collage and painting, with oil paint, acrylics, and inks. The characters are generally created separately, like little paper puppets, which I then glue to the painted setting, along with any foreground elements. I use Photoshop (when necessary) to digitally assemble hand-made collage elements and occasionally add some sparkle and glow where needed.


Sparkle and glow! Isn’t it lovely?  1mice-cover3-h700 1sq-mouse3-hand-r-skb 1sq-elephant3-treetop 1sq-cat10-palette9-tilt-v2 1hedgi5-hand-vgd 1hedgeboat3-BEST-c


Big thanks to NorthSouth and Maral Sassouni for the images in this post.

Fox’s Garden

Fox's Garden by Princesse Camcam

by Princesse Camcam (Enchanted Lion, 2014)

It’s hot in Los Angeles. Like, super really really hot. That’s why this book is an especially welcome reprieve. A book with snow in it? Please. A book with cool blues and winter scenes? Yes.

This is Fox’s Garden.

It’s a lovely little book.


The Little Yellow Leaf

The Little Yellow Leaf by the amazing Carin Berger has been a favorite for a while. A few springs ago, I decided I was going to read through the EASY section of the Burbank Public Library. I think I got to C before I dumped that resolution. Good thing Carin Berger is a B.

It was autumn.

One solitary leaf clings to the edge of his dear and comfortable branch, afraid to let go and drift into the fall air. He’s just not ready. And so he stays, through the fall harvest and the bleak winter. Eventually, with the gentle nudge of a trusted friend, our steadfast little yellow leaf soars.


Texture is an absolute standout in this book. Carin Berger creates intricate art out of cut paper, cobbling and collaging rich, tactile, and inviting illustrations.

{Check out this interview with the artist. Fascinating!}

Ordinary items {ticket stubs, an ancient water bill, and graph paper} transform into something entirely different, and entirely stunning. This method of creating art is not unlike the journey on which this little yellow leaf embarks, right? Just a leaf. Just figuring out the world.

A goal of texture in graphic design is to create a mood and to enhance the depth and richness of a piece.

This book would look entirely different without such precise attention to creating texture, to setting a scene, and to evoking emotion.

So lovely, so quiet. {Who am I?!} Worth a million reads.