book buzzin’

Yes, we’re mostly about food-related books here at Alphabet Soup, but that doesn’t mean we don’t ooh and ahh over other titles — especially those written and/or illustrated by folks we know and love. Here are some recent and upcoming releases we just had to tell you about:

THE NUTS AND BOLTS GUIDE TO WRITING PICTURE BOOKS by Linda Ashman.  “Have an idea for a picture book? Already working on one? This 150-page handbook offers instruction, advice, exercises, resources, encouragement and more to turn your idea or work-in-progress into a ready-to-submit manuscript. It also includes interviews with leading children’s book editors and industry professionals who provide insights and advice from their side of the desk.”

This one’s a beauty — nine chapters worth of clearly presented, insightful, practical writing advice drawn from Linda’s many years as an author, poet, writing teacher, critiquer, reading advocate, and lover of children’s literature. It’s like having a friendly writing coach by your side as you try to whip your manuscripts into shape. I especially like her chapters about writing humor and experimenting with form. The Guide is currently available for sale as a PDF via Linda’s website, and will be available soon in an ePub version for e-readers.

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MY BLUE IS HAPPY by Jessica Young and Catia Chien (Candlewick, 2013). We always go a little crazy over debut picture books, so a big Huzzah to Jessica! Officially released on August 6th, this book challenges commonly held assumptions about colors and celebrates individual perspective. Is red always angry? Is pink pretty or annoying? Colors are closely associated with emotion, and it’s fascinating to explore the different ways we experience them. Is your orange “fun like a bouncing basketball” — or “serious like a warning sign and a tiger on the prowl”? What a great primer for creative thinking! To learn more about chocolate-lovin’ art teacher/Nashville resident Jessica and her wonderful book, check out this most excellent interview.

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