by Amy Wang The Oregonian/OregonLive, February 04, 2022
It takes just a few minutes to read a picture book — but it can take years, from original idea to final publication, to bring one into the world.
So when the pandemic shut down bookstore readings, library storytimes and school visits, the authors whose picture books came out after March 2020 found their new releases suddenly wandering in a void.
Stephanie Shaw, a children’s author in Oregon, told The Oregonian/OregonLive, “Publishers generously allowed teachers to read books to virtual classrooms. Some authors provided Zoom events. But the first really falls short of having direct contact with students. And, bookstores who offered Zoom events soon discovered that kids were screen fatigued and unlikely to tune in.”
Many bookstores are still holding off on in-person events, especially for children younger than 5, who can’t yet receive COVID-19 vaccines. Ditto for libraries.
So here’s a look at 10 new and recent picture books [Ed note: We’ve excerpted; click here for the full article] by Oregon authors and illustrators that you might have missed.
Amah Faraway by Margaret Chiu Greanias [illustrated by Tracy Subisak]
This picture book will resonate for any family with distant loved ones. When California-raised Kylie and her mom visit Grandma (Amah) in Taiwan, Kylie is initially not sure at all about the unfamiliar foods and customs she encounters there. Portland illustrator Tracy Subisak’s watercolors are perfectly evocative of Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city.
Can a Rock Grow? by Audrey Sauble
Oregon author-illustrator Audrey Sauble began writing science and nature picture books to answer her daughter’s questions. Her latest offers a fun introduction to geology by examining natural forces that act upon rocks as well as the various types of rocks. Clear, detailed illustrations complement the text. (Inside tip: Look for the snail hidden on every page.)
Friends Are Friends, Forever by Dane Liu [illustrated by Lynn Scurfield]
Two Lunar New Year celebrations, thousands of miles apart, bookend Portland author Dane Liu’s autobiographical tale of a girl who must say goodbye to her best friend in China and then copes with loneliness in the United States before finally making a new friend. Lynn Scurfield’s dynamic illustrations capture the energy of childhood.
Lucy’s Blooms by Dawn Babb Prochovnic [illustrated byAlice Brereton]
In this grandmother-granddaughter story from Portland author Dawn Babb Prochovnic, little Lucy takes up gardening with relish, eager to win a flower contest. When the judges see her precious plants differently than she does, she wilts — but only for a moment. Alice Brereton provides delightfully vivid and expressive illustrations.
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Click here for the full list!