"Today the greatest challenge in publishing is distribution and discoverability. As a result, sites like [PictureBooksReview] are more important than ever to discerning readers, new authors and independent publishers."
-Steve Floyd, chief executive officer of August House books

"The interview is so amazing! I appreciate you picking up on all these aspects of what I've been doing. It's always great to talk with someone who understands what goes into these things."

- Jose Lucio, self-published author of Heave Ho!


On Being a Cybils Judge. (Also, I just realized my blog is one big misnomer)

Based on the merit of this blog - one supposes - I was recently chosen to serve as a judge for the 2011 Cybils Award. What, you doubt me? Read the announcement.

Cybils is a sort-of acronym for Children's and Young adult Bloggers' (I?) Literary awardS. Looks like they've been around since at least 2006. I'm not certain what the exact procedure is for judging, but it should be fun! And I think I might get some free books out of the deal, to boot.

One thing that occurred to me, though, as I contemplate being a judge, is that even though the word "review" is in the title of this blog, I don't actually review picture books. I just talk about them. For example, you'll never see me giving advice as to whether or not a particular book is appropriate for your three year-old, or what books I would recommend for a six year-old girl obsessed with princesses and ice hockey. Far, far, far be it from me to ever weigh-in on how frightenin' or highfalutin' a text is.

The story is the story.

That's what I'm interested in: stories. I like to read them, I like to think about them, and I like this idea of indexing them according to various types. I like having Chinese folktales together, and I like doing a series on Zen Buddhism. If, when reading what I've written, you decide a book sounds just right for your five year old, then terrific. I hope you buy it from your local, independent bookstore, and I hope your five year likes it.

My main hope, though, would be if this blog just got you thinking a little more about stories and storytelling, not just as colorful entertainment, but as something deeper and more meaningful. There are stories in here which represent Truth for a culture not your own. Some are stories you've heard before, but forgotten. As I keep doing this, and as the index grows, I hope this becomes more apparent.

So, it will be a different hat for me to actually judge a book on its merits, rather than just thinking about it as a story, but it should be interesting! I'm a big fan of picture books - obviously - so anything to get them in the limelight and in people's hands, so much the better! I'll keep you informed of the progress!


  1. I love picture books, too! Glad I found you. Congrats on being a Cybils judge, too!

  2. Thanks very much - glad to meet you!


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