Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Meet the author of Valentino Finds a Home, and our unlikely hero, Valentino!

Visit us at the Parents as Teachers conference in St. Louis, Missouri (November 7-9, 2012). The Conference will be held at St. Louis Union Station Hotel (Double Tree by Hilton), and Star Bright Books’ booth is #33.
            As publishers who devote ourselves to early childhood literacy, Parents as Teachers conference has always been important to us, but this time we are even more excited.
            At the conference, we will host a book signing for Valentino Finds a Home, a picture book about a little guinea pig’s unlikely adventures as he searches for a home. You know, ValentinoFinds a Home has been a hidden gem, known only to people who are fortunate enough to read it. 

Come and see us. You will meet the ever fun-loving Andy, and Valentino, the full-of-life guinea pig. You will get not only Andy’s autograph on your copy of Valentino finds a Home, but also Valentino’s autograph. How? You will see! 
Thursday, November 8, 2012     2:30-3:15 PM
at Star Bright Books booth #33 

(Disclosure: Andy and Valentino along with Valentino’s roommate Louis were at a local library near where they live for a book signing. Andy told us that Valentino behaved really well and LOVED all the attention! Even 'whoop whooped' when asked. I think he knew that he owned the event.)

We hope to see you all at the Parents as Teachers conference. If you are around, drop by and say hello to Deborah, Mary, Andy, and of course Valentino. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Buildings Through Our Eyes

Click the picture to see inside
Buildings Through Our Eyes is a work of collaboration inspired by Isabel Hill’s Building Stories and Urban Animals. Guided by the author herself and encouraged by their teacher and Behind the Book staff (the organization behind this project), the young readers, a group of second graders from CS21 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, became writers and photographers on their own terms. They brought the neighborhood’ buildings to life in Buildings Through Our Eyes, the most creative form of a reading experience that comes alive.

Over a four-week period, they read Building Stories and Urban Animals; learned the names and functions of the basic elements of a building as well as the stories behind them. Then, with the author Isabel Hill, they walked through their school’s neighborhood in Brooklyn, exploring the architectural richness of the familiar streets. Familiar, yet so much to see, so much to discover, so much to wonder about.

They looked up high above them at brackets and medallions; their hands touched reliefs and stoops to study the materials. They took photographs of the elements that interested them most and wrote down what they saw, what they learned. One student told about a stoop that reminded him of the one at his grandmother’s house; another found a relief that looked like someone’s spine. They were photographers in their own right, writers in their own way.

We congratulate everyone who worked hard in creating this wonderful book - our own Isabel Hill; Behind the Book; the children’s second grade teacher; and the children themselves, authors-photographers, for their collaboration and their sparkling curiosity.

About Behind the Book: Behind the Book's mission is to motivate young people to become engaged readers by connecting them to contemporary writers and illustrators. They bring authors and their books into individual classrooms to build literacy skills, and create a community of life-long readers and writers. Visit their website, 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cradle Me, Book of the Week

Another happy news about Cradle Me by Debbie Slier!
Cradle Me has been selected as Book of the Week by Cooperative Children's Book Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since its publication this spring, we have heard many wonderful things about the book and received great reviews including ones from Debbie Reese and Elizabeth Bird. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. They always inspire us to devote(!) ourselves to bringing out joyous and meaningful works to our readers.
Please visit CCBC's web page. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cradle Me - review by Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird has written a rave review for "Cradle Me" and includes, "My Face Book" and "Babies,Babies" as well. "Cradle Me by Debby Slier – Finally, a face book. Star Bright Books has done a heckuva job with diversity in their board books lately. Last year’s My Face Book was particularly well done, showing a child with down syndrome amongst all the other kids. And Babies, Babies! by Debby Slier is unique because without making a big point about it, all the children in this book are African-American. Cradle Me is one of the more interesting titles, featuring different tribes of Native American babies with their own distinct cradle boards. One of these babies could be seen in the previously published board book Global Babies where she looked particularly grumpy. She’s not much cheerier here and indeed most of the babies in the book seem kinda dour at first. That’s probably a lot to do with how young they are. The back of the book explains each tribe that each child is from, which was good. More to the point, the small fry in my household is gaga over this book. She’ll read it on her own if you hand it to her and that, as far as I’m concerned, is the mark of a good book. Best of all, it has the Debbie Reese seal of approval." Thank you, Elizabeth!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Face Book selected one of the Best Books for Babies 2012!

A dad carrying a baby on his front was slowing down when he passed by our booth. I was standing right there, and exchanged a cheerful good morning with the baby. She seemed to be excited to see a lot of books, so I grabbed a copy of “My Face Book,” and showed the pages to her. Excited, the baby’s little arms were flapping like a bird’s wings, so too, her little legs were flailing. I could tell that she was so delighted to see all the babies’ faces, and (imagine) her saying to the babies in the book, “nice to meet you! What a charming person you are!”
I often look into this book. So precious, these faces inspire you to promote world peace (really, I felt that way!).
I am very pleased to tell you that “My Face Book” was selected as one of the Best Books for Babies 2012! The selection committee said:
“Crisp clear photographs of babies—smiling, frowning, yawning, silly and serious—are sure to capture the attention of young listeners who’ll likely return again and again to study the delightfully diverse faces found in this slim board book.”
Haven’t seen the book yet? Don’t miss it. I know you and your little ones will just fall in love with these babies.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


What are we about?

We’re bringing together people who share our love of reading to help us get books in the hands of kids who need them most. The movement recognizes the incredible effect books can have on a child’s imagination, sparking ambition, overcoming obstacles and inspiring curious minds.

RIF, the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, delivers free books and literacy resources to kids who need them most. For many of the kids RIF serves, their RIF books are their only books. They are the books that fill their hungry minds and nourish their future successes – in school and life. Since RIF’s establishment in 1966, we’ve provided 35 million kids with 400 million new, free books. Today, there are 16 million kids living in poverty in the U.S. To reach them, RIF needs you. Book People Unite.

The nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, the Library of Congress seeks to spark imagination and creativity, and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Founded in 1800, the Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site, in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill, and through its award-winning website at The Library of Congress is the home of the Center for the Book, a major national force for reading and literacy promotion, and sponsor of the award-winning

Reading lovers are coming together to help us get books into the hands of kids who need them the most. Remember visiting Narnia, playing Jumanji, and eating Green Eggs and Ham? Books can have an incredible effect on children’s lives, yet there’s only one book for every 300 kids living in underserved communities in the U.S. So we’ve brought together some of our most beloved literary characters to help make this film and rally Book People for the cause.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Another Great Review of CRADLE ME!!!

Thank you Debbie Reese, you can view her blog here:

CRADLE ME by Debbie Slier

It is impossible for me not to have positive feelings when I look at the faces of babies. Debby Slier's Cradle Me had me happily gazing at the faces of babies from eleven different tribal nations in their cradle boards.

Inside are babies in their cradleboards, smiling, frowning, peeking, touching, crying, yawning, thinking, looking, sleepy, and sleeping. Beneath each of those words is a line for a parent/librarian/teacher to write that word in--perhaps--the Native language of the child the book is being used with. It is a powerful book because the images are photos, not drawings, and because Slier included a two-page spread that specifies each baby's tribal nation.

When you use the book, make sure you use present tense verbs! I recommend it and think you'll enjoy it, too. (Note, 3/2/2012: Cradle Me is published by Star Bright Books.)

Who is Debbie Reese?

A founding member of the Native American House and American Indian Studies program at the University of Illinois. she is on the Literature Advisory Board for Reading is Fundamental and the Advisory Board for Reach Out and Read American Indian/Alaska Native.

First Peoples listed her site as one of the Top Five Native Blogs and Podcast to follow. School Library Journal's Elizabeth Burns featured her site as her Blog of the Day on July 2, 2007, and in 2007, the ALA's Association for Library Service to Children invited her to write a blog post for their site.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Announcing the Dedication of the RIF, Reading Is Fundamental, 2011/2012 Multi Cultural Collection at the Library Of Congress, February 8th, 2012

Star Bright Books; is pleased to announce that Anna and Natalie, by Barbara H. Cole, has been selected to be included in the 2011/2012 RIF Multi Cultural Collection. The collection features myriad cultures through the theme "celebration". RIF, Reading Is Fundamental, will be holding a special event at the Library of Congress’ Young Readers Center on Wednesday, February 8th at 10:00 am in celebration of the Multicultural Collection. It will involve a moderated author panel and a celebratory dedication of the Collection to the Library of Congress by Margaret McNamara Pastor, the daughter of RIF’s Founder.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Isabel reads Building Stories at Green Light Bookstore, Brooklyn

Come to Story Time at Green Light Bookstore.
The fabulous Isabel Hill reads her super fun Building Stories.
She can tell, she can show how to see, how to read buildings.
Sure, like a story book, buildings have stories.
Did you know why the front of the YMCA building has a stone carved ship?
(Years ago, only sailors could stay there, you will learn)
What about the one with a monkey family, a roaring lion and an elegant elephant?
(Right, that's the fantastic Bronx Zoo!)
Come to Story Time at Green Light Bookstore.
You will discover that buildings are like us;
they will tell you who they were, who they are.
Listen carefully, and look carefully,
because just like us,
some are wild, others are very shy.

Brooklyn-based author, photographer, architectural historian, Isabel Hill presents her new picture book, Building Stories, a rich collection of photographs and facts, all told in rhyming verse to delight young readers.
Feb 4 2012 11:00 am
Green Light Bookstore
686 Fulton Street 
(at South Portland)
, Brooklyn, NY

Monday, January 9, 2012

Small Medium Large, “a creative concept-teaching picture book”

From the December issue of the Midwest Book Review Children's Bookwatch:
"Small Medium Large is a creative concept-teaching picture book with brilliant graphics and colorful characters named (and sized appropriately) Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, Huge, Enormous and Teeny Weeny, Itty-bitty, Minuscule, and more. Tackling relative size concepts and basic adding (math) skills, Small Medium Large uses color, size, even print and page size to convey fun combined with comparisons and math to equal a fabulous teaching book for children age 3 and up! The final double gatefold illustration adds excitement and action to this fun package, making it irresistible.”

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Witches, "message of inclusiveness triumphantly embedded"

Since its publication last summer, Witches has gotten a wave of praise from review media and readers like you. In the November issue, the Midwest Book Review Children's Bookwatch selected it in its Holiday Bookshelf, calling it "an exciting, colorful, Halloween tale in verse, with a tiny but definite message of inclusiveness triumphantly embedded in both text and illustration."

Here is the full review from the Midwest Book Review.
"Capering, rollicking young witches in masks prepare for a spooky night of entertainment. First they make a disgusting gooey, concoction which all must taste. Then they clean up and prepare to go trick or treating outdoors in the dark and spooky night. Amidst all the fun, masks, costumes, candy, and celebration is one small witch with braces on her legs and adaptive cuff crutches to help her walk independently. She joins in the fun and later on the walk for treats outside she is seen in the background being pushed in a nice wheelchair. No special attention is paid to this particular witch, she is simply included in the festivities. Meanwhile the Halloween verse tale follows an enchanted path to a happy evening of festive fun for youngsters. Witches is sure to appeal to children age 4 and up, and to adults who will be pleased at its thoughtful, unassuming content.”

Of course, you don't have to wait until Halloween to pick up this charming book. A six years old blogger from the blog Mother Daughter Reading Team has just read this book and wrote "I really liked it because it was about Halloween and it was fun because it was about witches." See? Oh, by the way, this little blogger is quite articulate: "I had no idea the witches were kids going trick or treating I thought they were real witches and it was silly because they were really just kids in costumes!" Now I know better why children love this book so much. It's a lovely and refreshing review by an articulate little book lover. See more what she (and her mother) says about the book at Mother Daughter Reading Team.