Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sneak Peak of Grandma is a Slowpoke

Here's a sneak-peak of our February 2016 title, Grandma is a Slowpoke that has already been reviewed by Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Review

        Written by Janet Halfmann and illustrated by Michele Coxon, Grandma is a Slowpoke is a simple story that delivers a joyous message to young readers- to pause, stop and be present with the creatures around us. Janet Halfmann’s delightful story encourages children to observe nature. Michele Coxon’s exceptionally fine illustrations bring life to the creatures on each page, and make the animals so endearing.

“Halfmann gracefully delivers a message about living in the moment, while closing details about the animals that appear should intrigue wildlife enthusiasts.”
   -Publishers Weekly, Dec. 2015

“Halfmann’s nature walk from a child’s perspective is spot-on, neatly capturing the grandparent-grandchild dynamic….. A sweet celebration of intergenerational slowpokery.” 
- Kirkus Review, Dec. 2015 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November is Native American Heritage Month!

Cradle Me, written by Debby Slier celebrates Native American families and shows how they carry their babies. It also encourages caregivers to teach children to say the words in their own languages.

“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.” – Debbie Reese (American Indians in Children Literature)

In Loving Me, also written by Debby Slier, babies and toddlers will discover the importance of family relationships through the charming photographs of Native American families.

Cradle Me and Loving Me are available in Navajo English

Monday, October 26, 2015

Laundry Time Turned Reading Time!

It’s always nice when we see our books being shared! Too Small to Fail, an early literacy initiative of the Clinton Foundation posted a video that shows children reading Red Socks (by Ellen Mayer, illustrated by Ying-Hwa Hu) and having fun together in an unusual place, a laundromat! This initiative turns an everyday task such as a trip to the Laundromat to help lay a strong foundation for lifelong learning that turns laundry time into reading time. This initiative will equip 5,000 laundromats in underserved communities with resources for families to engage in language-rich activities. Make sure to check out the video to learn more! Our fabulous illustrator, Ying-Hwa visited the laundromat and had a fun time reading Red Socks to children.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Story Time with Michael Gervais

On October 17, Greenlight Bookstore, an independent bookstore in Brooklyn, NY, hosted an interactive story time with local author Michael Gervais. Gervais read aloud from his book, The Barefoot Champion, as an attentive audience listened. In The Barefoot Champion, a young boy in Harlem has a brand new pair of Black and Red Double Dunks sneakers, seeing his future as an NBA star. 

After the reading, children were able to draw what they would want for their very own All-Star shoes. This book inspires youthful dreams as seen by the drawings at the event.

Thank you, Greenlight Bookstore for hosting Michael Gervais’s reading of The Barefoot Champion!

How Constance Anderson’s book Smelling Sunshine supports California’s new law, Right to Dry

In Smelling Sunshine Anderson illustrates how clothes are being hung to dry in the breeze and sunshine around the world and how children everywhere revel in the fun of helping with the laundry.

Yet how many of us know that in many states across the county hanging clothes outside to dry is “illegal”? “Unsightly,” that is one of the reasons it is banned. But things are changing. The Governor of California has signed the bill to prohibit banning drying laundry outside and California becomes a “Right to Dry” state, where the very smell of the sun that inspired Anderson to create Smelling Sunshine.

Although Anderson says she claims no responsibility for the new law, her book, Smelling Sunshine is certainly an inspiration to many people to look at drying laundry differently and reminding them how enjoyable and communal it can be. Let alone saving energy.

We remember when we first received Anderson’s drawings of Smelling Sunshine, how extraordinarily beautiful it was that captures one of the most ordinary chores in our daily life, that is somehow lost in the electronic driven, over developed world we live in while it still exists in much of the world.

Editor of, Bray wrote a nice piece about the new law, quoting Anderson’s heartwarming message. “When we hung laundry together, we slowed down to take in the sights and smells and sounds of the world around us, which brought us closer. Then, at the end of the day, I would pull up the covers and that wonderful smell of the outdoors and its memories, what I call the smell of sunshine, was in the sheets.”
To read a full article of Bray, click here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Three frightfully fun books to get you and your children in the Halloween spirit!

Spook the Halloween Cat, by Dean Norman, tells the story of two very different witches and a magical, mischievous cat. A witch, Hexabell, comes across a lost kitten and grants him magical powers. On Halloween night, she takes the newly magical cat out for a ride on her broom. The cat slips and falls to the ground. When Karen, a young girl dressed as a witch on Halloween night, finds the magical cat, she takes him home and names him Spook. Spook has a difficult decision to make: stay with the witch who gave him magical abilities, or give up his powers and stay with Karen who loves him very much. In a comic book format, this colorful laugh out loud Halloween tale will not leave you spooked!

What does a witch do when her witchy spells and potions don’t turn out right? This is the dilemma that faces our little witch when her witchy plans just don’t go the way they’re supposed to. Written and illustrated by Lorna Balian, one of the most beloved children book authors, Humbug Witch tells the story of a little witch but with a twist. We often hear from our readers that this is a book generations read together–a mother’s childhood favorite becomes her daughter’s favorite Halloween tale. Humbug Witch is an endearing classic that delightfully surprises readers at the end. 

It’s a dark and spooky Halloween night, and little witches abound in this rollicking, rhyming adventure. Witches, by Cheryl Christian and illustrated by Wish Williams tells the story which features all the fun, fantasy, and treats – but none of the tricks – of a Halloween night to remember. What’s uniquely memorable about Witches is amongst the capering and masked fun witches, readers see little witches with braces on their legs and in wheelchairs. The importance of including children of all abilities, a value that Star Bright Books prides itself on, is quietly, yet vividly presented in this book.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Papa Gave Me a Stick reviewed by School Library Journal

Papa Gave Me a Stick has received a warm review from School Library Journal. Maria D. Salvadore, a former librarian of the District of Columbia Public Library and a current reviewer for the publication praised the book's illustrations, which "are soft, gently colored, creating a sense of place." She, additionally, mentioned the book's plot, pacing, and useful Spanish glossary as some of the book's other notable facets, all of which contributed to a story that had "the form and cadence of a folktale."

Star Bright Books would like to thank Ms. Salvadore for her kind and thoughtful review.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ellen Mayer Website Launch!

Ellen Mayer, author of the recently published Red Socks and A Fish to Feed and the forthcoming Cake Day and Rose's Laundry Day, has a brand new website! At, visitors can learn about Ellen's career as a children's book writer, upcoming author events, parenting resources, and, of course, information regarding her wonderful new titles. With a number of different pages which host a whole collection of information accented by Ellen's charming creative flair, the website has something to offer anyone looking for an introduction to this talented author and her lovely books.

Here are just a few highlights of the website:

A wonderful introduction to the Small Talk Books collection, which highlights the series many benefits for parents, caregivers, and teachers. Links to more information regarding each book have also been provided.

Also included: just a few of the comments the series has already attracted from notable readers.

A very useful resource page which includes links to Dr. Betty Bardige's book Talk to Me, Baby! How You Can Support Young Children’s Language Development and to parenting organizations Too Young to Fail and Zero to Three. Dr. Betty Bardige's constantly-updating twitter feed is also included on this page.

For more information regarding Ellen Mayer and her books, please visit either her website or the website of Star Bright Books,

Friday, June 19, 2015

A "Wild Kratt" Gets a Look at "What Animal"

Martin Kratt, co-creator of the hugely popular PBS series "Wild Kratts," was introduced to Star Bright Books at a recent performance. Kratt, along with his brother and show collaborator Chris Kratt, are currently on tour promoting the show, as well as their work in the field of wildlife advocacy. It was at a sold-out performance in Providence, Rhode Island that Nellie Gest (pictured above), the niece of What Animal Needs a Wig? writer and illustrator Abigail Fuller and Frances Baldwin, delivered a copy of the book into the hands of the television star. Martin Kratt was apparently very enthusiastic about the gift. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"What Animal" Makes Headlines Once Again!

It was just a few months ago that Star Bright Books had the opportunity to read about Neil Wollman and Abigail Fuller, the writers of the wonderful book What Animal Needs a Wig?, in an article that profiled both the title as well as its inspiration. We were delighted by the fact that someone found our title interesting enough to research and report on it; now, we are even more excited that it has happened for a second time!

In an article featured in the Journal Gazette, a news publication of Northeast Indiana, writer Jamie Duffy highlights not only the title, but also the interesting family dynamic that inspired the husband and wife to write a children's book. Having both worked as professors at Manchester University in Indiana, the dinner table was a place where Abigail and Neil, and their families, could turn knowledge into jokes and riddles. And with a lot of research, organization, and the illustrations of Fuller's sister Fran Fuller Baldwin, these dinner-table conversations became a 48 page, highly entertaining children's books, of which we could not be more proud.

We would like to thank Jamie Duffy for writing this wonderful article, which is available in its entirety here:

For the first article featuring What Animal Needs a Wig?, feel free to revisit our earlier blog post:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Another Exciting Event for Star Bright Books!

Star Bright Books would like to thank the Barnes & Noble of Holmdel, New Jersey for selecting Madison's Patriotic Project, Madison and the Two Wheeler, and Madison and the New Neighbors by Vanita Braver as advertised "Top Picks in Picture Books" (alongside the beloved classic The Giving Tree, nonetheless!). We are very excited that we have had the opportunity to work with Vanita  to share Madison's many thought-provoking adventures with the world, so we are touched to hear that people share our excitement.

Seeing our titles on display was just a small piece of this month's Barnes & Noble excitement, however; in addition to the display, Dr. Vanita Braver, a noted child psychiatrist and author of the "Madison" series, lead a workshop titled "Creating Confident Writers." By examining research-based techniques that enhance the writing process, Dr. Braver provided the audience with several tips and tools for early writing instruction. If the and excited and delighted smiles in the pictures below serve as any indication, the event looks like it was a huge hit!

Once again, Star Bright Books would like to thank the Holmdel Barnes & Noble for hosting this event. We, as well as Dr. Braver, would also like to thank anyone who came out to this event. Your attention, support, and laughs were appreciated by everyone involved.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Star Bright Title Makes Headlines

A local newspaper based out of Manchester, Indiana has written an article profiling Neil Wollman and Abigail Fuller, the co-authors of the recently published What Animal Needs a Wig?! The article (which can be expanded above) highlights both the lives of the co-authors, as well as the background on their hilarious new book.

In contrast to the research-based academic reports and activism publications that both Neil Wollman, a former psychology professor, and wife Abigail fuller, a current sociology professor, are accustomed to working on, What Animal Needs a Wig? came about much more casually. During long trips to visit Fuller's family in Massachusetts, Wollman would make jokes and puns with his family regarding animals. Curious to see if anything could come of it, Wollman decided to team  up with Fuller and her sister, illustrator Frances Baldwin, to construct a compilation of well-researched, interesting, and funny factoids and puns about nature.

Everyone at Star Bright Books would like to extend congratulate Neil Wollman and Abigail Fuller for writing such an amazing book, and our warmest thanks to writer Eric Seaman for writing this article. For more information regarding What Animal Needs a Wig?, please visit our website,