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They're all about the books

Cover of Books about Bookish People
Books about Bookish People

It's fun to see trends in what books are being published, and recently I've noticed a bunch of new and forthcoming children's books about and inspired by bookish people! Authors, illustrators, editors, and especially librarians. 

Bookish people:

Good Books for Bad Children by Beth Kephart, illustrated by Chloe Bristol - A picture book biography of legendary children's book editor, Ursula Nordstrom. 

Tomfoolery: Randolph Caldecott and the Rambunctious Coming-of-age of Children's Books by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Barbara McClintock - Quick! If you don't move fast, you're going to miss him -- there he goes-- Randolph Caldecott, future famous illustrator. His sketchbook is full of hurly-burly; wild weather, frisky animals and people so sprightly they can barely hold on to the pages. But in the 1850s, there are no children's books like that. Not yet. Many are published, but their pictures look still, full of pretty poses and cluttered scenery. No one has imagined how much fun an illustrated book can be ... Because the future hero of children's book illustration is just a lad. Also check out Balderdash! John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books by the same author.

Go Forth and Tell: The Life of Augusta Baker, Librarian and Master Storyteller by Breanna J McDaniel, illustrated by April Harrison - A picture book biography about librarian and storyteller Augusta Baker, the first Black coordinator of children's services at all branches of the New York Public library.

She Persisted: Pura Belpré by Meg Medina with Marilisa Jimenez Garcia, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger and Gillian Flint - This inspiring chapter book biography introduces readers to Pura Belpré who brought Spanish and bilingual storytelling and books to libraries across the country, giving Spanish speakers the opportunity to read and find community in ways they never had before. For a picture book biography about Pura Belpré, check out Planting Stories or Pura's Cuentos.

Authors of books for kids:

Extraordinary Magic: The Storytelling Life of Virginia Hamilton by Nina Crews - A lyrical picture book biography that tells the story of one of America's most celebrated children's book authors, Virginia Hamilton, the first African American to win the Newbery Medal. 

One of a Kind: The Life of Sydney Taylor by Richard Michelson, illustrated by Sarah Green - For fans of All-of-a-Kind Family, here is the true story of how Sarah Brenner, a poor girl from New York City's Lower East Side, became Sydney Taylor: dancer, actress, and successful children's book author

Authors of books for adults:

Small-Girl Toni and the Quest for Gold by Giselle Anatol, illustrated by Raissa Figueroa - In this tale inspired by the life of author Toni Morrison, young Toni sets out on a quest for gold with her siblings, but when things do not go as planned, she realizes that finding the perfect ending is all about how you tell the story.

Jimmy's Rhythm & Blues: The Extraordinary Life of James Baldwin by Michelle Meadows, illustrated by Jamiel Law - Celebrate James Baldwin's one-hundredth birthday anniversary with the first-ever illustrated biography of this legendary writer, orator, activist, and intellectual. Before he became a writer, James "Jimmy" Baldwin was a young boy from Harlem, New York, who loved stories.

The Little Books of the Little Brontës by Sara O'Leary, illustrated by Briony May Smith - A charming picture book about the Brontë siblings as children creating their own adventures. 

Feb 14, 2024