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OF COURSE authors and publishers know plenty about books, but so do plenty of people who you wouldn't necessarily expect to --- including those who work for costume companies! One such company, the UK-based Fancy Dress Ball, has to know a lot about popular books and characters so every kid can dress up as their favorite. Based on all of their research, they decided to make an infographic about some classic children's tales with popular movie adaptations (and plenty of costume inspiration), sharing fun trivia about each and deciding, once and for all, which medium is the best! You can see a short version of the infographic below. Click on the image and it will take you to a longer version, where you can zoom in and read all of the little-known facts the Fancy Dress Ball team dug up!
We love interviewing authors on Kidsreads.com, but sometimes, interviewing characters is even more fun! We asked Jen Calonita --- author of FLUNKED, the first book in the Fairy Tale Reform School series about a school where all of the professors are former villains --- to interview one of the super-scary teachers from the story. See their exchange, below!
What would happen if Ada Lovelace --- the world's first computer programmer --- and Mary Shelley --- the author of FRANKENSTEIN --- were to meet as children in 1826? Well, according to Jordan Straford's new series, they'd combine Ada's logical mind and Mary's imagination to create their own detective agency!   Jordan wrote a guest Post which features two letters from the fictionalized versions of Ada and Mary, shining a light on their very different voices and the way they complement each other.   Click here to read the post, and be sure to check out the first book in the Wollstonecraft Dectective Agency, THE CASE OF THE MISSING MOONSTONE!  
What would happen if you took a topic very relevant to today's world --- global warming --- and applied it to another time period experiencing some major climate changes --- the Stone Age? David Zeltser does just this in his book LUG: Dawn of the Ice Age, which follows a boy who has a secret art cave, a couple quirky friends and an urgent need to survive the changing world and unite the feuding clans! Learn more about LUG and David's past in the below blog post, as well as a traiiler for the book!
As picture book illustrators know better than anyone, images speak 1,000 words. Therefore, Jeanette Winter, the creative force behind the inspiratoinal picture books MALALA: a Brave Girl from Pakistan and IQBAL:a Brave Boy from Pakistan: Two Stories of Bravery, decided to draw her inspiration for the books, rather than write about them. See the stunning result, below!  
We've seen a lot of beautiful picture books at Kidsreads, where illustrations are made with watercolors, acrylics, pen and and ink and everything in between. But it's rare that we see books where the illustrations are made out of paper, which is exactly what we get with Agnese Baruzzi's book ALADDIN! For her National Picture Book Month post, Agnese answers some questions that her publisher posed about her style, her life  and ALADDIN, plus some images from the book and her legendary "pet" diecutting machine.  
As Teen Board member Yaira M. writes in her National Picture Book Month blog post, one of the most important things that a picture book can do is remind readers that they are “important and a part of the world” and each have a “story that could be told.”  Yaira felt this way when she read THE SNOWY DAY by Ezra Jack Keats, which not only had wonderful images but also featured characters that looked like her.
One of the most interesting things about picture books is the amount of thought that goes into the illustrations. The central theme or message of the book can influence everything about an image, including the style, size, color and even medium. Below, Marcus Pfister (whose picture book THE RAINBOW FISH was the subject of my first ever book report) talks about his latest book, THE LITTLE MOON RAVEN in honor of National Picture Book Week.  
In honor of National Picture Book Month, Teen Board member Mary M. remembers why Jan Brett’s FRITZ AND THE BEATIFUL HORSES was so special to her as a child and remains so to this day.