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Monday, March 9, 2020

Wonderful New Picture Books To Read In March


Today I'm sharing some really special picture books to look out for this month...


The Nuff 
By Veronica Waldrop 
Illustrated by Cat Elliot 
March 2020 
Tailwind Publishing 

Through a series of adventures, a unicorn with a broken horn discovers the truth about herself and what it means to be enough... or a NUFF! 







MY REVIEW 

The Nuff is the beautiful result of Veronica Waldrop’s dying wish to leave behind a magical tale to inspire her daughters and girls everywhere. Through the most charming and delightful rhymes, Veronica’s story about a resilient little unicorn with a broken horn will captivate and touch readers of all ages. Cat Elliot’s colorful illustrations, with their dreamy color palette and engaging scenes perfectly capture the soul and heart of Veronica’s message. 

A heartfelt love letter to girls everywhere, the deeply felt The Nuff is inspiring, encouraging, and so sweetly fun to read! Gift this to ALL the Nuffy girl in your life. 

Veronica Waldrop (1979-2017) 
Veronica was the mother of two beautiful girls, Natalia and Nina, and the beloved wife of Will Waldrop. Veronica was a dreamer, a writer and a storyteller who found joy in building relationships and sharing experiences with everyone she met. Veronica had a special gift for connecting with others through her authenticity and enthusiasm. 

During her two-year battle with breast cancer, Veronica wrote a magical tale for her daughters to inspire them after she was gone. She finished the poem only days before passing away on November 4, 2017. 

Through The Nuff, she hoped to empower girls everywhere to be the bold and confident women they were created to be. Veronica left the world an enduring, heartwarming story of unconditional love, hope and perseverance. 





The True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse That Couldn’t 
By Artie Bennett 
Illustrated by Dave Szalay 
2/25/20 
NorthSouth Books 
Goodreads 

A true story about the famed racehorse who lost every race but won everyone's heart. The love Zippy inspired, even when he lost, resonates with the contemporary message that whether you win or you lose-you are enough!  The bell rings and they’re off! Zippy the racehorse—descended from legends—is destined for glory, but when the other horses bolt from the gate . . . Zippy stands still. When people try to pet him . . . he bites their hats and escapes from his stall. What’s an owner to do? Keep on trying! After all, Zippy has become part of Felix’s family—and a close friend of his little daughter. And after 100 straight losses, Zippy shows everyone that—win, lose, or draw—it takes guts to compete and that you can lose and lose and still be a winner. 





MY REVIEW 

The True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse That Couldn’t is an endearing and engaging picture book that tells the story of Zippy Chippy, a racehorse that was really good at losing. 

Through humor, heart, and fun storytelling, Artie Bennett does a wonderful job of telling Zippy Chippy’s unique life story. Young readers will be captivated by Zippy Chippy’s quirky life, irresistible personality, and unexpected fame. Dave Szalay’s chipper, chuckle-inducing illustrations bring Zippy Chippy to life perfectly. 

Bennett beautifully captures the heart of Zippy Chippy, offering readers a tale that is as inspiring and heartfelt as it is funny and entertaining. Zippy Chippy may have been famous for losing, but he did it with style and heart and being unapologetically himself...we should all be so lucky to have a little Zippy Chippy in us! 





Artie Bennett is an executive copy editor by day and a writer by night. He is the author of the many children’s picture books, as well as two riotous joke and riddle books. When Artie stumbled upon the story of Zippy Chippy, he found himself champing at the bit to introduce young readers to this remarkable, inspiring tale of whoa! He lives with his wife in Brooklyn, New York. Visit ArtieBennett.com. . . before someone else does! 

“It appears there is no topic Mr. Bennett can’t make funny and educational.”—The Huffington Post 

The Memory Box: A Book About Grief 
By Joanna Rowland 
Illustrated by Thea Baker 
9/26/17 
Sparkhouse Family 
Goodreads 
"I'm scared I'll forget you]]"  

From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one, to help in the grieving process. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box will help children and adults talk about this very difficult topic together. The unique point of view allows the reader to imagine the loss of any they have loved - a friend, family member, or even a pet. A parent guide in the back includes expert information from a Christian perspective on helping children manage the complex and difficult emotions they feel when they lose someone they love, as well as suggestions on how to create their own memory box. 

The Memory Book 
A Grief Journal for Children and Families 
By Joanna Rowland 
Illustrated by Thea Baker 
1/14/20 
Beaming Books 
Goodreads 

I will always remember you . . .Joanna Rowland's best-selling The Memory Box: A Book about Grief has helped thousands of children and families work through the complex emotions that arise after the loss of a loved one. Now, with The Memory Book, Rowland has created a beautiful grief journal to help readers put her methods into practice. The Memory Book helps grieving families process their emotions together by remembering their lost loved one and creating their own memory album full of photos and keepsakes of the person they lost. With gentle prompts and ideas for journaling, drawing, and talking through grief, this journal will bring comfort in the midst of loss and be a keepsake for families for years to come. 

“For many, reading provides a place to go when we have to stay where we are. The Memory Box is just that. Suitable for those both young and old, this gift has a story to be told."  – EveryStep Grief & Loss Services 

Rowland discusses the process of writing The Memory Box: 

“In writing The Memory Box, a book about grief, there were three people and their families that I was thinking about. In 2014, a relative that was meant to get my first published book Always Mom, Forever Dad (a positive picture book on divorce) lost her father suddenly a month before the book’s publication. I knew she needed a different type of book, and that’s when I knew I needed to write a picture book on grief. When I first found out her dad had passed away, I saw a photo of her holding her dad’s hand on the beach with the waves coming toward them. That image stayed with me. I knew somehow that I wanted to make a nod toward that scene in my writing. At the time, I had no idea what that story was going to be. I tried a couple of different ways to write about grief. My first attempt was a nature poem. But when thinking about how I would help a young child through grief, eventually the idea of a memory box came. 

I was also thinking about my childhood friend, Scott, who was also gone too soon. He studied birds and had such a sweet soul. I have some sweet memories growing up with him. He’ll always hold a special place in my heart. 

During the two years I spent writing about grief, we lost Marisa to cancer. I had coached her in synchronized swimming for years, and she swam with my niece and older daughters. It was heartbreaking. Marisa was so full of life with the most contagious smile. 

All of these people were gone much too soon. These families had lost a father, a son, an only child, a daughter and a sister. 

I had to get this story right. I think going through grief and taking my youngest to her first funeral at age six, helped me find a way to talk about death with my youngest and find the heart of the story. It still took me over two years to get the story right. 
Grief is hard. Everyone has his or her journey with it. Allow yourself to grieve however you need to. There is no right or wrong way. There are support groups out there and other resources to help. Grief can be hard to communicate. I hope The Memory Box can be a tool to foster conversations and help keep the memories of your loved ones alive. The book also includes a guide in back that discusses ways to talk to your child about grief. 

For anyone struggling with grief, my thoughts are with you.” 

Joanna Rowland grew up in Sacramento, California, where she still lives today with her husband and three children. She teaches kindergarten by day and writes picture books at night. In the summer, you'll find her at the pool coaching synchronized swimming or cozying up with a book. She is the author of The Memory Box: A Book about Grief, The Memory Book: A Grief Journal for Children and Families, and Stay Through the Storm. 

Thea Baker grew up in a country town in England. She is currently living in Australia and working internationally as a children's illustrator. Thea obtained her BA (Hons) Degree in illustration at the prestigious Falmouth University. Her dissertation was on the subject of grief in children's books. 


*Disclaimer: I received copies of the books above for review/feature purposes. All thoughts, opinions, and reviews are my own.

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