Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE HAIR BOOK Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. Are you having a bad hair day? Never fear – THE HAIR BOOK is here!

This book is published as both a picture book and a board book!


Written by LaTonya Yvette

Illustrated by Amanda Jane Jones

Published by Union Square Kids (2022)

Ages: 0-6

Themes: Inclusion, diversity, hair styles

Synopsis: From Amazon:
Covered hair,
Bun Hair,
Party Hair…
No matter your hair—YOU are welcome anywhere!

Why I Love This Book
1. If you are looking for a simple book that can appeal to the youngest of children that can help convey the importance of diversity and inclusion – this is it! Studies show that infants respond to pictures of faces – and this is a book filled with faces!
2. Bold vivid illustrations of diverse people with many different styles of hair.
3. Ultra-simple sparse text.


Photo courtesy: https://www.pbs.org/kcts/preciouschildren/diversity/read_activities.html

What a fun project for your kids! Help them create a self-portrait. For detailed instructions: https://www.pbs.org/kcts/preciouschildren/diversity/read_activities.html

Some great activity ideas for very young children: https://va.gapitc.org/celebrating-cultural-differences-activities-to-make-diverse-connections/

Great website from PBS: https://www.pbs.org/kcts/preciouschildren/diversity/read_activities.html

Please make sure you leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of this adorable new book! And to help support your favorite authors and illustrators, please buy their books, review their books, tell friends about their books, and ask your local library to purchase copies for their collection.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend.

Perfect Picture Book Friday: AMERICAN DESI Plus Critique Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. I absolutely LOVE today’s featured book. The text is empowering and the illustrations are fabulous. There is action and discovery on every page. And guess what! There is a Picture Book Critique up for grabs, thanks to generous author Jyoti! Please make sure you leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway – and sharing this post on your social media will earn you extra tickets in the giveaway hat.


Written by Jyoti Rajan Gopal

Illustrated by Supriya Kelkar

Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Bicultural families, embracing diversity, self-awareness

Synopsis: From Amazon:
For fans of Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, this poetic story filled with expressive art empowers South Asian children living in the United States and celebrates being bicultural.

Pavadais in bright gold colors
Jersey shirts and faded jeans
Swapping, changing, feeling seen…
Which is the color of me?

A young girl longs to know where she fits in: Is she American? Or is she Indian? Does she have to pick or can she be both? With bright, joyful rhyme, and paired with an immersive art style using American and Indian fabrics, American Desi celebrates the experiences of young children growing up first and second generation Indian American: straddling the two cultural worlds they belong to, embracing all they love of both worlds and refusing to be limited by either.

This story is a powerful tribute to the joy of being South Asian and for every reader who aspires to bridge their worlds with grace, grit, and confidence.

Why I Love This Book:
1. Lovely lyrical text invites the child reader and listener on a joyful journey of celebration as the main character examines and embraces everything about herself.
2. A wonderful mirror for children with bicultural identities and/or those who are straddling identities as well as a window for all children to learn more about the beauty and strength of South Asian culture.
3. Glorious illustrations vividly portray the joy and strength of the main character and her family.


Photo courtesy: https://artsycraftsymom.com/painting-a-simple-madhubani-fish-in-12-steps/

For details on how to make this beautiful Madhubani Fish: https://artsycraftsymom.com/painting-a-simple-madhubani-fish-in-12-steps/

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the Critique Giveaway. AMERICAN DESI launches June 21st!!!! Please remember that the best way to help your favorite books become a success is to buy them, review them, tell friends about them, and ask your local library to purchase copies for their collection.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

COVER REVEAL: The Yellow Áo Dài

Growing up, I shared a small bedroom with my older sister. Most of the time, everything was arranged the way she wanted it. But the day after she got married, I bought a can of yellow paint at the hardware store and covered the walls of MY room with the color of sunshine and happiness. When I first saw Hanh Bui’s manuscript, The Yellow Áo Dài, it took me back to that moment. What a joy it has been to be a small part of the path to publication of this beautiful story and what an honor to participate in the cover reveal.

I first met Hanh a couple of years ago when she reached out to inquire about an upcoming #50PreciousWords Contest. We got to chatting (you all know how much I love to do that) and realized we were on the same page in so many ways. I’m honored to have seen several of Hanh’s amazing manuscripts. And for the past two years, Hanh and her young daughter have numbered among my cherished judges for the contest.

Here’s a bit about the book from the publisher’s website:
Lovingly illustrated by Minnie Phan, Hanh Bui’s debut picture book, The Yellow Áo Dài, is a warm story of family, identity, and remembering those who came before.

Naliah is excited to perform a traditional Vietnamese Fan Dance at her school’s International Day. When she finds that her special áo dài no longer fits right, she goes to her mom’s closet to find another.

She puts on a pretty yellow one—only to accidentally rip it while practicing her dance. She’s horrified to discover that this was a very special áo dài that her grandmother had worn to dance at the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam.

But with a little help from her mom’s sewing kit and her grandmother’s loving legacy, Naliah learns not only how to mend the yellow áo dài but also how to believe in herself and make it her own.


Written by Hanh Bui – Illustrated by Minnie Phan – Published by Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan

What do you think, dear friends? Doesn’t that cover take your breath away? And won’t young readers be intrigued by the little girl peeking into the closet? And don’t you love the clever use of the letter O as a holder for the hanger?

Magic happens when the right combination of author and illustrator come together – and that is definitely what happened with the pairing of author Hanh Bui and illustrator Minnie Phan!

Here’s a little bit about author Hanh from the Macmillan website:
Inspired by her first teacher at the refugee camp, Hanh Bui pursued a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and taught second grade before becoming a full-time mother to three children. She also served as a Development Officer for Senhoa Foundation in support of women and children who survived human trafficking in Cambodia, and has served on boards supporting children and parents in building community. Hanh’s commitment to celebrating her heritage includes giving presentations in school visits about her refugee experience to children studying immigration as part of their school curriculum. She is a member of SCBWI, and has been featured in Highlights Children’s Magazine. The Yellow Áo Dài is her debut picture book.

And here’s a little bit about illustrator Minnie from the Macmillan website:
Minnie Phan is a queer Vietnamese American cartoonist and illustrator born in Stockton, CA, and raised across the Bay Area. Her parents were among the last wave of Vietnamese refugees to arrive in the early 90s before immigration was restricted from the region. Her father’s first job was as a migrant farmer and before finishing the 5th grade, she attended five elementary schools. When she decided to go to art school, she received her parent’s full disapproval. Luckily, with the support of her older sister, she earned a BFA in illustration and set roots in Oakland, CA, where she’s resided for 10 years. Her work ranges from editorial illustrations to comics, animation, and picture books. She values inclusive image making and diverse storytelling; she hopes for all children to see themselves as whatever they dream: artists, scientists, doctors, and more. When she’s not illustrating, she teaches comics to youth in the Bay Area and advocates for safer streets for bicyclists. The Yellow Áo Dài is her debut picture book.

And guess what? The Yellow Áo Dài is available for preorder on the Macmillan website and at your local independent bookstore. I can hardly wait to add it to my picture book collection when it launches in Spring 2023.

I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to spread the word about wonderful new books like this one!

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week.