Perfect Picture Book Friday: Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush PLUS PB Manuscript Critique Giveaway and Book Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday! Picture books are magical…especially when they are about a magical item. And Perfect Picture Book Friday posts are magical when they have DOUBLE GIVEAWAYS. Yes, author Melissa Stoller is donating both a pb manuscript critique AND a copy of her brand-new picture book! Woo-hoo!

scarlet's magic paintbrush


Written by Melissa Stoller

Ilustrated by Sandie Sonke

Published by Clear Fork/Spork (October 2018)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Creativity, be yourself, self-esteem

Opening lines: 

“Years ago, Scarlet found a magic paintbrush and everything changed.”

Synopsis: From Amazon: 

What would it be like to have a magic paintbrush?

Scarlet knows. 
She paints perfect pictures . . . until her brush disappears. 
Will she ever be
able to create another 
masterpiece without it?

Why I like this book:

  • The element of magic appeals to kids…who wouldn’t want a brush that magically draws perfect pictures?
  • I loved seeing Scarlet come to the realization that her own creativity is important.
  • The illustrations are full of color…perfect for a book about a girl who loves to paint.


Painting With Kids


Photo courtesy:

For detailed instructions for 50 painting projects:

Ask your kids, what would they draw if they had a magic paintbrush? If they could imbue any item with magical powers, what would it be and what would it do? And wouldn’t we all like to have an item that had magical powers? What item would you want to be magical?

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in this double-your-pleasure giveaway. And, when you read Melissa’s book, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or other review sites. Reviews are like a birthday gift to your favorite author!

And speaking of picture books, for more wonderful recommendations and activities for kids, please hop over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday link up.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends. Safe travels if you are away from home.



About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on October 12, 2018, in Craft Activity for Kids, GIVEAWAYS, Perfect Pictture Book Friday, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 87 Comments.

  1. Great review Vivian. Who wouldn’t want a magic paintbrush? This sounds like a really interesting and thought provoking book. Look forward to reading it.


  2. I think you’ve painted a great picture of Melissa’s book Vivian! I like how the magic element intertwines with Scarlet’s dilemma, a good PB twist. I look forward to reading it.


  3. This book sounds charming. I can’t wait to read it. Congrats to Melissa and Sandie.


  4. Thanks for introducing us to this book, Vivian. It looks fun!


  5. This looks like such fun…I need that magic paintbrush!!! Thanks for sharing, Vivian. And thanks for the prize offerings, Melissa. I could use those too!!!


  6. I absolutely will buy this for my grandson. Can’t wait to read it to him. He lives to paint. Thank you so much!


  7. Such a clever twist on the oft-seen theme of self-determination.


  8. I pre-ordered the book. Can’t wait to get it in the mail. Congrats Melissa and Sandie.


  9. Great interview. I can’t wait to read this one!! It looks magical!


  10. Can’t wait to see this! It looks perfect for my unicorn-loving, art-favoring, crafty kindergarten granddaughter!


  11. Congrats on the new book, Melissa! Looking forward to reading it.


  12. Becky Scharnhorst

    Oh, my daughter would LOVE this book! She is a true artist, always making and molding, creating and coloring. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for highlighting it, Vivian!


  13. I would love a magic paintbrush, and I have a feeling this will be super apealing to children! Great blog, Vivian!


  14. As someone who is learning how to paint with water colours, I would LOVE a magic paintbrush!
    Thanks for the link to 50+ painting activities. It’s a good one!


  15. Love the idea of a magic paintbrush & the celebration of creativity.


  16. Congrats, Melissa! What a great premise! Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the chance to win this very generous prize.


  17. I admit I’m jealous of Scarlet. It must be wonderful to have a magic paintbrush. I’m anxious to learn what amazing images Scarlet created with this treasured tool. I searched for the book on my library’s website, but they don’t own this charming book…yet. I’ll be filling out a request form for them ASAP. 🙂


    • I really appreciate that, Leslie. I am hoping Scarlet finds her way into as many libraries as possible so she can visit as many kids as possible! Thank you for your support! I hope you love the book!


  18. So happy to see Melissa’s book out! What an excellent way to encourage kids to trust their own creativity! Way to go, Melissa!!


  19. Danielle Hammelef

    The message behind this book is inspiring and I’m excited to read it for myself to find out how the book reveals the character growth arc that I struggle with in my own picture book writing.


  20. Congratulations, Melissa! Can’t wait to hold this book


  21. Thank you, Vivian for giving us this opportunity to own a copy of Melissa’s wonderful, magical picture book, Scarlet’s Paintbrush and sharing her good news with the world. 🙂


  22. I can’t wait to read Scarlett’s Magic Paintbrush, your review of the book is magical Vivian, thank you for sharing!


  23. You know, it might sound strange, but I’d pair this book with Barb Rosenstock’s “The Streak: How Joe Dimaggio Became America’s Hero.” In that book, Joe thinks he can only hit with his special bat, Betsy, before he manages to continue his streak with a different bat. They both show that it’s the person rather than the thing they use. Just a thought. Thanks for featuring this book, Vivian!


    • Hi Jilanne – I love Barb Rosenstock’s books but I haven’t read this one. But I will now! Thanks for taking the time to recommend it. Yes, finding one’s own creativity (and letting go of perfection) are so important to me. I hope you enjoy Scarlet!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Congratulations Melissa! Scarlet is adorable❤


  25. This looks adorable! Congratulations Melissa! I look forward to reading it. 🙂


  26. I love the idea of a magic paintbrush. Oh how I would love one even now… lol. This is a cute story and the illustrations look so lovely. A great choice.


    • Hi Diane – I was inspired to write this story while at the Metropolitan Museum of Art wishing that I had a magic paintbrush! And I agree the illustrations are really magical! Thanks for commenting!


  27. Looks wonderful-congratulations!


  28. My granddaughter would LOVE this . And so would I………….. 🙂


  29. If I can’t have a magic paintbrush, at least I can have a book about one! 😉


  30. Mary Vander Plas

    This looks like the perfect book for someone who can’t draw very well on her own! Looking forward to reading it. Congratulations 🎈


  31. Two of my favorites in the same post!!! Thanks Vivian & Melissa, this PPBF post was a perfect nightcap. 🙂


  32. I’d love a magic paintbrush!! Books that encourage creativity are so important!! Thanks for sharing this one — I’m intrigued and need to go find it!! I bet my kindergarten students will like this one (especially since there’s a unicorn on the cover).


  33. Can’t wait to read this with my kids. Sometimes I feel like I have magic in my paintbrushes when I really get into my craft!


  34. A book sure to engage the active minds of children! Can’t wait to read this and share it with little Reading Partners!


  35. I’m always happy to see another art book. This looks wonderful.


  36. Congratulations, Melissa! I love the cover. I can’t wait to read it! 💙


  37. Looks like a fun book, and doesn’t everybody love a little magic.


  38. Fell in love with this idea immediately when Amazon recommended it. It’s one of those books you’re like, why has no one else thought of it, it’s amazing! Can twait for my copy😊


  39. Melissa, hooray and hugs on SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH. I hope your sales are as magical as your book.


  40. This book looks like such a wonderful story! Congratulations! Can’t wait to read and enjoy it!


  41. Congrats, Melissa! What a wonderful story concept – I think children (and adults) will just love it! I just love what I’ve seen (so far) of Sandie’s illustrations! And thank you for sharing this, Vivian.


  42. I would love a magic paintbrush. Clever story idea with beautiful illustrations!


  43. There are times when I wish I could have a magic paintbrush. In a pinch, a magic pencil would do!


  44. This sounds intriguing; a bit like some of the chapters in “What the Witch Left”.


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