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.



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

  1. 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.


  2. 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!


  3. 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. 🙂


  4. 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.


  5. 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

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


  7. 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).


  8. 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.


  9. I need to read this book, but I have a real magic paintbrush today as I paint little chestnut and hazelnut tree trunks white to protect them from the winter sun and give each a mouse guard too.


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