Flutter & Hum

Today I’m sharing a video review of my new favorite nonfiction picture book, FLUTTER & HUM: ANIMAL POEMS!

The book is written in alternating English and Spanish poems and I’ve done my best to read in both languages. I am absolutely not a fluent Spanish speaker, but I love reading it aloud in small poetic chunks. I think it is important to celebrate language and to be brave about making mistakes, especially when I’m teaching young English learners.

Have fun listening to FLUTTER & HUM!

Marvelous Cornelius

This month I’m spotlighting Marvelous Cornelius, the creation of Phil Bildner and John Parra, with a book giveaway!


****Goodreads Giveaway Details Below****


I love how the book joyfully celebrates the life of an extraordinary garbage man, working in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

My son thought that Cornelius–the singing, dancing, and hooting garbage man–looked like a giant on the cover, which I think must have been intentional. I told him that anyone can seem like a giant if you look at them closely enough and it’s true. This is a wonderful story about an everyday hero who came to New Orleans’ rescue in its darkest hour, just by being himself!


Usually for a blog post I interview the artist or author, but Dionna Mann just hosted the most amazing six day blog party for Marvelous Cornelius, so I’m going to point you in that direction! When you are done reading all her marvelous interviews I know you will want to click the link below and enter to win one copy of Marvelous Cornelius, signed by the artist, on goodreads!


An Interview With John Parra (a marvelous illustrator)

An Interview With Phil Bildner (a marvelous author)

An Interview With Melissa Manlove (an extraordinary editor)

An Interview With Ryan Hayes (a most amazing art director)

An Interview With Angie Arnett (a laudable librarian and her 4th grade team)

Scary Picture Books

Every year the youth media award announcements feel like The Oscars of children’s literature. I get to root for my favorite books, but I also get to discover new (to me) voices. I was thrilled to see JOSEPHINE and NEIGHBORHOOD SHARKS win Sibert honors. They are both books that play at the edge of scandalous and scary, which I think is a pretty interesting place in picture books. For the next few months I’ll be hunting the shelves for scary, scandalous, odd, and interesting nonfiction. Today I’m bringing you sharks:


Next month I’ll bring you an interview with Greg Pizzoli on his new book, TRICKY VIC. It’s about a mysterious conman who invented over forty-five different aliases, sold the Eiffel tower, and even tricked the notorious mobster Al Capone! What will come after that? Even I don’t know. But I’m excited to find a new book that’s thrilling, impeccably designed, and uniquely illustrated and I bet kid readers will be too!

The July Sky



Early in the morning on July 2, 2014, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 was launched into space from Vandenberg AFB on a Delta-II rocket. It made its 30-second launch window, achieved separation, went into polar orbit, and deployed its solar arrays. And I got to be there, or pretty close anyway.


*NASA JPL Image*

The satellite’s mission over the next two years will be to study Earth’s carbon cycle–watching Earth breathe! This year alone NASA will send five Earth based satellites into orbit to study our planet. To learn more about these missions click here: http://www.nasa.gov/content/overview-a-big-year-for-nasa-earth-science/#.U7Q5k2hQnVG or follow #EarthRightNow, #OCO2, & @RobinEggWrites on Twitter.


To celebrate my viewing of the #OCO2 launch I put together a list of some of my favorite recent nonfiction picture books that call young readers to look UP into space… and keep them thinking down to EARTH! Check out my video of the titles: THE HOUSE IN THE NIGHT, THE EARTH BOOK (Todd Parr will be sending the winner a SIGNED copy!), STARS, LOOK UP, & MOONSHOT. If you or your library would like to enter to win one of the featured titles just post your favorite Earth or Aerospace fact in the comments down below, and go ahead and let me know which title you are interested in! I’ll pick the winners on Friday, July 18th!

HITN The Earth BookStars LOOKUPmoonshot



***Book Giveaway Details*** CONTEST CLOSED ***Book Giveaway Details***

Today I’m posting my interview with Patricia Hruby Powell, author of Josephine. Josephine is a verse picture book biography and I’m in absolute book love! This book has beauty, fun, fire, heart, and truth. It’s a visionary picture book. It’s perfect.

Just look & listen:

On the opening page Patricia writes, “America wasn’t ready for Josephine, the colored superstar. PARIS WAS.” Well, I think this book is a superstar too and yep, there are going to be some readers who are not ready for it. In the video above I showed you a page that details young Josephine’s experience in an East Saint Louis race riot. Patricia uses the words murder and rape in a book intended for 7-10 year olds. Those are big words, I know. But Josephine was a LITTLE girl when she heard them, and I believe the BIG star with the BIGGER heart that she became cannot be described without using them in the book. I also love that the beauty of Josephine’s life, and of this book, cannot be sullied or denied because of those words written on one page of a life. A strong and important message for young girls. Even seven year olds.

I’m so pleased that Patricia was willing to be interviewed! Here we go…

1. Hi Patricia! First of all, I think the book is absolutely AMAZING, words, pictures, design — it is a superbly put together book. I’m in love with it and I’m in love with Josephine. She moved me to tears. But the book is unique, unusual, maybe even going to be controversial. When you wrote the beautiful verse text did you envision it as an illustrated book for 7-10 year olds?

I first wrote Josephine as a 1000 word picture book. After getting editorial feedback at a workshop, I re-wrote it for a young adult audience in verse envisioning black and white drawings inspired by Paul Colin’s poster art. (Never mind that no such format really exists). Submitted that way, I was asked by Chronicle Books to cut the word count down from 7500 words to 3000 words and delete the more adult parts. I sold that Josephine, a 3500 word piece, and then my visionary editor started adding stanzas from the 7500 word manuscript back in—or asking me to do that. So the piece evolved.

2. I read Josephine to my seven-year old, who hadn’t learned the words rape or murder yet, and I have some thoughts on why keeping those words in is so important (see above). How do you hope the book gets read? Why did you choose to keep those words in?

I wrote, “WHITE RABBLE-ROUSERS spread lies—said Negroes were invading white neighborhoods/ to steal, rape, and murder. White folks got scared.  Those ugly rumors incited some white folks/ to beat, murder, and burn BLACK EAST SAINT LOUIS.”

Those lies were the ugliest scariest terms that whites could conjure up. If you analyze it to its core, the fear of black men sexually forcing themselves on white women, nothing could be more frightening—more debasing—to a white racist. And that’s what the rumor-mongers wanted—to scare and incite a riot. It worked. It’s history. It has happened throughout history and continues today.

I’d explain it to kids when they asked. And of course that’s done differently for each child, for each parent, for each classroom, and teacher.

3. You are a dancer too, just like Josephine. What did you learn about her when doing your research that really spoke to you as a dancer?

When I saw footage of the young Josephine Baker dancing I was smitten. She was wild, original—she was unique. She improvised herself. That is, her dancing was her personality. And that personality was charming, flirtatious, joyous, on fire.

Patricia, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and congratulations on such a beautiful, visionary book!

❤ Robin



PS – to see more of Christian Robinson’s amazing art check out his interview on the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog!

***Book Giveaway Details*** CONTEST CLOSED ***Book Giveaway Details***

Steve Jenkins Book Giveaway!



Post your favorite animal fact in the comments section to win a copy of Animals Upside Down or The Animal Book – a Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest — and Most Surprising — Animals on Earth!!


Today I’m interviewing Caldecott Honor Illustrator, Steve Jenkins, about two new books! All of Steve’s thirty books are filled with interesting animals, facts, and eyepopping illustrations. I love reading them and my kids love looking at them. My personal favorite is Actual Size, and my two-year old can’t get enough of Hello Baby, which is indescribably and joyfully sticky after so many readings. I was so excited to introduce my kids to Animals Upside Down and The Animal Book. Come take a peek…

Don’t shy away from buying either of these books for a younger reader (*Edited: So, ahem, my two-year old has been feeling a little “rippy” lately and the pop-up book is recovering on a high shelf. *). My two-year old and my seven-year old enjoy them each in different ways, but they both love looking, listening, and learning about all of Steve’s amazing animals. I’m continually surprised and grateful that artists like Steve are willing to answer my questions.

Well, here we go…

1. Hi Steve! Your book, Animals Upside Down, is a pull, pop, and lift book, your first one I think? Do you get to come up with all those cool paper engineering ideas or is that done by the publisher?

I made that book with Robin Page, my frequent co-author (and wife). She and I came up with all of the interactive elements of the book. When we proposed doing a pop-up book, we naively thought that we’d simply suggest engineering ideas and clever people somewhere would work out the details. As it turned out, we made functioning versions of all the pop-up elements by hand (many times). We’d send them to the printer, who would send back their interpretation of our dummied levers, flaps, and windows. It took a few rounds of this process before they understood what we wanted (the printer was in China, and I think there were some language issues). Robin did most of the actual engineering. Ultimately, it came out pretty close to what we had envisioned.

2. Where do you get all of those beautiful papers?

I’ve been collecting them for years. When we travel to other cities, I always visit art and paper stores, occasionally finding treasures. There is one store in New York City — it’s called New York Central — that has a fantastic paper department. It is the largest single source of my papers. Some of them are utilitarian: paper bags, wrapping paper, etc. I also make a few paste papers. These are Arches watercolor paper with an acrylic paint and wallpaper paste mixture that is rolled on, daubed on, splattered, and so on.

3. Do you have a favorite upside down animal?

I find the pangolin especially fascinating.

4. What do grownups ALWAYS ask you?

Where do I get my papers?

5. What do kids ALWAYS ask you?

How old were you when you wrote your first book? (40)

6. What is the most interesting thing you learned about an animal while doing your research?

Boy, it would be tough to narrow that down to one creature feature. I recently finished a book about animal eyes, and learned that the eyes of the mantis shrimp have 12 different color receptors (compared to our three). They can see all kind of things invisible to us.

See what I mean, you guys? That’s the kind of stuff that is in a Steve Jenkins book!



1. Post your favorite animal fact in the comments section to win a copy of Animals Upside Down or The Animal Book

2. Spread the word about the giveaway on any social media platform! Every time you blog, tweet, or Facebook about the giveaway you get another entry. Just send an email with a link to your Facebook page, twitter feed, or blog to: robin (at) blueeggbooks (dot) com.

3. I’ll announce the winners on Monday, March 3rd!



Stars, by Mary Lynn Ray & Marla Frazee

I love the winter sky!

While so many of our days’ hours are dark, it seems a shame to spend them all inside. I’ve spent some wonderful moments snuggled up in one big winter coat with a drowsy kiddo. You don’t need to know the names of the stars, planets, and constellations for that time to be magic, but it helps. The words themselves are a beautiful lullaby, whether you’re crunching across snow, littered leaves, or smooth sidewalks. The names can be sung, whispered, and giggled. Moon, meteor, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus. Spica, and Saturn. Sing them all while the earth makes it’s turn, round its axis, round our sun. It will be fun!

I’ve been using Space.com‘s stargazing guide and the month ahead looks to be lovely.

If you have early, EARLY risers like mine you might catch the Quadrantid Meteor Shower before dawn on January second and third.


On January 23 you can view the bright star, Spica, quite close to the Moon, with Mars looming above at around five in the morning EST.


And at sunrise, on January 28, we will see Venus close to the slender crescent of our moon!


Happy gazing,

❤ Robin

P.S. – We’ve been love, love, loving, STARS, by Mary Lynn Ray and Marla Frazee. Go catch a copy!


Pocket Full of Posies, by Salley Mavor

I love this Rabbitat video on Salley Mavor and her wonderful fabric relief artwork. Something about it is just magical! I watched it with the six-year old and we spent the day making art together.

RABBITAT from Daniel Cojanu on Vimeo.


We have several of Salley’s books at home, but Pocket Full of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes is our absolute, thimbles down, favorite collection of traditional rhymes! Take a peek at my favorite spread:


Happy reading!

❤ Robin