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Author Ame Dyckman Joins Us To Talk About What She’s Been Reading

May 9, 2012

Today we have a special guest reader/reviewer!

boy and bot 

Hi, Everybody! Ame Dyckman here, author of BOY + BOT (illustrated by the fabulous Dan Yaccarino), and Picture Book Explorer! Earlier today, I grabbed my climbing rope, scaled the ever-growing Mountain of Books I’m reading, and returned with these amazing picture book specimens to share. Let’s look!


Our intrepid reader/reviewer Ame!

THE CLOUD SPINNER by Michael Catchpool, illustrated by Alison Jay cloud spinner Starred Review, Kirkus

An enchanting fairytale about a boy who could weave cloth from the clouds, and the greedy king who ordered him to make more than was needed. The intricate crackle-varnish illustrations provide new bits of whimsy to be noticed with each re-read.

FALCON by Tim Jessell  Falcon Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

In this gorgeously painted book, a child imagines what it would be like to be a falcon as it flies through several different landscapes. The unexpected humor near the end of the tale is fresh, funny and rings perfectly kid-true!

MRS. HARKNESS AND THE PANDA by Alicia Potter, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Mrs Harkness and the Panda

Starred Review, Booklist

Starred Review, School Library Journal

The little-known real story of Ruth Harkness, the “(not) particularly strong, athletic, or daring” dress designer who set sail for China in 1936 to attempt her late adventurer husband’s dream of bringing the first live giant panda back to the United States. The lively watercolor and mixed media illustrations echo the spirit of this determined woman, whose photo—with a friend—appears on the back cover.

And, because I love a second look when it comes to a book, here are two fantastic books I’ve already applauded online, but which definitely deserve another shout-out:

KALI’S SONG by Jeannette Winter

kalis song

Starred Review, Kirkus

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Young cave boy Kali receives his first hunting bow, and is expected to practice his shooting to join the men in the big hunt. But when Kali plucks the bowstring and hears its sound, his heart directs him on another path. With beautifully crafted artwork (acrylic paint, pen and ink, and homemade paper) that is as timeless as the story.

A BOY CALLED DICKENS by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by John Hendrix

Boy Called Dickens

Starred Review, Kirkus

Starred Review, Booklist

Starred Review, School Library Journal

From the team who brought us ABE LINCOLN CROSSES A CREEK, this historical fiction re-telling based on Charles Dickens’ early days and inspirations is another winner. Well-spun and charmingly illustrated, it will have even those little ones unfamiliar with Dickens’ work rooting for the boy in the tattered pants who longed to be a storyteller.

Looking for a longer read? The Kid (a.k.a. The Chapter Book/Graphic Novel Explorer) heartily recommends these three:

OLIVIA BEAN: TRIVIA QUEEN by Donna Gephart (“Fun!”)

olivia bean


MR. AND MRS. BUNNY—DETECTIVES EXTRAORDINAIRE! by Mrs. Bunny, translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath, illustrated by Sophie Blackall (“Really good!”)

Mr and Mrs Bunny Detectives

And when I’m looking for a longer read, I like to settle down with a good paranormal or dystopian YA. An absolutely fantastic dystopian I finished recently is:

STARTERS by Lissa Price


Will I be camping out to buy the sequel, ENDERS, the moment it goes on sale on December 11th? Affirmative!

Looking ahead, two new (published April 24th) books that I haven’t seen in person yet but can’t wait to add to my Mountain of Books are:

THE LONELY BOOK by Kate Bernheimer, illustrated by Chris Sheban

Lonely Book

(Why I must read this: I love books about books.)

IT’S MILKING TIME by Phyllis Alsdurf, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

It's Milking Time

(Why I must read this: I love cows, who make ice cream possible.)

That’s all for now, everybody! Keep adding to and exploring your Mountain of Books, watch out for mountain goats, and have an awesome day!


Many Thanks to Ame Dyckman for joining us at RAoR today and for sharing all of the new books she’s been busy reading!

Please share your thoughts about which new books you’ve been reading in our comments section.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2012 10:45 am

    They all look fabulous to me!

  2. May 15, 2012 2:29 pm

    I’ve just placed almost every book on hold at my library.

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