Attitudes in Picture Book Characters, That Give Me Life

Attitudes in Picture Book Characters, That Give Me Life

Picture book authors receive a lot of credit when their books come out. While they deserve every bit of attention they get, I wish that illustrators received the same amount of publicity. It is my hope that this post gives some equally well-deserving illustrators, their credits due. Picture book illustrators are constantly providing me with never-ending joy. Most of the time, this joy comes from their character's attitudes. Illustrators create wonderful bits of energy and feeling with their character's facial expressions and actions, which continually give me life.

My Favorite Books Are Banned Books

Last week, my post was titled, My Favorite Books Are Audiobooks”. As a follow up, this week’s post will be titled, “My Favorite Books Are Banned Books”. The reason for this being that today, is the last day of Banned Books Week!

What is Banned Books Week? It is a week where we celebrate THE RIGHT TO READ WHATEVER WE WANT AND NOT BE CENSORED. It’s a pretty important week to anyone who loves books and the right to choose. To learn more you can click HERE.

Additionally, click HERE to see Vroman’s Kid’s Dept.’s awesome display!

Above are some of my favorite Banned Books. Below you will be able to purchase them and see why they were/are “banned”.

1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, banned for “pornography and glorification of drinking, cursing & premarital sex”. Why I love it? Because it is an important book that encourages those who have been raped to speak up and not stay silent.

2. The Giver by Lois Lowry, banned for “anti-family values and occult themes”. Why I love it? Because it shows a child who experiences, pain, joy and love for the first time in an extremely controlled society. Seeing those feelings/emotions on the page=magic.

3. Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling, banned for “occult themes, witchcraft and wizardry”. This one I can’t really fight, but COME ON. If you don’t want to read it, don’t. But don’t ban it from children who can enter the wonderful world that is HARRY POTTER. Why I love it? IT IS HARRY POTTER. My Dad read the 1st book to me as a little seven year old, and I was instantly captivated by Harry and his friends. Who isn’t?

4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, banned for “profanity & sexuality”. Why I love it? It is diverse, it is sweet, it is about first love and it is REAL. 

5. Paper Towns by John Green, banned for “language & sexual references”. Why I love it? It is full of adventure, discovery, and has that kick ass road trip with your friends that you have always wanted to do.


Read Banned Books. Celebrate the freedom to read what you want, when you want. -Jen

How Greenwillow & Kevin Henkes Made My 25th the Greatest EVER

This is the tale of how I received (what I’m calling) the best 25th birthday gift ever.


A huge thank you goes out to Greenwillow & Kevin’s lovely editor that made this happen. Furthermore, thank you Kevin for being kind enough to set me off in tears for a good 30 minutes in front of my coworkers.

Scene: I entered my office, telling my bosses about a dangerous situation I encountered on the freeway. My male boss gets on the phone and tells a person on the other line that I am here. When I ask what’s going on, he tells me not to leave the office. My female boss tells me that “it’s not a bad thing”…

Enter: The promotional director who hands me a package and says that it was not meant for her (we share the same name).

I open the package and it is Kevin Henkes’ latest book, Egg (out in Jan. ‘17). BUT WAIT, that is not all. Also, included was a beautiful hand written note with hand-drawn illustrations thanking me for my blog post. KEVIN was thanking ME. Then, ALL THE TEARS. Above, you can see a picture of the kindness that is Kevin, as well as my post-cry face. Enjoy.

All  in all, this is a great example of how amazing the book industry is and how kind children’s book authors are. Thank you again Kevin, for my letter and everything else. It really meant so much.

About Me & Why I Started This Blog



Let’s get real here. I’ve never been great at diaries or journals, and blogging is no different. Still, I am going to make a valiant effort to post as much as possible about things I find in the bookstore I work at, as well as things in the book community-something I am very passionate about.

A little about me:

My name is Jen. I am 24 and work at the best independent bookstore in the world : Vroman’s Bookstore, in Pasadena, CA. No stalkers, please! I have worked there for almost 6 years and have been in love with it from the second I started.

Books have always been my passion. Still, in college I majored in Psychology, thinking that I wanted to be a Clinical Social Worker. 6 months into my job at a nearby hospital (Social Work Assistant), I realized that I no longer was interested in Social Work….I wanted to be where my passion was, with books!

Now, after being on-call for those sad 6 months, I have returned to my lovely little store. I hope to post fun things I find in and around the store. It is my hope to inspire all you little book nerds, and maybe entice you to visit my store (or any indie bookstore) if you are ever in the area!

As I write this, I am currently reading: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, by Paula Hawkins. I just finished, HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, by J. K. Rowling. I gave it a ⅘ on Goodreads. You can send me a message if you would like to discuss.

Have a lovely day!