Monday, February 23, 2015

Julie Paschkis' Unconventional Guide to Throwing the Best Pysansky Party

Author illustrator Julie Paschkis created a simple (and colorful) guide to hosting your very own pysanky party, just in time for Easter!  Read the book P.Zonka Lays an Egg, host an Egg Decorating Party, and make the most beautifully authentic decorated eggs.  Are you the P.Zonka in your group of friends? Or, are you more of a Gloria?   

Julie  Paschkis' Unconventional Guide to Throwing the Best Pysansky Party

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

New Book Wednesday: P. ZONKA LAYS AN EGG by Julie Paschkis

Welcome to the very first New Book Wednesday!
Stop by every Wednesday to get the scoop on our Spring 2015 titles.

This Wednesday we're talking about P. Zonka Lays an Egg, written and illustrated by Julie Paschkis.

P. Zonka and her daydreaming ways are getting a lot of attention. If P. wasn't such a head-in-the-clouds type of gal, I'd be worried the fanfare might make her a little vain. (Read the STARRED reviews here: PW, Kirkus, SLJ)

P. Zonka Lays an Egg is a bright, beautiful celebration of individuality and imagination. But the coolest thing about the book is what inspired it.

Have you ever heard of pysanky?

In short, pysanky is an egg decoration technique, stemming from ancient Ukrainian tradition, closely associated with Easter.
The sun was the ancient Ukrainians’ supreme god, but the only creatures able to approach the life-giving star were birds. Hoping the winged creatures could fly high enough to intercede for humanity, Ukrainians inscribed wishes and requests to the heavens on birds’ eggs.

These richly decorated eggs are called pysanky.

The pysanky were made as gifts for honored family and friends—talismans meant to bring happiness, fertility, and protection. Each of the elements and colors carried symbolic meaning.

☼ The sun represented happiness, growth, and good fortune.
{Flowers signified love, charity, and good will.
h Waves, ribbons, and belts meant eternity.
 Birds, hens, and roosters symbolized fulfillment of wishes and fertility.

Red was the color of love and joy, while pink meant success.
Yellow represented resurrection and spirituality.
Green was the sign of new life, of prosperity and wealth.
Blue encompassed courage, strength, stability, loyalty, and health.

So, what do pysanky have to do with P. Zonka?

Every year, Julie Paschkis’ sister, Jan, and brother-in-law, Greg, throw a big neighborhood party where friends and family make pysanky and eat traditional Ukrainian food to celebrate spring and the Easter season. 

P. Zonka Lays an Egg came out of this experience. (Get it? Pysanka...P. Zonka?)

Want to know more about pysanky, Julie Paschkis, or how to throw your very own pysanky party? Stay tuned!


Friday, February 6, 2015

#FreeBookFriday: P. ZONKA LAYS AN EGG by Julie Paschkis

We took January off from #FreeBookFriday to give ourselves the chance to stop and smell the roses. Then we remembered—just in time for February—that there aren't too many roses around in winter.

This got us thinking about all of the things we're looking forward to about the warmer months ahead: Hiking (without the parka!), going to Braves games, picking strawberries, and spending rainy days curled up with a good book.

Everything about spring feels new and fresh and hopeful, doesn't it?

The world emerges, full of color, from the dreary, monochromatic winter, and we can't help but wonder at the beauty around us. That feeling is exactly what P. ZONKA LAYS AN EGG, today's #FreeBookFriday, is all about. We could tell you more...or we could let the [STARRED!] reviews speak for themselves. Enter to win your copy below!

★ ★ 

"A tale of the dividends of daydreaming, beautifully enhanced by colors and designs that shout 'Spring!' to a winter-weary world."

“A lyrical and lushly illustrated allegory about creativity and taking time to notice beauty.” 
Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Vibrant watercolor illustrations … burst from the pages to draw viewers in to share P. Zonka’s delight with the colors and patterns of her world.” 
School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New Year, New List

Guys! It's 2015!

A New Year always brings two things: well-intentioned [but doomed] resolutions and fantastic new children's books.

We’re thrilled to announce our Spring 2015 list, which is filled with award-winning talent, mischievous cow-folk, daydreaming chickens, and migrating toads!

NEW Picture Books:

Illustrated by Caldecott Honor Book winner Molly Idle, Rodeo Red is a rip-roaring story of sibling rivalry with a cheeky Western twist.

Julie Paschkis, inspired by traditional Ukrainian pysanky, weaves an original folk tale celebrating individuality and imagination in P. Zonka Lays an Egg.

Toad Weather’s lyrical text by Sandra Markle and stunning paintings by New York Times bestselling illustrator Thomas Gonzalez explore a remarkable natural occurrence that, when the weather is just right, happens each spring in rain-soaked Philadelphia.

In Kashmira Sheth’s Sona and the Wedding Game, a young Indian girl learns about her culture when she’s tasked with stealing the groom’s shoes at her sister’s wedding.

NEW Middle Grade:

Each quirky poem in Random Body Parts poses a puzzle in verse (with a sly nod to Shakespeare) and provides hints for uncovering the answers—all of which are biological.

NEW additions to your favorite series:

Love Stanley? William Bee’s hat-wearing hamster is back! Stanley the Farmer invites young children to the farm where they’ll explore processes, colors, and machines in a sweet, simple world.

Spectacular Spots, the charming companion to Stripes of All Types, features bright, beautifully detailed paintings of spotted creatures and their habitats.

A complex narrative of endings and forgiveness, Some Kind of Magic marks the finale of Adrian Fogelin’s award-winning Neighborhood novels.

Check out our full Spring 2015 catalog here, and stay tuned for giveaways, interviews, and more! 

Spring is going to be good, guys.