A FOURTH Star!!!!!!


Can you believe it? A FOURTH starred review for BRUSH OF THE GODS, from Booklist. I’m overwhelmed. I dunno what to say, except THANK YOU to everyone who worked so hard to make this a special book.

Here it is, as sent by my publisher:

The following title has received its fourth starred review in the
May 15, 2013 issue of Booklist (circ: 24,150):
«Brush of the Gods.
Look, Lenore (Author) , So, Meilo (Illustrator)
Jun 2013. 40 p. Random/Schwartz & Wade, hardcover, $17.99. (9780375870019).
Swirling back through the mists of Chinese history, collaborators Look and So bring children the story of Wu Daozi, an artist with magic in his brush. As a boy in the late seventh century, Daozi was taught calligraphy—at least the monks attempted to teach him. But instead of letters, worms and horse tails fall from his brush, and when he takes his art into the city, his flowers and clouds are so full of vivacity and life that people from all over come to admire his work. But what’s this? As Daozi grows older, he’s startled to see the butterflies he draws take flight from the paper. A camel walks away from the wall. His crowds of followers dissipate, perhaps because they don’t believe the art has come to life, but eventually, a new generation brings him to such heights of popularity that the emperor invites Daozi to paint a magnificent mural on a palace wall—one that takes him the rest of his life. The author’s note calls this picture book a reimagined life of the painter who brought spirit and motion to Chinese art. Certainly, Look and So have dipped deep into the well of artistry and creativity to produce a book that captures Daozi’s essence. The richly colored artwork is stunning in both its scope and particulars; inky calligraphy brushstrokes accent people and places. And the words are equally well chosen, such as when the elderly Dazoi is “drenched in the moon’s silver tears.” This combination of talents happily never forgets its audience in an offering as child appealing and whimsical as it is handsome.

A Third Star!

starI feel guilty putting up good news on a bad news day. I got the news of my THIRD star for BRUSH OF THE GODS just seconds before a friend told me about the bombs going off at the Boston Marathon. My heart goes out to all those affected by the violence.

Here’s the starred review from School Library Journal, as sent by my publisher:

The following title has received its THIRD STARRED REVIEW in the
May 2013 issue of School Library Journal (circ: 30,000):
«LOOK, Lenore. Paintbrush of the Gods. illus. by Meilo So. 40p. Random/Schwartz & Wade. June 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-375-87001-9. LC 2012006442.
K-Gr 3–Young Wu Daozi tries to please his calligraphy teacher, but his brush drips out squiggles and twists and dots, his lines turn into trees, his hooks catch fish, and “his dots burst into eyes, then pigs, and monkeys.” Wu Daozi paints on walls in temples and teahouses, and even the great wall surrounding the city. His work becomes known and admired throughout China. One day he paints a butterfly so beautiful and delicate that it appears to be real. When the wind blows, the wing moves, just a little, and the butterfly suddenly flits off. Soon everything he creates either flutters, gallops, or rolls away. No one believes that his paintings come to life, except the children. Then one day, the emperor asks Daozi if he would create a masterpiece on a wall of the palace. Stunning ink, watercolor, and pencil artwork brings to life ancient China and the beautiful children who remained faithful to Daozi. Highly detailed and vibrantly colored, the illustrations render Daozi’s paintings with brilliance. Children will appreciate the imaginative aspect of the text as well as the inspiring story of a boy who follows his dreams. Inviting and appealing, this title serves as a great addition to a unit on ancient China or Chinese Art.–Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH


Another Star!

starJust in from my publisher:

The following title has received its second starred review in the
April 15, 2013 issue of Publishers Weekly (circ: 19,068)
«Brush of the Gods
Lenore Look, illus. by Meilo So. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-87001-9
Look (the Alvin Ho series) blends mystical realism and biography to create a magical portrait of one of ancient China’s famous artists, Wu Daozi. As a boy during the T’ang Dynasty in the seventh century, Daozi is unable to conform in calligraphy class. Instead, “His straight lines splintered into trees. His hooks caught fish. His dots burst into eyes.” Later known for his dynamic murals, Daozi paints subjects so realistically they seem to come alive (“Daozi’s birds fluttered away. His horses galloped into the mountains”). The young artist’s cherubic face with big, black eyes and plump, rosy cheeks will pull readers in at the first page; the brisk narrative and vibrant spreads will keep them reading. So’s (Water Sings Blue) breezy ink-and-watercolor illustrations evoke Daozi’s flowing style. In some scenes, her naïve paintings showcase detailed patterns and myriad colors, like the spread of a mural unveiling featuring vivid banners, buildings, musicians, and dancers. Other spreads of Daozi practicing his craft alone employ a more limited color palette. A fine biographical tribute to the enchanting power of art. Ages 4–8. (June)
And also just arrived from my publisher, the very first copy of the finished book:


Oooh. I’m SO excited!!! I can’t wait to share this with all the amazing readers at the Alexander Hamilton School in Morristown, NJ, on Wednesday!

4th Annual Elaine Galliker Author Visit

“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.” — Confucius

It was good advice from Confucius yesterday as I was on the train to the Elaine Galliker Author Visit in Parsippany, NJ. It popped out at me from a list of Confucius quotes that I had written in my writer’s notebook. So I set it as my intention, that I would be there with all my heart.

And boy, was I glad I did. Continue reading


It’s out! It’s out!




Find out what happens when Alvin’s the last one to find out his mom’s about to have a baby!

Find out what it’s like to have a simply pathetic pregnancy!

Will Alvin eat all the croissants in the house?

Will Calvin trap the burglar hitting the homes in Concord?

Will their dad make it back from his business trip in time?

What if the baby’s a — girl???

All this and MUCH MORE in the newest installment of ALVIN HO!

Read it today!

Do your homework tomorrow 😀





A star! A star!

Dear Readers,

Have you ever gotten one of these on a homework assignment or a project? starWhat does it make you do? Does it make you jump up and down? Does it make you wave it all around? Does it make you scream at the top of your lungs and charge down the street full-speed ahead with your eyes shut tight? Continue reading