Friday, January 20, 2012

Friendship in Picture Books -- A Workshop with Tamar Brazis

At the Miami SCBWI Conference, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop taught by Tamar Brazis, Editorial Director at Abrams. The theme of the workshop was the art of friendship in picture books.

Ms. Brazis started the workshop by saying her favorite kind of picture books are about friendship. She used four books as examples: CITY DOG AND COUNTRY FROG by Mo Willems, MAKING A FRIEND by Allison McGhee, THE GIFT OF NOTHING by Patrick McDonnell, and DAYS WITH FROG AND TOAD by Arnold Lobel. We read each of these books aloud to see what made them special. All of them used simple, yet beautiful language. The thing they had in common was "feeling." Reading each of them left me with a comfy, cozy feeling, like being hugged by a good friend.

I think everybody in the world could use a few more hugs. As Ms. Brazis said, "Everything is better with a friend."

Do you have a favorite picture book or novel about friendship? What makes that book stand out in your mind?


  1. I adored Lobel's books as a child. I thought they were so sweet. I heard Tamar's session was wonderful.

    Have a great week.

  2. Tamar's session was wonderful. What sessions did you attend?

  3. It sounds like this was a lovely session. I love the frog and toad books. They are perfect examples of friendship.

  4. I hadn't read the other books, (besides FROG AND TOAD), until the workshop. As you know, I'm usually working on a novel or a PB biography, but the other books are lovely. THE GIFT OF NOTHING would actually make a great holiday gift for an adult!