Check Out These 10 Picture Books by Oregon Authors and Illustrators


It only takes a few minutes to read a picture book, but it can take years, from original idea to final publication, to bring one into the world.

So when the pandemic interrupted bookstore readings, library storytimes and school visits, authors whose picture books came out after March 2020 found their new releases suddenly wandering in the void.

Stephanie Shaw, a children’s author from Oregon, told The Oregonian/OregonLive, “Publishers have generously allowed teachers to read books in virtual classrooms. Some authors have provided Zoom events. But the former really lacks direct contact with the students. And bookstores that offered Zoom events quickly discovered that children were tired of screens and were unlikely to tune in.

Many bookstores are still withholding in-person events, especially for children under 5, who cannot yet receive COVID-19 vaccines. Same for libraries.

So here’s a look at 10 new and recent picture books from Oregon authors and illustrators that you might have missed.

Oregon-based artist Tracy Subisak did the illustrations for “Amah Faraway.”Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Amah awayby Margaret Chiu Greenias

This picture book will resonate for any family with distant loved ones. When California-raised Kylie and her mother visit Grandma (Amah) in Taiwan, Kylie is initially unsure of the unfamiliar foods and customs she encounters there. The watercolors of Portland illustrator Tracy Subisak perfectly evoke Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.

The picture book cover "Can a rock grow?" presents a drawing of a cross-section of a rock.

“Can a rock grow?” teaches children basic geology facts.larch books

Can a rock grow?by Audrey Sauble

Audrey Sauble, author-illustrator from Oregon, started writing picture books about science and nature to answer her daughter’s questions. His latest offers a fun introduction to geology by looking at the natural forces that act on rocks as well as the different types of rocks. Clear and detailed illustrations complement the text. (Inside tip: Look for the hidden snail on every page.)

The picture book cover "Friends are friends forever" shows two children kissing amidst Chinese New Year decorations and falling snow

Dane Liu’s picture book is based on his own childhood experiences.macmillan

Friends are friends forever” by Dane Liu

Two Lunar New Year celebrations, thousands of miles apart, conclude Portland author Dane Liu’s autobiographical tale of a girl who must say goodbye to her best friend in China, then face to loneliness in the United States before finally making a new friend. Lynn Scurfield’s dynamic illustrations capture the energy of childhood.

The picture book cover

In “Lucy’s Blooms”, a little girl meets floral elitism.West Margin Press

Lucy’s flowers” by Dawn Babb Prochovnic

In this grandmother-granddaughter story by Portland author Dawn Babb Prochovnic, little Lucy takes to gardening with relish, eager to win a flower contest. When the judges view her precious plants differently from her, she wilts – but only for a moment. Alice Brereton provides delightfully vivid and expressive illustrations.

The cover of "My little Betty White guestbook" shows the TV star holding two dogs.

Golden Books bets you’re never too young to learn about Betty White.guest books

My little Betty White guestbookby Deborah Hopkinson

While your Little Golden Books memories may center on poky little puppies, the series now includes biographies, including West Linn author Deborah Hopkinson’s biography of Betty White, published a few months before her death. of White on December 31. The book traces his television career and his love of animals, with light illustrations by Margeaux Lucas.

The picture book cover "The piano" shows a red upright piano.

“The Piano” offers a different perspective on how to make music.Black Rose Writing

The pianoby Chari Smith

Portland pianist and songwriter Chari Smith wrote this charming picture book about the experience of learning to play an instrument from the perspective of a piano and her journey through the life of a young musician. Illustrations by Elle Smith, the author’s daughter, add warmth and depth to the story.

Smith celebrates “The Piano” with lyrics and music at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 5, Portland Piano Company, 8700 NE Columbia Blvd. To free; mandatory masks.

The picture book cover "Pig and horse and something scary" shows a horse and a pig holding hands as they walk along an outdoor path.

In “Pig and Horse and the Something Scary”, two friends discover how to deal with anxiety.Harry N Abrams

Pig and horse and something scaryby Zoey Abbott

Pig is restless and frightened by something lodged in her head. Fortunately, his friend Horse is entirely supportive – and full of ideas. Together, the two identify Pig’s fears and find ways to overcome them. Portland-based author-illustrator Zoey Abbott’s book offers a sweet and whimsical exploration of how to become better at understanding emotions.

The picture book cover "Sylvia finds a way" features a slug on a leaf in a lush garden.

Yoga, gardening and conflict resolution are all featured in this picture book.West Margin Press

Sylvia finds a wayby Stephanie Shaw

Could there be a more Oregon picture book than one featuring a slug doing yoga? Oregon author Stephanie Shaw’s eccentric protagonist stars in a story in which her devious sweetness wins out when the speed, strength, and size of her animal friends fails against a protective gardener. Fiona Lee’s mixed-media illustrations enhance Sylvia’s elegant solution.

The picture book cover "Animal Shelter Tails" shows adults and children interacting with dogs and birds.

“Tails from the Animal Shelter” is a non-fiction picture book that teaches children about human societies.Sleeping bear press

Animal Shelter Tailsby Stephanie Shaw

This non-fiction book, with lively illustrations by Liza Woodruff, teaches children about human societies by telling, in rhyme and direct prose, the stories of animals commonly placed in shelters – not just dogs and cats, but also rabbits, farm animals, reptiles, even (disabled) skunks. Vancouver’s Chris Driggins receives a special mention for his work with parrots.

The picture book cover "Werewolf ?  there wolf" shows a pack of wolves staring at Little Red Riding Hood

The latest picture book from Hazy Dell Press is a retelling of the story of Little Red Riding Hood.Foggy Dell Press

Werewolf ? there wolf!” by Kyle Sullivan

Monsters are fun and friendly are a successful selling point for Hazy Dell Press, a Portland/Seattle publisher of hardbacks, pictures and chapters. In Hazy Dell’s latest picture book, Portland author Kyle Sullivan takes Little Red Riding Hood through her paces in rhyming verse, with a nice boost from Meg Hunt’s bold illustrations, until … the plot is twisted!; Twitter: @ORAmyW


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