This year’s influencer Judges panel!
Each year a panel of picture book influencers get together to judge the Bookstagang best picturebooks of the year!
Alessandra Requena (she/they) has a background in education and art history. She spends a lot of time coming up with ideas, and has time for maybe a quarter of them. She is a writer as well as a book reviewer. On social media She is passionate about creating communities for readers. She and her two children work together to decide which picturebooks are the ones they want to recommend to their audience.
Kelly (she/her) is a powerhouse of organization and chutzpah for doing right in the world. She began her account after being confronted with the lack of diversity on her own child’s bookshelf. Since then she scours every book nook and book cranny to bring you books that will provide every child out there with a mirror to their own life. She spends entirely too much time agonizing over the little details of everything she recommends, so that she can bring her audience the best, the most important, and feel good about it.
Corrie/Coco (she/they; Pocumtuck/Nipmuc/Wabanaki Confederacy land) is a former classroom teacher and is dedicated to examining and working against the eurocentric heteropatriarchy of school systems and many of the most visible books for children. They have presented internationally and Corrie’s formal secondary education has been focused on ABAR education and its implementation strategies in the classroom and home. You can find her online at The Tiny Activist website or on Instagram (@thetinyactivists).
Elizabeth (she/her) is mom to a 15-month-old named Louisa who was conceived via IVF. She is passionate about breaking the stigma associated with infertility and miscarriage. She has an extensive background in primary education. Elizabeth is absolutely obsessed with all things kidlit and especially values 1) inclusive children’s books 2) picture books that have practical applications when working with kids (but aren’t super preachy or obvious about it). Check out her website http://thekidlitmama.com.
You can usually find Megan (she/her) curled up in her home library reading a good book. When she is not reading, she enjoys posting about what she’s read on Instagram. She believes picture books are for everyone. Megan also enjoys reading middle grade, YA, and adult novels. Megan is a middle school reading teacher who enjoys her work. She also enjoys traveling with her family, listening to good music, and watching game shows on TV.
Eliana was born and raised in NYC, the daughter of immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and 7 year old son.Eliana has enjoyed reading her entire life but fell in love with Kid Lit as an adult. As a mother who works a (boring) corporate job primarily outside of the home, reading is how she unwinds and connects with her son after a long day apart from him. Ultimately, she wants to help adults find books that help them connect with the children in their lives. And also help them find books that will help those kiddos fall in love with reading.
Kallan is originally from Louisiana, but moved to Houston 13 years ago. She has a BS in Nutrition and is now I stay at home with for her 3 kids (4, 6, 7). Kallan has always been drawn to non-fiction books. The bigger, the prettier, the better. She loves books that give us a window into other people’s lives, especially for her kids.
Bonnie (she/her) is a white latina (Salvadoran) mom of a two year old. She works full-time (from home during the school year) as a marketing and events manager for two amazing small businesses, one is a toy store and the other is a bookstore! her favorite part of her job is booking authors and illustrators for free events in her community. they emphasize reaching Title 1 schools (and providing every child with a free, signed book), partnering with libraries, and connecting authors and illustrators for one-on-one time with children in our local community housing district. It is quite literally her dream job.
Jenna (she/her) and lives in Los Angeles, California. She is a mom, literature PhD, artist, Jew, and type one diabetic. Jenna is a huge nerd for research, kidlit, and crafting. Her instagram reflects these interests, as she presents research based tips for dynamic read alouds and quality kidlit recommendations. She also cuts all the paper art by hand.
Jenna is also the artist responsible for this year’s award’s graphics!