Just a few weeks ago, we were thrilled to learn that two picture books from EBYR were among the five titles shortlisted for this year’s PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing. This award was established in 2011 and is given annually “to a writer for an exceptional story illustrated in a picture book.”

The award winner is set to be unveiled in the middle of August, so it won’t be long now before we find out whether one of our two shortlisted books will be walking away with one of the most respected literary prizes in America.

To pass the time while we wait for the big announcement (and to keep ourselves from biting our nails completely down to the quick while we wait), we’re giving away copies of both shortlisted picture books this week on EerdWord.

Read on to find out how you can become one of five lucky readers who will each receive copies of the following two books:

I Lay My Stitches Down

I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery 
Written by Cynthia Grady
Illustrated by Michele Wood

This rich and intricate collection of poems chronicles the various experiences of American slaves. Drawn together through imagery drawn from quilting and fiber arts, each poem is spoken from a different perspective: a house slave, a mother losing her daughter to the auction block, a blacksmith, a slave fleeing on the Underground Railroad.

Brought to life by vivid and colorful artwork from Michele Wood, I Lay My Stitches Down offers a timeless and moving witness to the hardship endured by America’s slaves. Each poem is supplemented by a historical note.

Read an EerdWord guest post by author Cynthia Grady

The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau

The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau
Written by Michelle Markel
Illustrated by Amanda Hall

Henri Rousseau wanted to be an artist. But he had no formal training. Instead, he taught himself to paint. He painted until the jungles and animals and distant lands in his head came alive on the space of his canvases.

Henri Rousseau endured the harsh critics of his day and created the brilliant paintings that now hang in museums around the world. Michelle Markel’s vivid text, complemented by the vibrant illustrations of Amanda Hall, artfully introduces young readers to the beloved painter and encourages all readers to persevere despite all odds.

Watch the book trailer

To enter our PEN/Steven Kroll Award Shortlist Giveaway, click the link below. You’ll have the option of logging in with Facebook or email (we’ll need some way to contact you if you win!); you may then choose from several possible methods of entry. You can even use multiple entry methods to increase your odds of winning. You must be 18 years or older and a legal resident of the United States to enter. 

The entry period for the giveaway begins at 10:00 a.m. Monday, August 12, 2013 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, August 17, 2013. Five winners will be selected at random and notified by email on Monday, August 19, 2013.

Enter our Rafflecopter giveaway now!