Picture Books



Co-written with Debbi Michiko Florence
Illustrated by Yuko Jones
FSG, September 2021

This picture book biography tells the story of the powerhouse female Japanese-American chef and her rise to fame. As a child and adult, Niki faced many naysayers in her pursuit of haute cuisine. Using the structure of a traditional kaiseki meal, authors Jamie Michalak and Debbi Michiko Florence playfully detail Niki’s hunger for success in thirteen bites — from wonton wrappers she used to make pizza as a kid to yuzu-tomatillo sauce in her own upscale Los Angeles Michelin-starred restaurant, n/naka.

To anyone who tells her a woman can’t be a master chef, Niki lets her food do the talking. And oh, does it talk. Niki was featured on the first season of Netflix’s culinary documentary series “Chef’s Table.” A smart, strong woman with star power, Niki is only just getting started — like the young readers who will devour this book, featuring illustrations by Yuko Jones!

A Junior Library Guild Gold Selection

A CBC Notable Social Studies Book

A Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year

A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 

A Mighty Girl Book of the Year

A BookPeople Book of the Month

A Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award nominee 2023-2024

A Sakura Medal nominee


★ “Art, storytelling, and food work together on so many levels in this beautiful tale about master chef Niki Nakayama’s life.” —starred review, Booklist

★ “In 13 ‘bites,’ the duo follows Nakayama through food-centered memories, including bonding moments with her grandmother, embarking on a post-high school Tokyo food tour, and trying and then studying kaiseki at a cousin’s ryokan. ‘There, Niki was served a meal of/ many courses. One by one,/ the dishes flowed like a stream,’ much like the book’s prose.” —starred review, Publishers Weekly

“Determined heroine, delightful story, delectable illustrations: Both young readers and their adults will be inspired and charmed by every spread of this book.” —Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medalist and New York Times-bestselling author

“This empowering picture book biography is both lively and thoughtful, and a strong choice for primary grade readers who enjoy exploring culture through food.” —School Library Journal

“A flavorful, inspirational biography of a woman who showed the world what she could cook up.” —Kirkus

“Michalak and Florence dish up a sumptuous celebration of chef Niki Nakayama. . . . Not just about food, but also the importance of gathering, love and laughter, and the can-do spirit of a girl finding her path in life.” —Horn Book Magazine

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Come On In

There's a Party in this Book!

Illustrated by Sabine Timm
Hippo Park Books, September 2022

Can YOU help Lemon find the party? Fans of Sabine Timm @virgin_honey are jumping for joy! The Instagram darling from Germany has teamed up with beloved American author Jamie Michalak to create a picture book perfect for all ages, but especially kids from 4 to 8. 

Come on in to Lemon’s world and meet a rainbow-tastical collection of friends: cats wearing boots, fruits dressed in suits, dogs made of bread, and pigeons named Fred. You can help Lemon find the party! With eye-popping art from beloved creator, Sabine Timm and bouncy rhyming text from Jamie Michalak, Come on In offers up a fresh take on the theme of inclusivity, and will have crafty kids and DIYers smiling, pointing, and thinking: I bet I can make those, too!

The Most Astonishingly Unconventional Books of 2022 – 100 Scope Notes / School Library Journal

Children’s Book Council 2023 Favorites Award Winner

Shortlisted for the 2023-2024 Panda Book Awards

“Why It’s Unconventional: Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Walter Wick and Joost Elfers had a book baby? I think Come On In! would be the result. I Spy-esque found object artwork mixed with expressive food characters set the silly tone.”— Travis Jonker

“From the peanut mouse to the family of combs, Sabine Timm’s endearing creations from odds and ends inspire readers to throw a fruit fashion show in a pantry, host a party in a junk drawer, and make new friends with their toast.” —Caldecott Medalist and New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Sophie Blackall

“A bouncy, rhyme-y readaloud…. Extra bonus points for the die-cut cover that invites readers to come in the book.” —Betsy Bird, A Fuse #8 Production, School Library Journal

“Sabine Timm’s illustrations created with found objects burst with childlike imagination and endearing personality. Each page is a showstopper that kids and adults will want to explore together to soak up all the details…..Full of humor, whimsy, imagination, and the joys of inclusive friendship. Come On In: There’s a Party in this Book! will quickly become a family favorite to read again and again. The book would make a terrific gift and one you’ll want in your home, school, or public library collection.” —Celebrate Picture Books

“Adorable…. A fun one to read as a lapsit or to small groups of pre-k and older children. The artwork in this book is whimsical and delightful and the cats in boots bit made me literally guffaw out loud. CUTE!” —Lisa Boyd, Canton Public Library

“It’s like I Spy on steroids. Children (and adults) could spend hours enjoying the layouts of miniatures and the clever depictions of everyday things using any and every little ‘thing’ available around the house.” —Sherry Phillipus, School Librarian, San Antonio, TX



Illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Candlewick Press, May 2023

In a clever take on the “night at the museum” theme, a little mouse with a genius for collecting leads picture book readers — and seek-and-find fans — on a thrilling nocturnal adventure. Both a rollicking story with a dash of danger and, in its final eye-popping spreads, a seek-and-find challenge.

A feast for sharp-eyed readers—who’ll delight in circling back after the story to pore over the illustrations in search of treasure—this gently suspenseful tale, splashed with soft, dusky hues, evokes a world of wonders after dark.

An Amazon Editors’ Pick: Best Book for Ages 6-8

A Junior Library Guild Selection

A Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee



“Dakota Crumb is a delight that readers will return to again and again. In that way, it’s a bit like a favorite, fabulous museum.”—BookPage

“A delightful, entertaining romp with lots of surprises!”—Kirkus

“The writing draws listeners into the story with hints of daring escapades, and its tone sets the stage for adventure. The inviting artwork … enhances that atmosphere with shadowy scenes of the exhibit halls at night. Fun for reading aloud!”—Booklist

“[Murphy’s] digitally colored pen and ink drawings are both adventure-story cinematic and wonderfully evocative.”—Publishers Weekly

“What is Dakota doing with all the stuff? The answer is a cute surprise, and even more fun is the fact that, once we know, we have a reason to read the book again.”—The Arkansas Democrat Gazette

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Illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Candlewick Press, July 2021

Ooh la la! Tiny, intrepid Dakota Crumb is back—hunting for bookish treasure in the City of Light.

“Seek-and-find fans will particularly enjoy the last page, where Michalak offers a peek at 18 objects illustrated in Dakota’s little book and invites kids to look through their picture book’s illustrations again to discover each prize for themselves. Murphy’s distinctive pen-and-ink artwork … is lively in its portrayal of the mice and stunning in its depiction of Paris. A playful picture book packed with hidden treasures.” —Booklist

“An engaging offering for sharp-eyed young adventurers!” —Kirkus




Illustrated by Lorian Tu

What’s your superpower? They call themselves the Sunshine Squad: five friends (and one tagalong little brother) who decide to be superheroes. They have courage, capes, and even a secret clubhouse. 

They all have their own kind of superpower too. Oliver is a genius at drawing comics. Mia is a star athlete. Lucas is a master of practical jokes. Sophie is an animal expert. And Tommy—well, he’s still figuring out what he’s good at. Maybe he doesn’t belong in the squad at all. Throughout the day, Tommy helps his 123 Sunshine Street neighbors in different ways and learns that caring about others might be the best superpower of all.

Chicken Soup for the Soul children’s books impart life lessons that warm the heart with heaping spoonfuls of good humor.

“The books kick off the Chicken Soup for the Soul Kids series, their mission clear and their good intentions well executed…. With ethical situations children will relate to and good kid-to-kid advice.”—Kirkus

Chicken Soup for the Soul Kids

Sophie and the Tiny Dognapping

A Book About Doing the Right Thing

Illustrated by: Lorian Tu

Nobody will notice it’s gone. Sophie loves to play with Mia’s dollhouse, and most of all she loves the tiny dog named Emma who lives in the dollhouse. But every day, Sophie has to put Emma back. One day, she doesn’t. The dog is so tiny, and Mia doesn’t even like the dollhouse. Nobody will know if Sophie keeps it—so she tucks Emma into her pocket. But back at home, Emma’s smile doesn’t seem so friendly. She looks out of place, and Sophie knows why. After worrying and asking for advice from the Sunshine Squad, Sophie decides to do the right thing and learns that telling the truth feels good—even better than getting a new toy!

“The books kick off the Chicken Soup for the Soul Kids series, their mission clear and their good intentions well executed…. With ethical situations children will relate to and good kid-to-kid advice.”—Kirkus

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Illustrated by Mark Fearing
Candlewick Press

As seen in the film “Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.” 

Stink is on high alert when several sightings of Bigfoot have been made in the neighborhood. To assist him in his search for the elusive creature, Aunt Opal gives Stink a copy of So You Want to Catch Bigfoot? Now Judy Moody and Bigfoot fans alike can own a facsimile of this valuable field guide, containing everything you need to know about the furry fugitive, including tips on trapping and releasing your specimen.

“Bigfoot enthusiasts rejoice. . . . Readers of all ages will laugh at the humorous text and illustrations which depict commonly accepted Bigfoot lore.”—Children’s Literature