The Picture Book Project

The Picture Book Project is an annual collaboration between Richmond Young Writers and professional artists in the community. These limited edition, funny, heart-rending, mind-bending, beautiful works are available for purchase between the months of September and December each year. In 2017, our kickoff year, 13 students ages 11-17 wrote stories that were illustrated by their artist counterparts and published by Richmond Young Writers Press. 2018 brought us 11 more books that were wildly well-loved, and now… it’s 2019.

Your 2019 book purchases ensure that the project will live on into 2020, empowering young writers to put their hopeful, courageous, thought-provoking messages into stories for young readers.

ONLINE BOOK SALES ARE NOW LIVE! Please note that online orders will not be shipped out until AFTER our release event:

Picture Book Project 2019 Book Release!

October 4th, 6-9pm (in conjunction with First Friday)

Charm School Ice Cream

Click on covers to read more about each book, and when you’re ready to order, use this link:


Are you an educator interested in buying in bulk for classrooms/libraries/etc.? Please email for special pricing.




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Melting Tears

Odessa Hott & Sarah Hand

This tender-hearted fairytale weaves together the fates of an imaginative rice paper girl and a morose king in need of a good story. If you're in need of a good story, too, this beauty will not disappoint.



Yazlin Jimenez & Heide Trepanier

Jupiter isn't your average boy. He's on a quest: a quest for his happy place. It's difficult to find, but the journey turns up some very interesting interactions with those around him, as well as a mysterious and beautiful answer.

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Clara Turned Blue

Georgia Leipold-Vitiello & Brooke Inman

No one seems to be able to see something that seems so clear to Clara: she's utterly and totally (and literally) blue. What does it mean? What does it feel like? This important book helps give voice to feelings of sadness when everything's supposed to feel okay.

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Pastel Butterflies

Rylee Matthew & suzanne l. vinson

Opportunities to do the right thing present themselves in many ways, and we don't always seize them - usually because we're too busy or distracted to listen to that little voice that guides us. In this moving story, that voice is our very own shadow.

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Home Sweet Home

J. M. Tuck & Karen Mullins

How many amazing picture books out there feature termites? This epic fable-style story addresses what happens when we overuse our resources. It's a great choice for your young environmentalist.

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The Artist's Dream

Walden Hubbard & April L. Kelly

Have you ever struggled with being at the beginning of an endeavor and feeling like you'll never be as talented as the people you admire? So has Jamie. But some surprises come her way that change her mind.


Jerry's Jittery Journey

Ashwin Johri & Alex Fulton

Getting stuck anywhere is not a fun idea. Getting stuck in a small room is even worse. Getting stuck in the bathroom? Oh, no, Jerry! But, with a bit of creativity, he makes the best of it.

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Trixie's Game

Liesel Lutz & Amelia Blair Langford

History buffs! History buff hopefuls! This one's for you. What can possibly tear Trixie away from her beloved tablet? It's got to be something powerful, something inspiring... something waiting for her at the history museum.

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Into The Dark

M. Pickral & Virginia Samsel

This mind-bending, complex story of a girl and her imaginary friend is made even more piquing by abstract illustrations, trusting the reader to go 'into the dark' alongside the narrator and see what lies there.

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Flea Man

Yasmeen Jaaber & Katie McBride

Sometimes heroes come in unexpected packages... and from unexpected inspiration. This book is about trusting our inner voice and being ourselves. It also contains a very memorable line about broccoli.

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The Magic Painting

Roxie Kellner & Rachel Hume

Do you love 'things are not always what they seem' stories? This gutsy tale with its Silverstein-esque illustrations is a fantastic mix of illusion and reality, with a big dash of sibling love.


Bella the Beetle's Search for a Friend

Journey Mathews & Alicia Strum

Friendship. It's what gets us through each day, right? But what happens when you just can't seem to connect? Bella's story is about tapping into inner strengths and developing a sense of self.


Snake Legs

Garrett Schwan & Bri Bevan

The only rhyming story of our 2017 collection is also one of the funniest, following Blake the Snake's tenacious desire for speed. And legs. And possibly fame and fortune. Snake Legs is a joy to read, especially aloud.