January 16, 2017

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Elizabeth Bird

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird (fusenumber8@gmail.com) is a children’s librarian at the New York Public Library and blogs at “A Fuse #8 Production” on SLJ ’s website. Her last feature for the magazine, “Betsy Goes to Bologna” ( July 2011), offered a bird’s-eye view of the world’s largest kids’ book fair.

Unexpected Jolts of Children’s Literature

It’s that time again!  Because my day job actually consists of buying adult books, not children’s, I am privy to a whole different slant on how children’s literature is perceived by the wider publishing world.  What assumptions do adult authors make of our profession?  How do books for children affect the cultural conversation?  I don’t […]

Review of the Day: Prince Ribbit by Jonathan Emmett, ill. Poly Bernatene

Prince Ribbit By Jonathan Emmett Illustrated by Poly Bernatene Peachtree Press $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-56145-761-8 Ages 4-7 On shelves March 1, 2017 There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about . . . well, the news. Specifically fake news. Articles and stories that look real when you find them in your in-box or […]

Review of the Day: Prince Ribbit by Jonathan Emmett, ill. Poly Bernatene

Prince Ribbit By Jonathan Emmett Illustrated by Poly Bernatene Peachtree Press $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-56145-761-8 Ages 4-7 On shelves March 1, 2017 There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about . . . well, the news. Specifically fake news. Articles and stories that look real when you find them in your in-box or […]

The Diversity List: Picture, Easy, and Early Chapter Books of 2016

Not too long ago I created the 31 Days, 31 Lists series where I counted down a list of top 2016 books every day.  When I initially came up with the idea I briefly wondered if I should make lists celebrating specific kinds of diversity.  Top African-American Picture Books of 2016 or Best Diverse Titles.  […]

Warning: Construction (2017 Books) Ahead

A girl could go quite mad. This is what happens when a blogger has a two-year-old with a penchant for vehicular momentum.  I blame his obsession on the fact that the house next door was leveled and a new one put in its place.  Suddenly my son had a front row seat for the excavator […]

Warning: Construction (2017 Books) Ahead

A girl could go quite mad. This is what happens when a blogger has a two-year-old with a penchant for vehicular momentum.  I blame his obsession on the fact that the house next door was leveled and a new one put in its place.  Suddenly my son had a front row seat for the excavator […]

Book Trailer Premier: Green Pants by Kenneth Kraegel

Video Sunday bounces back with a beautiful book trailer.  But first, a little book trailer 101. When making a book trailer for your third picture book (in this particular case Mr. Kenneth Kraegel was the understated soul behind King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson and The Song of Delphine) you have to consider what kind of […]

Cover Reveal: Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

When I look at the wide swath of books published each and every year it’s a marvel to me that any new children’s book authors are able to claw their way out of the pack to distinguish themselves at all.  Consider adult author Lauren Wolk.  In 2016 her debut children’s book Wolf Hollow became one […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2017: Final Prediction Edition

Normally published in December, now pushed up to January for your reading pleasure.  But I’m shaking things up this time around.  Let’s do something a little different. In all my past Final Prediction Editions of Newbery/Caldecott winners, I cling stubbornly to the same format: name the predicted winner and honors.  This year I’m going a […]

(like you really need another list from me) 100 Magnificent Children’s Books 2016!

It has been a crazy December.  So just in brief then, here are 100 of the books that showed up on my 31 Days, 31 Lists series that I personally enjoyed the most.  I do this list each year as a kind of personal bookkeeping.  Go about your business.  We’ll be back to our regularly […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 31 – The Best Picture Books of 2016

And that, as they say, is that.  A noble experiment runs its natural course.  For those of you who followed along every day, I thank you.  It’s been a thrill, an exhausting exhausting thrill, to bring you a different list of great 2016 books every day in December.  Now we find ourselves on the cusp […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 30 – Wonderful 2016 Children’s Novels

No excuses!  These are just the books that I read in 2016 that I thought knocked it out of the park.  These aren’t the “best of the year”.  These are just the books that were particularly good and that somehow crossed my radar.  I read a lot more than what you’ll see here, but I […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 29 – 2016 Reprinted Children’s Novels

Back on December 9th I wrote a piece on those reprinted picture books I was happiest to encounter in 2016.  Now I’ll say a word or two about the reprinted novels of this year.  Naturally, if you look at the output from the publisher New York Review Books you’ll find a lovely array of titles.  […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 28 – 2016 Great Nonfiction Chapter Books for Kids

I peer into the darkness and at long last I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We’re almost there!  Almost at the end of this month’s 31 Days, 31 Lists challenge.  I’m certainly delighted, not least because I’ve managed to keep it up so far (knocking on wood now as hard as […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 27 – 2016 Nonfiction Picture Books

It’s finally come!  The list is nearing its end.  So it is with great delight that I present to you some of the last of the lists.  Today’s is particularly long, celebrating what I consider to be some of the best books of 2016. Since so many of them have shown up on my other […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 26 – 2016 Unique Biographies for Kids

During the 2016 Boston Globe-Horn Book Colloquium Carol Boston Weatherford and Ekua Holmes spoke together about the art of writing about other people.  During the speech they mentioned how part of their job is to break down “the canonical boundaries of biography.”  Too often kids read the same biographies about the same people over and […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 25 – 2016 Transcendent Holiday Titles

Note that I didn’t specify which holidays, of course.  These are just the books I think did a slam bang job of lauding their respective days of celebration.  Enjoy one and all! 2016 Transcendent Holiday Titles Babushka: A Christmas Tale by Dawn Casey, ill. Amanda Hall Oh, certainly this isn’t the first Babushka title you’ve […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 24 – 2016 Science and Nature Books for Kids

There were no science books on the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for 2016.  Nor in 2015.  Nor 2014.  Bomb in 2013 was sort of a science book, so we’ll count that.  And Moonbird that year certainly was.  Yet it’s often surprising how consistently science and nature get overlooked when they’re handing out awards […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 23 – 2016 American History for Kids

For a year or two I helped sit on the committee for the New York Historical Society’s book prize.  Each year it goes to books that, “… honor the best children’s historical literature and encourage authors to continue to create engaging and challenging narratives that provide a window into the past for middle readers and […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 22 – 2016 Fictionalized Non-Fiction for Kids

Earlier this year I had a lovely lunch with an author of nonfiction titles for kids.  As we discussed the wide range of nonfiction available to children these days she lamented the fact that we’ve become so narrow in what we deem worthy of our children’s attention.  Sticking strictly to what we consider to be […]