July 26, 2016

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Tru & Nelle: A Behind-the-Scenes Mini Documentary

Greg Neri.  Now there’s a guy with range.  If he isn’t writing a picture book bio of Johnny Cash he’s doing a middle grade novel on inner city cowboys or a graphic novel on Chicago’s South Side.  Some authors fall into predictable patterns.  Not Greg.  I honestly never know what the man’s going to come […]

Newbery/Caldecott 2017: The Summer Prediction Edition

Fickle little me. Titles appear. Titles disappear. Many of the books I placed on my Spring 2017 predictions list are gone by June, and what has changed?  Aren’t the books as wonderful now as they were when I originally propped them up?  Of course they are, but I’ve done enough book discussions in the intervening […]

Review of the Day: Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari

Coyote Moon By Maria Gianferrari Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline Roaring Brook Press (an imprint of Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-62672-041-1 Ages 4-7 On shelves July 19th I feel as if there was less nature out there when I was a kid. Crazy, right? But seriously, as I grew to be an adult I was appalled at […]

Fusenews: Trotsky, Harriet the Spy, A.A. Milne and More

You know what’s even better than serving on an award committee?  Having someone else write about it.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, I was on the judging committee for this year’s Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards alongside Chair Joanna Rudge Long and Roxanne Feldman.  It was Roxanne who reported on our discussion, and even took […]

Denying Children’s Literature: When Adult Authors Talk About Youthful Indiscretions

A couple weeks ago the June 6/13 edition of The New Yorker was the Fiction issue, and in it were essays by five authors, each subtitled “Childhood Reading.”  As you might expect, they were ostensibly memories of books read by these authors when they were young.  I approached each one with a bit of trepidation, […]

Interview Talkety Talk: Ben Hatke on Nobody Likes a Goblin

The problem is this: In a given year hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of children’s books are published. Of these, a percentage are really extraordinary. Of that percentage, a smidgen get reviewed on this site. Though I began my blogging career doing a review a day (because I WAS CRAAAAAAZY!!!), I’m lucky if I can […]

Review of the Day: Gabe by Shelley Gill

Gabe: A Story of Me, My Dog, and the 1970s By Shelley Gill Illustrated by Marc Scheff Charlesbridge $12.95 ISBN: 978-1-57091-354-9 Ages 10 and up On shelves now The older I get the more I like children’s books that don’t slot easily into neat little categories. Gone are the days when every book you read […]

Crazy Cool Things Libraries Are Doing (That I Didn’t Know When I Lived in NYC)

New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Library system are all magnificent institutions, each with their own tips, tricks, and innovative programs.  That said, you cannot get away from the fact that in the end they’re just a collection of branches in a gigantic system.  And like many such branches they are […]

Book Trailer Premiere: Maybe Something Beautiful

Faithful readers will recall that I have gushed on occasion about the book MAYBE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL by F. Isabel Campoy & Theresa Howell, illustrated by Rafael López.  For years he’s been creating truly delicious art in a variety of great books.  Remember Drum Dream Girl?  Right there. That. In this latest book, a community comes […]

Fusenews: Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of Garbage Pail Kids and kings . . .

Happy Monday to you!  You want the goods?  I’ve got the goods.  Or, at the very least, a smattering of interesting ephemera.  Let’s do this thing.   First and foremost, you may have noticed the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards were announced.  The BGHB Awards are some of the strangest in the biz since they encompass […]

Review of the Day: The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

The Wild Robot By Peter Brown Little, Brown & Company $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-316-38199-4 Ages 9-12 On shelves now There are far fewer robot middle grade books out there than you might expect. This is probably because, as a general rule, robots fall into the Data from Star Trek trap. Their sole purpose in any narrative […]

We Need Diverse eBooks Too, Y’know

Here is what in truth is just a query masquerading as a legitimate blog post.  I am never above misusing my power when I’m curious.  And while I’m sure somebody somewhere has brought this up, I certainly can’t recall it being as big a topic as it could be. The other day I was talking […]

And How Did You Spend Your Memorial Day Weekend?

Me?  I spent it in Vermont. The rolling green hills.  The bears and red squirrels and little tiny insects that think your left nostril is a house and home.  The lovely company, particularly when you’re deciding the 2016 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners. Yup.  Alongside fellow committee members Roxanne Feldman and Joanna Long (she of […]

Press Release Fun: Echo Wins History Award

Ach. I miss this award. I served on it once and suggested titles for consideration twice. Be sure to check out the honors as well. There are some surprises there that made me really happy. THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY ANNOUNCES 2016 CHILDREN’S HISTORY BOOK PRIZE GOES TO PAM MUñOZ RYAN FOR ECHO   NEW YORK, […]

Review of the Day: Next to You by Lori Haskins Houran

Next to You: A Book of Adorableness By Lori Haskins Houran Illustrated by Sydney Hanson Albert Whitman & Co. $16.99 ISBN: 9780807556009 Ages 4-7 On shelves now Years ago I saw a very interesting sketch produced during the early years of Disney animated filmmaking. The drawing was an explanation to animators on the precise proportions […]

Gender Politics and Construction Equipment: The Eyelashening

File this one under the category: Stuff Parents Notice But Don’t Discuss You have a child.  The child is quite young, let’s say two years of age. The child loves books about tools, ladders, and banjos (and you would be shocked just how many books for kids contain at east one of those three items).  […]

Fusenews: The occasional “unruly pleasure”

I’ve done it again.  Delayed my Fusenews too long and now this post is going to overflow with too much good stuff.  Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. Me stuff for the start. And in fact, there just so much Me Stuff today that I’m just going to cram it all into this little paragraph […]

Review of the Day: The King of Kazoo by Norm Feuti

King of Kazoo By Norm Feuti Graphix (an imprint of Scholastic) $22.99 ISBN: 978-0545770880 Ages 9-12 On shelves July 26th When I used to run a children’s book club for 9-12 year-olds, I’d regularly let them choose the next book we’d discuss. In time, after some trial and error, I learned that the best way […]

Spotted at BEA: Upcoming Goodies

A light smattering of things that caught my eye at BEA. Here’s the thing about Book Expo America.  As conferences go it yields less love amongst librarians than our own, beloved American Library Association conferences.  And that just makes sense.  BEA is about the business side of books. Booksellers are the primary focus and they’re […]

Day of Dialog 2016 Recap: Chicago Edition!

I feel like it’s been a long time since I “reported” on anything. It isn’t just the move to the Chicago area. It’s more that subtly over the years I’ve pulled back from the rote typing that I used to engage in so often. Blame Twitter. Blame aging. Blame my left pinkie finger which, even […]