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August 1, 2015

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Newbery / Caldecott 2016: Summer Prediction Edition

The Summer Prediction edition of my Caldecott/Newbery ponderings is always a tricky beast.  If the spring edition is looking primarily at books coming out in the spring, summer, and early fall, then the summer edition is looking at almost the entire year. However, at this point I’m still relying more on buzz than the considered […]

We Are the Book Champions, My Friends

Here’s how I blog. I sit around, twiddling my thumbs, waiting waiting waiting for someone else to write something on a topic that has been bubbling and percolating in my noggin.  Then, when they go that extra mile, I STRIKE!  Today’s example: Travis Jonker’s piece Where Do You Fall On The Book Critic/Book Champion Continuum?  […]

Review of the Day: Return to Augie Hobble by Lane Smith

Return to Augie Hobble By Lane Smith Roaring Brook (an imprint of Macmillan) $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-62672-54-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Here is what we can say about Lane Smith – he does not go for the easy emotional pass. There are countless author/illustrators out there for whom risk is an unknown concept. The idea […]

Let’s Put On a Show! The Introvert’s Dilemma

The other day Monica Edinger writes to me, ” I hate performing in public and am far more comfortable shmoozing at dinners and lunches. You seem to be just the opposite.”  An interesting statement, to be sure.  For while I love me a good lunch and dinner shmooze, I certainly won’t pass up an opportunity […]

Fuse #8 TV: Steve Sheinkin

Allo, folks! Hosting Steve Sheinkin on Fuse #8 TV this month does have a bit of the old bringing coals to Newcastle feel to it.  After all, Steve’s been generous in sharing his Walking and Talking comic series with us on this site regularly.  So regularly, in fact, that it would be easy to forget […]

Press Release Fun: Salt wins the New York Historical Society Children’s History Book Prize

THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY ANNOUNCES 2015 CHILDREN’S HISTORY BOOK PRIZE RECIPIENT: HELEN FROST FOR SALT Award to be presented by Chancellor Fariña June 18; Families invited to meet the author June 20 NEW YORK, NY (June 16, 2015)—Dr. Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, announced today that author Helen Frost will […]

Press Release: Children’s Artists for Gun Safety

Politics and children’s literature are, to a certain extent, inextricable.  The education of our children is so closely tied into our understanding of what education could and should entail (and for whom) that it is innately political.  But there are other issues that are affected by politics too.  Children’s author/musician/performer Bill Harley is familiar to […]

Review of the Day: In a Village by the Sea by Muon Van

In a Village by the Sea By Muon Van Illustrated by April Chu Creston Books $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-939547-156 Ages 4-6 On shelves now We talk a lot about wanting a diverse selection of picture books on our library, bookstore, and home shelves, but it seems to me that the key to giving kids a broad […]

Fusenews: Sweet Uncanny Valley High

Of all the most deserving, least lauded children’s book awards out there, my favorite might be The Phoenix Awards.  “The award, given to a book originally published in the English language, is intended to recognize books of high literary merit. The Phoenix Award is named after the fabled bird who rose from its ashes with […]

The Circus Mirandus Blog Tour: How Hard Is It to Write a Circus That Isn’t Creepy?

When I was asked to participate in the current Circus Mirandus Blog Tour, I was intrigued.  You know how sometimes a publisher will fall in love with a debut novel and then promote the whozitz out of it, hither, thither, and yon?  Well, that’s what Penguin has done with this title from first time author […]

Cover Reveal: Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

Folks sometimes ask me if I’ll ever do cover reveals of debuts.  It’s an interesting question.  Often the books that I’m doing cover reveals of are by authors or illustrators that I admire.  If I’m doing a review of someone new, how do I know they’re any great shakes?  I don’t, of course, but sometimes […]

Buttocks — Fiction

Full credit (or blame, depending on how you look at it) goes to MK Eagle and Gretchen Kolderup on this one.  It’s a pretty simple post.  Hardly worth mentioning . . . except that at heart I think we’re all 10-year-olds.  And it’s completely librarian related, so I don’t even know if you’ll be as […]

Review of the Day: Hilo by Judd Winick

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth By Judd Winick Random House Children’s Books $13.99 ISBN: 978-0-385-38617-3 Ages 9-12 On shelves September 1st Relentless cheer. You can use it for good. You can use it for evil. You can use it in the name of humor too, but that’s a trickier game to play. I’m […]

Gary Soto, the Art of Not Writing for Children, and the Public Shame Theater

I was flipping through my most recent copy of Horn Book feeling pretty special since I’ve an article in there (“Apples to Elephants: Artists in Animation”) and when I get to the back I see a mention of a book I’ve never heard of before: Why I Don’t Write Children’s Literature by Gary Soto. If […]

Review of the Day: Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer By Kelly Jones Illustrated by Katie Kath Alfred A. Knopf (an imprint of Random House Children’s Books) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-385-75552-8 On shelves now The epistolary novel has a long and storied history. At least when it comes to books written for adults. So too does it exist in […]

Press Release Fun: The Summer Camp You Deserve (Highlights!)

As I have in the past, I’ll be speaking at the Highlights Foundation roundabout July 16th, and it really is just the nicest place to be.  With that in mind, here’s a cute little infographic the folks made about their summer camp.  Come by, come by!

Day of Dialog 2015: Putting the Chaotic Past Into Some Kind of Order

Book Expo’s a funny beastie. For years it existed for the booksellers of America.  Librarians?  Sure, they could go but we weren’t exactly encouraged to attend.  We had our ALA Conferences and that was nice and well and good. But times, they change.  The internet appeared. The bloggers congealed (I’m trying to find a better […]

What Makes a Picture Book Mega-Hit?

It’s not that it’s impossible to predict the “next big thing” in children’s literature, but it’s also not exactly a hard science.  Indeed, whenever a publisher starts spending beaucoup de bucks on a given title (hardcover f&gs, a serious marketing campaign for a debut author, etc.) I cringe a bit.  They’ve made their bets and […]

Five Questions with Kids Comic Authors: Dan Santat!

I’m so pleased to be participating in the Kids Comics Q&A Blog Tour.  Today I’m happy to also announce that our interview is coming to us via the multi-talented Jorge Aguirre and Raphael Rosado (they of the books Giants Beware and this year’s Dragons Beware).  They’re coming over here to chat with a fairly well-known […]

Video Sunday: The Lord of the Jello

Morning, folks.  What’s that?  Why, yes. Yes, I would like to watch this video about Nathan Hale’s newest GN The Underground Abductor. Thank you! Seems to me the man has lucked out in terms of timing too. With people rallying to put Ms. Tubman on the $20 bill, it is now vastly important to learn […]