December 12, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Top 20 Books of 2017: 20-16

#20-16 | #15-11 | #10-6 | #5-1 Some things to know about this list: It’s a collaboration between John Schumacher and I. It’s a collection of our favorite books of 2016 for grades K-6. It’s a countdown from 20 to 1, with five books revealed each day. In terms of format, anything goes. You’ll see picture books, graphic […]

Coming Soon: Top 20 Books of 2017

Beginning tomorrow, John Schumacher and I are teaming up to count down our 20 favorite books of the year. See you soon.

The 2017 Bookish Charitable Giving Guide

Interested in giving to a good cause? Are you a fan of literacy? This is the guide for you. Here are some of the literacy-focused organizations doing good work. Pitch in a few bucks to support them. I “adapted” this idea from boing boing, who put together a great Charitable Giving Guide you should also […]

2017 Children’s Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

It’s time to take a look back at the year that was in children’s lit miscellanea. Read previous Year in Miscellanea Posts: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 Dedication of the Year: I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris and Lane Smith (feat. Molly Leach) (Click to Enlarge) This lol-worthy dedication sets the perfect tone for one of […]

A Little Book Giveaway Featuring Aaron Zenz

Aaron Zenz. You know him, right? The Hiccupotamus. Monsters Go Night-Night. I interviewed him for The Yarn podcast last summer: Well, he has a delightful new book out called Little Iffy. It’s about a griffon who’s afraid to fly, and I’m giving away a *signed* copy, so . . . CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE LITTLE […]

2017 Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide

Time is running out to get a gift for the insufferable librarian in your life. With help from Etsy, the 2017 edition of the Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide has your back. Click here for the 2016 guide Click here for the 2015 guide Click here for the 2014 guide Click here for the 2013 […]

Notes on November 2017

It’s time to take a look at three of my favorite posts of the past month. In November . . . . . . we went down the parody picture book rabbit hole. There’s some interesting stuff down there. . . . we reviewed approved and unapproved ways to carry a book. Try them all! […]

The Ultimate Children’s Literature Illustrator Gift Guide 2017

What are you going to give, a Coleggtible? Come on. Give art. Recently updated and expanded for the 2017 gift-giving season, here is my collection of children’s literature illustrator shops on the world wide web. This isn’t a comprehensive list – let me hear about what I missed in the comments. (Many thanks to Debbie Ridpath […]

The Ultimate Children’s Literature Illustrator Gift Guide 2017

What are you going to give, a Coleggtible? Come on. Give art. Recently updated and expanded for the 2017 gift-giving season, here is my collection of children’s literature illustrator shops on the world wide web. This isn’t a comprehensive list – let me hear about what I missed in the comments. (Many thanks to Debbie Ridpath […]

Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#5)

I used this website to (virtually) create 3 LEGO book covers. They’re listed from least challenging to most challenging – see how many you can name. #1: Answer #2: Answer #3: Answer How’d you do? Previously . . . Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#1) Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#2) Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#3) […]

The Wonka Meme Hall of Fame

Presented without comment or shame.

Who’s With Me?

10 to Note: Winter Preview 2018

After scouring publisher catalogs while hopped up on LaCroix and trail mix, I am here with ten books coming in December, January, and February that I am looking forward to. To which I am looking forward? That to forward am I looking? Whatever grammar rules I am flaunting, don’t let that distract from the books. […]

‘The Book Started Probably When I Was in Elementary School’ Jack Gantos Visits The Yarn

Travis: I sat down with Newbery Medalist Jack Gantos last July at Nerdcamp. His passion for turning kids on to writing is on full display in his latest book, Writing Radar. In this episode, Jack talks about his first experiences as a writing teacher, and as a new author visiting schools for the first time. […]

Books on Film: Random Thoughts on the ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Trailer

Selected excerpts from my internal monologue while watching this trailer: They found a great Meg. That looks like one Grade A tessering scene. Oprah! The scene with all the kids outside of their houses bouncing balls at the same time is exactly how I pictured it. Galafanakis? Eurithmics soundtrack. Huh. I’d see this. What do […]

The Winners of Our 2018 Mock Caldecott Are . . .

The 2018 Mock Caldecott unit is all wrapped up at my K-4 elementary school. Click here to see our process and books.
Here are the books that came out on top.
2018 Mock Caldecott Honor:

2018 Mock Caldecott Honor:

2018 Mock Caldecott Medal:

An Incomplete List of Approved and Unapproved Ways to Carry a Book

Hi, MAME!

It’s an honor to present some of my favorite books of 2017 at the Michigan Association of Media in Education (MAME) annual conference today.
Click here for the book list.
Click here for the slide show.

One Star Review Guess Who? (#62)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? a good book actually, i just didnt like the name. Click here for the answer. Why do I share these? Click here. Previously . . . One Star Review Guess Who (#1) One Star Review Guess Who (#2) One […]

Books on Film: The Picture Book Animated

How were classic picture books like Where the Wild Things Are and Harold and the Purple Crayon turned into animated films? Painstakingly, as this throwback video from Weston Woods shows us.