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December 19, 2014

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2015 Caldecott Medal Predictions

2015 Caldecott Medal Predictions

The last time I made Caldecott predictions, I went 2 for 5. Any time I can get more than one, I’m happy. But I refuse to stop until I am able to pick them all. You can therefore count on me doing Caldecott predictions every year. And if you’re into this stuff, you need to […]

Top 20 Books of 2014: 5-1

Top 20 Books of 2014: 5-1

#20-16 | #15-11 | #10-6 | #5-1 5. The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee [Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster) | Grades K-2] Click here for additional resources from Watch. Connect. Read. The opportunity to “read” and pore over a wordless picture book with a group of students is one of the best parts of […]

Top 20 Books of 2014: 10-6

Top 20 Books of 2014: 10-6

#20-16 | #15-11 | #10-6 | #5-1 10. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier [Graphix (Scholastic) | Grades 3-6] Click here for additional resources from Watch. Connect. Read. Raina Telgemeier is to today’s middle school readers what Elvis was to teens in 1956. Her fans are loyal, passionate, and proud of the number of times they’ve read […]

Top 20 Books of 2014: 15-11

Top 20 Books of 2014: 15-11

#20-16 | #15-11 | #10-6 | #5-1 15. Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton [Candlewick Press | Grades PreK-1] Click here for additional resources from Watch. Connect. Read. With its combination of suspense and broad humor, Shh! We Have a Plan plays like the best Chuck Jones Merrie Melodies cartoon that never happened. You can practically […]

Top 20 Books of 2014: 20-16

Top 20 Books of 2014: 20-16

Around this time of the year, John Schumacher and I get all reflective. While it would be cool if we shined brightly when you pointed a flashlight at us, I don’t mean that kind of reflective. I mean we looked back on the year in children’s literature. We reflected with a purpose: over the next […]

Under Construction…Top 20 Books of 2014

Under Construction…Top 20 Books of 2014

After a yearlong hiatus for John Schumacher and I (John was on the Newbery Committee, I was on Caldecott), we will again be sharing our Top 20 Books of the year. The countdown from #20 to #1 begins on Tuesday. Catch you later – I need to finish this logo.

7 Picture Books I Loved (But Didn’t Review) in 2014

Anyone who writes book reviews will tell you that every once in a while you feel like you just nailed it. You do the book justice, you provide insightful critique – it’s all working. Other times, however, you spend so much time trying to nail it that your time runs out. Since I slavishly adhere […]

2014 Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide

2014 Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide

Time is running out to get gifts for the insufferable librarian in your life. With help from Etsy, the 2014 edition of the Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide has your back. Click here for the 2013 guide Click here for the 2012 guide Click here for the 2011 guide Click here for the 2010 guide […]

Children’s Literature 2014: The Year in Miscellanea

Children’s Literature 2014: 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: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008) Oddest Children’s Literature/Hip-Hop/Boxing Crossover 50 cent Will Donate $750,000 if Floyd Mayweather Reads One Page of Harry Potter Granted, there weren’t many contenders in this category. How did this story end? Well, […]

Review: Shooting at the Stars by John Hendrix

Review: Shooting at the Stars by John Hendrix

Shooting at the Stars By John Hendrix ABRAMS ISBN: 9781419711756 $18.95 Grades 3-7 Out Now Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library Wise are those who understand that picture books don’t just belong in the grips of the rug rats of the world. Wise, then, is John Hendrix. With Shooting at the Stars, the […]

Lone Wolves: Caldecott Medal Winning Books Created Solo

Lone Wolves: Caldecott Medal Winning Books Created Solo

I was working on my annual Caldecott predictions post (coming on the 19th) and I was reminded of something I’ve always wanted to look into – the number of Caldecott Medal winning books created by one person, rather than an author/illustrator team. It felt to me like the like the trend has been toward the […]

The Ultimate Children’s Literature Illustrator Gift Guide

The Ultimate Children’s Literature Illustrator Gift Guide

“There are lots of children’s book illustrators who sell their work online, but I’ve never seen a good place to browse a whole slew of them in one sitting,” writes Travis Jonker. His guide, from A to Z.

Notes on November 2014

Notes on November 2014

In November… …we previewed books coming soon. Picture books, middle grade, nonfiction, graphic novels – there was a little of everything in 10 to Note: Winter Preview 2015. …we learned that the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books list is a pretty good predictor of Caldecott success. I went to the data in Breakdown: […]

Happy Holiday #Holdshelf Gallery

Happy Holiday #Holdshelf Gallery

Holidays: good for spending time with loved ones, bad for #holdshelf posts. Today I bring you a modest offering of books on hold… Here’s John Schumacher’s hold shelf: Here’s mine: Coventry Elementary: Ypsilanti Public Library: See you next month with more #holdshelf!

Thanks

Thanks

Thank you for caring about children’s literature. Thank you for reading this blog. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Morning Notes

Morning Notes

SLJ GETS BESTING School Library Journal announced their best books of the year. I love seeing the excellently weird What If…? among their picture book picks. Click here to see the whole thing. KIRKUS GETS BESTING TOO Kirkus always seems to have one of the biggest Best of the Year lists. It’s out and about now. […]

Won’t You Share Your #Holdshelf?

Won’t You Share Your #Holdshelf?

It’s a beautiful day in the library. #Holdshelf is a monthly round-up of the books kids are lining up to read in libraries both far and wide (hosted by Watch. Connect. Read. and yours truly). So what does your #holdshelf hold? If you’re a librarian and you have a batch of books on hold, snap a picture, email […]

The Hottest Shelf: Does Eye Level = Circulation?

The Hottest Shelf: Does Eye Level = Circulation?

I was chatting the other say with Leslie, our library assistant, when she brought up an interesting observation: snake books aren’t getting checked out as much as in the past. The only difference she noticed is that, due to weeding in nonfiction, sections have shifted around. Snakes, which used to be at the top of […]

At Episode 100, Let’s Get Busy Looks Back

At Episode 100, Let’s Get Busy Looks Back

If the children’s literature podcast Let’s Get Busy were a person, it would be wizened and wise by now, with a flowing white beard and a twinkle in its eye. That’s because the podcast, created by teacher-librarian Matthew Winner, has reached the impressive mark of 100 episodes. To note the occasion, I asked centenarian-by-association Winner […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#26)

One Star Review Guess Who? (#26)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? Instead of listening to my own children, who I love, fight with each other, I got to hear whiny, screechy-voiced [character] whine, sullen, put-upon [character] whine, and both of their parents whine. It felt like watching Supernanny. Click here […]