July 1, 2016

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Photos: Two Days of ALA (Part 2)

Previously: Photos: Two Days of ALA (Part 1) As the sun rose on the Orlando swampland I looked out my window and thought, “I could use some coffee.” Then I realized they had one of those little makers in the room (complete with official looking to-go cup (see below)). And it was glorious. Caffeine addiction […]

Photos: Two Days of ALA (Part 1)

What just happened? I’m back in Michigan after a wonderful and speedy trip to Orlando for the 2016 ALA Annual Conference. Quick, yes, but I still managed to take a few photos along the way. For more ALA Annual-ness, check out these posts: Fuse #8 Production: Reflections on a Banquet | Oh, What a Time it […]

Bird, Lê, Jonker: Niblings at Nerd Camp

Nerd Camp – do you know about it? Man, have I tried to let everyone know about it. This is because if you live in Michigan (or are up for traveling here) and are passionate about books for kids, you should attend. What is Nerd Camp? In short, a free (FREE) two day unconference with […]

Gallery: The Art of the Picture Book Barcode 2016

Last year (wholly inspired by an idea from Matthew Cordell) we had a good time checking out all the inventive ways the boring ol’ barcode has been incorporated into the design and illustration of a picture book. It was a greatest hits gallery with some really amazing stuff. Have a look: Gallery: The Art of […]

Morning Notes: There Are No Rules Edition

#SAVEB&N? This recent piece in the New Republic makes the case that the end of Barnes & Noble would be bad for books. That makes sense. And on a more basic level, more bookstores is better than less. Still, I’m finding it hard to root for the company that put many independents out of biz. […]

Calling All ALA Attendees: Check Out The Yarn LIVE with Kate DiCamillo

The “You” above is referring to you. In a mere three days Colby Sharp and I will be taking The Yarn on the road to interview Kate DiCamillo in front of a live audience at the American Library Association Annual Conference. DiCamillo will be unravelling her latest book Raymie Nightingale (but we might talk about […]

Exclusive Book Trailer Premiere: RETURN by Aaron Becker

Journey came first. Quest was next. Today, I have the pleasure of sharing this first look at the trailer for the third and final book in Aaron Becker’s award-winning picture book trilogy: Return. I talked to Becker about creating the trailer and how he feels now that the trilogy is coming to a close. Travis: What’s it like […]

One Star Review Guess Who (#45)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? So basically, read the bible. Click here for the answer. One Star Review Guess Who (#1) One Star Review Guess Who (#2) One Star Review Guess Who (#3) One Star Review Guess Who (#4) One Star Review Guess Who […]

Morning Notes: Sit in the Dark and Eat Edition

  If you haven’t been following Kate Messner’s blog lately, you should head over there. The author was recently disinvited from a school visit because of issues the school had with her new book, The Seventh Wish. Click here to read more (and scroll down Messner’s blog for earlier posts on this topic). STEAL THIS […]

10 to Note: Summer Preview 2016

Here are ten books arriving in June, July, and August that I’m keeping an eye on. Picture Books School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, illustrated by Christian Robinson June 28, 2016 | Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) | Grades PreK – 1 I’ve been waiting a while to talk about this one. I’ve been waiting […]

Newbery/Caldecott 2017: Checking In

Every now and then I like to check out the latest Mock Newbery and Caldecott lists on Goodreads. Are they official guides to the books that are under discussion/might win? No. Just some lists voted on by interested readers. They are often pretty predictive, however. For instance, take a look at the top two books […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#44)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? I received this book from our child’s pediatrician as part of a free reading program. I do not hold the doctor responsible, but this book features disturbing illustrations of the main character […] performing numerous ill-behaved acts. [He] appears […]

Mythical Beasts of the School Library

It’s the end of the school year around here and books that haven’t been on the shelves all year are returning. So forgive me for thinking I’m seeing things. Is that a unicorn I see? No, just the once a year phenomenon of congregating Minecraft books. Wait. That’s a Yeti. Nope, just the rare sight […]

Morning Notes: DIY OG Edition

NOT MODERN FOR THE SAKE OF MODERN Picture book art fans would do well to read How The Goodnight Moon Author and Collaborator Revolutionized Kids Books. It’s all about Margaret Wise Brown and her collaborations with Caldecott medal winner Leonard Weisgard. Click here to do that. BOB IN BOSTON Boston radio interviewed Bob Staake about two […]

The Yarn for Your Eyes

Just a quick note to let you know The Yarn is now on Instagram. We’ll be posting photos taken during our interviews, info on upcoming episodes, and the random pic of yarn taken at Michael’s craft store. Click here to see theyarnpodcast on Instagram. We also have a Facebook page. Right now over there we’re […]

Gallery: The 2016 Boston Globe Horn Book Award Winners

The Boston Globe Horn Book Awards were just announced – let’s have a look at the winners: Nonfiction Award Winner: Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin Nonfiction Honor Books: Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M. T. […]

Top 10 Circulated Fiction Books 2016

Let us dive into the stats one more time to see which fiction books were checked out the most this school year. What do you say, last piece of cake in the staff fridge? Previously… Top 10 Circulated Graphic Novels 2016 Top 10 Circulated Picture Books 2016 10. Kylie Jean, Drama Queen by Marci Peschke […]

Notes on May 2016

In May… …I let you read my diary. My (Censored) Caldecott Diary (Part I of III) is ready for your perusal. …we considered the ramifications of lifting Caldecott/Newbery/etc. confidentiality rules. Nothing is decided yet, but ALSC is gathering thoughts and opinions on making the process not so secret. …Carter Higgins and I debuted a new […]

Being Handed the Baton: Patrick Ness Explores A MONSTER CALLS on The Yarn

In the latest episode of The Yarn, Patrick Ness goes behind the scenes of A Monster Calls, a story inspired by another author – the late Siobhan Dowd. You can subscribe to The Yarn on iTunes and Stitcher: And we have a newsletter! Colby and I put all kinds of stuff on there: book recommendations, other […]

What’s Your FOUND Story?

A fourth grade student walked into the library yesterday morning, triumphantly holding this book above her head: The book had been lost. Now it was found. Me: That’s great! Thanks for bringing it back. Student: I found it in a dream. Me: You found it in a dream? Student: Yeah. Me: What do you mean? […]