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August 29, 2015

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Review: Piper Green and the Fairy Tree by Ellen Potter

Piper Green and the Fairy Tree By Ellen Potter Illustrated by Qin Leng Knopf (Random House) ISBN: 9780553499230 $14.99 Grades 1-3 Out August 4, 2015 Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library You know what’s normal? Being weird. Kids know this. But as we grow older we do our best to shed anything that […]

Morning Notes: Unpleasant Blockbuster Edition

GREAT MINDS Fans of great conversations, take note. Jacqueline Woodson just had one with Jimmy Carter, and the New York Times was there to capture the whole thing. Click here to read. BUTTERFLY IN THE SKY (AND NETFLIX) Reading Rainbow will be available on Netflix in August. You need to know this. Click here for more […]

The Top 10 Piles of Books at My House

Things have gotten out of hand. I’m sure you can relate. After looking at these pictures, you might ask yourself, “Why doesn’t he get some bookshelves?” I have some. They’re pretty big. But not as big as my problem. Here, then, are the Top 10 random piles of books that I found around my house […]

Children’s Lit Commish: All New Picture Books Must Be Illustrated With Spirograph

In an unexpected move, the Children’s Literature Commissioner has declared that all new picture books must be illustrated using a Spirograph. The packed press room sat in complete silence as the commissioner took out his childhood Spirograph – a drawing toy first sold in the 1960s – and made an elliptical pattern design. “Remember these? […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#34)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? It is a great children’s book, but for some reason, when I was little, this book gave me chills. I guess it was the substitute teacher that bothered me…. Click here for the answer. One Star Review Guess Who […]

Review: McToad Mows Tiny Island by Tom Angleberger

McToad Mows Tiny Island By Tom Angleberger Illustrated by John Hendrix ABRAMS ISBN: 9781419716508 $16.95 Grades K-2 Out September 1, 2015 *Best New Book* Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library McToad likes Thursdays. Every other day of the week he mows the grass on Big Island. But Thursday is the day he mows […]

The Wildest Children’s Books of 2015

For everyone out there who thinks that children’s literature is just a bunch of cute, harmless fluff, I disagree with you. Every year books arrive that seek to challenge young minds and the status quo. Like these books below. Click here for the Wildest Children’s Books of 2014 Click here for the Wildest Children’s Books […]

Pete Townshend: Rockstar Librarian

Click here for Mick Jagger: Rockstar Librarian
Click here for Bruce Springsteen: Rockstar Librarian

Kid Lit Quiz: Can You Pronounce These Author Names?

Milestone Alert! There are now 2000 audio recordings of authors and illustrators explaining how to pronounce their names at TeachingBooks.net. This website is the the definition of handy. Click here for the press release, which includes factoids about the most played recordings. To mark the occasion let’s play a round of… How to play: Read […]

11 Books I’m Bringing to the Beach (And Why)

Next week I’m heading to the golden shores of Lake Michigan with my family. There’s a fine science to the books you bring on vacation. Here are the books we’re taking along. It’s a mixed bag of picture books, middle grade, graphic novels, and books for grown-ups. I decided to talk about my reasons for bringing […]

Morning Notes: A Few Less Kerplinks Edition

BACK TO BOOKS I haven’t started thinking about back to school books, but I like knowing that someone out there is. The folks at the ALSC blog share some books to start the year on the right foot. Click here to read. EISNERS AWARDED El Deafo, The Zoo Box, and Raina Telgemeier all got an […]

The Newbery Title Frankenstein

There’s a post right up my alley over at A Fuse #8 Production today. It’s about how certain book titles sound more Newbery-ish than others. Betsy puts forth a few Newbery-sounding titles and challenges readers to do the same. It made me wonder which words appear most often in the titles of Newbery Medal winning […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#33)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? I just want to say that I think [Title] is one of the most disturbing books for young readers ever written. I remember, as a child, reading the first chapter over and over again, trying to figure out how a woman […]

Hello, MRA

Today I have the honor of presenting at the Michigan Reading Association alongside the Picasso of Twitter, John Schumacher. I have prepared a statement: Hello and welcome, esteemed members of the Michigan Reading Association. It’s wonderful to be with you today. Thank you for attending our session. Below are links to our handouts. Book Promotion […]

Exclusive Cover Reveal: The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan

You know what’s fun? Sharing something new. Today is especially new – a cover reveal for a debut author. It’s a middle grade novel-in-verse about a group of kids on a Save Our School mission. The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary arrives in spring of 2016. Travis: How did this book come about? Laura Shovan: […]

Visual Dispatches from Nerdcamp (Day 2)

Check back here throughout the day to see the sights from the first day of Nerdcamp 2015.
What is Nerdcamp?

Visual Dispatches from Nerdcamp (Day 1)

Check back here throughout the day to see the sights from the first day of Nerdcamp 2015.
What is Nerdcamp?

Books on Film: Unfortunate Events on Netflix

Somewhere rattling around in the dark recesses of my skull was the knowledge that A Series of Unfortunate Events was being adapted as a series for Netflix. That piece of information would have been lost forever had I not come across this video today – a teaser trailer for the series, complete with ominous Olaf […]

Crying Emoji: ALA Annual Recap (Part III)

Previously… Camera Tricks: ALA Annual 2015 Recap (Part I) Raising a Lone Eyebrow: ALA Annual 2015 Recap (Part II) SUNDAY My first stop was at the Park something or other Hotel to see some of the upcoming books from Scholastic. They had authors do some reader’s theater. It was a lot of fun. Here we […]

Notes on June 2015

In June… …we learned which 2015 picture books have secrets. The art of the case cover is alive and well. …we got an update on the state of photography illustration. Who needs brushes? These books don’t – all use photography to get the story across. …you found out where you fell on the book critic/champion […]