September 21, 2017

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A Giveaway! (Oh, and a Newsletter)

Oh yes, I’m starting a newsletter. If you sign up, it will be delivered to your inbox on the first Friday of each month (beginning in September) and is likely to include: Book recommendations – for kids, grown-ups, and grown-ups who like books for kids. Drawings. Scribblings. Crudely drawn comics. Stuff like that. The occasional […]

Putting Grunge Back in Art with Allen Say

Travis: When I first opened an advance copy Allen Say’s latest book, Silent Days, Silent Dreams, (out October 31st) I was taken aback – it’s unlike anything the artist has made before. Blame it on American artist James Castle, whom the book is about. Say channeled Castle so thoroughly that I assumed the book contained […]

Book Title Toons: This Book

(Click Images to Enlarge) Previously . . . Book Title Toons: Brothers Book Title Toons: It Ain’t Easy

ANSWERED: Burning Question of the Day (#3)

On the question of George eating the vet, you have spoken: What a relief – this question has been answered once and for all, rendering any future debate meaningless. Thank you to everyone who voted. Previously . . . ANSWERED: Burning Question of the Day (#1) ANSWERED: Burning Question of the Day (#2)

Coming Soon (ish) on The Yarn

Travis: There are a lot of great children’s book creators coming up on The Yarn. Here’s a preview: Coming soon . . . — The Yarn (@theyarnpodcast) August 16, 2017

Books on Film: Grace Lin on Racist Children’s Books

If you haven’t had a chance yet, make sure you watch this PBS Newshour video with author/illustrator Grace Lin. She talks about how to approach children’s books that contain racist content.

Hugo Cabret: My Technology North Star

You know what I like about Hugo Cabret? Guy is always on the cutting edge of technology. Whether it’s vintage automatons (see above) or the latest apps, he inspires me to try new things. I mean, he introduced me to Snapchat. He taught me how to use FaceApp. Sometimes I’ll just ask to see his […]

Cover Curiosity: Front and Center

I don’t usually discuss YA, but when I do, it’s usually about covers. Click here for more Cover Curiosity posts. Today we have a group of books that to my eyes don’t fall into the “hey let’s make our book like like their book” category. But they do share an eye-catching visual style that makes […]

Learning Your ABCs

Ah, August – the only month when it seems reasonable to make the alphabet using the first letter from book titles. Click below to see the results. ?? “ABCs” — Travis Jonker (@100scopenotes) August 10, 2017

100 Scope Notes Burning Question of the Day (#3)

I have questions, you have the answers. Let’s solve some of children’s literature most vexing questions with the 100 Scope Notes Burning Question of the Day. At the end of Bark, George by Jules Feiffer, George *SPOILER ALERT* says “hello” instead of barking, indicating that he ate a human. But was that human the vet […]

On This Day (ish) in Scope Notes History . . .

Part of the fun of blogging is the ephemeral nature of the medium – you write a post, put it up quickly, maybe some folks read it, and then it fades away in a hurry. On to the next post. But – PROBLEM – now I’m stuck with this stockpile of ridiculous stuff that never […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#57)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? I suppose it’s possible that this book could have been even more depressing, but I can’t think of a way. Click here for the answer. Why do I share these? Click here. Previously . . . One Star Review […]

Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#3)

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. Answer Answer Answer How’d you do? Previously . . . Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#1) Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#2)

Not on the Yarn: Dr. Seuss

Travis: A new Dr. Seuss museum has opened in the author’s hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts and All Things Considered gives us a peek inside. The museum isn’t without controversy (recently covered in the New York Times and elsewhere). The NPR piece touches on the topic, and we hear from Geisel family members about collection decisions. Click […]

Notes on July 2017

In July . . . . . . I talked about zines, punk, and librarianship with debut author Celia C. Perez. Also discussed: her upcoming book The First Rule of Punk. . . . we saw stars More accurately, starred reviews (thanks to the database created by Jen J.). Which books have received the most […]

5 Books I’m Bringing on Vacation and Why

We’re heading north for a bit. I’m bringing these five books with me: The Book: The Summer Book by Tove Jansson Why? I am a Moomin fan and this book by Moomin creator Tove Jansson just keeps popping up during my internet wanderings as one worth checking out. It’s about a girl spending a summer living […]

You Know What This Children’s Book Needs? More Fidget Spinner

Some books are more popular than others. We all know this. It’s a fact of librarian life. But what if I told you that I had a surefire way to instantly make every book in your library insanely popular? I do. What that book needs is more fidget spinner. Johnny Tremain not quite circulating like […]

The Most Astonishingly Unconventional Children’s Books of 2017

I love it when a book leaves me stunned (in a good way). Pushing the envelope. Pushing boundaries. Pushing buttons. Here’s to children’s books that expand our assumptions of what a children’s book can be. Previously . . . The Most Astonishingly Unconventional Children’s Books of 2016 The Wildest Children’s Books of 2015 The Wildest […]

Anatomy of an Author Visit with Aaron Zenz

Travis: A successful author visit is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? When author/illustrator Aaron Zenz visited my school I interviewed him about how he approaches a visit with kids. We talk about all sorts of stuff – how he built his presentation, how it’s evolved, and even how he handles the unexpected. I think my favorite […]

Get Some Original Art You Can Bring to the Beach

Tundra Books is turning 50 this year and to celebrate they had a crew of wonderful illustrators lay down some original art on Tundra tote bags. They are auctioning the bags right now (auction ends THIS FRIDAY, July 28th). Want to own an original work by the likes of Julie Morstad, Ashley Spires, Kenard Pak, […]