May 23, 2016

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2016 Preview Interview: Flying Eye Books

I talked to Tucker Stone (the US Sales and Marketing Rep for Nobrow/Flying Eye Books) about what Flying Eye Books has up their sleeve for 2016 (Click on images to enlarge) Travis: Hello from Michigan, Tucker – how’s it going? How is your beard coming along? It was looking fantastic last time our paths crossed. Tucker […]

More Yarn! Chris Grabenstein: Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics Unraveled

We’re continuing our series called The Unraveller, where an author or illustrator brings us behind the scenes of one of their books. The latest episode is up, with author Chris Grabenstein talking about Mr Lemincello’s Library Olympics. If you’re not sure how to download a podcast to your phone, allow Ira Glass and his friend […]

Poetry Friday: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Last week I talked about book spine poems (or centos), today I have three examples:

Endangered Series #7: Cam Jansen

Popularity comes, popularity goes. As librarians we’re always balancing between what will circulate like crazy and what we need to have in the collection. And we’re not the Library of Congress – we can’t (and shouldn’t) keep everything. An endangered series is one that appears to be waning in terms of popularity. But popularity isn’t everything. Should it […]

Beverly Cleary at 100: All the Tributes

Today, to-day, children’s literature legend Beverly Cleary turns 100 year old. The media has taken notice: Book Riot: 100 Awesome Things About Beverly Cleary on her 100th Birthday The New York Times: Happy Birthday Beverly Cleary! The New Yorker: Beverly Cleary, Age 100 The Washington Post: Beverly Cleary on turning 100: Kids today ‘don’t have […]

5 Questions with John Bemelmans Marciano

I recently talked to John Bemelmans Marciano about his new series with illustrator (and reigning Caldecott Medal winner) Sophie Blackall. Travis: Why witches? Why Benevento? What was the spark that let to this new series? John: While in Naples in the early 2000s, I came across a paragraph in a guidebook about a nearby town […]

Everything You Need to Know to Make a Book Spine Poem

April is here. April is National Poetry Month. April is the time for book spine centos. Give one a try. Or try it with your students/patrons. Here are my tips for creating a book spine cento: Check out the book spine poem gallery for inspiration. Get to a place with plenty of books. A library […]

Man in the Mirror

I have a thing for doppelgängers. I get way more entertainment than I should when someone tells me I look like, say, Perfect Strangers actor Bronson Pinchot: Or, perhaps, Moroccan distance runner Hicham El Guerrouj: (I wrote this post about how kids notice this one because of The Guiness Book of Records) Or even Costa Rican […]

What’s in My Spring Break To-Read Pile and Why

What is spring break if not a time to set overly ambitious reading goals? Here’s what I hope to read in the next week and why. A new series! Illustrated by our reigning Caldecott Medal winner, Sophie Blackall, and written by John Bemelmans Marciano – two members of the Atlas Powder Picture Book Company (a.k.a. […]

Completing the Hervé Tullet Interview Trilogy

Swim, books, swim! I’ve interviewed Hervé Tullet via drawing: I’ve interviewed Hervé Tullet via writing: And, as of today, I’ve interviewed Hervé Tullet via audio. In the latest episode of The Yarn, Tullet talks about his groundbreaking work, Press Here, as well as follow-ups Mix it Up and Let’s Play. We also debut our brand-new […]

Notes on March 2016

In March… …we looked at the new books coming from past Geisel winners. …I Instagrammed two author events: Ruth McNally Barshaw and Bob Shea. …Donald Trump reviewed some Seuss classics.

All the Way LIVE: The Yarn with Kate DiCamillo @ ALA Annual

The Yarn is as un-live as it gets. We edit, we add, we move stuff around (then move it back) – the show is the opposite of spontaneous. But maybe we don’t know what we’re missing? Colby Sharp and I are pleased to announce that we’re going to find out. At the American Library Association […]

Morning Notes: Rejuvenation Edition

WHAT SOLD WHAT IN 2015 Publishers Weekly released their annual rundown of best selling books based on Neilsen Bookscan data. Lots of stuff you might expect. My favorite section is the hardcover backlist section, where classics mingle with newer popular books. Click here to read. YOU ARE THE SCHOOL LIBRARIAN OF THE YEAR No?? Well, maybe […]

Steal This Idea: Family Fort Night at the Library

The Location: My local public library (Herrick DL). The Event: Family Fort Night. The Plan: For an hour after the library closes, families have run of the children’s section. After a whole group story time, kids and their grown-ups build forts out of whatever materials they bring (clips provided by the library). Then: Grab some […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#42)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? When Oliver Hardy cloned himself, he set up an underground bakery to employ his carbon-based copies. Notoriously, clones can be horribly defective and the rumness of Mr Hardy’s reproductions was evidenced by a slipshod attitude towards stock control and […]

Instagramming an Author Event: An Evening with Bob Shea (And a Special Guest)

All ready for our Bob Shea event! AHH! NO! Not ready! I missed something! Ah. Better. Break out the balloons, folks – Bob Shea (and a special guest) visited our school district last night and I have the square-shaped photos to prove it. I’ve never helped organize an evening author event, but I was feeling […]

Morning Notes: Disorderly Waldo Edition

YOU HAD ONE JOB, WALDO Blend in. Where’s Waldo ? He was at South Station being very disorderly and needed to be escorted out. #MBTA pic.twitter.com/rlANPdspGz — MBTA Transit Police (@MBTATransitPD) March 20, 2016 (Thanks to Huffington Post for the link) CALDECOTT CHALLENGED This One Summer has been the most challenged Caldecott book in a […]

More Yarn! Lindsay Eagar: Hour of the Bees Unravelled

We’re continuing our series called The Unraveller, where an author or illustrator brings us behind the scenes of one of their books. The latest episode is up, with debut author Lindsay Eagar talking about Hour of the Bees. If you’re not sure how to download a podcast to your phone, allow Ira Glass and his […]

The Bittersweet Librarian: Full Saturation

You know, I thought I would be happy to see this day. The day when, if a student asked for this book, I could stride over to the shelf, heroically pull it from its place, and make a kid’s day, instead of what I usually have to do: tell them “I think it’s checked out. […]

Book Covers: Before and After

While I tend to think I can spot a cover that will not be a huge success, it can be very difficult to know which covers will draw positive attention – and for what reasons. There are certainly times when I think as I set a book face out, “I better reinforce the carpet in this […]