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January 27, 2015

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Betsy Bird Returns to Host SLJ’s Youth Media Awards Pre-Game—and Post-Game—Show

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Grab some coffee and tune in Monday, February 2, for a no-holds-barred conversation about the most highly anticipated honors in children’s publishing, including the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott awards.

“Harry the Dirty Dog” Illustrator Margaret Bloy Graham Dies at 94

Margaret Bloy Graham

Beloved children’s book illustrator Margaret Bloy Graham, best known for her “Harry the Dirty Dog” series, died January 22 at age 94 in Cambridge, MA.

Amazon Enters Textbook Publishing With Launch of KDP EDU and Kindle Textbook Creator

Amazon’s new KDP EDU will enable educators and authors to create, publish, and promote etextbooks for students to access on devices, including the iPad and Fire tablets, iPhones, and Android smartphones and tablets. A public beta of Kindle Textbook Creator enables users to turn PDFs of their textbooks and course materials into Kindle books.

Bopping Through Biomes | Touch and Go

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At Launch Kids, a full day devoted to children’s publishing at the Digital Book World Conference, Warren Buckleitner, editor and founder of “Children’s Technology Review,” noted that after a few years of invention and originality, app innovation had begun to level off. There are always exceptions, of course, and Tinybop is one.

OH School Librarian Gets E-Kiosk to Access Public Library’s Digital Collection

Anna Pohlman

Middle school librarian Mary Burkey wondered how she was going to get digital books into kids’ hands. Her ongoing partnership with the local public library eventually led to a digital kiosk that allows kids at school to browse and access the library’s full digital collection.

We Need Diverse Books Launches Short Story Contest

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We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) has partnered with Random House to publish a middle grade anthology dedicated to the late Walter Dean Myers. One spot in the anthology will be reserved for an unpublished fiction writer selected through WNDB’s upcoming short story contest.

The Skinny on Library Yoga; Plus, Books, Music, & Tips

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How popular is library yoga? Plus, books, music, and websites recommended by librarians who lead sessions for kids.

Paddington Finds a Home on the Big Screen | Movie Review

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Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that this frisky and good-natured take on Michael Bond’s beloved bear was produced by David Heyman of the “Harry Potter” film series. Both adaptations plant a big wet kiss on bustling, inclusive London.

SLJ’s Seventh Annual Battle of the Kids’ Books 2015 Contenders Announced

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What better way to celebrate Mock Newbery season than by announcing the 16 candidates in SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books? The first match of the virtual book elimination tournament doesn’t start until March 9, but these contenders are raring to go.

Show But Don’t Tell: Must-Have Wordless Picture Books │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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Wordless picture books allow readers to interpret their own stories. Check out these booktalks and resources for fun 2014 works, such as Aaron Becker’s sequel to the acclaimed Journey and graphic novel–inspired Bow-Wow’s Nightmare Neighbors.

Benny Andrews | His Life and Art

draw what you see

In “Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews,” illustrated with the artist’s oil paintings and collage compositions, Kathleen Benson highlights the words Andrews chose to paint by, and to encourage those he taught.

“Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat” | Spotlight

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In “A Fine Dessert” Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall tell the story of how the creation of one dessert—blackberry fool—has changed over the centuries. It’s a perfect choice for a sharing with a class, or as a group-reading selection.

Water, Water, Everywhere… | Our Unsustainable Future

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Simply put, our current use of freshwater resources is unsustainable. Two new books explain why—and outline the dimensions of the crisis.

Reach for the Stars | Out-of-This-World Astronomy Titles

Planets

Amid info and images streaming from the Mars rover Curiosity, updates about NASA’s evolving plans to capture and explore a near-Earth asteroid and headlines about privately owned companies such as SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, space and space exploration have become hot topics.

Changing the World | New Books about African American History

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Utilizing a variety of literary forms, writing techniques, and illustrative styles, four 2015 books convey information in a powerful and personal manner, making history accessible—and enticing—to young readers.

Scholastic’s New Report Examines Kids’ Attitudes on Reading

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The “Kids & Family Reading Report, 5th Edition” survey from Scholastic launched on January 8 with findings, including what kids are reading for fun, the makings of a frequent reader, and what kids want to read.

“Stephen Hawking’s Snaphots of the Universe” |On the iPad

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In this “fun introduction to big concepts in astronomy,” students will engage in a variety of interactive experiments, illuminated by the lucid text.

At Holiday House, Rabbits, Beasts, Twins, and Triplets | Spring 2015 Preview

Roxie Munro

At the Holiday House Spring 2015 Preview, picture books abound about best friend bunnies who become intense rivals, a book-writing chicken who attends a book festival, and a young African American girl in the 1950s South who learns she can’t try on her shoes before buying them.

Meet the Reviewer | Sabrina Carnesi

Sabrina Carnesi

SLJ interviews reviewer of the month Sabrina Carnesi.

What’s Trending? Hot Themes in kidlit and what we want to see

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Betsy Bird examines kids’ and YA publishing, from recent trends to seismic shifts, then looks to 2015 and where we’re headed. And there are a few items on her wish list.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.