January 16, 2017

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Still Life With Tornado

Oh, A.S. King! Every year, a new novel. Every year, a bold move to expand what we think of as a novel. I’m not sure if I’m a King fan, but I find myself drawn to her books year after year because I trust them to be engrossing reading experiences, even if I have an […]

Vote!

Calling Caldecott has opened its first ballot for voting so get over there and choose your top three. My first choice was Ashley Bryan’s Freedom over Over Me–I remember when Betsy Hearne took heat at BCCB for suggesting in an editorial that Brock Cole’s Celine was worthy of the Medal, and an SLJ editor chastised her […]

Book Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Publisher’s description Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did. Norah can’t leave the house, but […]

‘My Dad Keeps Calling it (picture books) My Calling’ – Deborah Freeman

Colby: Earlier this week Shy was crowned by my students as our Mock Caldecott winner. It was a lot of fun to tell them about all the cool things I learned about Deborah Freedman while interviewing her for this episode. She is brilliant. I hope you like the episode. Subscribe below to catch every episode. […]

Review: ‘King Baby,’ by Kate Beaton

King Baby By Kate Beaton Scholastic, Grades Pre-K to 5 Kate Beaton, best known for her side-splittingly snarky comics about moments in history or literature, branches off in a new direction with her children’s book King Baby. The drawing is simpler, she uses color, and its humor is gentler and more straightforward. This is appropriate […]

Just a Few More Days Until the Contenders Will Be Revealed.

Watch this space next Wednesday, January 18th. We’ve got some you would expect, but some outliers too!  So continue to guess here —we’ve got YA, MG, and PBs, for the first time!

Morning Notes: Doctore Seuss Edition

CATTUS PETASATUS Today on Difficult Jobs: Trying to translate Dr. Seuss to Latin. Click here to read. ‘THE LAUREATE OF THE NURSERY’ One of the go-to internet clickbait moves is “X BELOVED CHILDREN’S AUTHOR HATED CHILDREN” There’s an upcoming Margaret Wise Brown bio (which is for grown-ups), and a couple sites are going that route (so […]

The Pyrite Results Are In… We Get to Vote AGAIN!

30 of us voted, and the results definitely  indicate some clear trends, but by the Printz guidelines, we do NOT have a winner. From the RealPrintz Policies and Procedures: To win, a title must receive five first place votes and must also receive at least five more points than the second place title. If no […]

Last Licks

There are so many great books, and every year we’re reading until the 11th hour to get in as many as possible. This year, between last minute reads and beloved books that didn’t seem like true contenders but deserve a shout-out, we find ourselves down to the final days before the YMAs with quite a […]

The 2017 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

The 2017 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction goes to Full of Beans, by Jennifer L. Holm, published by Random House Books for Young Readers. Narrator Beans Curry immerses middle-grade readers in his kid world of Depression-era Key West, where he and his pals rub shoulders with rum runners and New Dealer tourism boosters, manage […]

Links: Notes and Quotes

March artist Nate Powell talks at length about his childhood comics habits, his career as a graphic novelist, and his experiences as the creator of March, including the intensive research that he and the authors did once they realized that the books were being used in history classes as well as English courses: That quest […]

MakerSpace: Here There Be Stations, an overview of activities offered in the Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County

Because it is the beginning of the new year – and the end of our first full year of our Teen MakerSpace – we are in the midst of evaluating what we’ve done and what we want to do going forward. One of the things that has become abundantly clear is that we aren’t necessarily […]

Elephant & Piggie Like Reading

Leveraging the Elephant & Piggie brand, Mo Willems has extended the reach of the magical spell that he has cast over emergent readers with Elephant & Piggie Like Reading.  The first two entries–WE ARE GROWING by Laurie Keller and THE COOKIE FIASCO by Dan Santat–were published this past year, and while I think very highly of […]

The Diversity List: Picture, Easy, and Early Chapter Books of 2016

Not too long ago I created the 31 Days, 31 Lists series where I counted down a list of top 2016 books every day.  When I initially came up with the idea I briefly wondered if I should make lists celebrating specific kinds of diversity.  Top African-American Picture Books of 2016 or Best Diverse Titles.  […]

MOAR Morris

While Morris-Printz crossover isn’t exactly common, it’s happened twice —  in 2012, when Where Things Come Back took the double gold; and again in 2015, with sleeper hit The Carnival at Bray taking double silver. This season, we pretty much flubbed our Morris coverage; the debuts we covered earlier in the season were largely not […]

Exclusive: BOOM! to Publish ABC Book by Martin Cendreda

We’ve got an exciting scoop for you this morning: BOOM! Studios is going to publish a new alphabet book, An Apple and an Adventure, by animator Martin Cendreda. He may not be a household name, but if you are an animation fan, you’ve probably seen his work: He has been a color stylist for Fairly […]

Book Review: The March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power by Ann Bausum

Publisher’s description James Meredith’s 1966 march in Mississippi began as one man’s peaceful protest for voter registration and became one of the South’s most important demonstrations of the civil rights movement. It brought together leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokely Carmichael, who formed an unlikely alliance that resulted in the Black Power movement, […]

Easy Reader Roundup

To date, only one easy reader–FROG AND TOAD TOGETHER–has been recognized by the Newbery committee, so the chances of one breaking through seem improbable, if not downright impossible.  But if last year taught us anything it’s that miracles can and do happen, occasionally. One of the problems is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Easy readers […]

Book Review: Factory Girl by Josanne La Valley

Publisher’s description In order to save her family’s farm, Roshen, sixteen, must leave her rural home to work in a factory in the south of China. There she finds arduous and degrading conditions and contempt for her minority (Uyghur) background. Sustained by her bond with other Uyghur girls, Roshen is resolved to endure all to […]

Our 2017 Mock Caldecott (In 3 Steps)

I work at a K-4 elementary school. Here’s how were’re running our 2017 Mock Caldecott. Step 0: (Bonus Step, Y’all) The Prep. Before we get into the books that might win this year, we talk about what the Caldecott Medal is and read a past winner. I keep this pretty basic – explain how it’s […]