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March 31, 2015

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Coming Soon: National Poetry Month

Coming Soon: National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. And around this neck of the woods the poetry form of choice is the book spine cento. What’s a cento? Check out the 2014 Book Spine Poem Gallery to find out. Or take a look at the work of Nina Katchadourian. Students, teachers, librarians, book lovers, odd ducks who enjoy piling things […]

Spokes People | SLJ Spotlight

theredbicycle

Two nonfiction picture books reimagine the benefits of bicycles.

Get Your Head in the Game: Sports in YA | SLJ Spotlight

learningtheropes

Sensational sports titles to get teens’ adrenaline pumping.

Dismounting the High Horse: My Child Loves a Book I Don’t

Dismounting the High Horse: My Child Loves a Book I Don’t

There are some books I don’t care for because I’ve read them (see: anything ending in -alicious). There are some books I loved as a kid but find hard to read to my children as an adult (Richard Scarry, do you have to name every last thing on the page? Surely you can skip the creamer […]

Gallery: The Art of the Picture Book Barcode

Gallery: The Art of the Picture Book Barcode

A creative barcode on the back of a picture book is like when you have one pump of peanut butter sauce in your Oreo blizzard. It doesn’t have to be there, but things a just a little bit better when it is. I was recently given the challenge of whipping up a gallery of examples, […]

Your Official 2015 Children’s Literature Ninja Buying Guide

Your Official 2015 Children’s Literature Ninja Buying Guide

And here I thought ninjas were big last year. 2015 puts 2014 to shame. Shame! Because I get ninja requests all the time in my school library, I bring you this list of children’s book containing ninjas in 2015. Joey and Johnny, the Ninjas: Get Mooned by Kevin Serwacki; illustrated by Chris Pallace. Out now. This […]

Avast, Ye Landlubbers! | SLJ Spotlight

signofthecat

Four fantastical middle grade tales of pirate adventures, both in this world and beyond.

Carrying the Torch: Keeping a Character Alive

Carrying the Torch: Keeping a Character Alive

The other day I was reading Fred and Ted’s Road Trip, when I noticed something – the name on the cover of the book was Peter Eastman, not P.D. Eastman. I had assumed the book was written by P.D., author/illustrator of classics Go, Dog, Go!, but Fred and Ted is the creation of Eastman’s son. […]

Breaking Barriers: An Interview with the Creators of This One Summer

Breaking Barriers: An Interview with the Creators of This One Summer

Of all the surprises at this year’s Youth Media Awards, none was bigger for me than when This One Summer was announced as a Caldecott Honor winner. Full of stunning illustrations, this book scrapes the top of the Caldecott-eligible age range (0-14) I had a chance to chat with author Jillian Tamaki and illustrator Mariko […]

The Special Delivery Original Art Raffle Donate-a-thon

The Special Delivery Original Art Raffle Donate-a-thon

I love this. Philip Stead and Matthew Cordell are doing something cool to celebrate the release of their new book Special Delivery – they’re giving away some original art, drawn by Cordell and based on stamps in Phil’s collection. Donate $10 to a nonprofit to get your name in the hat. Mr. Stead made a […]

Something Different: WHERE IS IT COMING FROM?

Something Different: WHERE IS IT COMING FROM?

I received a book in the mail the other day called WHERE IS IT COMING FROM?, and I’ve never really read a book like it. It’s published by 826michigan, a non-profit “dedicated to supporting students (ages 6 to 18) with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.” […]

Growing Up in a Cult | SLJ Spotlight

downfrommountain

Four titles that deflty tackle the unusual, unsettling topic of teens growing up in cultlike envinronments.

Cheep Thrills | SLJ Spotlight

unusualchickens

Three chuckle-worthy titles about chicken adventures.

Reaction Tweets from the 2015 Caldecott Winners

Reaction Tweets from the 2015 Caldecott Winners

Exciting day, Monday. I was in attendance for the ALA Youth Media Awards and it was like a surprising, satisfying stew. Satis-prising Stew. But who cares what I think? Let’s hear from the folks who had their names called. Here they are in all their Twitter reaction glory (at least those who are on Twitter). […]

2015 Caldecott Comment Card

2015 Caldecott Comment Card

It was so much fun last year, I decided to bring it back!
Now that the winners have been announced, I want to know what you think. Go ahead and share in the comments. What Caldecott choices are you happy with? What did the committee miss?

Calling All Environmentalists | SLJ Spotlight

beetlebusters

Four nonfiction titles take an innovative approach to ecology.

Watch the Newbery and Caldecott Announcement Live!

Watch the Newbery and Caldecott Announcement Live!

In a matter of days the biggest awards in children’s literature will be dished out in Chicago. The Newbery and Caldecott medals are just the tip of the iceberg at the ALA Youth Media Awards. I’ll be in attendance and am excited as all get out. But those in faraway locales can take part too. […]

The Circs So Far: The 10 Most Popular Books in Our K-4 School Library

The Circs So Far: The 10 Most Popular Books in Our K-4 School Library

Now that we’re back into the swing of things after winter break, I thought I’d fire up the computer and look at which books have been checked out the most in my school library, count them down 10-1, and draw a couple conclusions. (Thanks to ShelfTalker for the title inspiration) 10. Become a Pokemon Trainer […]

Mock Caldecott 2015

Mock Caldecott 2015

Our K-4 Mock Caldecott programs are like snowflakes – no two years are alike. Last year I was on the Caldecott committee and wanted to read a lot of books to gauge how they worked with kids. It was good for students (lots of great books) and good for me (the experience was invaluable in […]

What’s Inside the Enigmatic Inbox of Secrecy?

What’s Inside the Enigmatic Inbox of Secrecy?

What’s this? I better open this up. Yeah! In a week or so I’ll be swinging around Lake Michigan to attend the American Library Association Midwinter meeting (and catch the Youth Media Awards live on Monday, February 2). Want to say hi? You can send me an email at scopenotes (at) gmail (dot) com. I […]