July 24, 2017

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Exclusive Book Trailer Premiere: WHERE OLIVER FITS by Cale Atkinson

Do you know about Cale Atkinson? Maybe you’ve read some of his books? He has a new one coming September 5th called Where Oliver Fits. Today we have a first look at the trailer for the book. A book which had a very cool puzzle cover reveal a few months back: It’s a race against […]

Enter THE SHAPE OF IDEAS Book Giveaway

If you’re a teacher or educator then it’s very likely you spend a lot of time fostering creativity in your students. But, I ask, are you fostering it in yourself? The Shape of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity is a wonderful book of creativity-focused comics for grown-ups, but if you work with middle or […]

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 […]

Tossing Around Starred Reviews: A 2017 Update

2017 is half over. So that means (approximately) half of the starred reviews have been handed out by the major review journals (Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal, Horn Book, Booklist, and the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books). Can you guess the two books that have gone six-for-six so far? Click here to visit the Starred […]

Photo Diary: Nerd Camp MI 2017

For two days in July, the small town of Parma, Michigan becomes the center of the literacy universe. I’m off to Nerd Camp and will be sharing photos here throughout the conference. Check back and I’ll be adding to this post as the day goes along. What is Nerd Camp? Short versh: an “un-conference” focused […]

2017: The Year of Pants

The other day Julie Danielson (of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast) mentioned that 2017 might be The Year of Pants in children’s literature. First I checked with the Google Ngram Viewer, which tracks words that appear in books. It appears we are in the midst of a historic golden age of pants: Then I took […]

Now THIS is How Book People Celebrate Independence!

I can think of no better way for a fan of literacy to celebrate July 4th than by supporting the creation of an independent bookstore. You can make it happen, people. Help me Build a Bookstore and Save a Life – https://t.co/5qI80lZiLa — Kathy M Burnette ; (@thebrainlair) July 2, 2017 Kathy Burnette (aka @thebrainlair […]

Notes on June 2017

In June . . . . . . I questioned the Cat in the Hat’s fiscal responsibility. It was all part of a tongue-in-cheek post about nonfiction featuring the Cat. . . . I shared 10 exciting books coming out this summer. It’s Summer Preview time. . . . we went on a photographic tour […]

Instagramming ALA 2017 (Part 3)

Previously . . . Instagramming ALA 2017 (Part 1) Instagramming ALA 2017 (Part 2) Sunday at ALA started off with an interview with The Day the Crayons Quit and The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors author Drew Daywalt. Even though he tried to tell me he was Dan Santat I saw right through his attempts […]

Instagramming ALA 2017 (Part 2)

Previously . . . Instagramming ALA Annual 2017 (Part 1) Even though Saturday of ALA was busy, I will always take time to slow down, smell the strange convention center air, and admire a selection of Little Free Library designs: I spotted them on the way to the Chapter One Stage. I was moderating a […]

More News from ALA Annual 2017:

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Instagramming ALA Annual 2017 (Part 1)

I just swam back from the American Library Association Annual Conference and boy are my arms and legs tired! (Just kidding – we drove to Michigan City and took the train into town.) The trip began with my usual show-offy Instagram post about how unprepared I like to be at these conferences. Here’s a quick […]

More News from ALA Annual 2017:

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  • Link 3

Off to ALA Annual 2017

I’m making my way to Chicago for the American Library Association Annual Conference. I’m planning to post a recap when I get back, but until then, I’ll be sharing the trip via Instagram and Twitter, if you want to check in there.

A Photographic Tour of My Blogging Cave

Here’s where I do most of the work for this blog and The Yarn. Let’s have a look around. 1. This is a memento from my year on the Caldecott committee: A drawing by Brian Floca of one of the characters from Locomotive. 2. A Little Golden Book birdhouse that a co-worker gifted me. 3. […]

Ye Olde Scope Notes: Are We Sure It’s a Good Idea to Have The Cat in the Hat Teaching Nonfiction???

*Waving a rickety old cane in the air* Does it strike anyone as odd that The Cat in the Hat is now one of the most recognizable sources of factual information for children? I love the Cat in the Hat, but to put a creation of Dr. Seuss (the king of whimsically making stuff up) […]

Announcing The Yarn LIVE at ALA Annual 2017!

Last summer we tried our first LIVE episode of The Yarn. Colby and I talked to Kate DiCamillo in Orlando. We had some laughs, some awkward moments (*Note* Those were all due to me – why did we kick things off with Colby reading an entry from my diary – WHY???) Click here for Pt. 1 of […]

Exclusive Book Trailer Premiere: THE WOLF, THE DUCK, & THE MOUSE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

Given the critical and creative success of Extra Yarn, Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, and Triangle, a new book by the team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen is reason to take notice. The Wolf, The Duck, & The Mouse is “a story about a duck and mouse who get swallowed by a wolf, and […]

The 5 Most Popular Books Featuring Diverse Characters in Our K-4 School Library

We’ve (okay, I’ve) been talking a lot in lately about the most popular books in our library for the 2016-17 school year. You know, picture books, chapter books, nonfiction. But then I had another idea: what about a list with just the most popular 2016-17 books that feature diverse characters? Well? Let’s see them! 5. […]

My Billboard

Occasionally when I’m feeling all lifehack-y¹ I’ll listen to the Tim Ferriss podcast. The host often asks guests what words they would put on a billboard if given the chance. This is a fun question to consider. So I thought about it. Here’s what mine would be: (I’m reaching new levels of preaching to the choir on […]

Top 10 Circulated Nonfiction of 2017

I messed with things again. Similar to how I tweaked our picture book list (sorry Pete), I excluded Pokemon and Minecraft from this list of the most popular nonfiction in our library this school year. The reasons are: They would crowd out just about every other book. You already know they are super popular. So […]

Notes on May 2017

In May . . . . . . Hugo Cabret stole my smartphone. He tried FaceApp and the results were something to see. . . . a children’s book predicted the future. The Good For Nothing Button basically foretold the fidget craze. . . . I talked to Shel Silverstein. It was a pretty one-sided […]