August 28, 2016

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The Most Astonishingly Unconventional Children’s Books of 2016

Pushing the envelope. Pushing boundaries. Pushing buttons. Here’s to children’s books that expand our assumptions of what a children’s book can be. Previously . . . The Wildest Children’s Books of 2015 The Wildest Children’s Books of 2014 The Wildest Children’s Books of 2013 The Wildest Children’s Books of 2012 Look Up! by Jung Jin-Ho Holiday […]

‘Fan Art’ to Finished Product: Monsters Go Night-Night by Aaron Zenz

Kids: in addition to being the beneficiary of children’s literature, they help to inspire their fair share of it too. Take, for instance, Monsters Go Night-Night, the utterly fun, funny and (dare I say?) adorable new bedtime book by Aaron Zenz. All the monsters in the book were inspired by drawings Zenz’s young son made. […]

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 sees the […]

Snapchatting with Hugo Cabret

I’m no technology expert, but it seems like this summer is when Snapchat really hit the mainstream. Similar to my first experience with Twitter, I set up an account (scopenotes100) but have no idea what to do now. So, while I wait to figure out what to use it for, I’ll grab the nearest copy […]

Notes on July 2016

A bit late here on the monthly greatest hits recap – I hope you don’t mind. In July . . . I went to Nerd Camp. And I have the photos to prove it. Day 1 | Day 2 we dug into the mysteries of Cardboard Schu. It gets stranger and stranger. I talked about […]

(Audio) Book Trailer Premiere: Finding Perfect

Colby: You’ve seen book trailers. You know that kids love them. My students often beg me to show their favorite trailers over and over again. Debut author Elly Swartz is trying something new: an audio book trailer. Here at The Yarn we are big fans of audio. I think Elly’s audio trailer is magnificent. Hopefully, […]

Let’s ‘Planet of the Apes’ These Picture Books

When I first saw the original Planet of the Apes it left a big impression on me, due in large part to the twist ending. For those that haven’t seen it – spoiler alert (wait, this film came out in 1968 – spoiler alert retracted) – the main character (astronaut Taylor, played by Charlton Heston) realizes […]

Death Becomes Children’s Lit: More 2016 Books on Loss

Waaay back in January, The Trend Whisperer spotted an uptick in children’s books about death and bereavement. Boy was she right. She mentioned these books in her piece: The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Christian Robinson (this is a re-illustrated version of a story originally illustrated by Remy Charlip and published in 1965) Always Remember by Cece […]

The Yarn is Not Here

All Yarn operations have moved over to the snazzy new Yarn blog. Today is the first post – our interview with Dav Pilkey in a party bus. Click here to head there.

Children’s Literature at the DNC

If there’s one thing you can say about children’s literature people, they will notice when children’s books are mentioned in a national stage. Last night at the Democratic National Convention, Chelsea Clinton kept mentioning children’s books in her speech. First: Then: Then: The children’s literature people? We took notice: For those keeping track: @ChelseaClinton shouted […]

Enthusiasm at the Edges: Thinking Aloud About Book Reviews

A note on this post: I ain’t saying’ nothing new. But every now and then I think it’s worthwhile for me to put these things into words (and also, to trick myself into thinking I absorbed something from my college stats class) – if only for myself. Like just about everything, book quality follows a bell […]

‘And You Shall Know Me by My Twitter Bio’ (#7)

Previously… ‘And You Shall Know Me by My Twitter Bio’ (#1) ‘And You Shall Know Me by My Twitter Bio’ (#2) ‘And You Shall Know Me by My Twitter Bio’ (#3) ‘And You Shall Know Me by My Twitter Bio’ (#4) ‘And You Shall Know Me by My Twitter Bio’ (#5) ‘And You Shall Know […]

How the Heck to Pronounce “Arnold Lobel”

I’m turning into a single serve site today¹ to do a public duty. Arnold Lobel (you know, the children’s literature legend behind Frog and Toad and other classics) has one of those names often pronounced different ways. Sometimes I would hear “LO-BULL” other times “LO-BELL”. I had no idea what to believe². But a little […]

The Mysteries of Cardboard Schu

In the beginning, it was fun. John Schumacher, former school librarian and current Scholastic Ambassador for School Libraries had a cardboard cutout. How many people have a cardboard cutout? The reaction to the cutout’s debut at the American Library Association Annual Conference was enthusiastic: Me and Diane Hess and @MrSchuReads !!! #schuvisits @Scholastic #alaac16 pic.twitter.com/7jvxhr9E3U […]

Photo Diary: Nerd Camp: Day 2

I’m still here at Nerd Camp, capturing the event via photos. Today is the unconference part – the part where the participants determine the sessions. Check back, as I’ll be adding pictures throughout the day. I’ll be attending sessions, and also do some recording for The Yarn today. For more detail, I wrote about Nerd […]

Photo Diary: Nerd Camp: Day 1

I’m off to the biggest and best literacy-focused unconference around: Nerd Camp. I’m bringing my camera with me and will be posting pictures here throughout the day – check back for updates. This is the first day of the event: the day filled with pre-planned sessions (Ignite-style talks, author/illustrator panels, best book presentations, and educator-led […]

Undies: The Interview

Over at the Tundra Books blog, Carter Higgins and I shoot the bull on The Undies Case Cover Awards (which I wrote about a few weeks back). Things you will learn: Who came up with the award name (Hint: it wasn’t Carter or I). The great case covers that inspired me to bug Carter about […]

Photos: Two Days of ALA (Part 2)

Previously: Photos: Two Days of ALA (Part 1) As the sun rose on the Orlando swampland I looked out my window and thought, “I could use some coffee.” Then I realized they had one of those little makers in the room (complete with official looking to-go cup (see below)). And it was glorious. Caffeine addiction […]

Photos: Two Days of ALA (Part 1)

What just happened? I’m back in Michigan after a wonderful and speedy trip to Orlando for the 2016 ALA Annual Conference. Quick, yes, but I still managed to take a few photos along the way. For more ALA Annual-ness, check out these posts: Fuse #8 Production: Reflections on a Banquet | Oh, What a Time it […]

Bird, Lê, Jonker: Niblings at Nerd Camp

Nerd Camp – do you know about it? Man, have I tried to let everyone know about it. This is because if you live in Michigan (or are up for traveling here) and are passionate about books for kids, you should attend. What is Nerd Camp? In short, a free (FREE) two day unconference with […]