November 23, 2015

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Sendak for Sale: The Most Unique Items Available at Sotheby’s

47 pieces of original art by Maurice Sendak are currently up for sale at Sotheby’s in New York. According to the AP, “prices range from $3,000 to $950,000″. So gather up your pennies, folks – the sale runs until December 18. Below are three of my favorite items, but you can click here to see the […]

*Breaking News of Great Importance* Barnes & Noble L.B.B. Mystery Solved!

Back in April, author/illustrator Matthew Cordell re-ignited a mystery that had perplexed the children’s literature community for years: Surrounded by popular characters in the children’s section, this little dog (/cat/wolf/???) stood out. Some of the best minds pondered, speculated, and researched. Some of the best illustrators created alternate stories for the character who had come […]

We Publish Caldecott Winners

I wanted to know which publisher has put out the most Caldecott-winning books over the last 20 years, so I looked at the data. But take these numbers with a grain of salt. The totals were a bit difficult to compile, mostly due to the numerous acquisitions that have taken place in publishing over the […]

MAME 2015

Hello MAME conference-goers!
Click here for a list of the books we discussed in our session today.

Mock Caldecott 2016

I love this time of year. The Mock Caldecott has become an annual K-4 tradition at my school. We’ve tried it a number of different ways, as you can see in these posts: Mock Caldecott 2015 Mock Caldecott 2014 Mock Caldecott 2013 Here’s how we’re running things this year. Week 1: I introduce/remind students about the Caldecott – […]

Cover Reveal: BOOKED by Kwame Alexander

The question always comes. After the flood of excitement and gratitude, a Newbery winner must face the inevitable blank page. Kwame Alexander, author of Newbery Medal-winning The Crossover, faced the blank page and lived to tell about it. His new book, called Booked, arrives on April 5, 2016. Today we have a first look at […]


If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s food. Food is good. While entire meals are great (fantastic, even), there’s another category of food that is just as near and dear to my heart. The snack. I’ve always imagined that snacks are very important to children’s book creators. For one thing, they […]

8 Years of 100 Scope Notes

In 2007 I started this blog with a review of the book Robot Dreams. Eight years later, here we are. Thank you for reading and sharing. To celebrate, here are eight posts I like – one from each year this blog has been around. 2007: Review: Robot Dreams by Sara Varon (my first post) 2008: Children’s […]

Bibliography: A Fine Dessert

Like many of you, I’ve been thinking a lot about this book. I’ve read all the critiques, all the support, all the comments, all the tweets. I can’t look away, and I think I’m glad I can’t. The thing that makes the most sense to me is to share the things I’ve been reading, and encourage you […]

A Conversation with Hervé Tullet, Continued

I had a conversation with my favorite picture book-making Frenchman over at The Number Five Bus Presents… Click here to read it. Thank you Erin & Philip Stead for inviting me to take part. Thank you Hervé Tullet for the chat.

If the Public Picked the Newbery…

…these are the books that would win. People sometimes get irritated with me me when I bring up the mock Newbery list on Goodreads. It is certainly a popularity contest, when the real award is certainly not. Anyone can vote for a book for any reason on the Goodreads list. This is not the way […]

Gallery: The New York Times Best Illustrated Books of 2015

New York Times Best Illustrated Books list, you catch me off guard every time. And I like it. The 2015 winners have been announced. Let’s have a look at them, shall we? (Side note: I went three for ten in my predictions from a couple months back.) Big Bear Little Chair by Lizi Boyd A […]

Coming Soon: November is Picture Book Month!

November: around the corner. You know what that means… Picture Book Month is coming. During November I’ll be showing the video above and asking students share their all-time favorite picture books on our school library blog. But most of all we’ll be reading and talking about picture books (not a change from the other months […]

When Caldecott Medals Are Born

A couple years back, I tried to figure out which month birthed the most Newbery Medals. Now it’s time for Caldecott. Similar to my Newbery assumption, I figured the most Caldecott medals would come from the pumpkin-spiced months. Adding to this is the fact that if you look at previous Caldecott winners with books out […]

I Have An Idea for A LOVE YOU FOREVER Sequel…

Trade the mother for the author of this article, and the son with the nearest children’s book guy.

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle

I will always have a special connection to Molly Idle’s work. I was a member of the committee that awarded Idle’s Flora and the Flamingo a Caldecott Honor. Today I’m (segue alert) honored to reveal, for the very first time, the cover for the latest Flora book, Flora and the Peacocks. First, a word from […]

Nonfiction Monday: The 50 States

There are a lot of blog tours out there, but being an unabashed homer, I couldn’t say no to this one. Today we have not so much a review as an overview. The 50 States is a new nonfiction/reference book with a lot of appeal. Each state of the union is presented with a beautifully […]

The Nose by Maris Wicks

Maris Wicks is one of those illustrators whose work I’m always happy to see. This is directly due to the fact that she illustrated the wonderful book Primates, written by Jim Ottaviano. And even more so because she created the art for one of the best summer books in recent memory, Yes, Let’s, written by Galen Goodwin Longstreth. […]

Newbery Encased in Marble

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. – Michelangelo Among the people who follow the Youth Media Awards awards closely (and specifically the two oldest awards, The Newbery and Caldecott), I think there are two extremes. On one end are those who […]

Instagramming an Author Visit (Part 2): Katherine Applegate

The nice thing about our school sign is that both sides have an announcement spot. This week, we needed it. On the opposite side, we welcomed Linda Urban, who visited on Tuesday (I talked about that visit here). On Wednesday Katherine Applegate stopped by. We did our best to make her feel welcome. One of […]