June 29, 2016

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Gallery: The Art of the Picture Book Barcode 2016

Last year (wholly inspired by an idea from Matthew Cordell) we had a good time checking out all the inventive ways the boring ol’ barcode has been incorporated into the design and illustration of a picture book. It was a greatest hits gallery with some really amazing stuff. Have a look: Gallery: The Art of […]

Calling All ALA Attendees: Check Out The Yarn LIVE with Kate DiCamillo

The “You” above is referring to you. In a mere three days Colby Sharp and I will be taking The Yarn on the road to interview Kate DiCamillo in front of a live audience at the American Library Association Annual Conference. DiCamillo will be unravelling her latest book Raymie Nightingale (but we might talk about […]

Newbery/Caldecott 2017: Checking In

Every now and then I like to check out the latest Mock Newbery and Caldecott lists on Goodreads. Are they official guides to the books that are under discussion/might win? No. Just some lists voted on by interested readers. They are often pretty predictive, however. For instance, take a look at the top two books […]

Mythical Beasts of the School Library

It’s the end of the school year around here and books that haven’t been on the shelves all year are returning. So forgive me for thinking I’m seeing things. Is that a unicorn I see? No, just the once a year phenomenon of congregating Minecraft books. Wait. That’s a Yeti. Nope, just the rare sight […]

The Yarn for Your Eyes

Just a quick note to let you know The Yarn is now on Instagram. We’ll be posting photos taken during our interviews, info on upcoming episodes, and the random pic of yarn taken at Michael’s craft store. Click here to see theyarnpodcast on Instagram. We also have a Facebook page. Right now over there we’re […]

Top 10 Circulated Fiction Books 2016

Let us dive into the stats one more time to see which fiction books were checked out the most this school year. What do you say, last piece of cake in the staff fridge? Previously… Top 10 Circulated Graphic Novels 2016 Top 10 Circulated Picture Books 2016 10. Kylie Jean, Drama Queen by Marci Peschke […]

Notes on May 2016

In May… …I let you read my diary. My (Censored) Caldecott Diary (Part I of III) is ready for your perusal. …we considered the ramifications of lifting Caldecott/Newbery/etc. confidentiality rules. Nothing is decided yet, but ALSC is gathering thoughts and opinions on making the process not so secret. …Carter Higgins and I debuted a new […]

What’s Your FOUND Story?

A fourth grade student walked into the library yesterday morning, triumphantly holding this book above her head: The book had been lost. Now it was found. Me: That’s great! Thanks for bringing it back. Student: I found it in a dream. Me: You found it in a dream? Student: Yeah. Me: What do you mean? […]

Top 10 Circulated Picture Books of 2016

I know I made everyone jealous with my teacher’s lounge snacks in my last post. Top 10 Circulated Graphic Novels of 2016 Allow me to turn the screws a bit more. I walked into the lounge this morning and saw this glorious sight: Yep – crate full of Cheetos. But enough with the important stuff […]

Top 10 Circulated Graphic Novels of 2016

When random jugs of Sunny D and begin to appear in the teacher’s lounge (leftover from one classroom celebration or another), you know the end of the school year is near. As the sun slowly sets on the 2015-16 campaign, I like to gaze off into the distance with a pile of circ stat printouts, […]

Announcing the Biggest and Best New Award in Children’s Literature: The Undies

It’s okay. We’ve all done it. Stripped off the dust jacket to expose the naked underbelly of that brand new picture book. Peeked underneath the taped-on-Mylar of library books, desperate for an Easter egg or two. Sighed with delight and intrigue when we catch a glimpse of that unexpected story. When the case cover functions […]

My (Censored) Caldecott Diary: Part I of III

I was a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. During that year, I kept a Day One journal. Now, I’m going to share it with you – typos (I blame auto-correct), lame journal jokes (unfortunately, no one to blame but myself there) and all. In classic journal form, I update it in bursts and there’s […]

Lifting the Cone of Silence? The ALSC Awards and Confidentiality

Did you read this post over at the ALSC Blog yesterday? While I’ve witnessed (and sometimes been a part of) “Should award discussions be secret forever?” conversations over the years, I didn’t expect ALSC Board to gather opinions on the matter. I know when you have a blog you’re supposed to have really strong feelings about […]

Children’s Book Week Celebration: An Interview with Nathan Hale

First Second Books is doing something fun for Children’s Book Week – sharing comics creators in conversation. Today we have a little Q&A with John Patrick Green (Teen Boat, Hippopotamister) and Nathan Hale. John Patrick Green: What are your favorite children’s or comic books from your youth? Nathan Hale: I didn’t have a comic shop […]

Chicagoland! I! AM! EXCITED!

Betsy Bird has brought her brand of children’s literary breeze-shooting to the midwest, and I’m honored to be a part of it: This weekend I get to chat with John Schumacher, Colby Sharp, and Betsy Bird at the Evanston Public Library. If you’re in the area, come on over and say hi.

Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?

First came… Then came… And I went… Then came… and THEN came… And I went…

2016 is Foxy

The other day The Trend Whisperer (a new nickname I’m trying out for A Fuse #8 Production) mentioned that 2016 is the year of bears on rampages and blobfish. I can’t disagree. But a recent conversation with Benji of Tales of an Elementary School Librarian had me thinking there should be another trend on our […]

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!

If you haven’t read this book with students, you should: Tip: It’s available in ebook format if you don’t have it and need to download it quick. If you haven’t shared this song with students, you should: This video has been a big hit with students this week. There’s also a version without the motions, […]

Poetry Friday: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Last week I talked about book spine poems (or centos), today I have three examples:

Beverly Cleary at 100: All the Tributes

Today, to-day, children’s literature legend Beverly Cleary turns 100 year old. The media has taken notice: Book Riot: 100 Awesome Things About Beverly Cleary on her 100th Birthday The New York Times: Happy Birthday Beverly Cleary! The New Yorker: Beverly Cleary, Age 100 The Washington Post: Beverly Cleary on turning 100: Kids today ‘don’t have […]