July 24, 2016

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‘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 […]

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 […]