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February 5, 2016

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4 Things I Noticed About the Bestselling Children’s Books of 2015

Yesterday Publishers Weekly released their lists of the bestselling children books of 2015. Here’s what I noticed… 1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School topped the fiction list by a mile. Second place, John Green’s Paper Towns, trailed by a mere … 500,000 copies. Yes, #1 beat #2 by a number that almost matched the total […]

Library Litter

Ugh! Litterbug! How many times do I have to say not to litter the library with date due slips from Caldecott Medal winning books? Caldecott Medal winner date due slip litter is the worst. Backstory: In the 90s our school library automated their checkout system (I wasn’t here for that). You know the drill – […]

First Second Tenth: A Cover Extravaganza

Publisher First Second is ten years old. Ten years of making some of the best graphic novels around – for kids and grown-ups. To celebrate, I thought it would be fun for First Second artists to pay tribute to their favorite First Second books. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? That’s how the […]

Calde-Bump, Newbery Jump

The Caldecott and Newbery sell books. How have the recent winners fared on the bestseller lists? Here are the picture book bestsellers from last week (which takes data from before the awards were announced): And here are the picture book bestsellers for this week: Notice the change? Finding Winnie moved to number one, Last Stop […]

The Circs So Far: The 10 Most Checked Out Books of the 2015-16 School Year

(Thanks to Shelftalker for inspiring the title of this post) While the year year is new, the school year is not. We’ve been up and running since September. Time to check in on the most checked out books in our school library so far in the 2015-16 campaign. 10. Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret […]

Finding Winnie…’s Butt

Since it won the Caldecott Medal last week, I’ve been reading Finding Winnie to all of my classes (I work with students in grades K-4). I love the book, and it’s been getting a great reception from kids. Especially the furry butt cheeks. What? You don’t see them? Now, don’t be ashamed if you don’t […]

Cover Reveal: PIRASAURS! by Josh Funk, Illustrated by Michael Slack

If someone did a Best Read-Alouds of 2015 list (man, why didn’t I do that list?) Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast would have been on my list. That book was written by Josh Funk. Now Josh has a new book on the horizon (with illustrator Michael Slack) and I’m pleased to share a first […]

The Short Shelf Life of ‘A Birthday Cake for George Washington’

Released on Tuesday, January 5th, A Birthday Cake for George Washington has been pulled from shelves. Here’s a statement on the decision from publisher Scholastic: If you haven’t been following the discussion about this book, there’s a good collection of links at American Indians in Children’s literature to get you caught up.

The Relative Surprise-iness of the 2016 Youth Media Awards

“So, what are your favorites?” That’s the question everyone asks each other at ALA Midwinter. The day before the Youth Media Awards were announced, I told a friend I was hoping for a happy surprise or two. Now that the medals have been distributed, I want to talk about four individual moments that made me raise […]

Reaction Tweets of the 2016 Youth Media Award Winners

Here’s a batch of first reactions from the recent class of Youth Media Award winners… Matt de la Peña: Newbery Medal, Last Stop on Market Street: pic.twitter.com/1XfKCCSAcP — Matt de la Pena (@mattdelapena) January 11, 2016 Sophie Blackall: Caldecott Medal, Finding Winnie: Told the cat I’d won the #Caldecott. She couldn’t care less. pic.twitter.com/I59i8A9YYQ — […]

2016 Caldecott Comment Card

Once the 2016 Caldecott Medals and Honors have been awarded, I want to know what you think. Go ahead and share in the comments. What Caldecott choices are you happy with? Unhappy? What did the committee miss?

Coming Soon: Top 10 Posts of 2015

Full-on reflection mode over here. Starting next week and continuing over the holidays, I’ll be counting down my most popular posts from the past year, from number ten to number one. See you then.

14 Books I Loved (But Didn’t Review) in 2015

Well this will be easy. There’s a whole bunch of books that, for a variety of reasons (most relating to sleep and food), I didn’t talk about on this blog. Again I will state my annual pledge: I’ll try to do better next year. What follows are some of the 2015 books that I read and […]

2016 Mock Caldecott Results!

9 Books. Over 500 K-4th grade student votes. The winners of our 2016 Mock Caldecott are…

2015 Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide

Time is running out to get gifts for the insufferable librarian in your life. With help from Etsy, the 2015 edition of the Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide has your back. Click here for the 2014 guide Click here for the 2013 guide Click here for the 2012 guide Click here for the 2011 guide […]

It’s Not an OPAC…

For the non-librarians out there OPAC stands for Online Public Access Catalog. It’s what patrons use to search the library collection. Although lately the searches have had a clear theme: Minecraft books.

Everything You Need to Know About Reading Levels, in One Image

“No, the new Rainbow Magic Fairy book is a little too difficult for you. Try The Marvels instead.”

The Ultimate Children’s Literature Illustrator Gift Guide 2015

What are you going to give, a hoverboard? Drone? Come on. Give art. Recently updated for the 2015 gift-giving season, here is my collection of children’s literature illustrator shops on the internets. This isn’t a comprehensive list – let me hear about what I missed in the comments. (Many thanks to Debbie Ridpath Ohi (who has also […]

Notes on November 2015

In November… …we enjoyed some Calde-Snacks. Members of the 2015 Caldecott class shared their favorite snack choices. I enjoyed it. …we talked Mock Caldecott. I shared the process we use at my school library, and the 9 books we will be discussing. …we solved a mystery. Who/what is that blue character on the walls of […]

PDT: Public Display of Thankfulness

I’m thankful to be a part of this children’s literature community. Thank you for for being a part of it too. Thank you for caring. Thank you for challenging the status quo. Thank you for working to make the world better through books for kids. Also, thank you gravy.