December 7, 2016

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31 Days, 31 Lists: Day Seven – 2016 Great Funny Picture Books

Every single list that appears on this blog is subjective.  I mean, here I am declaring stuff to be great based entirely on a single solitary opinion: my own.  That’s okay when you’re talking alphabet books or readalouds, but humor is a far trickier matter.  There are a LOT of humorous picture books that come […]

Favorite YA Books of 2016

Yes, it’s list time. What follows are 16 of my favorite 2016 books that I reviewed and excerpts of my reviews. Even though I’m a voracious reader, I’m sure I missed a lot of great titles this year. I always enjoy reading the many lists that crop up this time of the year, but I also […]

Favorite YA Books of 2016

Yes, it’s list time. What follows are 16 of my favorite 2016 books that I reviewed and excerpts of my reviews. Even though I’m a voracious reader, I’m sure I missed a lot of great titles this year. I always enjoy reading the many lists that crop up this time of the year, but I also […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day Six – 2016 Great Alphabet Books

“In Adam’s Fall, we sinned all.”  That catchy little ditty was from one of the earlier abecedarian picture books for children in America (the 1784 edition of The New England Primer, in case you’re curious). Practically from our nation’s inception, alphabet books were a go-to resource for teaching children to read.  Every year more and […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day Five – 2016 Great Rhyming Picture Books

If potential authors of picture books are given one piece of advice when they’re first starting out, it tends to be, “For the love of all that’s good and holy DO NOT let your picture books rhyme!!!”  And for good reason.  Few things in life are quite as painful as poorly rhymed picture books.  Too […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day Four – 2016 Great Picture Book Readalouds

To be fair, every single picture book, with the exception of the wordless ones, is a readaloud.  You’re not supposed to just silent there silent and stony when a child’s on your lap.  Picture books are meant to engage through the voice of the reader.  That said, not all of them do well when it […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day Three – 2016 Great Nursery Rhymes

It’s strange to think that Nursery Rhymes prove so difficult to round-up.  I’ve done my best.  After all, the art of the nursery rhyme is nothing to scoff at.  There’s a reason they’ve kicked around all these centuries.  Reading nursery rhymes to small children does wonders for brain development, to say nothing of the fact […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day Three – 2016 Great Nursery Rhymes

It’s strange to think that Nursery Rhymes prove so difficult to round-up.  I’ve done my best.  After all, the art of the nursery rhyme is nothing to scoff at.  There’s a reason they’ve kicked around all these centuries.  Reading nursery rhymes to small children does wonders for brain development, to say nothing of the fact […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day Two – 2016 Great Board Book Adaptations

So what do we mean when we say “Board Book Adaptations” exactly?  Well, you’re probably familiar with the phenomenon of taking a picture book and chopping it down into a board book  When this is done poorly the end product is strange and squished.  The most egregious example of this might be the Cloudy With […]

Books as Allies: SLJ’s Best Books Help Kids Find Their Way | Editorial

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SLJ’s 2016 Best Books list celebrates 50 years of acknowledging top titles—and the power of books to transport readers and change lives.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2016 Great Board Books

We kick off our 31 Days, 31 Lists at the lowest age level imaginable.  Finding quality board books for babies and toddlers is a challenge.  It’s not enough to simply have thick pages.  You need to be able to engage the interest and attention of someone who is still developing their visual and auditory processing […]

Review of the Day: Snow White by Matt Phelan

Snow White: A Graphic Novel By Matt Phelan Candlewick Press $19.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-7233-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves now I’d have said it couldn’t be done. The Snow White fairytale has been told and retold and overdone to death until there’s not much left to do but forget about it entirely. Not that every graphic novel […]

Review of the Day: Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders

Five Children on the Western Front By Kate Saunders Delacorte Press (an imprint of Random House) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-553-49793-9 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Anytime someone writes a new prequel or sequel to an old children’s literary classic, the first question you have to ask is, “Was this necessary?” And nine times out of ten, […]

It Begins…

Today, we interrupt our usual 3 review posts per week schedule to do our first list look. Because yes, it’s November, and yes, we’re in the rapid dash to the end of the year, and yes, the Best of lists have begun with PW’s, which landed last week. With only one list to look at, […]

It Begins…

Today, we interrupt our usual 3 review posts per week schedule to do our first list look. Because yes, it’s November, and yes, we’re in the rapid dash to the end of the year, and yes, the Best of lists have begun with PW’s, which landed last week. With only one list to look at, […]

Review of the Day: The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat

The Cookie Fiasco By Dan Santat Additional Art by Mo Willems Hyperion Books for Children (an imprint of Disney) $9.99 ISBN: 978-1484726365 Ages 3-6 On shelves now See, this is tricky. Very tricky indeed. On the one hand, as a reviewer of children’s books, not bound to any single periodical, I have the freedom to […]

Review of the Day: Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

Juana and Lucas By Juana Medina Candlewick Press $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-7636-7208-9 Ages 6-9 On shelves now Windows. Mirrors. Mirrors. Windows. Windowy mirrors. Mirrory windows. Windows. Mirrors. Sliding doors! Mirrors. Windows. In the world of 21st century children’s literature, diversity should be the name of the game. We want books for our children that reflect the […]

Review of the Day: Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

Juana and Lucas By Juana Medina Candlewick Press $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-7636-7208-9 Ages 6-9 On shelves now Windows. Mirrors. Mirrors. Windows. Windowy mirrors. Mirrory windows. Windows. Mirrors. Sliding doors! Mirrors. Windows. In the world of 21st century children’s literature, diversity should be the name of the game. We want books for our children that reflect the […]

Review of the Day: What Color Is the Wind? by Anne Herbauts

What Color Is the Wind? By Anne Herbauts Translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick Enchanted Lion Books $19.95 ISBN: 978-1-59270-221-3 Ages 5 and up On shelves now I’m going to have a hard time of it when my kids grow up. When I had them I swore up, down and sideways that I wouldn’t turn into […]

Review of the Day: Are You an Echo? by David Jacobson

Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko Narrative and Translation by David Jacobson, Sally Ito, and Michiko Tsuboi Illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri Chin Music Press $19.50 ISBN: 9781634059626 Ages 5 and up On shelves now Recently I was at a conference celebrating the creators of different kinds of children’s books. During one […]