May 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

After promising Kate that we’d do a book by a lady, I had to determine the best possible choice. My idea was to look on my old Top 100 Picture Books Poll and see who the top women on there were. #1? Margaret Wise Brown. #2 was Judith Viorst and this book. You know, you […]

Q&A and Cover Reveal: After Zero by Christina Collins

A lot of librarians are familiar with books in which a character, maybe the main character or a sibling or a friend, does not speak. The term I always thought applied to this situation was “selective mutism”. It’s so common in books that when I keep track of the books I read on Goodreads I’ve […]

Q&A and Cover Reveal: After Zero by Christina Collins

A lot of librarians are familiar with books in which a character, maybe the main character or a sibling or a friend, does not speak. The term I always thought applied to this situation was “selective mutism”. It’s so common in books that when I keep track of the books I read on Goodreads I’ve […]

Review of the Day: The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

The Parker Inheritance By Varian Johnson Arthur A. Levine Books (an imprint of Scholastic) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-94617-9 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. The other day I was asked to come up with ten children’s book equivalents to Claudia Rankine’s book Citizen (which, should anybody ask you, is not for kids). To do this, I wanted […]

Fusenews: Eat Your Heart Out, “Awful Library Books”

As a librarian I know that reading aloud to children is necessary for their growth and development. And I know that periodically new parents that happen to be writers in other fields will come to children’s books through their offspring and suddenly be overwhelmed with the importance of reading. In cases such as these they […]

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky

Mother’s Day isn’t exactly around the corner, but this episode is basically our present to our mom. She’s been bugging us to do this particular book for ages. Certainly that Caldecott Honor in the corner of the cover gives it the necessary picture book classics cred. Rumpelstiltskin is, indeed, one of my favorites. As you […]

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky

Mother’s Day isn’t exactly around the corner, but this episode is basically our present to our mom. She’s been bugging us to do this particular book for ages. Certainly that Caldecott Honor in the corner of the cover gives it the necessary picture book classics cred. Rumpelstiltskin is, indeed, one of my favorites. As you […]

Video Sunday: I Walk It Like I Talk It With a Wocket in My Pocket

Maybe it was School of Rock that started the interest in working with children. Certainly the Goosebumps movie was an indication, and who can forget Jumanji? However you want to look at it, Jack Black at some point in the proceedings became the friendly face of children’s books adapted to the big screen. Considering the […]

Video Sunday: I Walk It Like I Talk It With a Wocket in My Pocket

Maybe it was School of Rock that started the interest in working with children. Certainly the Goosebumps movie was an indication, and who can forget Jumanji? However you want to look at it, Jack Black at some point in the proceedings became the friendly face of children’s books adapted to the big screen. Considering the […]

Review of the Day: A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano, ill. Lane Smith

A House That Once Was By Julie Fogliano Illustrated by Lane Smith Roaring Brook Press (an imprint of Macmillan) $18.99 ISBN: 978-1-62672-314-6 Ages 4-7 On shelves May 1st When I was growing up there was an empty house across the street. A melancholy, haunted structure that seemed to wear its sadness like a badge. No […]

The Readalike Conundrum: What Netflix Can Tell us About Predicting Predilections

Fond as I am of podcasts, I do have a tendency to view them as conveyance systems for blog fodder. I plug in my earphones, walk home from work, and get ideas for posts. That’s the hope anyway, but nine times out of ten a podcast is just a podcast. Even the most inspirational ones […]

Surprising Jolts of Children’s Literature

It’s that time again! Time to take a gander at what’s happening in the world of books for grown-up types. Oh sure, half the time it’s quickie diet books and memoirs of Churchill (I can guarantee that if there’s a Churchill book out there, the patrons of my library will snap it up, lightning quick) […]

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

“50% of this book is just depressed donkeys.” In lieu of Shrek (which I had zippo information on hand to bandy about) I decided we’d go with what is arguably the second most famous Steig picture book out there. You know. The one chock full of sadness and woe. Along the way we tackle grammar, […]

Review of the Day: The Cardboard Kingdom, edited and illustrated by Chad Sell

The Cardboard Kingdom Edited and Illustrated by Chad Sell Written by Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, Cloud Jacobs, and Barbara Perez Marquez Knopf (an imprint of Random House Children’s Books) $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-5247-1937-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves June 5th The other day I listened […]

Review of the Day: The Cardboard Kingdom, edited and illustrated by Chad Sell

The Cardboard Kingdom Edited and Illustrated by Chad Sell Written by Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, Cloud Jacobs, and Barbara Perez Marquez Knopf (an imprint of Random House Children’s Books) $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-5247-1937-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves June 5th The other day I listened […]

The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant: Fuse 8 n’ Kate Transcription

This week Kate and I didn’t release a new episode of our podcast. In lieu of that, she’s typed up a transcript of our Babar episode, for those of you that would prefer our banter in written form. Here then is the episode in full. Many thanks, indeed, to Kate for doing the dirty work […]

Cover Reveal: Sweep by Jonathan Auxier

“Frog and Toad on rooftops.” Now that I have your attention . . . The funny thing about the children’s book author Jonathan Auxier (you may remember him from his Peter Nimble stories, or perhaps from his deliciously creepy The Night Gardener) is that I knew him personally before he was a writer for kids. […]

The Art of the Book Title: Picture Book Edition

When you think of the truly great picture books of all time, you realize pretty quickly that like all things famous, in order to achieve greatness the right parts had to be the right place at the right time. You have to have great art, marvelous writing (if, indeed, you have any writing at all), […]

Dudes! Raffi! The Interview.

I have been more descriptive in my titles in the past, but seriously. Dudes! Raffi! I just friggin’ interviewed Raffi! If this news and name mean nothing to you then you’re undoubtedly younger than I. There was a time, oh best beloved, when the only name that came to mind when you mentioned “children’s music” […]

Cover Reveal: Winnie’s Great War by Lindsay Mattick and Josh Greenhut, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Let us play a game. Think of all the picture books that have won the Caldecott Award over the years. Not the Honors, mind you. The Gold. The Big Kahuna. Are you picturing them? Good. Now, separate out all the Nonfiction winners. This would be easier to do if we were talking about the NonFictionphobic […]