June 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Makin’ a List, Checking with You

School Library Journal asked me to help out with a list of the ten best transitional reader books for their annual Best of the Year celebrations in print and online. I’ve been paying extra close attention to all 2018 early readers and chapter books, but in the words of Aerosmith, I don’t wanna miss a […]

My ALA Annual Plan-ual

Later this week I’m headed to the 2018 American Library Association Annual Conference (do all those words get capitalized? I’m going with it). Will you be there? I have a three-pronged approach to the conference this year. Prong #1: Librarian Stuff I could go on about the stuff I want to hit, but really this […]

School Librarian Corner: Dirty Books. No, Literally, Dirty Books

The other day I read a Facebook post from a fellow school librarian in the midst of an end-of-the-year inventory. This librarian said it gets kind of gross when you touch all the books in the library. Tell me about it. If you’ve ever handled a bunch of library books, you can probably identify. Your […]

The June Newsletter Has Ideas

I recently sent out the June installment of FROM THE DESK OF 100 SCOPE NOTES. It includes a book recommendation, a podcast recommendation, and other, more secret things. Click here to read it.
I send out this newsletter once a month – want to su…

One Star Review Guess Who? (#68)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? These are gross books. They tend to sell a lot of these at school book fairs, but they are NOT quality material for children. There are lots of misspelled words and the manners are crude to say the least. […]

Introducing Tundra Illustrator Studio (and a Giveaway)

This is really cool. Tundra books is starting up a new video series called Illustrator Studio. Each video will visit a different book creator in their studio. First up, paper diorama artist Elly MacKay. In the video, MacKay shows how she creates her completely distinct illustrations. A must-watch for children’s book art fans. And (hey […]

Exclusive Cover Reveal: The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu

Anne Ursu has a new book coming out called The Lost Girl. What’s it about? When you’re an identical twin, your story always starts with someone else. For Iris, that means her story starts with Lark. Iris has always been the grounded, capable, and rational one; Lark has been inventive, dreamy, and brilliant—and from their […]

The Unhuggables

Picture Book Mini Trend Alert! Hugging the unhuggable. It’s an idea that has serious picture book legs. I think the first time I saw a book on this topic was a couple years back: Hugs from Pearl by Paul Schmid And this one was out around the same time: Hug Me by Simona Ciraolo The […]

‘And You Shall Know Me by My Twitter Bio’ (#8)

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 […]

Morning Notes: I Have a Book Idea Edition

BETSY DEVOS IS IN A CHILDREN’S BOOK Remember a couple weeks back when I shared that Seuss-inspired picture book being used in a . Well now my home state is getting in on the action with a picture book starring Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and candidate for governor Bill Schuette. Click here to read it. […]

The DRAWN TOGETHER Giveaway!

Today is a good day. It’s the release date for Drawn Together, a picture book written by Minh Lê and illustrated by Dan Santat. It’s a great book about bridging the communication (and generation) gap through art. I think you’ll like it.   But could it also be a lucky day??? That depends on you. […]

Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#7)

I used this website to (virtually) create 3 LEGO book covers. They’re listed from least challenging to most challenging – see how many you can name. #1: Answer #2: Answer #3: Answer How’d you do? Previously . . . Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#1) Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#2) Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#3) […]

Books on Film: The 2018 Boston Globe – Horn Book Awards Announced!

The Boston Globe – Horn Book Awards were recently announced and here’s the video to prove it. I like the BGHB awards because they’re on a different timetable than the big ALA/ALSC awards like the Newbery and Caldecott. Those awards all go to books published within the calendar year. The BGHB awards are on a […]

Notes on May 2018

In May . . . . . . we let Google try to re-write a picture book. An auto-completed version of They All Saw a Cat. . . . I reviewed a new graphic novel I think a lot of readers will love. Be Prepared is really good.  . . . we looked at the […]

Gimme a B! Gimme an E! Gimme an A! What’s That Spell?

Not Bea. Book Expo America. I’m headed there later this week in support of the picture book I wrote and Mark Pett illustrated called The Very Last Castle (pre-order here). Are you going? It’s easy: just book a flight to New York and then follow the crowd of people who look like they might use […]

10 to Note: Summer Preview 2018

What follows are ten books coming out in June, July, and August that have me interested. REAL interested. Picture Books Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak, illustrated by Julian Frost June 5 | Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) | Grades K-2 We’ve all seen those cool microscope photos that turn everyday items into alien worlds. […]

Kat Yeh on Writing with Emotional Honesty

Travis: Colby interviewed Kat Yeh last fall at the NCTE conference. She takes us behind the scenes of her sometimes challenging writing process for her middle grade novel, The Way to Bea.  It was a great conversation. We hope you enjoy the show. Subscribe below to catch every episode. Click here to subscribe to The Yarn […]

Books on Film: Watch the Christopher Robin Trailer

The trailer for the upcoming Winnie the Pooh movie Christopher Robin is out. At the very least it will be interesting to see how the characters will translate into the real life setting.

The Children’s Literature Community Reacts to the Passing of Richard Peck

I met Richard Peck once – in a signing line. I’m usually pretty quiet while getting a book signed. I always think “There are so many people here and I don’t want to hold things up, I’ll just get my book signed and be on my way.” But when I got to the front of […]

The Yarn LIVE at ALA!

Travis: We’re looking forward to this:

The Yarn is going LIVE in New Orleans for ALA Annual. If you’ll be there, we’d love to see you.