June 24, 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…

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 […]


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) […]

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 […]

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 […]

You’re So Vain: Book-Related Vanity License Plates

I was in the car yesterday when I spotted this while waiting for a red light: Nice work, fellow driver! It got me thinking about people I know who have book-related vanity plates. My friend (and world-class school librarian) Cindy Dobrez has one (she credits Little Brother by Cory Doctorow as inspiration): John Schumacher has […]

Top 10 Circulated Picture Books of 2018

Sidewalks are getting chalked, folks. You know what that means – the end of the school year is coming. Time to see which books got checked out the most in our K-4 school library. First up, the ten most popular picture books. 10. Mix it Up! by Hervé Tullet All the paint books by Herve […]

Notes on April 2018

In April . . . . . . we checked in on the state of photographic illustration in picture books. #teamphotography . . . we looked at new and upcoming books from past award winners. Specifically, Sibert and Coretta Scott King award winners. . . . I rounded up all the movies and television shows […]

Auto-Completed Children’s Books (#5) They All Saw a Cat

Okay, Google – you think you’re pretty smart? How about you try completing the text from famous children’s books. I’ll type the beginning of each line into a Google search (plain text below), and you try to finish the line (bold text below). (All credit to @botnikstudions for the inspiration) Previously . . . Auto-Completed Children’s […]

Photo Gallery: An Visit with Deb Pilutti

Deb Pilutti, maker of such fine books as these . . . . . . visited our school last week. It was a great day. Let’s take a look. We try to begin the hospitality outside the building. Author visit suggestion: make some bootleg coloring pages for kids featuring characters from the author’s books (you’ll […]

Recently Heard on The Yarn

Ever since we moved operations over to a dedicated blog, I haven’t shared many Yarn podcast happenings over here. So how about we take a quick look at the last 5 episodes and you can give a listen if you’re interested?

Victoria Jamieson

I Will Not Retreat to a Book Cave to Eat Taco Bell

Taco Bell has a new commercial called The Librarian, and I have a few problems with it. First of all, what the h is that book? Kanine Crash? Never heard of it. This questionable read aloud choice makes it clear that this a sub-par librarian we’re dealing with. The librarian can’t handle her failed read aloud […]

The State of Photographic Illustration in 2018

Maybe someday a book with primarily photographic illustrations will win the Caldecott Medal. Until that day, I’m going to annually post all the fiction picture books I see that use photography. There are plenty of nonfiction books that use photographs. What I’m sharing in this post is fiction that uses photos. Do you know of […]

2018 Books from Sibert Winners

I’ve brought you here to show you all the books coming out in 2018 by past Sibert Medal winners. The decision was whether or not to include fiction books, or just keep it to nonfiction. I decided to add the fiction too. Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments. Previously . . […]