Subscribe to SLJ
100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Audio Clip: Two Titles Tackle Tough Topic


A children’s lit aligning of the planets? First I read the hot-off-the-presses Fuse #8 Production review of Two Bobbies by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery. Then I hear an NPR piece on two childrens books that address Hurricane Katrina, Molly the Pony and the aforementioned Two Bobbies. Well, maybe “aligning of planets” is overstating things […]

Nonfiction Monday: The Most Fantastic Atlas of the Whole Wide World


The Most Fantastic Atlas of the Whole Wide World By Simon Adams Illustrated by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar DK Publishing ISBN: 9780756640095 $19.99 Grades 4 and Up In Stores *Recommended* Just as an Oreo dipped in white fudge is more that just a cookie, The Most Fantastic Atlas of the Whole Wide World is […]

Book Review: Footprints in the Snow


Footprints in the Snow By Mei Matsuoka Henry Holt and Company ISBN: 9780805087925 $16.95 Grades 1-3 In Stores I had my one any only DJ gig right around the time “Hey Ya!” by Outkast was a big hit. I ended that night with an experiment: how many times can I play that song in a […]

Winter's Break


Due to skiing, sauna-ing, and life-risking holiday travels, 100 Scope Notes will be out of comission until Friday. See you back here then.

2008 Reader Poll Results!


The votes have been cast and the results of the 2008 Scope Notes Reader Poll are in. In some categories there were clear winners, in others (ahem, fiction picture book) the picture may have only become more cloudy. Possibly a sign of what’s to come when the big awards start getting passed out next month? […]

Last Chance! Vote in the 2008 Scope Notes Reader Poll


Did you like a children’s book this year? Well then, you’re in the right place. I just so happen to be conductin’ a poll to decide the best children’s books of the year. But time is running out. Be sure to cast you vote before midnight tonight to make your voice heard. Three categories to […]

2008 Children's Lit: The Year in Miscellanea


It’s time to take a trip back and look at the year that was in children’s lit miscellanea. Most Unexpected Find Underneath a Book Jacket: The Calder Game by Blue Balliett. Most jackets cover boring old plain-looking books. The Calder Game jacket was really hiding something: Biggest Material Trend: Matte finish with glossy elements (a la […]

Controversy Report: Cover Look-Alike


In my quest to bring you equal doses of serious children’s lit discussion and absurd nonsense, I pose this question (conjured from the latter of those two camps): Can I get in one last cover look-alike before aught eight is over? One more and that’s it, you say? Yes! Alright, here it is: Bird Lake […]

PDFs & eBooks: The Future of Reviewing?


I’m part of the Cybils (Children’s & Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Award) fiction picture book committee this year, and have been receiving review copies of nominated books for the last few weeks. I was interested to see that some publishers have sent downloadable PDF files instead of a physical copy of the book. It got […]

Sunday Link Du Jour: Mo Willems Radio Cartoons


Mo Willems, author of countless outstanding books for children has also been trying his hand at radio cartooning. This is akin to me trying to blog by smell. Not an easy task. Here’s how it works: Mo draws a picture, posts it on the NPR website, and listeners submit captions. They read the best submissions […]

2008 Scope Notes Reader Poll: Dec. 12-19


It’s no secret that, after cardigans and bifocals, lists would come in third for Thing Closest to the Hearts of Librarians. If you don’t believe me, put on your ‘focals (cool way I just learned to say bifocals) and read that first sentence again. It’s a list (unfortunately, that was unplanned). As the sun sets […]

Which Books Sell Best?


Occasionally, between eating those peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses in the middle (hey, it’s kinda the holidays) and watching VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s, I wonder which books folks are seeking out this holiday season. My bestseller list of choice is the IndieBound edition, which gives the books moving the most units […]

Nonfiction Monday: Lincoln and Douglass – An American Friendship


Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship Nikki Giovanni Illustrated by Bryan Collier Henry Holt ISBN: 9780805082647 $16.95 Grades 2-5 In Stores *Recommended* Does it feel like your Lincoln section is getting a bit crowded? This year hasn’t helped matters. 2009 is the 200th anniversary of the man’s birth and any time you look under your […]

I Like Fanfare 2008, I Don't Like Fanfare 2008, I Love Stop Motion


I’ve been in list-compiling mode lately, and today (thanks to Read Roger) I came across Horn Book Fanfare 2008. It had me saying “yes!” and “no!” from start to finish. I love how “The Pencil” and “Who Made This Cake?” made the picture book list. I don’t love how “Shooting the Moon” was left out of the […]

Willy Wonka on a Plane


I can’t figure this out, but here it is: What’s up with the Willy Wonka-lookin’ guy hightailing it (literally – you see that jacket?) off the plane? I thought his preferred mode of air travel was glass elevator? So many questions. (Thanks to BuzzFeed for the link)