100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Unfortunate Covers (#18)

Indian in the Cupboard

When a good book is wrapped in a less-than-good jacket, we like to call that an Unfortunate Cover. I was walking by the fiction section in my 3rd and 4th grade school today when I saw this: The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks *Shoe heels screeching to a halt* *Double take* This […]

Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann

Bone Dog

Bone Dog By Eric Rohmann Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) ISBN: 9781596431508 $16.99 Grades K-2 In Stores *Best New Book* Holiday books hold a unique place in the world of children’s literature. They are likely to get a bump in popularity due to the holiday tie-in (at least for a certain part of the year), but […]

Nonfiction Monday is Coming…


Can you tell fiction from nonfiction? A quick test. Which of the following statements is true? A) I once dressed up for Halloween as Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly one half of the early 90s rap group Kris Kross. B) I once dressed up for Halloween as Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith the other half of the early 90s rap […]

Morning Notes: Comics Improv Edition

MAURICE SENDAK BENEATH THE SURFACE NPR recently interviewed the children’s lit legend, and found him in a reflective mood. An excellent interview that goes more in-depth than the typical Q&A. Click here to listen. BOARD BOOK PRESENTED WITHOUT COMMENT (Thanks to NOTCOT.ORG for the link) BUILD THE BOOK, THEY WILL COME (HOPEFULLY) Author Marc Tyler […]

Review: Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby

Squish Rabbit

Squish Rabbit By Katherine Battersby Viking (Penguin) ISBN: 9780670012671 $12.99 Grades PreK-1 In Stores Themes don’t get much more universal than friendship. The sheer amount of children’s books based on the topic is staggering. Seriously, you can’t swing a puppet in the children’s section without knocking over a couple stacks of them. It’s a testament […]

Cover Curiosity: Similar Swordplay


I’m amazed how some folks can find covers that use the same stock photography (the blog Pop Culture Junkie does an exceedingly excellent job of this). Most of the covers I pair up tend to be more like how Top Chef‘s Tom Colicchio looks like Jon Scieszka – eerily close, but not the same (or […]

Review: Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

Grandpa Green

Grandpa Green By Lane Smith Roaring Brook Press ISBN: 9781596436077 $16.99 Grades K-4 In Stores I realized after reading, rereading, and reflecting on Lane Smith’s latest book, Grandpa Green, that I’ve spent more time considering (and, at times, being confounded by) Smith’s last two releases than the last two books from pretty much any author. […]

Morning Notes: Hold the Books Edition

BOOKSHELVES An unexpected side effect of the great digital migration: bookshelves that are made to hold… not books. Click here to read. *UPDATE* Not so says IKEA WRITER’S HUT NEEDS MOVING: $760,000 PLEASE Efforts are underway to move Roal Dahl’s famous writer’s hut (I posted about said hut a couple years back) to a nearby […]

Cover Curiosity: It’s a Drag (on)


In the world of similar-looking book covers, we have the separated at birth clones, and we have the “hey, you look like your sister” resemblances. Today, I bring forth an example of the latter. First cover… Eragon by Christopher Paolini And the second… Ancient, Strange, and Lovely by Susan Fletcher Side by side: While there […]

Morning Notes: Waldo Tattoo Edition

Q: Should Books Have Michael Jackson Soundtracks? A: Probably Not Man, there are so many things to take in when considering Booktrack, a company that creates musical scores for ebooks. Most of this is due to the video, which features the MJ classic Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’. Would you like a soundtrack for your reading? […]

The Author Video Mother Lode

Movie Camera

I challenge you to a good ol’ fashioned game of “I Bet I Can Find a Video Interview of An Author You Like”. Have you heard of Reading Rockets? From the source: Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and […]

Nonfiction Monday: Time to Eat by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page


Time to Eat By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page Houghton Mifflin ISBN: 9780547250328 $12.99 Grades K-3 In Stores You know what’s not exciting? What I eat. Unless, that is, you find my occasional switch between regular peanut butter crackers and the neon orange variety to be fascinating stuff. You know what is exciting? A bird […]

Covering the Newbery (#28): King of the Wind

King of the Wind

Redoing every Newbery winner one cover at a time… 1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry; illustrated by Wesley Dennis Original Cover: My Redo: Verdict: The multiple photos thing isn’t the most original concept on the block, but I think it works pretty well here. Your thoughts? Click here to read previous Covering the […]

Link Du Jour: Top 10 Titles

Au Revoir

I know we’re not supposed to judge books by their covers (although there’s no denying they play a role), but can we judge books by their titles? Is that more or less legitimate than cover appeal? In preparing for my fall preview post a couple weeks back, I came across two titles that stood out: […]

Reviews for the Ears


Seeing as how they used to call me “The Man With the Tin Pipes” at my college radio station* (*untrue), it’s been fun contributing audio book reviews to the Brain Burps About Books podcast by author/illustrator Katie Davis (click here to subscribe on iTunes). I get a chance to do some of my favorite things […]