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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

2012 Children’s Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

It’s time to take a look back at the year that was in children’s lit miscellanea.

Most Disgusting Moment in a Picture Book

Puking off the crows nest in Pirate Princess by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen; illustrated by Jill McElmurry

Throwing up on the captain of a pirate ship? That’s a walk-the-plank-able offense.

Pirate Princess 358x500 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Best Spine Logo

Roaring Brook Press for BOMB by Steve Sheinkin

I didn’t notice this right away, but you have to love how the Roaring Brook logo on Bomb looks like how it might appear in the periodic table.

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Most Relaxed

My daughter, reading a book at our local book store

While on a book run with my three year old daughter, I came around the corner to see this:

L 500x500 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

Yes, her shoes are off.

The Contrast Award (given to the most uncontroversial thing that caused the most controversy)

Knitting

In Extra Yarn, the main character’s upside-down knitting form caused a stir among Caldecott-watchers.

Knitting 500x500 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Best T-shirt

I Am Not Eric Carle

But only when worn by Norton Juster (left) and Barry Moser (right). You can see how things might get confusing with Mr. Carle in the vicinity of these two. Or is it all a secret body double hoax?

Not Eric Carle 500x333 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

(via The Eric Carle Museum Facebook page)

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Paper Type of the Year

Graph paper

In 2012, more than ever, I noticed graph paper in use in picture books. The Chicken Problem, Mario Makes a Move, and Sky of Afghanistan are but a few examples.

Chicken Problem 500x500 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

Sergio 373x500 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

Sky 500x500 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Best Use of Blue LEGOs

Pigeon sculpture

Cartoonist Mark Anderson made what has to be the best children’s lit-related LEGO sculpture to date. Side note: how cool would this be on the shelf? Librarians demand a kit for this!

lego pigeon full 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Word of the Year

Merger

With Random House and Penguin soon to join forces, and others rumored to follow, the publishing world may soon look a lot different.

Merger 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

Saddest Trend of the Year

The greats passing

In the span of 12 months, the children’s literature world lost Maurice Sendak, Leo Dillon, Jean Craighead George, Margaret Mahey, Donald J. Sobol, Else Holmelund Minarik, Remy Charlip, Jan Berenstain, and Peter Seiruta.

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Best Matisse Reference

Art on the wall of the dinosaur’s house in Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

Mo Willems sneaks an homage to one of the greats in his latest book.

Mo Matisse 500x375 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Most Depressed Children’s Lit Character

Waldo

There’s more to Waldo than his location, folks.

Waldo 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

By Paul Noth for The New Yorker

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Jawline of the Year, Young Adult Novel

Dude on the cover of Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Be careful, ladies.

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The Nobody was Looking Award

The copyright page in Zero the Hero by Joan Holub and Tom Lichtenheld

The check digits giving a subtle shout-out to the topic of the book.

Zero 500x373 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Coincidence of the Year

Z is for Moose and A is for Musk Ox

The unintentional similarity between these two picture books was such that it prompted a Publishers Weekly article on the topic. The best part? They’re both great books.

z is for moose 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in MiscellaneaA is for Musk Ox 190x300 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Minimalist Award

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

Title, author, a tiny fish, and a few bubbles – I can’t say I remember seeing less on a picture book cover. It makes for a striking presence on the shelf.

This Is Not My Hat 500x361 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Double Take Award (Runner Up)

Jonathan and Martha by Petr Horácek

The first time I saw this book, I thought Eric Carle was responsible.

Jonathan 459x500 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Double Take Award

This is Not My Hat and A Strange Place to Call Home

This Is Not My Hat 300x217 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellaneastrange place to call home 226x300 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Best Wedding Invitations

The Giving Tree invitations

Or, depending on who you ask, the most disturbing.

Screen Shot 2012 12 09 at 8.24.33 PM 500x253 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Most Entertaining Children’s Book Article from an Unexpected Place

Lev Grossman for TIME.com

I thoroughly enjoyed Grossman’s outsider’s observations of children’s lit.

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Children’s Lit Tattoo of the Year

Tie: Harriet the Spy and Ramona

I think these were on the same person.

Harriet Ramona 150x150 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

(via @sutherlandsuz)

Whew! Award

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

Hope Larson did this children’s classic right with a faithful adaptation.

Wrinkle in Time Inside 500x363 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Book Spine of the Year

Pickle by Kim Baker; illustrated by Tim Probert. Jacket Design by Andrew Arnold

Every time I look at my shelf, this book just keeps jumping out. The colors, the font, the upright letter positioning – it’s all working. Simple and effective.

photo 373x500 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Best Use of the Internet

Putting Newbery and Caldecott acceptance speeches online

The annual Newbery and Caldecott medal acceptance speeches are always a sight to see. Thanks to the fine folks at ALA and ALSC for putting them online so more people can do just that. Click here for Newbery. Click here for Caldecott.

Screen Shot 2012 09 30 at 3.52.31 PM 500x305 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Best Appearance by Jack Gantos in Someone’s Past

A young Jarrett J Krosoczka meets Jack Gantos

I loved the entirety of illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s moving TEDx talk. One part in particular that stood out was the impact a Jack Gantos author visit had on the youngster.

Screen Shot 2012 12 09 at 9.23.10 PM 500x300 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Best Bookmark

Student-created FBI bookmark

I’m not sure how you top this. Left in a book at one of my schools.

FBI Bookmark 500x357 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Worst Bookmark

Another book

This is official – voted on back in February during The Battle of the Bad Bookmarks. It faced some stiff competition from, among others, a bandage, but came out on top.

Worst Bookmark 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Best Alternative Use of a Date Due Stamp

Date due artwork

This was a strong year for book-related videos, and this one wins for most incredible.

Screen Shot 2012 10 04 at 8.55.30 PM 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

The Everywhere Award

Book cover illustrator Erwin Madrid

Everywhere you turned there was a new eye-catching cover from Erwin Madrid. Here’s a sampling:

Jake and Lily 198x300 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in MiscellaneaLone Bean 198x300 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in MiscellaneaTwice Upon a Time 201x300 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in MiscellaneaKindred Souls 199x300 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Oddest Mash-Up Award

National Geographic Angry Birds

I did not expect this.

Angry Birds NG 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Best Book-Related Stop Motion Video of the Year (Runner Up)

Yale University Card Catalog

A massive card catalog and a stop motion animation – this is a retro-lover’s dream.

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Best Book-Related Stop Motion Video of the Year

The Joy of Books

This video, created by the fine folks at the Type Bookstore in Toronto, made a splash on the internet in a big way – 3 million hits and counting.

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The You Can’t Do This With an E-Book Award

How Many Jelly Beans by Andrea Menotti; illustrated by Yancey Lebat

A screen would do no justice to the large size and massive pullout of this book.

IMG 0664 500x373 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Most Unexpected

Maurice Sendak on The Colbert Report

In an appearance that proved to be a swan song of sorts, the children’s lit legend sat down for a typically ridiculous Colbert interview at Sendak’s house. It was a lot of fun. Click here for part I. Click here for part II.

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Best Toenail Clipping

Being Frank by Donna W. Earnhardt; illustrated by Andrea Castellani

A while back I heard tell of a toenail-clipping scene in a picture book from John Schumacher on Twitter. A couple weeks ago I happened to come upon the scene he was talking about. An out-of-left-field moment.

photo 1 500x500 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

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Book Video of the Year

Much Better Now

This short film was created by the Portuguese visual production studio Salon Alpin in 2010, but made the film festival rounds this year. How can you deny a surfing bookmark?

Screen Shot 2012 07 03 at 2.27.38 PM 500x282 2012 Childrens Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

 Read previous Year in Miscellanea Posts:

2011

2010

2009

2008

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Comments

  1. madelyn says:

    Best year-end list? 100 Scope Notes! Thanks, this was so much fun!

  2. Travis, what fun! I love this so much I posted it on my blog today. My favorite part? Your daughter kicking her shoes off and getting comfy in the bookstore, because that’s what it’s really all about. Thanks for taking the time to create this remarkable post!

  3. Shannon says:

    Lurrrrrrve this!

    Also, I think INFINITY AND ME used graph paper as well? (And probably a bunch of others obvi, but that one jumped to mind)

  4. ashley wolff says:

    A bandaid bookmark? Eww. Great list, Travis. Thanks for giving me hours of fun procrastination, following all your links!

  5. Tom Angleberger says:

    A great post! Much to rejoice about here!

    But… it was indeed a sad year. In addition to the greats that you listed, Sam Youd AKA John Christopher also passed away this year.
    He was 30 years ahead of the game on the dystopia/post-apocalyptic craze… The Tripods, The Sword of the Spirits, Empty World, Wild Jack, The Guardians… and I’d love to see new editions of all of these so that today’s young readers can re-discover his amazing work, which blew/opened my mind from the sixth grade onwards.

  6. PragmaticMom says:

    This is the best year end list of KidLIt miscellany EVER!

  7. Amy says:

    So much fine material in this post, Travis! Some I had seen before, and some I had not. This post, more than most, makes me happy that I am becoming a children’s librarian.

  8. Anne says:

    This really bowled me over – what a fun & quirky compilation of the best of the best in kids lit. Really enjoyed!
    Cheers!!

  9. This is truly awesome! The depth of it is impressive. If you go watch all the videos, you would have an entire afternoon of enjoyment when you should be working! I particularly liked the photo of your daughter in her native environment (the bookstore).

  10. Debbie Robl says:

    This was a wonderful post. Brought back so many great moments in a phenomenal literary year. I enjoyed revisiting many and discovering a few that I missed. Looking forward to more in 2013!

  11. Megan Neal says:

    Thanks for the smiles.

  12. Debbie Dadey says:

    So fun! Thanks for sharing

  13. Renee says:

    This was awesome – just what I needed on a very long Friday :)

  14. Jan Moore says:

    Nothing wrong with the knitting needles in Extra Yarn . They are not “upside down.” This is called Continental knitting. The English knit this way and Europeans.

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