Search on ....
Subscribe to SLJ
100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Morning Notes: The Comic Defender Edition


I think any self-respecting children’s literature fan is going to be with me on this, but I believe the world may not need a board book version of Romeo & Juliet. Trimming the classics down to board book size is on the rise. Click here to read.


Do funny books get enough attention? From kids? Yes. From adults? Negative. Humor always gets the short end of the stick when it comes to awards. This is why I love the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. They just announced their shortlists for the 2013 award. Looking good. Looking very good. Click here to see the shortlists.


The battle over standardized testing continues to rage. Now, the folks who make books for kids are letting their opinion on the matter be known. Over 100 children’s authors and illustrators signed an open letter to the President, calling for less standardized testing in schools. Click here to see it.


Although the fuss over comic books and graphic novels in library collections is all but nonexistant these days, that was not always the case. Knowing this, t was interesting to read a letter from a librarian in 1948 who sticks up for comics. Click here to read.


School Library Journal has a piece on Michigan State Librarian Nancy Robertson and her efforts to advocate for the profession. It dips into a bit of doom and gloom, but the facts are the facts. Click here to read.

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, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Oh, I hate those board book classics so much! SO silly! I think the abridged versions are bad enough. No, parents, the classics aren’t great because of some sort of osmosis about the story. The classics are great, mostly, because of the language. Your child will enjoy it a lot more when they are old enough to understand the language.

    I seriously hope the people who print these board book editions are doing it to be funny. Though the article sounded like a lot of people take it seriously. I’ll have to do a board book edition of Pride and Prejudice myself:

    See Lizzie. See Fitzwilliam.
    Fitzwilliam is mean to Lizzie. Bad Fitzwilliam!
    George is nice to Lizzie. He says bad things about Fitzwilliam, but they are not true.
    Lizzie tells Fitzwilliam to stop being mean. He is sorry.
    Lizzie sees Fitzwilliam’s nice house.
    Fitzwilliam is nice to Lizzie now.
    George is mean to Lizzie’s sister.
    Fitzwilliam makes George stop being mean to Lizzie’s sister.
    Lizzie and Fitzwilliam love each other now.
    They live happily ever after.

  2. That was fun. I really should have tackled Romeo & Juliet.

    Romeo loves Juliet.
    Juliet loves Romeo.
    Romeo’s family and Juliet’s family are not friends.
    Juliet marries Romeo, but it’s a secret.
    Romeo hurts Juliet’s cousin.
    Juliet’s mommy and daddy are mad at Romeo.

    You know what? I can’t even go on. How does the board book edition handle the double suicide?

    So silly!