100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

*Breaking News of Great Importance* Barnes & Noble L.B.B. Mystery Solved!

Back in April, author/illustrator Matthew Cordell re-ignited a mystery that had perplexed the children’s literature community for years:

Cordell Facebook Post

Surrounded by popular characters in the children’s section, this little dog (/cat/wolf/???) stood out.

Some of the best minds pondered, speculated, and researched.

Some of the best illustrators created alternate stories for the character who had come to be known as L.B.B.

But there was no resolution.

It haunted me.

No one could place this mysterious critter. Many (myself included) began to think it was a one-off creation by B&N and not tied to a children’s book at all.

The story had reached an unsatisfying conclusion. I became resigned to the fact that the world would never know the truth.

Then, out of the blue, I received this tweet from Tally Deushane (@live2tivo):



Hey Willy

Hey Willy, See the Pyramids by Maira Kalman (Viking, 1988)


(Click to enlarge)

L.B.B. is not L.B.B. L.B.B. is Max. Max the dog. A dog who wanted to live in Paris and be a poet.

Closure. Sweet closure.

Thank you to Tally Deushane and Jordan Marx for getting to the bottom of this mystery.

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.


  1. Holy smokes! I thought the world would never know. This legitimately made my day.

  2. WHUT. Who knew?!

  3. O.M.G.

  4. WHAAAAATTTT??? This is the best thing ever. And it’s a NEW book? Jonker and Tally Deushane, you rule. You just did the unthinkable! Can this day henceforth be known as LBB Day? To be celebrated here at 100 Scope Notes annually?

  5. Best news I’ve seen today!

  6. WHOA WOW MINDBLOWING. (Also, what Matthew Cordell said.)

  7. ahhh, closure.

  8. finally

  9. Max needs his own book now!

  10. Tally Deushane says:

    I am glad so many other people are as happy about this as I am! (The various BN employee groups on Facebook are collectively flipping out, as this has plagued us for quite some time.)

    A little more information, for the curious: The creator of LBB (I know we know his name now, but he’ll forever be LBB in our hearts) is author/illustrator Maira Kalman, who used to be a bookseller at BN. Over the years, she has been involved in designing multiple things for the company, including totebags (and, IIRC, our holiday signage from last year).

    Her latest book, Beloved Dog, was sent out as an ARC to all of the store managers, due to her relationship with BN. One manager, Jordan Marx from the Moorestown, NJ store recognized the character in his copy of the book, promptly informing Children’s Lead, Logan Stangler, of the discovery. Logan then shared this on the BN employee Facebook groups where much rejoicing was had!

    LBB’s original source, Hey Willy, See The Pyramids, seems to be out of print, but the relevant pages are reproduced in her latest book (currently on sale 20% off throughout the holidays at a Barnes & Noble nearest you!)

    • The B+N bookseller obsession over this has been one of my favorite things about this story! Thanks so much for all of this info, Tally! Cheers to you guys for sleuthing this out. And I’m totally going to have to hunt down both Beloved Dog AND Hey Willy now. :)

  11. Yay!

  12. Jim Randolph says:

    The long national nightmare is over!