100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

10 to Note: Winter Preview 2016

Winter Preview

I’ve gathered you here to talk about some books. Ten books. And these ten books have something in common: all will be published in the next three months. This brings me to the other commonality – I’m excited about them all. So excited, in fact, I added one bonus book. Eleven in all. So I guess I lied at the beginning there.

Picture Books


Snappsy Spread

Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Tim J. Miller

February 2, 2016 | Viking (Penguin) | Grades K-3

Oh, this one’s funny, folks. Falatko’s debut about a mild-mannered alligator fending off a pushy narrator already has two starred reviews in the bag. And it isn’t the garbage bag – it’s a goody bag (see the spread above if you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about with this comment). I’m excited to read it with students – I think they are going to dig it too.

Emma and Julia

Emma & Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock

February 23, 2016 | Scholastic | Grades K-3

Barbara McClintock is such a pro. Her books are always child-centric and meticulously beautiful. This book, following a day in the life of two dancers, and how they intertwine, is further proof (like you needed it). Next time a child asks for a ballerina book, hand this over with pride (as long as that question comes after February 23).

Early Readers/Chapter Books

Sable and Smedley

Sable and Smedley: Smedley’s Got Talent by Lisa Jahn-Clough, illustrated by Edward Briant

February 9, 2016 | Blue Apple Books | Grades K-2

Early readers, why are you uglified so? While I dream of the days when we don’t make books for emerging readers that look like the front of cereal boxes (Now with 100% More Level A!”) we have the Jump Into Chapters books by Blue Apple. Fun and easy on the eyes, I’m looking forward to this new addition to the series, about a cat and lion odd couple.

Rifer Woofson

The Case of the Missing Tiger’s Eye (Rider Woofson, #1) by Walker Styles, illustrated by Ben Whitehouse

January 19, 2016 | Little Simon (Simon & Schuster) | Grades 1-4

A jet pack-wearing dog detective. I love that whole sentence (and I’m not even a big fan of dogs). This is the first book in a new chapter book mystery series (think short chapters, plenty of illustrations) about Rider and his crew of canine investigators.

Middle Grade

Mya Tibbs

Spirit Week Showdown (The Magnificent Mya Tibbs, Book 1) by Crystal Allen

January 26, 2016 | Balzer + Bray | Grades 3-7

We have a new middle grade series here. About a nine-year-old cowgirl loving fourth grader. In this first installment, Mya’s school spirit week doesn’t go as planned (see: friend trouble and bully issues). Billed as a good pick for Ramona and Clementine fans.


Pax by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen

February 2, 2016 | Balzer + Bray | Grades 3-7

I haven’t read this book. What’s wrong with me? I have to read this book. Not only is it pulling in starred reviews already, but it’s getting book trailer-blurbed by buddies.

Me: Hey, Mr. Schu, what did you think of Pax?

Mr. Schu:

Pax Blurb

Me: Okay. I’d say that’s a pretty positive response. Hey, Elizabeth Bird, did you like Pax?

Elizabeth Bird:

Pax Blurb 2

Me: I’ll take that as a yes.

Audacity Jones

Audacity Jones to the Rescue (Audacity Jones #1) by Kirby Larson

January 26, 2016 | Scholastic Press | Grades 3-7

Take historical fiction, action, and adventure. Stir.

Keep stirring.

Right! Now pour the whole thing into a pan and bake at 350 degrees.

Take it out of the oven and let cool.

Frost with a mysterious kidnapping plot involving the President of the United States.




Glow: Animals with Their Own Night-Lights by W. H. Beck

December 15, 2015 | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Grades K-3

Real things can be SO WEIRD.

Like all these creatures that live in the depths of the oceans and emit their own light (called bioluminescence). It’s wild.

This book has two things going for it:

1. Great images.

2. Straightforward writing that helps readers better understand their weird, beautiful world.

NOTE: Also beautifully hideous – you see that humpback angler on the cover?

Wildest Race Ever

Wildest Race Ever Spread

The Wildest Race Ever: The Story of the 1904 Olympic Marathon by Meghan McCarthy

March 1, 2016 | Paula Wiseman Books (Simon & Schuster) | Grades K-3

Meghan McCarthy, creator of some of the best picture book nonfiction around, is back. This time she covers the ups, downs, and general craziness of the 1904 Olympic marathon (held in St. Louis). Did one of the runners drive part of the way? Yes. Did another racer compete in a cut off mail carrier uniform? You read the title, right? It was just nuts, and McCarthy is exactly the person to bring it to the page.

Graphic Novels

Great Pet Escape

Pet Escape Spread

The Great Pet Escape by Victoria Jamieson

February 16, 2016 | Henry Holt (Macmillan) | Grades 1-3

Roller Girl remains of of my favorite books of 2015. If you haven’t read it, get on that. The creator of that book returns with something quite different – a story about classroom pets on the lamb.

SweaterweatherSweaterweather Spread

Sweaterweather & Other Short Stories by Sara Varon

February 2, 2016 | First Second (Macmillan) | Grades 3-7

If Sara Varon has something new coming, I’m going to tell you about it, ten-book limitations be damned! Here we have collection of older Varon comics, essays, and journal entries (along with new content) brought together and presented in this updated volume.

Look for 10 (or so) to note for spring in February.

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. Terry Jacobsen says:

    Each entry of these titles a delight to read. Not only am I excited to share these up and comings, I’m certain the authors and illustrators are thrilled with the accolades.
    These 11 should be on everyone’s list!