100 Scope Notes
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10 to Note: Spring Preview 2016

Spring Preview 2016

Spring: not sprung. But that’s why they call it a preview, folks! As I wait patiently for the moles to wreak havoc on my yard (a spring tradition around here) I will kill time by sharing ten books that give me a case of the double-takes.

Picture Books

Hungry Lion

Hungry Lion 1

A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins

March 15, 2016 | Simon & Schuster | Grades K-3

This is a good place to start because my level of anticipation about this book has been high for a while. Lion is hanging out with a group of cute little animals, no big deal. But slowly the cute little animals begin to disappear. The only one who seems to be sticking around is lion. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Nothing like a good ol’ cute and sinister combo. Looking forward to this.

The Storm

The Storm by Akiko Miyakoshi

April 5, 2016 | Kids Can Press | Grades PreK-2

After The Tea Party in the Woods (my review here), I’ve been looking forward to this next book from Miyakoshi. The Storm sounds a bit Wiesner-ian to me. Sad that a storm has ruined her beach day, a girl goes to sleep. But in her dream, the girl finds a way to make the storm go away.

Early Readers


Clover 1

It’s Me, Clover! by Lola M. Schaefer; illustrated by Susan Nees

April 12, 2016 | Blue Apple Books | Grades K-2

So many of the books in the early reader category are popular character cash-ins that when I see something fresh and I’m all:


The Jump-Into-Chapters series from Blue Apple Books has been putting out quality stuff for a couple years now, and I’m looking forward to this one about a girl (Clover), her big personality, and a day of school.

Chapter Book

Bea Garcia

Bea Garcia: My Life in Pictures by Deborah Zemke

March 8, 2016 | Dial Books (Penguin) | Grades 1-3

Her best friend just moved to Australia. Bea Garcia is bummed. Thankfully, she has something that might help her situation. Her love of drawing. This heavily illustrated chapter book is being touted as a good choice for fans of Judy Moody and the like.

Middle Grade

Hour of the Bees

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager

March 8, 2016 | Candlewick Press | Grades 5-8

Carol, age 12, is helping her parents move her grandfather into an old folks home. He’s going crazy. Talking about a tree of immortality and an entire lake carried away by bees. But maybe gramps is more with it than everyone thinks. Here’s to magical realism! With two starred reviews and counting, be on the lookout.



Guts & Glory: World War II by Ben Thompson

March 1, 2016 | Little, Brown Books | Grades 3-7

In terms of student interest World War II is a topic that endures. This book is the latest in the Guts & Glory series by Ben Thompson, a man who writes like he only has one objective: tell a ripping good yarn.


Woof 1

From Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs by Hudson Talbot

April 12, 2016 | Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin) | Grades K-3

Dogs look like wolves. We all know that. Dogs used to be wolves? Tell me more. Giving readers a history of dog evolution, this looks to be some high-interest picture book nonfiction to me.


Wet Cement

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka

March 8, 2016 | Roaring Brook Press | Grades 3-7

April is National Poetry Month – a good time to freshen up your collection. Concrete poems are poems in the shape of what they are about. This looks to be a good companion to books like Technically, It’s Not My Fault and A Poke in the I.

Graphic Novels

Night Air

Night Air 1

Night Air by Ben Sears

May 10, 2016 | Koyama Press | Grades 2 and Up

The tale of a self-described anti-hero and his level-headed robot on an alloy-nabbing mission to a creepy castle, this graphic novel has been described as “Indiana Jones as told by Hayao Miyazaki.” Consider my interest piqued.

Science Comics

Science Comics: Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers by MK Reed, illustrated by Joe Flood

March 29, 2016 | First Second | Grades 4-6

There aren’t a ton of high-quality nonfiction graphic novels out there. But if Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales has taught us anything, it’s that there’s an appetite for informational comics. Here’s hoping the new Science Comics series from First Second will fit the bill.

(Top Image: ‘Green Yellow Desktop – 3968‘ http://www.flickr.com/photos/70194213@N00/2234063 Found on flickrcc.net)

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. Oh bummer…just when I finished my orders!
    Thanks Travis, some great titles here, I love the look of Wet Cement

  2. I’m reading Hour of the Bees and loving it.