100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Dan Santat Should Be in Charge of Starbucks (Among Other Things)

Rodzilla Cover

On the occasion of his latest book, Rodzilla (written by Rob Sanders) coming out earlier this month, Dan Santat kindly took a few of my questions about unicorn fraps, cardboard humans, the Caldecott Medal, and bad picture book ideas. As rare as… a unicorn. The color-changing, flavor-changing #UnicornFrappuccino—here for a limited time at participating stores.?? […]

Top 10 Circulated Chapter Books of 2017

Top 10 Chapter 2017

Last week we reviewed the 10 most popular picture books in our school library this year. But that was last week! Which chapter books are tops? T8. The BFG by Roald Dahl I’m going to go ahead and call this the Feature Film Effect. The movie released last summer generated interest, and I could feel […]

Books on Film: Getting to Know Maurice Sendak

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 8.27.48 PM

So what was passionately close to my heart was a kid. And a kid doing something. And whatever that something was was what the book was going to be about. That’s Maurice Sendak (who as we now know is unquestionably better than Dr. Seuss) talking about the heart of what was to become his masterpiece: Where […]

Top 10 Circulated Picture Books of 2017


The school year is ending soon – a good time to take a look at the most popular books in our K-4 school library. Today – picture books. I did something with this list – I excluded all series books (there is one sequel on here, though). Why? Because if I didn’t, the thing would be […]

Exclusive Cover Reveal: THE WORD COLLECTOR by Peter H. Reynolds

Word Collector Cover

Peter H. Reynolds always manages to walk a delicate line with his books – make that a couple lines: weighty but not weighed down. Universal yet kid-centric. No easy feat. I was happy to share the cover for Peter’s upcoming book, The Word Collector, but first – I wanted to talk to him about it. […]

100 Scope Notes Original: The Plant Who Wanted to Play the Guitar


Trying something new here – an original story. Well, not exactly original. It’s inspired by the above short film Leaf From Orange Tree Learns Guitar by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, which I first learned about while reading this. If you would like a PDF of this story, you can download it here.

The Unexpecteds: 5 Sneakily Popular Books in Our K-4 School Library This Year


Pull up a chair and enjoy a close-to-the-end-of-the-school-year staff lounge snack: Go ahead and finish off those cinnamon ones. Let’s talk about the books that got a lot of checkouts this year in my K-4 school library that you might not expect. Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur This book just keeps on circulating quietly, as […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#52)

One Star Review Guess Who

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? Dr. Mr. Sendak, Please seek therapy elsewhere and stop scaring the hell out of me! Click here for the answer. Previously . . . One Star Review Guess Who (#1) One Star Review Guess Who (#2) One Star Review […]

Dude, I Fixed Ur Red Riding Hood Display


I thought I was all smart with my Little Red and Triangle placement in the library the other day. But I’m no match for the creative genius Hilary Leung. He commented on my Instagram post with an even better idea. Flip Triangle and see what happens. So I flipped it. The result? Little Red now […]

Books on Film: Getting to Know James Marshall

James Marshall

“Jimmy, you will never be an artist.” I love this Weston Woods video featuring children’s literature legend James Marshall. The story of why he stopped drawing as a kid is equal parts heartbreaking and triumphant. (via Austin Kleon)

ANSWERED: Burning Question of the Day (#2)

Cat in the Hat

Last week, I asked an important question. Today, we have the results. A close one! Whew, glad that’s been settled forever and all future discussion on the topic has now been rendered useless. Thank you to everyone who voted. Previously . . . ANSWERED: Burning Question of the Day (#1)

A Conversation with Shel Silverstein

Shel Brood

Hey, Shel! I know you’re busy brooding and now might not be the best time to talk, but I have something I want to tell you. Come on, Shel! Have a seat on the deck and let’s chat. You love the deck! Thanks, Shel. Feel free to grab a chair, by the way. Let’s talk. Now, […]

The Children’s Book That Predicted the Fidget Craze

Good for Nothing

I appears we have a children’s lit Rasputin on our hands, folks. Her name? Charise Mericle Harper (CMH) If you work in a school (or have recently been within shouting distance of a child) you know that “fidgets” are a hot fad. They are the slap bracelet of the twenty teens. Maybe you’ve seen a […]

I’m Not Even Joking: A FUNNY GIRL Giveaway

Funny Girl

A few years back fellow blogger and book-themed silent film partner Betsy Bird had a vision for a book. It shall be funny. It shall be female. Mission accomplished on both fronts (notice my tiny comment): It is funny. It is female (boasting a formidable list of talented contributors). It is on the receiving end […]

100 Scope Notes Burning Question of the Day (#2)

Burning Question

I have questions, you have the answers. Let’s solve some of children’s literature most vexing questions with the 100 Scope Notes Burning Question of the Day. Today is a big one. I’ve asked this question in the past, but this time, it counts. Search your feelings, then please answer the question below. Who's Best? Previously . […]