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100 Scope Notes
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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.

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 . […]

Books on Film: Batman and Bill


The other day I got an email from author Marc Tyler Nobleman. You know his books, right? He was reaching out because one of his books had been turned into a documentary – this one: The doc is called Batman and Bill and it premieres on Hulu May 6. Mr. Nobleman wondered if I might […]

#Holdshelf: May 2017

Hold Shelf

Been a little while since I shared the books on hold at my K-4 school library. How about we have a look and discuss? #holdshelf — Travis Jonker (@100scopenotes) May 3, 2017 Some notes about a couple of the books: Who Was Harry Houdini? Kids at my school really like the Who Was? series, […]

Hugo Cabret Tries FaceApp

Hugo Original

Oh, great – Hugo got a hold of my iPhone and went to town on FaceApp. He tried all the filters . . . Old: Young: Smiling: and Female: HUGO!!!!!!!!!

Notes on April 2017

Notes on April 2017

In April . . . . . . I learned I can see the future of interior design.  And maybe you can too? I have the pictures to prove it. . . . I tried to trick you. Good ol’ April Fools. . . . we checked out new books from past award winners. there […]