100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

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.

Into the Mercy Watson Time Machine with Chris Van Dusen

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On April 2nd the latest book in the Mercy Watson universe arrives: A Piglet Named Mercy. I spoke with illustrator Chris Van Dusen about the process of making the book. Travis: Hi Chris! I’m happy to see that Mercy Watson is returning, this time in picture book form. Have you known for a while that […]

Books Beat Basketball: 2019 March Book Madness

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March Book Madness might be the programming idea you’re looking for in your library or classroom.

President Books for Presidents Day

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Today is Presidents Day and I’m here celebrating with a bowl of plain oatmeal, or as I like to call it, “The Champaign of Breakfast foods.”¹ It got me thinking about books coming out in 2019 that have to do with presidents. Turns out, some pretty interesting stuff. Let’s have a look. Did I miss […]

Newbery Jump, Caldecott Bump 2019

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Now that the Newbery and Caldecott medals have been handed out, how are the winners faring on the New York Times bestseller lists? First up, Caldecott winner Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall: It hit the list last week at #8. This week, it fell off, but that may be because copies became scarce after all […]

The Good Egg Q&A with Jory John

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The Good Egg – a follow-up to the bestselling picture book, The Bad Seed – publishes today. To mark the occasion I talked with author Jory John about his creative process and snack preferences. Travis: Hi Jory! Thanks for taking my questions. Jory: Hi Travis! Thank you for taking my answers. T: How do you approach writing […]

Sydney Taylor Blog Tour: A Moon for Moe and Mo Creators Jane Breskin Zalben and Mehrdokht

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It’s the second day of the Sydney Taylor Book Award 2019 Blog Tour (click here for the full schedule) and I’m honored to talk with the creators of Sydney Taylor Honor winner A Moon for Moe and Mo: author Jane Breskin Zalben and illustrator Mehrdokht Amini. Travis: Congratulations on the Sydney Taylor Honor! How did you […]

Tomi Ungerer: 1931-2019

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I’m sad to hear that the great picture book creator Tomi Ungerer has passed away. RIP our beloved Tomi. Words escape us at this difficult moment but in the end, Tomi says it best. Yvonne, Aria, Pascal, Lukas and Phoebe Ungerer. Video Brad Bernstein & Rick Cikowski pic.twitter.com/b9A1PTKqVJ — Tomi Ungerer (@TomiUngerer) February 9, 2019 […]

Separate Universes: The National Book Award/Newbery Overlap

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This post over at Tales of an Elementary School Librarian had me thinking about critically acclaimed books that didn’t end up winning awards. I was especially curious about books that were on the National Book Awards shortlist – how many of them have gone on to win a Newbery Honor or Medal? I looked back […]

How to Do Just About Everything in 2019

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Children’s books can teach you how to do a lot of things. In 2019 they will teach you . . .

Same Book, New Look: The Updated Covers of 2019

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I like it when familiar books get new covers. It’s an instant mystery: why did this book get a new cover? Sometimes it’s to appeal to a different audience. Other times to mark an anniversary. And occasionally a book might just use some sprucing up. I have six books that are being recovered in 2019, […]

Morning Notes: Dirty Snowbanks Edition

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BURN AFTER READING Ted Geisel’s thank you letter to a friend who stopped him from burning his first picture book manuscript is up for auction. Click here to read about it. BUT SRSLY Lauren Child thinks children’s publishing is getting the short end of the stick and is advocating for a change. Click here to […]

Notes on January 2019

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In January . . . . . . I got excited about some books. So excited that I shared 11 upcoming books I’m looking forward to instead of the usual 10. . . . I asked you to name these books by their LEGO-fied book covers. I thought #3 was a bit tricky. . . […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#78)

One Star Review Guess Who

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? Animal exploitation at its finest, it’s like 12 Years a Slave for Penguin[s]. Click here for the answer. Why do I share these? Click here. Previously . . . One Star Review Guess Who (#1) One Star Review Guess […]

The Best Tweets from the 2019 Youth Media Awards

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Newbery 2019 committee has wrapped! Can’t wait to share amazing news tomorrow! #newbery2019 #ALAMW19 pic.twitter.com/UyVjk33W2k — Lalitha (@librarian_lali) January 28, 2019 The crowd outside the #ALAyma ballroom ? pic.twitter.com/Ng260xm25E — jennifer "cute snake emoji" laughran (@literaticat) January 28, 2019 Thank you Emmet for stopping by @alamw! ?#ALAyma #alamw19 #LibrariesTrasform pic.twitter.com/6e8bnuA5D0 — American Library Association (@ALALibrary) […]

The 2019 Caldecott Comment Card

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Which Caldecott choice are you happiest with? Which book did the committee miss?