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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.

One Star Review Guess Who? (#61)

One Star Review Guess Who

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? Well, there’s five hours of my life I’ll never get back! I went into this book with such high expectations: a Newbery Award winner, rave reviews from readers of all ages… what could go wrong? I just didn’t get […]

Morning Notes: How a Picture Book Is Made Edition

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OFFICIALLY FUNNY A Fuse #8 Production is up to something. A grassroots award for funny books she’s calling the Danzinger Awards. I am in full support of this idea. Click here to find out more. POOH The A.V. Club is not a fan the new Winnie-the-Pooh movie. Click here to read. VIOLA DAVIS WRITING NEW […]

Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#4)

LEGO 1

I used this website to (virtually) create 3 LEGO book covers. They’re listed from least challenging to most challenging – see how many you can name. How’d you do? Answer Answer Answer Previously . . . Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#1) Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#2) Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#3)

Books on Film: From the Archives: Maurice Sendak on Charlie Rose in 1993

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“You tell the truth as best you can. And the people who need the truth most are children.” —Maurice Sendak Oh man, this is a good one. 25 years ago Maurice Sendak visited the Charlie Rose show to talk about his latest book at the time, We’re All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy. […]

Thing 1 and Thing 2: A Pair of Dr. Seuss Controversies

Seuss Quote

Dr. Seuss has been in the news a lot lately. And not just in the children’s literature corner of the internet. Like in Time magazine (see above). And a whole bunch of newspapers and television. Two different Seuss-related controversies are to blame, so let’s do a quick recap . . . Thing 1: A school […]

Books on Film: From the Vault: Tomi Ungerer

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One of my favorite parts about writing this blog is when I can share something unique. Makes me feel like I’m doing my job. I’ve been a fan of Tomi Ungerer since I became a school librarian a little over a decade ago¹,  but it’s hard to find video of the guy. Today we have […]

Gallery: These 2017 Picture Books Have Secrets

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Remember The Undies? That was fun. While there will be no official Undies awarded this year (they may very well make a triumphant return next year), I still wanted to highlight the best picture book case covers of 2017. Any to add to this gallery? Email me a photo at scopenotes [at] gmail [dot] com. […]

The October Newsletter is Real!

FROM THE DESK OF

I sent out the October installment of From the Desk of 100 Scope Notes on Friday. I tried my best to keep it interesting – you can click here to see it (the giveaway copy of The Coloring Book is already spoken for, though). If you like the looks of it, click here to subscribe and never miss the weirdness […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#60)

One Star Review Guess Who

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? Mrs. Mallard raises the children while Mr. Mallard decides “he’d like to explore the rest of the river.” Yeah. Like she’s gonna believe that. Click here for the answer. Why do I share these? Click here. Previously . . […]

Children’s Lit Commish: Bye Bye Fly Guy

Big Podium

The following is a work of fiction. This morning the Commissioner of Children’s Literature announced that the popular Fly Guy series will come to an end due to a lack of exciting background patterns for the covers of new books. “They’re out of ideas and they’re terrified”, said the Commissioner. “They’ve used circles . . […]

Exclusive Book Cover Reveal: AL CAPONE THROWS ME A CURVE by Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Gennifer Choldenko’s Alcatraz series began memorably – with a Newbery honor. Today, we have a first look at the cover of the fourth book in the series – Al Capone Throws Me a Curve (coming May 8th, 2018). But is this the final book? And what creativity tricks and hot beverages have helped fuel the series? I […]

Books on Film: Phil & Erin Stead on CBS Sunday Morning

Stead CBS Sunday

A message to CBS Sunday Morning: keep it up the good work. A couple weeks back the show covered Dav Pilkey, and this week they visit Philip and Erin Stead on the occasion of that book they made with Mark Twain that you might have heard of. Add this to the list of wonderful children’s […]

Notes on September 2017

Fall Preview 2017

In September . . . . . . we looked ahead. I highlighted ten books coming out this fall. . . . I noticed a new category of books. On a scale of 1-10, how mad will these books make our president? . . . we checked in on some books that might (might) be […]

Exclusive Book Cover Reveal: HELLO HELLO by Brendan Wenzel

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This Wenzel guy knows a thing or two about making picture books, as evidenced by that thing propping up all the stars in the picture above. Well, now Brendan Wenzel has a new book on the horizon (arriving in the spring of 2018) and today we have a first look at the cover and interior […]

Morning Notes: Fan Art Edition

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POPCORN-SPIRATION How did a piece of popcorn inspire E.L. Konigsburg to write From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (a book that turns 50 this year)? Click here to find out. IF I RAN THE PODCAST Are you listening to the Fuse 8 n’ Kate podcast? Betsy Bird and her sister Kate take […]