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Inside 100 Scope Notes

4 Things I Noticed About the Bestselling Children’s Books of 2015

Batman Thinking

Yesterday Publishers Weekly released their lists of the bestselling children books of 2015. Here’s what I noticed… 1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School topped the fiction list by a mile. Second place, John Green’s Paper Towns, trailed by a mere … 500,000 copies. Yes, #1 beat #2 by a number that almost matched the total […]

Library Litter

Litter 1

Ugh! Litterbug! How many times do I have to say not to litter the library with date due slips from Caldecott Medal winning books? Caldecott Medal winner date due slip litter is the worst. Backstory: In the 90s our school library automated their checkout system (I wasn’t here for that). You know the drill – […]

First Second Tenth: A Cover Extravaganza

First Second

Publisher First Second is ten years old. Ten years of making some of the best graphic novels around – for kids and grown-ups. To celebrate, I thought it would be fun for First Second artists to pay tribute to their favorite First Second books. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? That’s how the […]

Calde-Bump, Newbery Jump


The Caldecott and Newbery sell books. How have the recent winners fared on the bestseller lists? Here are the picture book bestsellers from last week (which takes data from before the awards were announced): And here are the picture book bestsellers for this week: Notice the change? Finding Winnie moved to number one, Last Stop […]

The Circs So Far: The 10 Most Checked Out Books of the 2015-16 School Year

Ballet Cat

(Thanks to Shelftalker for inspiring the title of this post) While the year year is new, the school year is not. We’ve been up and running since September. Time to check in on the most checked out books in our school library so far in the 2015-16 campaign. 10. Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret […]

Finding Winnie…’s Butt


Since it won the Caldecott Medal last week, I’ve been reading Finding Winnie to all of my classes (I work with students in grades K-4). I love the book, and it’s been getting a great reception from kids. Especially the furry butt cheeks. What? You don’t see them? Now, don’t be ashamed if you don’t […]

Cover Reveal: PIRASAURS! by Josh Funk, Illustrated by Michael Slack


If someone did a Best Read-Alouds of 2015 list (man, why didn’t I do that list?) Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast would have been on my list. That book was written by Josh Funk. Now Josh has a new book on the horizon (with illustrator Michael Slack) and I’m pleased to share a first […]

The Short Shelf Life of ‘A Birthday Cake for George Washington’

Birthday Cake

Released on Tuesday, January 5th, A Birthday Cake for George Washington has been pulled from shelves. Here’s a statement on the decision from publisher Scholastic: If you haven’t been following the discussion about this book, there’s a good collection of links at American Indians in Children’s literature to get you caught up.

The Relative Surprise-iness of the 2016 Youth Media Awards


“So, what are your favorites?” That’s the question everyone asks each other at ALA Midwinter. The day before the Youth Media Awards were announced, I told a friend I was hoping for a happy surprise or two. Now that the medals have been distributed, I want to talk about four individual moments that made me raise […]

Reaction Tweets of the 2016 Youth Media Award Winners

Here’s a batch of first reactions from the recent class of Youth Media Award winners… Matt de la Peña: Newbery Medal, Last Stop on Market Street: — Matt de la Pena (@mattdelapena) January 11, 2016 Sophie Blackall: Caldecott Medal, Finding Winnie: Told the cat I'd won the #Caldecott. She couldn't care less. — […]

2016 Caldecott Comment Card

Caldecott Comment 2016

Once the 2016 Caldecott Medals and Honors have been awarded, I want to know what you think. Go ahead and share in the comments. What Caldecott choices are you happy with? Unhappy? What did the committee miss?

Coming Soon: Top 10 Posts of 2015

Top 10 of 2015

Full-on reflection mode over here. Starting next week and continuing over the holidays, I’ll be counting down my most popular posts from the past year, from number ten to number one. See you then.

14 Books I Loved (But Didn’t Review) in 2015

Waddle Waddle

Well this will be easy. There’s a whole bunch of books that, for a variety of reasons (most relating to sleep and food), I didn’t talk about on this blog. Again I will state my annual pledge: I’ll try to do better next year. What follows are some of the 2015 books that I read and […]

2016 Mock Caldecott Results!

My Pen Mock Caldecott 2016

9 Books. Over 500 K-4th grade student votes. The winners of our 2016 Mock Caldecott are…

2015 Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide

Lump of Coal

Time is running out to get gifts for the insufferable librarian in your life. With help from Etsy, the 2015 edition of the Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide has your back. Click here for the 2014 guide Click here for the 2013 guide Click here for the 2012 guide Click here for the 2011 guide […]