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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Watch the Newbery and Caldecott Announcement Live!

Old Computer

In a matter of days the biggest awards in children’s literature will be dished out in Chicago. The Newbery and Caldecott medals are just the tip of the iceberg at the ALA Youth Media Awards. I’ll be in attendance and am excited as all get out. But those in faraway locales can take part too. [...]

The Circs So Far: The 10 Most Popular Books in Our K-4 School Library

Circs So Far

Now that we’re back into the swing of things after winter break, I thought I’d fire up the computer and look at which books have been checked out the most in my school library, count them down 10-1, and draw a couple conclusions. (Thanks to ShelfTalker for the title inspiration) 10. Become a Pokemon Trainer [...]

Mock Caldecott 2015

2015 Mock Caldecott

Our K-4 Mock Caldecott programs are like snowflakes – no two years are alike. Last year I was on the Caldecott committee and wanted to read a lot of books to gauge how they worked with kids. It was good for students (lots of great books) and good for me (the experience was invaluable in [...]

What’s Inside the Enigmatic Inbox of Secrecy?


What’s this? I better open this up. Yeah! In a week or so I’ll be swinging around Lake Michigan to attend the American Library Association Midwinter meeting (and catch the Youth Media Awards live on Monday, February 2). Want to say hi? You can send me an email at scopenotes (at) gmail (dot) com. I [...]

Million Dollar Idea: All Books Available in ‘Really Big’ Size

Really Big Size

Many books are available in hardcover and paperback, but today I would like to propose a third option: Really Big Size I think I was talking with my colleague Niki (Daydream Reader) a while back when we hit upon this idea. It sprang from the fact that kids are drawn to big books. If you [...]

Top 10 Posts of 2014: #3

Wild Collage

The Wildest Children’s Books of 2014

Under Construction…Top 20 Books of 2014

Top 20 Books in Progress

After a yearlong hiatus for John Schumacher and I (John was on the Newbery Committee, I was on Caldecott), we will again be sharing our Top 20 Books of the year. The countdown from #20 to #1 begins on Tuesday. Catch you later – I need to finish this logo.

2014 Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide


Time is running out to get gifts for the insufferable librarian in your life. With help from Etsy, the 2014 edition of the Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide has your back. Click here for the 2013 guide Click here for the 2012 guide Click here for the 2011 guide Click here for the 2010 guide [...]

Children’s Literature 2014: The Year in Miscellanea

The Year in Miscellanea

It’s time to take a look back at the year that was in children’s lit miscellanea. (Read previous Year in Miscellanea Posts: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008) Oddest Children’s Literature/Hip-Hop/Boxing Crossover 50 cent Will Donate $750,000 if Floyd Mayweather Reads One Page of Harry Potter Granted, there weren’t many contenders in this category. How did this story end? Well, [...]

Lone Wolves: Caldecott Medal Winning Books Created Solo


I was working on my annual Caldecott predictions post (coming on the 19th) and I was reminded of something I’ve always wanted to look into – the number of Caldecott Medal winning books created by one person, rather than an author/illustrator team. It felt to me like the like the trend has been toward the [...]

The Ultimate Children’s Literature Illustrator Gift Guide

Illustrator Gift Guide

There are lots of children’s book illustrators who sell their work online, but I’ve never seen a good place to browse a whole slew of them in one sitting (although this post over at Pink Me has a batch). Since I’m posting my annual Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide soon, I thought it would [...]

Notes on November 2014


In November… …we previewed books coming soon. Picture books, middle grade, nonfiction, graphic novels – there was a little of everything in 10 to Note: Winter Preview 2015. …we learned that the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books list is a pretty good predictor of Caldecott success. I went to the data in Breakdown: [...]



Thank you for caring about children’s literature. Thank you for reading this blog. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

The Hottest Shelf: Does Eye Level = Circulation?


I was chatting the other say with Leslie, our library assistant, when she brought up an interesting observation: snake books aren’t getting checked out as much as in the past. The only difference she noticed is that, due to weeding in nonfiction, sections have shifted around. Snakes, which used to be at the top of [...]

At Episode 100, Let’s Get Busy Looks Back

LGBPodcast logo

If the children’s literature podcast Let’s Get Busy were a person, it would be wizened and wise by now, with a flowing white beard and a twinkle in its eye. That’s because the podcast, created by teacher-librarian Matthew Winner, has reached the impressive mark of 100 episodes. To note the occasion, I asked centenarian-by-association Winner [...]