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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

These Books Own Their Corner of the Market

Press Here

Sometimes a book comes to represent a certain genre or style so completely that every book published afterward that is even remotely similar will be compared to it. It owns its corner of the market. It is the symbol for that particular type of book. Here are the books I can think of that loom […]

Don’t Even Try to Tell Me This Isn’t a Perfect Book (#1): Bark, George


Some say there’s no such thing as a perfect book. Bah! Some books are perfect. In this series, we’ll name them. Don’t even try to tell me Bark, George isn’t a perfect book. Were you about to start? Stop. Bark, George is perfect. It’s . . . . . .  efficient. Bark, George has a simple […]

On This Day (ish) in Scope Notes History . . .


Part of the fun of blogging is the ephemeral nature of the medium – you write a post, put it up quickly, maybe some folks read it, and then it fades away in a hurry. On to the next post. But – PROBLEM – now I’m stuck with this stockpile of ridiculous stuff that never […]

Endangered Series #10: Little Bill


Popularity comes, popularity goes. As librarians we’re always balancing between what will circulate like crazy and what we need to have in the collection. And we’re not the Library of Congress – we can’t (and shouldn’t) keep everything. An endangered series is one that appears to be waning in terms of popularity. But popularity isn’t everything. Should it […]

Gallery: Scenes from Our Book Fair


It’s book fair week at my school and we’re getting into the pirate theme (thanks to our wonderful library assistant Leslie and parent volunteers). A while back, I shared Three Tips for a Successful Book Fair – I still think all three are helpful. Let’s take a look around our fair this year . . .

The Most Experimental Caldecott Winners of All Time

Caldecott Poster

Whilst gazing upon the lovely Caldecott Medal poster in our library the other day, I got to thinking: Which Caldecott Medal winning books pushed the envelope the most? Which were the most, I don’t know, experimental? Since I’ve read all the Caldecott Medal winners, it seemed worth a try. These were the books that stood […]

Name that LEGO Book Cover!


LEGOs and children’s literature have come together in the past with some pretty great results. Who can forget the LEGO Pigeon by Mark Anderson? Or these LEGO creations by Hilary Leung? I used this website to (virtually) create some LEGO book covers. See how many you can get. Answer Answer Answer Answer Answer Answer Answer How’d […]

Get Out the Children’s Lit Vote!


The Ambassador of School Libraries at Scholastic asked me nicely if I’d write a guest post for their Reader Leader blog. Who am I to turn down an Ambassador?! I wrote more about setting up a children’s lit character election in your school or library (or school library) – a topic I hit on here […]

Just My Size: Favored Dimensions of Picture Book Makers


I always notice bookmakers who favor a particular size for their books – not just for a series, but for their careers. How/why does this happen? I imagine the scene goes something like this: Bookmaker: (Walks in to the offices of a major publisher, finished picture book art under arm) I make books this big. […]

The Strange Case of the Missing Read Poster Strikes Back

Missing Poster

Just a regular old day in the library . . . Wait a second. I’m having flashbacks . . . NOOOOOO! HOW COULD IT FALL DOWN THE CRACK AGAIN?!?! THE CRACK IS SO SMALL! Stay calm, Travis, stay calm. Look on the floor . . . IT’S NOT ON THE FLOOR! Check the floor again […]


We just ordered a brand-new complete set of the Elephant & Piggie Series. So, of course, I had to find the Pigeon in each one. (Don’t even try to call this a spoiler – you’ve read all these)

This Is A Problem

Pokemon and Minecraft

Our Pokemon and Minecraft books are on the same shelf. This is the aftermath. (This is the best kind of “problem”.)

The Failed Presidential Campaigns of Children’s Book Characters


It’s weird. Over the years many children’s book characters have tried running for President of the United States. They announce their candidacy on the covers of books. You’ve seen them. Yet not one has successfully become President of the United States. And now none of them even mention politics at all. Who ran? What caused their […]

Who Has Published the Most NYT Best Illustrated Books in the Last Decade?

Best Illustrated Publisher

Kind of a specific question, but I wanted to know. After making my 2016 NYT Best Illustrated Children’s Books predictions yesterday, I crunched the numbers from the last 10 years of lists. I wanted to see which publishers had put out the most Best Illustrated books. There are two ways to dice up the numbers. […]

Predictions! 2016 NYT 10 Best Illustrated Books

2016 Best Illustrated Predictions

My dream assignment is to be a judge for the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books List. While I bide my time plotting a way to get on that committee (current plan: write a blog post clearly stating that it’s my dream assignment), why not make a few predictions? Last year I managed to […]