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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

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 [...]

Library Tip: Keep a Basket of Kittens Around

Basket of Cats

Soon after I was hired for my current job, a basket of kittens arrived in the library. Not real kittens, no. But they might as well be. This family of cats was unlike any stuffed animal I’d seen before – highly realistic and all lumped together. They all sat in a basket about the size [...]

Sara Varon Has Been Busy: An Exclusive First Look at Her New Projects


Sara Varon is the creator of the first book I ever reviewed on this blog – Robot Dreams. I’ve been enjoying her work ever since, including Chicken and Cat Clean Up in 2009 and Odd Duck last year. Today I’m happy to announce that Sara has a batch of new projects in the works. Let’s hear [...]

Breakdown: The National Book Award/Newbery Overlap


I had a good time last week looking at the Best Illustrated/Caldecott overlap (tip o’ the hat to @muellerspace). I thought it would make sense to look at the Newbery side of things – specifically how finalists in the Young People’s Literature category of the National Book Award (NBA) fare in the Newbery race. I [...]

A Splash of Red: Adding Full Color Where There Was None


You hear that tiny siren? It’s alerting you to a mini trend in children’s literature. Two popular series previously illustrated in black and white are being reissued in color. Will more follow? (On a slightly different, but related note, A Fuse #8 Production wrote a great post about re-illustrating picture books. Click here to read [...]

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Fable Comics Edited by Chris Duffy

Fable Comics 500

Alright, who knew this was happening? Following in the footsteps of the wonderful Nursery Rhyme Comics and Fairy Tale Comics comes Fable Comics, another collection of cartoons by some of the biggest and best names in the field. Here’s a first look at the cover: How about a description? From classics like “The Tortoise and [...]

Breakdown: The NYT Best Illustrated/Caldecott Overlap

Best Illustrated and Caldecott

The other day on twitter, Kelly Mueller (@muellerspace) asked me if I’d ever taken a look at how books on the annual New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books list (click here for the 2014 list) fare in terms of Caldecott. I looked at the last ten years of data and made a few interesting [...]