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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

2017: The Year of Pants


The other day Julie Danielson (of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast) mentioned that 2017 might be The Year of Pants in children’s literature. First I checked with the Google Ngram Viewer, which tracks words that appear in books. It appears we are in the midst of a historic golden age of pants: Then I took […]

Now THIS is How Book People Celebrate Independence!


I can think of no better way for a fan of literacy to celebrate July 4th than by supporting the creation of an independent bookstore. You can make it happen, people. Help me Build a Bookstore and Save a Life – — Kathy M Burnette ; (@thebrainlair) July 2, 2017 Kathy Burnette (aka @thebrainlair […]

Notes on June 2017


In June . . . . . . I questioned the Cat in the Hat’s fiscal responsibility. It was all part of a tongue-in-cheek post about nonfiction featuring the Cat. . . . I shared 10 exciting books coming out this summer. It’s Summer Preview time. . . . we went on a photographic tour […]

Instagramming ALA 2017 (Part 3)

Drew D

Previously . . . Instagramming ALA 2017 (Part 1) Instagramming ALA 2017 (Part 2) Sunday at ALA started off with an interview with The Day the Crayons Quit and The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors author Drew Daywalt. Even though he tried to tell me he was Dan Santat I saw right through his attempts […]

Instagramming ALA 2017 (Part 2)


Previously . . . Instagramming ALA Annual 2017 (Part 1) Even though Saturday of ALA was busy, I will always take time to slow down, smell the strange convention center air, and admire a selection of Little Free Library designs: I spotted them on the way to the Chapter One Stage. I was moderating a […]

Instagramming ALA Annual 2017 (Part 1)


I just swam back from the American Library Association Annual Conference and boy are my arms and legs tired! (Just kidding – we drove to Michigan City and took the train into town.) The trip began with my usual show-offy Instagram post about how unprepared I like to be at these conferences. Here’s a quick […]

Off to ALA Annual 2017

Gone to ALA

I’m making my way to Chicago for the American Library Association Annual Conference. I’m planning to post a recap when I get back, but until then, I’ll be sharing the trip via Instagram and Twitter, if you want to check in there.

A Photographic Tour of My Blogging Cave

cave 1

Here’s where I do most of the work for this blog and The Yarn. Let’s have a look around. 1. This is a memento from my year on the Caldecott committee: A drawing by Brian Floca of one of the characters from Locomotive. 2. A Little Golden Book birdhouse that a co-worker gifted me. 3. […]

Ye Olde Scope Notes: Are We Sure It’s a Good Idea to Have The Cat in the Hat Teaching Nonfiction???


*Waving a rickety old cane in the air* Does it strike anyone as odd that The Cat in the Hat is now one of the most recognizable sources of factual information for children? I love the Cat in the Hat, but to put a creation of Dr. Seuss (the king of whimsically making stuff up) […]

Announcing The Yarn LIVE at ALA Annual 2017!


Last summer we tried our first LIVE episode of The Yarn. Colby and I talked to Kate DiCamillo in Orlando. We had some laughs, some awkward moments (*Note* Those were all due to me – why did we kick things off with Colby reading an entry from my diary – WHY???) Click here for Pt. 1 of […]

Exclusive Book Trailer Premiere: THE WOLF, THE DUCK, & THE MOUSE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen


Given the critical and creative success of Extra Yarn, Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, and Triangle, a new book by the team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen is reason to take notice. The Wolf, The Duck, & The Mouse is “a story about a duck and mouse who get swallowed by a wolf, and […]

The 5 Most Popular Books Featuring Diverse Characters in Our K-4 School Library

PicMonkey Collage

We’ve (okay, I’ve) been talking a lot in lately about the most popular books in our library for the 2016-17 school year. You know, picture books, chapter books, nonfiction. But then I had another idea: what about a list with just the most popular 2016-17 books that feature diverse characters? Well? Let’s see them! 5. […]

My Billboard


Occasionally when I’m feeling all lifehack-y¹ I’ll listen to the Tim Ferriss podcast. The host often asks guests what words they would put on a billboard if given the chance. This is a fun question to consider. So I thought about it. Here’s what mine would be: (I’m reaching new levels of preaching to the choir on […]

Top 10 Circulated Nonfiction of 2017

Nonfiction 2017

I messed with things again. Similar to how I tweaked our picture book list (sorry Pete), I excluded Pokemon and Minecraft from this list of the most popular nonfiction in our library this school year. The reasons are: They would crowd out just about every other book. You already know they are super popular. So […]

Notes on May 2017

Hugo Smiling

In May . . . . . . Hugo Cabret stole my smartphone. He tried FaceApp and the results were something to see. . . . a children’s book predicted the future. The Good For Nothing Button basically foretold the fidget craze. . . . I talked to Shel Silverstein. It was a pretty one-sided […]