Search on ....
Subscribe to SLJ
100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Photos: At the Dawn of Digital Illustration


I came across Daniel Pinkwater’s “The Muffin Fiend” today and I was taken aback. It wasn’t the story that did it, but the digital illustrations. Published in 1986, this is one of the earliest uses of computer-aided artwork I’ve seen in a children’s book. Flipping through the book took me back to the time period […]

Need a Vase? Got a Book?


Whenever I’m looking for something to put flowers in, I think to myself, “why can’t I just put these in a book already.” No longer do I have to wish. From Boing Boing: Designer Laura Cahill wanted to make art without wasting new material. She did a bunch of research, and found out that used […]

What're They Buying? Indie Bestsellers


The best selling album of 2007 was “Noel” by Josh Groban. Why do I bring this up? Because I had no idea. Even though I like music, I rarely check to see which albums are hot on the streets. Wait, did I just say “hot on the streets” in close proximity to Josh Groban? I’ll […]

Nonfiction Monday: Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia


Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia DK Publishing ISBN: 9780756640279 $29.99 Grades 3 and Up In Stores *Best New Books* Is it just me, or does it seem that encyclopedias have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time? Lately it seems you can’t turn around without seeing a creative, user-friendly reference section stand-out. […]

Sunday Link Du Jour: Musical Dr. Seuss


Wary of books that come with CDs? You’re not alone. NPR’s Daniel Pinkwater feels the same way, yet there is a recent exception: “Jim Copp, Will You Tell Me A Story?“. Mr. Copp skipped the whole bound paper thing and committed his children’s stories straight to vinyl in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Now they’ve […]

Children's Lit Commish: 'No More Non-Famous Authors'


Warning: The article you are about to read is fiction. In an effort to streamline the book purchasing process for America’s parents, the Children’s Literature Commissioner announced today that books written by non-celebrity authors will be phased out by 2012. In front of assembled members of the media, the Commissioner laid out plans for a […]

Book Giveaway Winners


The August book giveaway has come and gone. The following folks were on the right side of luck: Andrew S. of the beautiful (I hear) city of Portland will soon be adding “Horse Song” to his collection. Elizabeth M. (proud resident of the Great Lakes State) will soon be a proud owner of “Spud”. Thanks […]

Unfortunate Covers (#5)


What makes a cover unfortunate? Well, it happens when you follow this recipe: 1) Take one good book (the higher the quality the better – a classic is best) 2) Slather on a cover that only a mother could love 3) Allow it to rest on the shelf 4) Serve after it has expired by […]

Book Review: Baron von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident


Baron von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident By George McClements Harcourt Books ISBN: 9780152061388 $16.00 Grades K-2 In Stores *Recommended* If you’ve ever watched an episode of “Saved by the Bell” alone, you know that it isn’t as much fun when there’s no one watching with you. The show is better if there is […]

Email = Free Book: August '08 Book Giveaway


While I don’t claim to have invented this book giveaway business (My Book Giveaway Bibliography: Breeni Books and A Fuse #8 Production), I do boast the most contrived means of selecting a winner. If you are interested in owning any of the books below, send me an email ( and I will paint your name […]

Ye Olde Scope Notes: These Kids Books Are Too Big!


(Waving a rickety old cane in the air) I’m tired of all these big, fancy children’s books. They’re hard to carry, the pages take too long to turn, and they can’t fit on my bookshelf. In the olden days, we had tiny books and no one complained. Tiny! All books should be small. How small […]

Book Review: Mail Harry to the Moon!


Mail Harry to the Moon! By Robie H. Harris Illustrated by Michael Emberley Little, Brown Young Readers ISBN: 9780316153768 $16.99 Grades PreK-2 In Stores *Recommended* I’m a younger brother, so forgive me if I can’t identify with everything contained in the latest Robie Harris/Michael Emberley team-up “Mail Harry to the Moon”. This ode to a […]

From the Vaults: Where the Wild Things Are … 2K!


If a humorous bit of children’s lit miscellanea is published, but children’s lit blogs aren’t yet around, does it exist? I came across the following (satiric) graphic from “The Onion” in the good ole days of aught aught (that’s 2000 for those who don’t unreasonably stick to an obsolete way of telling the year). The […]

Audio Clip: Lauren Child Talks Clarice Bean on NPR


Most interesting take on what it’s like to write children’s books I’ve heard in a while: writing a kids book is similar to writing haiku. Find out how as “Clarice Bean” author Lauren Child talks about her career on NPR. Click the play button below to hear more. [6 min. 29 sec.]

Overdue Jail


If you work in a library, you know there are various ways to deal with the inevitability of overdue books. Some (although not many I know of) give a free pass, while others charge fines to the offenders. Often, checkout privileges are restricted (as is the case in the school libraries where I work). One […]