100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

One Star Review Guess Who? (#76)

One Star Review Guess Who

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? Do you like nearly plotless, nearly conflictless books? Do you like pedantry about the value of hard work and never feeling negative emotions? Do you like endings that are predictable as hell? Do you like reading about children who […]

The Thank You Post

Thank You

Before the turkey comes out, I want to take a moment to thank you for reading, commenting on, and sharing things I write here. Wait, I see the turkey coming out now. Gotta go. Thank you!



Question: What is one of the most effective ways to improve a kid’s desire and ability to read? Answer: Access to books. Cue up Can it Be All So Simple by Wu Tang Clan Research tells us this, but how do we make it happen? Nerdy Book Club co-founders Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp have […]

6 Things You Can Do with the New Giant Caldecott Medals


The ALA Store is now selling giant Caldecott Medals (made of cardstock, not bronze). Sure, you could use them for a handsome display or helpful hanging signage, but what fun is that?! Here are a few ideas for the more adventurous Giant Caldecott Medal owners out there. Your Giant Caldecott can be . . . . […]

See You at NCTE?


This weekend I’m attending the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention for the first time this year. Houston! While there, I have some duties: Friday 9:30-10:45: Nerdy Book Club: Building Strong, Inclusive Reading Communities (Room 340 AB) 11:00-11:30: Signing The Very Last Castle in the Blue Willow (Booth #231) Sunday Build Your […]

The Storyline Online Oscars


Storyline Online is a SAG-AFTRA-produced website with videos of actors and actresses reading well-known picture books aloud. I’ll occasionally take my students to the website and they seem to like it quite a bit. After watching all the videos, here are my completely biased and in no way official awards Most Comfortable: Ed O’Neill, HOW […]

Nonfiction Monday: Otis and Will Discover the Deep by Barb Rosenstock

Otis and Will

Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere By Barb Rosenstock Illustrated by Katherine Roy Little, Brown ISBN: 9780316393829 $18.99 Grades 1-4 Out Now Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library It guess it’s something we’re born with: an affinity for discovery. We love firsts. First human on the moon. First […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#75)

One Star Review Guess Who

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? This is basically the story of a hostage who rapidly succumbs to Stockholm Syndrome. Click here for the answer. Why do I share these? Click here. Previously . . . One Star Review Guess Who (#1) One Star Review […]

Auto-Completed Children’s Books (#8) Press Here

Auto Completed

Press Here by Hervé Tullet Ready player one? Press here to release the hounds. Great! Now press 1. Perfect. Rub the belly or good luck. Well done! And now the end is near. Fabulous! Five qualities of a good leader. And five times in a row. And finally in a sentence. Perfect. Try shaking your device. Not bad. But maybe a little […]

Our 2019 Mock Caldecott Program

Mock Caldecott 2019

Once November hits I feel the need. The need for Mock Caldecott. I’m just hoping my new prop arrives in time. I’ve talked about it in the past, but it seems like every year we’re tweaking things. Here’s how we’re doing things this year at my K-4 elementary school. Week 1 I introduce the Caldecott. […]

Morning Notes: Nutshell Edition

Tiny Books

AND THE 2018 KIRKUS PRIZE GOES TO . . . A great book. COMING TO A TOLLBOOTH NEAR YOU The Phantom Tollbooth may soon be coming to the theater. Click here to read. TINY TREND Tiny books. Yea or nay? Because John Green is going the full Nutshell library on us. NORTH OF BORDER BESTSELLERS […]

Gallery: NYT Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2018


or How Did Travis Do with His Predictions? I correctly predicted two of the Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2018 (The Visitor and Dreamers). I was this close to adding Funeral (but I didn’t) and The Forest (that one really should have been on my list). But those are just the sad whinings of a […]

Notes on October 2018


In October . . . . . . our last two Caldecott medalists talked about Caldecott-y stuff. Matthew Cordell and Javaka Steptoe had a Caldecott Conversation. . . . some boys booed some books. Say it with me: whatever you like to read is okay. . . . Shel Silverstein shared the meaning of life. Weirdly, it’s my […]

Cover Reveal Q&A: Noodlephant by Jacob Kramer and K-Fai Steele


That right there is the cover for the upcoming picture book by Jacob Kramer and K-Fai Steele called Noodlephant. It’s about a noodle-loving elephant. It’s about a magic pasta machine. It’s about a community’s response to injustice. It’s 80 pages long. All that is to say it’s unlike any picture book I’ve read in a […]

5 Things That’ve Happened with The Very Last Castle (And a Special Giveaway)

Kid Note

The Very Last Castle was published on October 9. All kinds of completely cool and unexpected and heart-wrenchingly kind things have happened since then. Thank you. Thank you. I mean it. It means a lot. Here’s what I’m going to do: put all that stuff in this post and then if you want to check […]