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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Saturday Night, Feelin’ Alright

Saturday Night Books

Whenever I hear the first couple seconds of 50 Cent’s In Da Club on a Saturday night, my first instinct is to get up and visit the bookstore to purchase children’s books. Above is my most recent haul – a mix of gap-fills, extra copies, and new high-interesty selections. Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life Last [...]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#13)

One Star Review Guess Who

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on GoodReads or Amazon? I found this book incredibly frightening for a child. It should only be read to 4th or 5th grade students due to its graphic content. The premise of playing a dangerous game because one is being forced to is [...]

Morning Notes: Still Pooh Poohing Edition


*UPDATE* NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTS ANNOUNCED This morning, we go from the long list to the short list. DiCamillo, Graff, Johnson, Levithan, and Ursu are out. Click here (and scroll down) to see who made the cut in the Young People’s Literature category. WE ART Inspired to take action after the Boston Marathon bombing, Joe [...]

Books on Film: Where the Wild Things Are

Sendak Interview

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Where the Wild Things Are, one of the most beloved and influential picture books of all time. The ways in which Maurice Sendak’s book has permeated the culture are astounding. To celebrate, Phil Nel, Julie Danielson, Betsy Bird and I are all writing about WTWTA [...]

Dear Eric Carle, Will You Be My Tattoo Artist?


For a joke, I decided to put a Very Hungry Caterpillar tattoo on my arm and tell my students it was real (just for a minute, then I came clean). Me (in front of a class of students): I probably shouldn’t be telling you this. But, uh, I got a tattoo. Class: Whoa!! (I didn’t [...]

Books on Film: The Dominoes Continue to Fall

New Zeeland Dominoes

Boy, do I like my book dominoes. I like them small, I like them big, I like them created by book stores. And now I like them from New Zealand, where the latest bit of book domino creativity hails. Extra points for: Beginning the video with a book going into the return. The orchestral soundtrack. [...]

Morning Notes: News About News Edition

Weird Al

THIS IS NOT MY FUSE NEWS Ok, stay with me here. The other day I noticed that I have a channel called Fuse and that they do a show called Fuse News. This may be funny (alright, mildly amusing) to librarians because the excellent blog A Fuse #8 Production does a weekly children’s lit link [...]

Ye Olde Scope Notes: What’s With All the Exclamation Marks?!


(Waving a rickety old cane in the air) In my day, no one spoke in the library – they couldn’t! Libraries were sealed and the oxygen was pumped out, creating a vacuum! And now look what we’ve come to – every picture book seems to end in an exclamation mark. Librarians, all this merriment is [...]

Kate DiCamillo Live!


Children’s lit living legend Kate DiCamillo kicked off the tour for her latest, Flora & Ulysses, with a long-form (and fascinating) interview in front of a live audience at the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul. The fine folks at Minnesota Public Radio put it up for us all to hear. (If you don’t see [...]

How I Get My Kicks

I Love My White Shoes

My students are always excited when a new Pete the Cat book comes out. I think we can all agree that the blue cat is a phenomenon. I too am full of excitement when a new Pete hits shelves – for my students, of course, but for another reason as well. I look forward to [...]

Books on Film: Conservative Children’s Lit with Stephen Colbert

Colbert Rush

You’ve heard about the Rush Limbaugh children’s book, right? Whether democrat or republican, I think we all can agree to quietly drop our heads into our hands and begin shaking¹. Stephen Colbert recently used Limbaugh’s book as an opportunity to look at some other conservative children’s lit (and also get in on the action himself). [...]

Notes on September 2013

Newbery Repeats

In September… …we number-crunched the Newbery Medal. I broke out the calculator and learned a few things about John’s Bronze (just a new Newbery Medal nickname I’m trying out). So You Want to Win the Newbery (Part I) So You Want to Win the Newbery (Part II) What Are the Chances You’ll Win Another Newbery? [...]

#Holdshelf Over There

Illustrated Hold Shelf

In order to see what kids are lining up to read, The Bill Clinton of Children’s Literature (John Schumacher) and I host a monthly gallery of hold shelf pictures. This month the gallery (including my Jane Mount-inspired illustrated shelf) is over at John’s blog Watch. Connect. Read. Click here to hear on over and have [...]

Morning Notes: Green Eggs Edition

Morning Notes Banner

WHEN SEUSS AND POLITICS COLLIDE I’m a sucker for seemingly standard news stories where children’s literature unexpectedly pops up. That’s just what happened when Sen. Ted Cruz read Green Eggs and Ham from the Senate floor Tuesday night in the midst of an all-night speech against Obamacare. This seemingly incongruous choice of books (since Green [...]

Squirrels on Skis by J. Hamiton Ray

On Skis

Squirrels on Skis By J. Hamilton Ray Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre Random House ISBN: 9780449810811 $8.99 Grades K-2 In Stores Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library Early readers hold the power to hook kids at a crucial time in their reading lives. But I sometimes find myself reacting to them with hesitation. What’s [...]