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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Morning Notes: 93% Edition

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‘THE VEGETABLES OF MOTHERHOOD’ I’d say the first thing you should read today (in case you haven’t already) is I’m Tired of Reading Out Loud to My Son, O.K.? from the Motherlode blog at the New York Times. Gal has had it up to here with Richard Scary. Trust me, I can relate. But I […]

SummerTeen Scope Notes


Why has the ol’ blog been quiet the last couple days? Because I’ve been getting all prepped up for some moderating duties at tomorrow’s SLJ SummerTeen event. I’ll be manning the wheel of the Humor Me! panel with authors Don Calame (Swim the Fly), Louise Rozett (Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend), and Paul Rudnick (Gorgeous). That, […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#9)

One Star Review Guess Who

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on GoodReads or Amazon? Why on earth would I want my child to rub her fingers on another man’s sandpaper beard? Click here for the answer. One Star Review Guess Who (#1) One Star Review Guess Who (#2) One Star Review Guess Who […]

Morning Notes: An Exercise in Book Banning Edition

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MARC SIMONT (1915-2013) Sad news to start things off. Legendary children’s book creator Marc Simont has passed away. School Library Journal reflects on the Caldecott winner’s life and work. WHY I BANNED A BOOK Real headline alert! Mansfield University library banned a book by a local author (and Mansfield employee) Dennis Miller as an experiment […]

Review: Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown


Star Wars: Jedi Academy By Jeffrey Brown Scholastic ISBN: 9780545505178 $12.99 Grades 3-6 In Stores September, 2013 Find it at: Schuler Books Books with ties to popular television or movie franchises are a dime a dozen. Well, maybe five dollars for 12, but you get the idea. They’re usually pretty straightforward affairs and more often […]

Link Du Jour: Extreme Preview: Spring 2014 Edition

2014 Preview

In terms of previews, you won’t find one more eye-strainingly advanced than this, the Spring 2014 Sneak Previews from Publishers Weekly. Highlights! A new Pigeon book, a Barnett/Van Duesen team-up, and Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, and Peter Sieruta. Click here for the whole thing.

Books on Film: A Brief History of Books for Children

Children's Lit History

If you like your children’s lit history lessons in four minute installments, this video’s for you. Michael Slicker of Lighthouse Books provides a quickie history of the origins of children’s lit, in the process shouting out Randolph Caldecott, Lewis Carroll, and Kate Greenaway. And I have two words for you: linen books.

Singing Kumbaya at Nerdcamp

Nerdcamp Shirt

I regret that I had but one set of eyes and ears at Nerdcamp. – Nathan Hale¹ ¹Loosely paraphrasing here. Nerdcamp is one of those things that, when taken out of context, can make for an entertaining interaction. I know this because about a month ago my wife Allison noticed it on my calendar and […]

The Wildest Children’s Books of 2013

Little Ghost Party

I tend to think we are in the midst of a great period of creativity in children’s books. In many ways, there seems to be a loosening of the tie, with unexpected combinations of illustration, text, and design popping up all over the place. Below are a few 2013 books that had me saying “huh?!” […]

Morning Notes: Ascot Signing Bonus Edition

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SO WHO’S BUYING THE BOOKS? Infographics – there are a ton of the things out there. I rank them using a handy Internal “Hm” Meter. The more internal “hm”s I inaudibly “say”, the better the infographic. This one, from the folks at Random House, received a number of “hm”s. Trends in Consumer Book Buying is […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#8)

One Star Review Guess Who

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on GoodReads or Amazon? This book should be called Gorilla Interrupted because it’s as depressing as Girl Interrupted but told from a gorilla’s perspective. Why this is recommended as a top summer reading book is beyond me. And it won a Newbery Award! […]

Instagramming ALA Annual 2013: Part III

Newbery/Caldecott Sign

Click here for Part I Click here for Part II Here’s how Sunday went: Caldecott committee meeting, website advisory committee meeting, Newbery Caldecott Wilder Banquet time. This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott, so folks were encouraged to incorporate their favorite Caldecott winner into their clothing choices. For me, that meant opening my […]

Instagramming ALA Annual 2013: Part II

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Click here for Part I Heck of a way to start a post that promises images, huh? The reason is that Saturday began with my Caldecott Committee meeting. Mum’s the word on the whole process. I will say this: after some initial nerves, it was about as interesting and enjoyable a discussion as a picture […]

Instagramming ALA Annual 2013: Part I


How did we end up here, with me sticking my head out of a hole to pay tribute to Randolph Caldecott? Let’s start at the beginning. This past weekend I aggressively underpacked, saddled up my trusty metal steed and lit out for the bustling metropolis of Chicago and the American Library Association Annual Conference. For me […]

Books on Film: Maurice Sendak on Childhood

Sendak on Being a Kid

How do you prevent being eaten whole by a monster? PBS has a video series called Blank on Blank with a mission to “curate and transform journalists’ unheard interviews with icons, bringing them to life on radio, mobile apps, YouTube, and beyond.” They recently gave the video treatment to a 2009 Newsweek interview with Maurice […]