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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Children’s Lit Questions From Beyond the Grave: A Wild Things! Interview with Jules Danielson and Betsy Bird

Wild Things

Today (August 5, 2014) marks the release of Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature by Betsy “Fuse #8” Bird, Julie “Seven Imp” Danielson, and the late, great Peter D. “Collecting Children’s Books” Sieruta. Full of historical perspective and behind-the-scenes dirt, the book is a joy to read. Go get yourself a copy. Go. […]

Cover Curiosity: Mirrors


Every now and then the universe does my job for me. Sometimes, by chance (or perhaps not), two books that resemble each other end up next to each other on bookshelves. Thanks for looking out, universe. Below are three such cases I encountered in the last few months: Rabbityness by Jo Empson Peek-A-Boo Bunny by […]

The State of Photography Illustration in 2014

Fall Leaves

What is the summer if not a time for short blog posts about random things? Today we have a classic case of “Am I just noticing it more, or is it happening more?” The topic? Photography as picture book illustration. While commonly used in works of nonfiction, it’s pretty rare in the fiction picture book […]

Notes on July 2014

Notes on July

In July… …I set a 192 page limit for middle grade novels. It was fun to play What If, and hear what you had to say in the comments. …we got wild. The Wildest Children’s Books of 2014 brought the odd and unusual. …we remembered the American Library Association annual conference. Newbery, Caldecott, doughnuts and […]

Morning Notes: ‘Really Big Ball of Twine’ Edition

Oliver Jeffers: Art of Authenticity

SNEAKY, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, SNEAKY Who’s up for some cheap time travel? Check out the recent Spring 2015 Children’s Sneak Previews from Publishers Weekly. All kinds of eyebrow-raising stuff coming up. Click here to read. THE DAY THE CRAYONS CAME TO A THEATER NEAR YOU What I’m experiencing right now is the unexpected and sudden realization […]

An Endorsement: Comic Collections


Growing up, comic strip collections were as important to me as any single book. I’ve talked about Roald Dahl’s influence (in this Nerdy Book Club post), but I could just as easily talk about The Far Side and Fox Trot collections that piled up next to my bed during that same time period. It wasn’t […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#22)

One Star Review Guess Who

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? CREEPY! I never understood why it is such a children’s favourite. It is creepy in psychotic clown sort of a way and highly highly trippy! Click here for the answer. One Star Review Guess Who (#1) One Star Review […]

Link Du Jour: Kindle Unlimited from All Sides


Amazon is now offering Kindle Unlimited, an all-you-can-read e-book service that will cost 9.99 per month. Kindle Unlimited is stirring up all sorts of reactions online: Huffington Post says what I was thinking: this is sort of a glorified library card On the flip side, Tom Worstall thinks the UK should ditch libraries and give everyone a Kindle […]

Books on Film: Staake Spotted

Staake Commercial

While watching the Top 100 House Party Songs on Fuse last night (don’t judge), who do I see? Bob Staake – the illustrator responsible for Bluebird, The Red Lemon, and a batch of other picture books. No, he hasn’t created one of the Top 100 House Party Songs of all time (although I’m guessing he […]

Review: Sisters by Raina Telgemeier


Sisters By Raina Telgemeier Color by Braden Lamb Graphix (Scholastic) ISBN: 9780545540599 $24.99 Grades 3- Out August 26, 2014 *Best New Book* Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library Family stories are tough to beat, aren’t they? Aside from being endlessly relatable, they also give a peek into the inner workings of a household […]

Creepy Library Statue Status Update

Statue Status Update

If you’re confused, click here for the creepy library statues backstory. Created with

Books on Film: ‘They’re Playing a Game Without Rules’


The first book Dahlov Ipcar ever illustrated was The Little Fisherman, written by a gal named Margaret Wise Brown. Ipcar went on to illustrate somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty more. This video, produced by Nobrow/Flying Eye Books on the occasion of the re-release of two of Ipcar’s books (The Wonderful Egg and I Like […]

All Middle Grade Novels Should Be 192 Pages. No Exceptions.

192 Pages

Imagine a world… Where all middle grade fiction is 192 pages. No exceptions. There’s been talk for a few years now about the expanding page counts in books for young people. Some point to Harry Potter as the reason. One type of book that hasn’t ballooned is the humble picture book. There are exceptions, but […]

The Wildest Children’s Books of 2014

Jim Curious

The amount of cleverness in children’s literature never ceases to amaze me. While some decry the sameness of picture books, I believe that there are plenty of bold and unique books coming out, once you start looking around. What follows are a few 2014 books that made me and Salvador Dali double take – in […]

Link Du Jour: Get Wilder

Wild Things

Travis here with a quick public service announcement for those who love children’s literature: In the lead-up to the release of their book Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, authors Betsy Bird (A Fuse #8 Production) and Julie Danielson (Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast) are posting some of the true stories that weren’t included […]