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100 Scope Notes
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Poetry Friday: Do You Hear What I Hear?

poetry friday button

Last week I talked about book spine poems (or centos), today I have three examples:

Endangered Series #7: Cam Jansen


Popularity comes, popularity goes. As librarians we’re always balancing between what will circulate like crazy and what we need to have in the collection. And we’re not the Library of Congress – we can’t (and shouldn’t) keep everything. An endangered series is one that appears to be waning in terms of popularity. But popularity isn’t everything. Should it […]

Beverly Cleary at 100: All the Tributes

BC 100

Today, to-day, children’s literature legend Beverly Cleary turns 100 year old. The media has taken notice: Book Riot: 100 Awesome Things About Beverly Cleary on her 100th Birthday The New York Times: Happy Birthday Beverly Cleary! The New Yorker: Beverly Cleary, Age 100 The Washington Post: Beverly Cleary on turning 100: Kids today ‘don’t have […]

5 Questions with John Bemelmans Marciano

Benevento 1

I recently talked to John Bemelmans Marciano about his new series with illustrator (and reigning Caldecott Medal winner) Sophie Blackall. Travis: Why witches? Why Benevento? What was the spark that let to this new series? John: While in Naples in the early 2000s, I came across a paragraph in a guidebook about a nearby town […]

Everything You Need to Know to Make a Book Spine Poem

In This Book

April is here. April is National Poetry Month. April is the time for book spine centos. Give one a try. Or try it with your students/patrons. Here are my tips for creating a book spine cento: Check out the book spine poem gallery for inspiration. Get to a place with plenty of books. A library […]

Man in the Mirror


I have a thing for doppelgängers. I get way more entertainment than I should when someone tells me I look like, say, Perfect Strangers actor Bronson Pinchot: Or, perhaps, Moroccan distance runner Hicham El Guerrouj: (I wrote this post about how kids notice this one because of The Guiness Book of Records) Or even Costa Rican […]

What’s in My Spring Break To-Read Pile and Why

Spring Break 2016 To Read

What is spring break if not a time to set overly ambitious reading goals? Here’s what I hope to read in the next week and why. A new series! Illustrated by our reigning Caldecott Medal winner, Sophie Blackall, and written by John Bemelmans Marciano – two members of the Atlas Powder Picture Book Company (a.k.a. […]

Completing the Hervé Tullet Interview Trilogy


Swim, books, swim! I’ve interviewed Hervé Tullet via drawing: I’ve interviewed Hervé Tullet via writing: And, as of today, I’ve interviewed Hervé Tullet via audio. In the latest episode of The Yarn, Tullet talks about his groundbreaking work, Press Here, as well as follow-ups Mix it Up and Let’s Play. We also debut our brand-new […]

Notes on March 2016

2016 Geisel

In March… …we looked at the new books coming from past Geisel winners. …I Instagrammed two author events: Ruth McNally Barshaw and Bob Shea. …Donald Trump reviewed some Seuss classics.

All the Way LIVE: The Yarn with Kate DiCamillo @ ALA Annual


The Yarn is as un-live as it gets. We edit, we add, we move stuff around (then move it back) – the show is the opposite of spontaneous. But maybe we don’t know what we’re missing? Colby Sharp and I are pleased to announce that we’re going to find out. At the American Library Association […]

Morning Notes: Rejuvenation Edition

Baby Lincoln

WHAT SOLD WHAT IN 2015 Publishers Weekly released their annual rundown of best selling books based on Neilsen Bookscan data. Lots of stuff you might expect. My favorite section is the hardcover backlist section, where classics mingle with newer popular books. Click here to read. YOU ARE THE SCHOOL LIBRARIAN OF THE YEAR No?? Well, maybe […]

Steal This Idea: Family Fort Night at the Library

Herrick DL

The Location: My local public library (Herrick DL). The Event: Family Fort Night. The Plan: For an hour after the library closes, families have run of the children’s section. After a whole group story time, kids and their grown-ups build forts out of whatever materials they bring (clips provided by the library). Then: Grab some […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#42)

One Star Review Guess Who

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? When Oliver Hardy cloned himself, he set up an underground bakery to employ his carbon-based copies. Notoriously, clones can be horribly defective and the rumness of Mr Hardy’s reproductions was evidenced by a slipshod attitude towards stock control and […]

Instagramming an Author Event: An Evening with Bob Shea (And a Special Guest)

Bob Shea Checklist

All ready for our Bob Shea event! AHH! NO! Not ready! I missed something! Ah. Better. Break out the balloons, folks – Bob Shea (and a special guest) visited our school district last night and I have the square-shaped photos to prove it. I’ve never helped organize an evening author event, but I was feeling […]

Morning Notes: Disorderly Waldo Edition

Kwame Alexander

YOU HAD ONE JOB, WALDO Blend in. Where's Waldo ? He was at South Station being very disorderly and needed to be escorted out. #MBTA — MBTA Transit Police (@MBTATransitPD) March 20, 2016 (Thanks to Huffington Post for the link) CALDECOTT CHALLENGED This One Summer has been the most challenged Caldecott book in a […]