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Review: Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby

Squish Rabbit

Squish Rabbit By Katherine Battersby Viking (Penguin) ISBN: 9780670012671 $12.99 Grades PreK-1 In Stores Themes don’t get much more universal than friendship. The sheer amount of children’s books based on the topic is staggering. Seriously, you can’t swing a puppet in the children’s section without knocking over a couple stacks of them. It’s a testament […]

Cover Curiosity: Similar Swordplay


I’m amazed how some folks can find covers that use the same stock photography (the blog Pop Culture Junkie does an exceedingly excellent job of this). Most of the covers I pair up tend to be more like how Top Chef‘s Tom Colicchio looks like Jon Scieszka – eerily close, but not the same (or […]

Review: Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

Grandpa Green

Grandpa Green By Lane Smith Roaring Brook Press ISBN: 9781596436077 $16.99 Grades K-4 In Stores I realized after reading, rereading, and reflecting on Lane Smith’s latest book, Grandpa Green, that I’ve spent more time considering (and, at times, being confounded by) Smith’s last two releases than the last two books from pretty much any author. […]

Morning Notes: Hold the Books Edition

BOOKSHELVES An unexpected side effect of the great digital migration: bookshelves that are made to hold… not books. Click here to read. *UPDATE* Not so says IKEA WRITER’S HUT NEEDS MOVING: $760,000 PLEASE Efforts are underway to move Roal Dahl’s famous writer’s hut (I posted about said hut a couple years back) to a nearby […]

Cover Curiosity: It’s a Drag (on)


In the world of similar-looking book covers, we have the separated at birth clones, and we have the “hey, you look like your sister” resemblances. Today, I bring forth an example of the latter. First cover… Eragon by Christopher Paolini And the second… Ancient, Strange, and Lovely by Susan Fletcher Side by side: While there […]

Morning Notes: Waldo Tattoo Edition

Q: Should Books Have Michael Jackson Soundtracks? A: Probably Not Man, there are so many things to take in when considering Booktrack, a company that creates musical scores for ebooks. Most of this is due to the video, which features the MJ classic Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’. Would you like a soundtrack for your reading? […]

The Author Video Mother Lode

Movie Camera

I challenge you to a good ol’ fashioned game of “I Bet I Can Find a Video Interview of An Author You Like”. Have you heard of Reading Rockets? From the source: Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and […]

Nonfiction Monday: Time to Eat by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page


Time to Eat By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page Houghton Mifflin ISBN: 9780547250328 $12.99 Grades K-3 In Stores You know what’s not exciting? What I eat. Unless, that is, you find my occasional switch between regular peanut butter crackers and the neon orange variety to be fascinating stuff. You know what is exciting? A bird […]

Covering the Newbery (#28): King of the Wind

King of the Wind

Redoing every Newbery winner one cover at a time… 1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry; illustrated by Wesley Dennis Original Cover: My Redo: Verdict: The multiple photos thing isn’t the most original concept on the block, but I think it works pretty well here. Your thoughts? Click here to read previous Covering the […]

Link Du Jour: Top 10 Titles

Au Revoir

I know we’re not supposed to judge books by their covers (although there’s no denying they play a role), but can we judge books by their titles? Is that more or less legitimate than cover appeal? In preparing for my fall preview post a couple weeks back, I came across two titles that stood out: […]

Reviews for the Ears


Seeing as how they used to call me “The Man With the Tin Pipes” at my college radio station* (*untrue), it’s been fun contributing audio book reviews to the Brain Burps About Books podcast by author/illustrator Katie Davis (click here to subscribe on iTunes). I get a chance to do some of my favorite things […]

Review: My Name Is Elizabeth! By Annika Dunklee

My Name Is Elizabeth

My Name Is Elizabeth By Annika Dunklee Illustrated by Matthew Forsythe Kids Can Press ISBN: 9781554535606 $14.95 Grades PreK-2 In Stores *Best New Book* We just refuse to leave names alone, don’t we? There must be some gene that compels us to take every perfectly good name and shorten it, twist it, and (in some […]

Morning Notes: Less Talking Edition

Another school year begins. Turns out you need to sleep at night when you work during the daytime. As I go do that (sleep, not work), check out a fairly editorial-free Morning Notes. SHOWTIME FOR 90 SECOND NEWBERY Do you know about the 90 Second Newbery Contest? You know, the one organized by author James […]

Review: Nursery Rhyme Comics

Nursery Rhyme Comics

Nursery Rhyme Comics By Various Authors, Chris Duffy, Leonard S. Marcus First Second Books (Macmillan) ISBN: 9781596436008 $18.99 Grades 1-4 In Stores October 11, 2011 It’s no secret we are living in the age of superstar team-ups. With Watch the Throne on the top of the Billboard charts, The Miami Heat making waves in the […]

Covering the Newbery (#27): The Twenty-One Balloons

21 Balloons

Most of the older Newbery-winning covers are in need of an update, but I’m not so sure about today’s candidate needs much help… 1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois My Redo: Side by Side: Verdict: Yep, it’s pretty tough to beat the original here. The blog New Cover did a pretty bang […]