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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Author Visit: Laurie Keller


Author visits: a wonderful perk of working in a school library. With all due respect to my bookseller friends (shout out to McLean & Eakin!), the author visit is like a booksigning that tosses the table aside and has a party. This year, we were excited to host Laurie Keller, author/illustrator of six picture books [...]

Attention Lovers of Picture Books


Are you opinionated about your picture books? Do you find yourself thinking “I know the best picture book that has been slept on for far too long and I’m dying to do something about it”? Now is your chance, friends. The outstanding children’s lit blog A Fuse #8 Production is undertaking a project for the [...]

Gallery: Debut Fantasy Novel Covers


Some daring folks have taken up the challenge to create their debut fantasy novel cover. Below are the results – awesomely bad, to be sure. If you give it a shot, let me know and I’ll add your cover to the mix. Dream of Illusion @ teacherninja. Nice font – can we get this on [...]

Book Review: When the Whistle Blows


When the Whistle Blows By Fran Cannon Slayton Philomel Books ISBN: 9780399251894 $16.99 Grades 5-8 In Stores June 11, 2009 *Best New Books* Monday, Jan. 19 – I sit here, looking at When the Whistle Blows. I’m not sure what to make of it. It looks like it might be for a slightly older reader [...]

Create Your Debut Fantasy Novel Cover


Yesterday I did the “Create Your Debut Album” meme on Facebook. It produced a strangely believable album cover. I thought I’d modify things for the children’s book loving crowd. Above is my debut fantasy novel (yes, they are doing the parachute toss with a blue whale) – what will yours look like? Here goes: CREATE [...]

Link Du Jour: Reporting My Obsolescence


Every now and again, I wonder which books are being purchased by the book-loving population. When I check the New York Times bestsellers, I usually post this information. That sharing could come to a screeching halt due to the website Reading Radar. Pulling information from the NYT bestseller list and, Reading Radar does its [...]

February '09 ARC Giveaway


We’ve got some books to give away here – you interested? If you like one of the books below, send me an email at or, in a 2009 twist, let me know via Twitter (click here for my profile). I don’t actually know how that works, but it sounds like it could somehow (so [...]

Toon Review: The Imaginary Garden


The Imaginary Garden By Andrew Larsen Illustrated by Irene Luxbacher Kids Can Press ISBN: 9781554532797 $16.95 Grades K-2 In Stores March 1, 2009 *Recommended* Find this book at your local library with WorldCat. (Comics created using Bitstrips)

Try Scanimation


Do you like the amazing Scanimation technology that brings the best-selling children’s books Gallop! (100 Scope Notes Review) and Swing! to life? Have you been looking for a way to fill approximately one minute today? You’re in luck, friend. Click the image below to try Scanimation for yourself:

5 Questions with Laurie Keller


Author/Illustrator Laurie Keller has been making standout picture books since her debut, The Scrambled States of America, hit shelves a decade ago. With a sequel in stores and new projects in the works, Laurie stopped by to take part in 5 Questions. Scope Notes: The Scrambled States of America: Talent Show hit shelves last August [...]

Nonfiction Monday: First Science Encyclopedia


First Science Encyclopedia DK Publishing ISBN: 9780756642969 $16.99 Grades 2-5 In Stores Every collection should have the basics. Similar to how every music collection should contain “OK Computer” by Radiohead and “Night Falls Over Kortedala” by Jens Lekman, every elementary reference section should have a science encyclopedia. First Science Encyclopedia fills this role nicely (if [...]

Link Du Jour: A New Home for Bookends


All readers of books (especially those YA-ophiles) take notice. The outstanding Bookends blog (which I posted about back in October) has a new home at Booklist. It was a smart move for Booklist  – Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan (both former Printz chairs) have a masterful knowledge of teen literature. They even dip down into [...]

Graveyard Book and Coraline Nab Top Spots


So after winning the Newbery with The Graveyard Book and scoring a top-five box office hit with Coraline, what happens next for Neil Gaiman? A relaxing nap so the rest of the children’s literary world can catch up? Nope. Both of his books will be topping the New York Times Best Seller list. Graveyard is [...]

Harry Potter Covers Re-Imagined


Creating children’s book covers has got to be a difficult job. Certainly a difficult job to do well. That split second where a kid eyes a book is so often a make or break moment. In person, those associated with the creation of cover art probably make good first impressions. Other people’s moms likely love [...]

Book Review: Garibaldi's Biscuits


Garibaldi’s Biscuits By Ralph Steadman Marshall Cavendish Children ISBN: 9780761455783 $17.99 Grades K-2 In Stores When a book this quirky comes along, you can’t help but notice. Check out the quote by Kurt Vonnegut on the front cover, describing author/illustrator Ralph Steadman: “The most gifted and effective existentialist graphic artist of my time” On the [...]