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Want to see inside Yuyi Morales’ treehouse studio? Click here.


The most must-read item of the week is one I think a lot of people would like to ignore: a report of the racism contained in the work of Dr Seuss. We all know about it in If I Ran the Zoo, but this report has me seeing many of his other books with freshly critical eyes. Click here to read.


The New York Times Magazine has a great piece on The Gay History of America’s Classic Children’s Books. Click here to read it.

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Crossover GN

The Crossover (Graphic Novel) by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile. Out September 24, 2019.

Some things are just a good idea. Like this graphic novel adaptation of Kwame Alexander’s Newbery Medal winner.

And if picture books are more your speed, Mile High Reading has two batches of fresh 2019 picture books on the horizon (Part 15 and Part 16).

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Design of the Picture book has a great interview with Jon Klassen about the shape trilogy he created with Mac Barnett. Picture book aficionados will approve. Click here (or the image below) to read.

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Travis, I’m not sure what you mean by stating that “a lot of people would like to ignore” racism in Dr. Seuss. Some of us would appreciate an assessment of his work which shows deep knowledge of the historical period and of the highly principled positions which he took on many social issues. The study uses a misleading method, adding up racist references in his work,and giving equal weight to his Dartmouth humor magazine cartoons and his later definitive books. We should definitely not ignore racism in his work, but it seems that he is going to be the next figure to be toppled by criteria which, if applied to everyone, will leave no children’s authors to respect at all before this century.
    How many readers are aware that Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel), was one of the most vocal opponents of American isolationism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism, prior to World War II? During the war, he attacked racism, and showed how detrimental it was to the struggle against fascism.
    Again, Dr. Seuss is not immune to criticism. His position on the internment of Japanese Americans was terrible. But I would like to make a plea for readers, especially those claiming to be protecting children, to champion intellectual freedom and to inform ourselves fully before self-righteously joining attacks on artists and writers.