100 Scope Notes
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Gallery: Some of the Posters in Our School Library

I love library posters.

I love them so much that when one goes missing, I turn into Sherlock Holmes.

I love adding new posters to our library, and putting posters in new places each school year.

So here are some of the posters in our K-3 school library. It’s not all of them, but some of the ones I like the best.

Oh yes – our Ira Crumb feelings poster. Not only does it go along with a couple wonderful books we have in our library, it’s also interactive. Bonus points for interactive. When I’m giving library tours at the beginning of the school year I will sometimes bring students past this poster and ask them to point out how they are feeling today.

I definitely am lucky – many of my favorite posters are promo items that came with books sent from publishers. This is one such item.

I love our Niño Wrestles the World poster. Illustrated by Yuyi Morales, the color and energy of the art makes it a poster I always love putting on the wall (or, in the case of this school year, on the end of one of our Everybody/Picture Book shelves. This one is available in the ALA Store (you don’t need to be an ALA member to order, but get discounts if you are).

We’ve been fortunate to have some great authors and illustrators visit our school over the years (remember when Katherine Applegate signed a projector?). Aaron Zenz visited a few years back and we saved some of his art for our walls. Here’s the Hiccupotamus himself.

This one is also in the ALA store. I’m always excited when we can get a library poster featuring a popular book, because it can become a landmark in the library. If a student is looking for Wonder, we point them in the direction of the Wonder poster, and the book is on the shelf below it. Posters as library landmarks = good.

A couple years back, Daniel Miyares put this American print up for sale in his online shop. Seemed like a perfectly welcoming piece for the library, so I ordered it ASAP. It was limited edition, so the print is no longer available, but if you keep an eye out on illustrators social media, they often announce new artwork for sale that might be a great fit for your library.

I’ve already called this the greatest promo poster in promo poster history. Gene Luen Yang created an ode to the iconic, William Blake-quoting Michael Jordan Wings poster for his (equally iconic, in my opinion) graphic novel masterpiece, Dragon Hoops. This is the only promo item I’ve ever blindly emailed the publisher to get my hands on. Do my students get the homage? No. But I do and it holds a special place in my NBA (National Basketball Association, not the other NBA) loving heart.

We already talked about how interactive posters get bonus points. This Flora & the Flamingo poster gets bonus points for something different – referencing something that happens in a library. I can’t say for sure, but I think I picked this up at an ALA conference years ago (another tip – there are lots of cool posters up for grabs at conferences, if you can get them back hone in one piece). I love it because it’s the perfect thing for the wall in our read aloud area, but it also is special to be because I was on the Caldecott committee that gave an honor to this book (the first Caldecott honor or medal winner to incorporate flaps, I believe).

More artwork from a visiting author/illustrator! This one is by Ruth McNally Barshaw. It’s smaller, so it’s fun to find a little place for this to go and take students by surprise. This year it’s on the end of one of our fiction shelves.

Nice work by Chronicle and illustrator Mehrdokht Amini on this poster. It’s one of the few posters in our library that I always like to put in the same place – right on the circulation desk. I love my READ posters, but I also love pieces like this, that help create a sense of belonging in the library.

Sometimes you mention a book so many times online that the author notices. That’s what happened with Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DeCosta and Ed Young. After multiple posts about how this book was one of the most popular our library, Barbara DeCosta noticed and sent this poster. It was very thoughtful of her and I hung it with pride in our story area.

Oh, how I appreciate posters that are in unique shapes. Portrait orientation has many uses, but how about a little landscape orientation every now and then??? This poster, illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Brendan Wenzel, is just the right size for under our humble book drop slot.

Do you have a favorite in your school library? Let me know in the comments.

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.

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