‘Where are your tall books?’ The Top 4 Unexpected Reasons for Popularity
Twice in the past month, I’ve had kindergarten students ask “Where are your tall books?”
I’d never had that question before. I replied, “Look on the shelf for the books that are taller than the others, and those are the tall books.” What else do you say?
But it got me thinking about popular books and why they’re popular. Usually it’s because a book is good or funny or on a topic kids like. But sometimes, it might not be for the reasons you think. Here are the Top 4 Unexpected Reasons for Popularity:
1. The book has a unique size and/or shape
If it’s tall, short, or tiny all over, it’s going to get some extra attention. Think of Line ::: and 365 Penguins,
2. The book has a lot of pages
Words by Christopher Neiman? Checked out all the time.
3. Other people want the book
When one kid asks, others follow. Also known as the scarcity corollary. This recently happened in our library with Christie Matheson’s interactive books.
4. The book is in a prime shelf location
Is it really popular, or is it just at eye level? But I’ve talked about this one before.
*BONUS REASON* 5. The book is next to the bookend
See Laura G.’s comment below.
Filed under: Articles
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
SLJ Blog Network
One Star Review, Guess Who? (#187)
Ellen Myrick Publisher Preview: Fall 2023/Winter 2024 (Part Five – Berbay, Cicada & Creston Books)
Recent Graphic Novel Deals, Late May 2023 | News
A Case for Fun and Games, a guest post by Andrew Auseon
The Classroom Bookshelf is Moving