100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

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.

One Star Review, Guess Who? (#88)

Normally, these posts begin with this: “Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon?” Well, today is a bit of an exception, because it’s actually a two-star review. But when you figure out the book, you’ll see why I couldn’t pass this one up. So here we […]

The Unexpecteds: 5 Sneakily Popular Books in Our K-4 School Library This Year

Towards the end of the year I like to look at the circulation stats and see if anything unexpected pops up. Amid the swarms of Pilkey, Renee Russell, and Willems, a few books that I didn’t expect got checked out a whole lot this school year. Here they are, along with my guesses on why […]

The 2019 Unicorn Report

With all these unicorns prancing through children’s books, you’d almost think they were real. Oh, sorry, spoiler alert. I’f you’re looking to boost the unicorn ranks on your shelves, look no further, because below are all the ‘corn books 2019 has to offer. Any to add? Let me know in the comments.

‘The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown’ A Q&A with Mac Barnett and Sarah Jacoby

There’s a new book out about children’s literature legend Margaret Wise Brown. Today I talk with the author, Mac Barnett, and the illustrator, Sarah Jacoby, about how this book came to together. First up, Mr. Barnett Hi Mac! Margaret Wise Brown. MWB. When did it first occur to you that you should write a bio […]

A 2020 Newbery/Caldecott Check In

Every once in a while, I sneak over to the Goodreads Mock Newbery and Caldecott lists to see what books are getting attention. While the lists are open to voting by any Goodreads user (so DEFINITELY take them with a grain of salt), they are sometimes fairly accurate (although the 2019 Caldecott list didn’t fare […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#87)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? I sat through enough pee and poop references without flinching until page 129 where one officer holds up a pile of poop in his hand and then another officer instinctively high-fives the hand full of poop creating a huge […]

Endangered Series #12: Arthur

Popularity comes, popularity goes. As librarians we’re always balancing between what will circulate like crazy and what we need to have in the collection. And we’re not the Library of Congress – we can’t (and shouldn’t) keep everything. An endangered series is one that appears to be waning in terms of popularity. But popularity isn’t everything. Should it […]

Review: Tropical Terry by Jarvis

Tropical Terry By Jarvis Candlewick Press ISBN: 9781536205466 $16.99 Grades PreK-1 Out May 14, 2019 Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library Books with fish on the cover make me wince (save for one notable exception). I’ve just been spurned too many times. I don’t know, there’s something about a colorful underwater setting that […]

One Star Review Guess Who? (#86)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? what was the moral of it? “Don’t eat before you sow?” “Never lose sight of your mother?” “If a bear follows you don’t panic but talk to it?” “Berries will help you survive the winter?” Click here for the […]

Morning Notes: Shrek Obstacle Course Edition

PICTURE BOOKS ARE SHOCKINGLY GREAT I love them too, kid. I love them too. I CAN PLAY THE TUBA Ann Patchett, well-known for her books for adults, has written a picture book. I’m always fascinated to hear how authors who write for grown-ups end up writing for kids. Patchett’s story begins with a chance encounter […]

I Have Arrived. Aaaand I Left Again.

When I left school on Friday, I was on top of the world. I had just received official word from the publisher that The Very Last Castle had reached the #1 spot . . . . . . of my school library. Suddenly, I noticed I was holding my head a little higher. My chest, […]

One Star Review Guess Who (#85)

Can you guess the classic children’s book by its scathing one-star review on Goodreads or Amazon? I admit – I’ve given up. It’s back at the library, unfinished yet again. Clearly this is not my cup of tea – no offense, Bilbo. Click here for the answer. Why do I share these? Click here. Previously […]

Morning Notes: Smelly Edition

HOW YOU GET SMART By reading children’s nonfiction, of course (side note: A Fuse #8 Production been telling us this for years). The proof? The guy who’s on the most lucrative Jeopardy hot streak in history. Click here to read. DO YOU LIKE CASE COVERS? Mel at Let’s Talk Picture Books has added to her […]

Notes on April 2019

In April . . . . . . we looked at new books from past award winners. What are previous Geisel, Sibert,Pura Belpre, and Coretta Scott King award winners up to in 2019? . . . I gave you a challenge. Can you name the book based on a student drawing? . . . we […]

A Helpful Guide to Common Editor’s Marks

Don’t look now, but writing longhand is making a comeback (or maybe it never left?). So, people interested in the hand-written word, I made this guide for you. A straightforward list of common editor’s marks and what they mean. I think that’s all of them. I hope this was helpful!