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2017 Sydney Taylor Book Awards announced

The winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards are: For Younger Readers: I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy; illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley (Simon) For Older Readers: The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz; with illustrations by Hatem Aly (Dutton) Read Fall 2016 […]

Five questions for Andrea Davis Pinkney

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day (Viking, 7–9 years) by Andrea Davis Pinkney is a loving tribute to an iconic picture-book character, Peter — one of the first African American children in picture books — and his creator, Ezra Jack Keats, author and illustrator […]

Review of A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illus. by 
Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson Primary, Intermediate    Viking    56 pp. 11/16    978-0-425-28768-2    $18.99 In evocative verse, Pinkney presents a picture book biography of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of the children’s classic The […]

Embracing cultural identity

The following YA stories feature teens struggling with family, friendship, and cultural identity in ways that feel organic to their experiences and are relatable to a variety of readers. Alternating between the voices of two seventeen-year-olds — a contemporary biracial (her mother is black, her father is white) young woman named Rowan Chase, and Will […]

History of war

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The following books for middle schoolers describe the horrors of twentieth-century wars and urge readers to learn from history’s mistakes. Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin opens briefly with a prologue set on the day of the attack […]

Review of Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy

Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy by Richard Michelson; 
illus. by Edel Rodriguez Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 9/16    978-1-101-93330-5    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93331-2    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-101-93332-9    $10.99 Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song” reminds us: “You can spin a dreidel / with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock — both Jewish!” Michelson delves a little deeper […]

Flora and the Peacocks

Oh, how I love Flora and the Flamingo, the first Flora book by Molly Idle, published in 2013. Those amazing flaps, like nothing we’d seen; the gracefulness of the illustrations, with infusions of humor; the lyricism of the story, without using any words. I was thrilled when it won a Caldecott Honor (and as we learned […]

Happy Birthday, FableVision!

As a pre-Thanksgiving treat, I attended FableVision Studios‘ 20th-Anniversary Bash at their beautiful office above the Boston Children’s Museum. FableVision is the media company cofounded by Peter H. Reynolds, children’s author/illustrator of The Dot and many, many other books, as well as being owner of the Blue Bunny Bookstore in Massachusetts [read the Horn Book […]

Massachusetts Book Awards 2016

On Tuesday, December 6th, I was lucky to be the plus-one, with amazing school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro, at the sixteenth annual Massachusetts Book Awards ceremony at the State House, in recognition of “significant works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s/young adult literature published by Commonwealth residents or about Massachusetts subjects.” The award is administered […]

Ashley Bryan at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

Who could use a little beauty? The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA, is running its New England Biennial exhibition through March 26, 2017. The exhibit features sixteen New England-based fine artists — including children’s lit’s own Ashley Bryan. On display in the gallery space are several of Bryan’s picture-book collages, including several […]