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Editorial: The Incomparable Robin Smith

Robin Smith (1959–2017) was, famously, a talker. When I first met Robin some twenty years ago, we were sitting in a Children’s Literature New England lecture hall waiting for the day to begin. It was immediately apparent that she was something out of the ordinary: not only was she talking a mile a minute in […]

Just the two of us

Four funny, episodic books for emerging readers feature dynamic duos — human, invertebrate, and everything in between. Laurel Snyder’s beginning chapter book Charlie & Mouse is filled to the brim with sincere, slice-of-life sibling moments. In four chapters, the two eponymous brothers have a party on the playground, attempt to sell rocks to the neighbors, […]

Review of Little Pig Saves the Ship

Little Pig Saves the Ship by David Hyde Costello; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 5/17    978-1-58089-715-0    $14.99 e-book ed.  978-1-60734 929-7    $9.99 Little Pig from Little Pig Joins the Band (rev. 9/11) is back, once again left behind by his older siblings. This time they are going to sailing camp without […]

Silver medals

Hello, everyone. I’m back from ALA’s annual conference, which began (for me) with the devastatingly sad news that Robin Smith, co-author of this blog, had died, and ended (for me) with the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder banquet. I will be using this space to remember our beloved Robin in the near future — oh, let’s face it, I’ll probably be […]

Review of Binny Bewitched

Binny Bewitched by Hilary McKay; illus. by Tony Ross Intermediate, Middle School    McElderry    233 pp.    g 6/17    978-1-4814-9102-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9104-4    $10.99 McKay continues to display her extraordinary gifts (for language, nuance, humor; for capturing human nature and family dynamics) in this third book about the endearingly imperfect […]

The birds and the bees…and the arachnids and more!

Four entertaining nonfiction picture books provide young readers with solid scientific information about the birds and the bees — and other insects and arachnids, too! — in friendly, accessible formats. In Eileen Christelow’s humorous, informative Robins!: How They Grow Up, two young robins reminisce about the events of their (very recent) youth. The details covered […]

Dear Robin

Dear Robin: It’s time. Despite your grace and courage in facing the coming reality, I’m not ready, will never be ready. But it’s time to say what needs to be said. I want to thank you for so many things. For me, personally and professionally, you have been a role model, a compass, and an opener of doors. […]

Readers, meet Triangle

Reposting a previous Review of the Week from our website today… A new Mac Barnett/Jon Klassen collaboration is always of interest for picture book connoisseurs. This one? Well, you can tell from the wordless cover that it’s somewhat of a departure from their previous books — and you probably can’t tell, but the binding is different, too: […]

On the Radar

It’s the third Thursday of the month; time to tantalize you all with some covers of picture books sure to be on 2018 Caldecott committee members’ radars. (Whether or not these books make it onto members’ suggestion lists or into their “yes” piles—or, eventually, are chosen for that most selective of all categories, their nominations list—is […]

“Does photographic illustration get its due?”

It’s the off-season, folks! So this HUGE question will not be addressed here and now. (Sorry for the bait-and-switch.) However, I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that, over on 100 Scope Notes, Travis Jonker is on the case. Last week he showcased a bunch of new fiction picture books whose medium is […]