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Robin Smith

About Robin Smith

Robin Smith is a second-grade teacher at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a reviewer for Kirkus and The Horn Book Magazine and has served on multiple award committees.

Review of Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis


Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis by Jabari Asim; illus. by E. B. Lewis Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp. 10/16    978-0-399-16856-7    $16.99    g John Lewis, longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was a member of the “Big Six” during the 1963 March on Washington and went on to solidify his […]

Two books by Brendan Wenzel


It’s become old hat for an artist to have more than one really great picture book out in the same year, but usually it’s a familiar name. (Think Melissa Sweet, Jon Klassen, Philip Stead…) What’s unusual is when the artist has a rather unfamiliar name. This year, illustrator Brendan Wenzel has two books that many people […]

Review of Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White


Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    164 pp. 10/16    978-0-544-31959-2    $18.99    g Salutations! Sweet raises her collage skills to new heights while bringing her love and admiration for fellow Mainer E. B. White to the page for everyone to appreciate. Just as […]

School’s First Day of School


Well, if Lolly schooled us on Frankie and Lucky Get Schooled, I guess it’s inevitable that I educate you about School’s First Day of School. Christian Robinson’s other books have stickers all over their covers: Sibert, Coretta Scott King, Boston Globe-Horn Book, and even a Newbery Medal. So, when he has a new book out, we […]

This Is Not a Picture Book!


Words and pictures. Pictures and words. What makes a book a book, at least in the mind of a young child? Ask any little kid and they will not hesitate to tell you that it’s the pictures. Anyone who has read this blog for more than a year knows that I agree with my young […]

Freedom in Congo Square


Do you ever think you know a lot about a topic and then open a book to read something completely new? That’s what happened when I read this offering from Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie. I thought I knew just about everything about slavery in the 1800s in our country, at least all […]

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines


Thanks for chiming in with the books you are excited about! I still have the feeling that The Book has not been mentioned yet…no reason for that feeling, really, but I just think I am missing something. (I know, for instance, that new books illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, Jerry Pinkney, and Ashley Bryan are forthcoming.) […]

Welcome back! September is here!


The Olympics are over, hurricane season is in full force, the heat of summer still keeps many of us indoors, the new school year is underway, and it’s time for Caldecott thoughts. I pull out my Caldecott manual and highlight the criteria and schedule. At this point, the people on the real Caldecott committee are busy […]

Review of School’s First Day of School


School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex; 
illus. by Christian Robinson Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 6/16    978-1-59643-964-1    $17.99    g We’ve had many books about kids getting ready for the first day of school, but now we have another perspective: the school’s itself. The title page shows the finishing touches being added to a […]

Review of There Is a Tribe of Kids

smith_there is a tribe of kids

There Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 5/16    978-1-62672-056-5    $18.99 This is a book straight from the thoughts of a young child, with the feel of a daydream. On the face of it, it’s a simple book about collective nouns (“a colony of […]