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 Malala, a Brave Girl from 
Pakistan / Iqbal, a Brave 
Boy from Pakistan

winter_malala - iqbal

Malala, a Brave Girl from 
Pakistan / Iqbal, a Brave 
Boy from Pakistan by Jeanette Winter; 
illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp. 11/14    978-1-4814-2294-9    $17.99 This picture book tells two stories (one side is Malala’s story; flip it over for Iqbal’s), introducing young readers to Malala Yousafzai (recent winner of the […]

Gaston

gaston

I hate missing the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards Ceremony and next-day Symposium for a lot of reasons. Besides getting to see everyone I already know, I love hearing the speeches by people I don’t know (but would like to). One new person whom I would have loved hearing is Christian Robinson, illustrator of Josephine and The Smallest Girl […]

Sequels, schmequels

flora penguin

So, as I cast my eyes across my shelf,  I wonder: what in the world is the committee going to do with all the picture-book sequels that have been pouring in?! Now, picture books usually do not have sequels, and some of these are not officially sequels but are simply very similar in style or […]

Separate Is Never Equal (or how to find out more about a book)

Separate Is Never Equal

I’m going to stop using so many words (as I am well aware of their soporific powers) and try to be brief. I am also including a ton of links, so hang on tight! During our last conversation, Martha brought up a point about art that comes from other places and cultures that we may […]

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems

janeczko_firefly july2

Before we start chatting about specific 2014 picture books, take a moment to read the Caldecott criteria. They’re posted over there on the right, but I will help you find the important parts. Here they are, in part: In identifying a “distinguished American picture book for children,” defined as illustration, committee members need to consider: […]

Now you know what we think

Bookshop for Boys and Girls

So, now you know where the three of us are in September. I wonder where we will be in January? Now that Lolly, Martha, and I know one another’s favorites, we will put our schedule together and start yapping about books soon. Go through our three lists here, here and here if you want a hint […]

Getting to the top shelf

For Robin

Here is the truth of the matter: in less than three months, each individual Caldecott committee member will nominate seven books out of the hundreds he or she has seen this year. It’s kind of a sickening task: either you appreciate SO MANY that you have trouble cutting any out, or you really only have […]

Dusting off the blog

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School has started, and you know what that means…yup, we’re baaaack! For me, it means my second graders are getting in the groove, and now it’s time for me to relearn WordPress and try to twist Lolly’s arm for amusing graphics to brighten up the blog. Lolly Robinson, Martha Parravano, and I are going through our […]

Review of I’m My Own Dog

stein_i'm my own dog

I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 8/14    978-0-7636-6139-7    $15.99 “I’m my own dog. Nobody owns me. I own myself.” This independent, self-starter narrator looks down on ordinary pups, the ones owned by people. This dog will not sit for anyone, even if a bone […]

Review of Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight

mass_space taxi

Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight by Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer; 
illus. by Elise Gravel Primary, Intermediate    Little, Brown    101 pp. 4/14    978-0-316-24319-3    $14.99 Paper ed.  978-0-316-24320-9    $5.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-24321-6    $5.99 “Take Your Kid to Work Day” will never again be the same for Archie. He has been waiting “eight years, eight months, and […]