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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 Poems in the Attic

Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes; illus. by Elizabeth Zunon Primary, Intermediate    Lee & Low    48 pp. 5/15    978-1-62014-027-7    $19.95    g On a visit to her grandmother’s house, a little girl finds her mother’s stash of childhood poems in the attic. The poems written by the mom in this story are tanka poems, an […]

Review of A Perfect Day

A Perfect Day by Lane Smith; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    32 pp. 2/17    978-1-62672-536-2    $17.99 Just what is the definition of a perfect day? Well…it depends on your perspective. All the animals in Bert’s backyard are having the best day. Cat enjoys being in the flowerbed in the sunshine. “It was […]

Review of Life on Mars

Life on Mars by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp. 2/17    978-0-399-53852-0    $17.99    g It’s Only Stanley (rev. 5/15) was a star-crossed (canine) love story that ended on the moon. Now Agee brings readers to the Red Planet. What would you bring along on a trip to search for life […]

The YMA Phone Calls

So, I had to stay home again. I wasn’t in any of the little rooms where it happened, nor was I in the giant room where it was announced. Blech. I was, however, in a queen-sized bed with all manner of wireless devices surrounding me. I was prepared. And a good thing, too, because the […]

Laying out the voting rules, 2016 edition

Okay, you know the drill. The Real Committee will meet in less than two weeks to make their final decisions. How in the world are they going to do it? I DON’T KNOW. We had a horrible time putting our ballot together, and we didn’t have hours of discussion and gallons of coffee to aid […]

The Blob (of Books) That Ate Atlanta

I had a delightful holiday, thank you very much. There was a small blemish on my weeks off, though. In between the gift exchanges and deciding What In The World Should We Watch On Netflix, there was that little voice sounding in the back of my brain. The voice said, “Martha is going to want […]

Some Writer!

Each year there is a book I see early in the season that sticks with me. This year it was Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet. Yes, that Melissa Sweet. The one who wrote or illustrated Balloons Over Broadway, The Right Word, A River of Words, and a whole lot […]

Maybe Something Beautiful

On this Election Day (thank goodness we have early voting so I could Do My Civic Duty as early as possible), I bring you something completely different from the headlines: People Getting Along With Other People. Try that ten-second mindfulness training that’s been on the internet: Look at that cover, close your eyes, clear your […]

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 […]

They All Saw a Cat

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 […]