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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.

Some Writer!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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!

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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 […]