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 Blizzard

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Blizzard by John Rocco; illus. by the author Primary    Disney-Hyperion    48 pp. 11/14    978-1-4231-7865-1    $17.99 Rocco presents a story of New England’s blizzard of 1978, based on his own childhood experience. The same warm family feeling that permeates his Caldecott Honor book Blackout is here, but this time he sticks to a boy’s-eye view of […]

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom

all different now

 I have written about and talked about this book a lot elsewhere, so it seems time to put my finger on why the Caldecott committee should take a close look at All Different Now. Before I start, I want to dispel a myth I hear a lot. It goes something like this: this is really […]

Your nominations, please

academy-award-nominations

At just about this time  of year, the Real Caldecott Committee members are wrapping up their nominations. At the Midwinter meetings, they will discuss only the titles that have been nominated. To clarify, members may suggest many titles throughout the year (and everyone on the committee needs to read all suggested books in their entirety) […]

Review of Murilla Gorilla and the Hammock Problem

lloyd_murilla gorilla and the hammock problem

Murilla Gorilla and the Hammock Problem by Jennifer Lloyd; illus. by Jacqui Lee Primary     Simply Read     41 pp. 8/14     978-1-927018-47-7     $9.95 This light and easy mystery, told in six chapters, will be just the thing to boost new readers’ confidence and tickle their funny bones. A gorilla named Murilla lives in the rainforest of an […]

A Letter for Leo

letter for leo

I have been looking forward to this book since I (and my class of second graders) fell in love with Sergio Ruzzier’s Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? last year. Let’s take a look at it the way I learned to do on the Caldecott committee. I like to savor a book when I […]

International Picture Books…books I wish were eligible

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Today you are in for a treat. Julie Danielson, author of the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog, is here to chat with me about international books. Before we start, I should say that I could have included about thirty links to her excellent blog but was too lazy. Please, pour yourself a cup of coffee, carve […]

Grandfather Gandhi

grandfather gandhi

Let’s get the hard stuff out of the way at the beginning: I am not 100% sure this book is eligible for Caldecott. Yes, it’s published by an American press in the United States, and the illustrator is American. One of the authors (Bethany Hegedus) is American, and the other (Arun Gandhi) lives in Rochester, NY, according […]

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

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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 […]