Pre-voting instructions…it’s almost time!


I find it hard to believe that we’re less than two weeks from The Announcement at ALA. It was harder than you might think to put our ballot together — and it will be just as challenging for the folks on the Real Committee to narrow the field and choose the titles they want to consider. […]

Bad Bye, Good Bye


You know that feeling that you’ve missed something? Well, I had that feeling last week when I pulled out the titles for my class’s mock Caldecott. I blithely grabbed Bad Bye, Good Bye and thought, “Uh-oh. I never wrote about this one, did I?” In true Robin Smith fashion (ask any of my editors what […]

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse

maclachlan_iridescence of birds

Waaay back in January 2014, I saw this book. Hadley Hooper’s art blew me away. It still does. (And here Joanna Rudge Long reviews it for The Horn Book.) Henri Matisse is presented as a youngster, growing up in a dreary gray town. His mother introduces color to his life as she paints plates, arranges […]

Mock Caldecott results? Share right here


It’s less than a month before the Awards Announcements, but it’s not too soon to hear results of mock Caldecott deliberations. Many libraries host meetings where readers discuss books and vote on their winners. It’s impossible for us to keep up with all of the results, but we do want to know all about your […]

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

kid sheriff

As I sit here typing, I am staring at a poster for last year’s Caldecott winner, Brian Floca’s Locomotive. Would the committee that honored that wonderful book have given the time of day to the utter silliness that is Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads? Of course, I have no idea. Anyway: new year, new […]

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

santat_adventures of beekle

It’s Boxing Day, friends. Time to talk about a sweet gift of a book. Because I know many of you are sneaking a peek at your phones and computers in between holiday cleanup, entertaining relatives, and furtive trips to the mall, I will make it a quick review. Beekle is an extremely adorable imaginary friend […]

Review of Blizzard


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


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 […]