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James E. Ransome on Granddaddy’s Turn

In our July/August issue, reviewer Robin Smith asked James Ransome about the challenge of illustrating difficult subject matter — specifically, voting disenfranchisement — for picture-book readers in Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box. Read the full review of Granddaddy’s Turn here. Robin Smith: How do you convey the seriousness and emotion of your […]

Review of Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box

Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein; illus. by James E. Ransome Primary   Candlewick   32 pp. 7/15   978-0-7636-6593-7   $16.99 “Patience, son, patience.” That’s what the young narrator’s grandfather tells him as they wait for the fish to bite. That’s also what Granddaddy says when he puts on […]

Review of Tad and Dad

Tad and Dad by David Ezra Stein; 
illus. by the author Preschool   Paulsen/Penguin   40 pp. 4/15   978-0-399-25671-4   $16.99   g Poor Dad. Poor Tad. Neither frog is getting any sleep in his (lily)pad. Tad loves his dad so much that he can hardly bear to be away from him, even at night. Whether Tad is a […]

Review of Meet the Dullards

Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker; illus. by Daniel Salmieri Primary   Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins   32 pp. 3/15   978-0-06-219856-3   $17.99 The tradition of Bottner’s The Scaredy Cats (rev. 3/03) and Allard’s Stupids books (The Stupids Die, rev. 8/81) lives on with the Dullards, a family of five engulfed in ennui. The Dullard parents are horrified when […]

Review of How Jelly Roll Morton 
Invented Jazz

How Jelly Roll Morton 
Invented Jazz by Jonah Winter; 
illus. by Keith Mallett Primary   Porter/Roaring Brook   32 pp. 6/15   978-1-59643-963-4   $17.99 Much like jazz itself, Winter has created a book filled with ebbs and flows, rhythm and rhyme, darkness and light, shadow and sunshine. Opening with a dreamy spread set in a dimly lit New […]

Five questions for Nikki Grimes

April is National Poetry Month, and what better way to celebrate than by talking with acclaimed poet Nikki Grimes? Her many books include narratives in verse, prose fiction, poetry collections, and nonfiction, frequently featuring African American characters and culture. In Grimes’s latest picture book, Poems in the Attic (illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon; Lee & Low, […]

Shutting down the shop (for now)

It’s been quite a season of books, hasn’t it? As I clear off my picture book shelf, preparing for the 2015 titles, I feel a twinge of nostalgia. There are so many books I have loved this year, but now they have to find new homes. I have piles of 2014 books, all bound for […]

Wednesday Morning Quarterbacking: the process edition

I am back at school and still processing the weekend in Chicago. The blizzard, the meetings, the books, the buses, the proud moments when two good friends (the two who gave me the courage to join ALA in the first place) won service and achievement awards…it’s all a bit of a blur right now. I […]

Live from Chicago, cont.

MONDAY 7:29 AM: There’s really no more anxiety than being on a bus full of librarians who are worried about missing the award ceremony. It’s still snowing (it’s Lake effect this time), and people are a little anxious but super excited about getting down to the convention center and calling their people or hearing other […]

Live from Chicago! It’s Robin

FRIDAY, 10:45 AM: At the risk of seeming like a stalker, I have a few things to report from the Caldecott meetings in Chicago. Not really! I have nothing to report from the (closed) Caldecott meetings. But I am in Chicago, and I am at ALA. I was able to check with a friend to […]