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Banquets and bling

Continuing with this series of behind-the-scenes of the Caldecott committee, I thought it would be fun to give you peek at the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder Banquet, which took place just last month at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. (If you haven’t yet, please read Javaka Steptoe’s Caldecott speech and Martha’s post about it.) You may have […]

Silver medals

Hello, everyone. I’m back from ALA’s annual conference, which began (for me) with the devastatingly sad news that Robin Smith, co-author of this blog, had died, and ended (for me) with the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder banquet. I will be using this space to remember our beloved Robin in the near future — oh, let’s face it, I’ll probably be […]

A tribute

I used to repeatedly tell my friend Robin Smith that my professional motto in life is: WWRD? (What Would Robin Do?) I think she thought I was joking, but I wasn’t. I know enough to respect those who came before me in the field of children’s literature — to know their names and read their […]

Dear Robin

Dear Robin: It’s time. Despite your grace and courage in facing the coming reality, I’m not ready, will never be ready. But it’s time to say what needs to be said. I want to thank you for so many things. For me, personally and professionally, you have been a role model, a compass, and an opener of doors. […]

Caldecott Club

“How low can we go?” That was the key question when I decided to create a monthly Caldecott Club at my public library a few years ago. I’d read about the in-depth discussions that happened during the Mock Caldecotts held at other public and school libraries, and was thrilled to think that we might be […]

Readers, meet Triangle

Reposting a previous Review of the Week from our website today… A new Mac Barnett/Jon Klassen collaboration is always of interest for picture book connoisseurs. This one? Well, you can tell from the wordless cover that it’s somewhat of a departure from their previous books — and you probably can’t tell, but the binding is different, too: […]

On the Radar

It’s the third Thursday of the month; time to tantalize you all with some covers of picture books sure to be on 2018 Caldecott committee members’ radars. (Whether or not these books make it onto members’ suggestion lists or into their “yes” piles—or, eventually, are chosen for that most selective of all categories, their nominations list—is […]

The Good, the Bad, and the Self-Published: Could an Indie Picture Book Win the Caldecott?

Right about now, the 2018 Caldecott chair is likely receiving a steady trickle of self-published books in the mail. Yes, these books are completely eligible for the award! As long as their illustrators are American, that is. But is this an exercise in futility? Could a self-published picture book actually win? To my knowledge, one never […]

“Does photographic illustration get its due?”

It’s the off-season, folks! So this HUGE question will not be addressed here and now. (Sorry for the bait-and-switch.) However, I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that, over on 100 Scope Notes, Travis Jonker is on the case. Last week he showcased a bunch of new fiction picture books whose medium is […]

Egg

This book is both exactly what you’d expect from the cover — and totally different. A heartwarming tale of friendship and loyalty and persistence, with a surprising and subversive twist. A book of few words, but tons of fun to read aloud. A color palette that remains constant even as the story takes an unexpected turn. A picture book for the very, […]