Recommended reading on “the circuit”

adler_picture book of cesar chavez

In his 1998 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award acceptance speech for The Circuit, Dr. Francisco Jiménez said, “The blowing of the horn for The Circuit will draw attention to and compassion for the thousands of migrant families and their children of yesterday and today. This sound is truly music to my ears.” These books, all recommended […]

“These children need a champion”: an interview with Gretchen Bircher

jimenez_the circuit

Gretchen Bircher is an instructional aide at Adam Elementary School in Santa Maria, California. (She’s also my amazing mom!) Today she is submitting a proposal to the Santa Maria–Bonita School District, advocating that a new elementary school be named in honor of Dr. Francisco Jiménez — author, recipient of a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and […]

Picture books measure up

How tall short

When I was a young student, I don’t recall learning about math concepts from picture books. Of course, I could simply have forgotten, but I do think it may be fair to say that there are more high-quality math picture books today than there were when I was a student. Nowadays, whenever I begin a […]

Reading rainbow? Not quite

purple books

Yo, Marsala, I’m happy for you, I’ma let you finish — but Eggplant is the real Color of the Year. At least according to this entire shelf of purple-jacketed books.

All a-Twitter 2015

love tweet

Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! What might characters of children’s and YA lit tweet to their valentines? We’ve got some ideas! See if you can guess who’s tweeting to whom — and feel free to add your own sweet kidlit tweets in the comments. @RealLiveGirl: @SomebodysFriend You’re all I could ever imagine! @ThereTheir: @PoorPour I/eye love […]

Starred reviews, March/April 2015 Horn Book Magazine

dyckman_wolfie the bunny

The following books will receive starred reviews in the March/April 2015 issue of the Horn Book Magazine: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña; illus. by Christian Robinson (Putnam) Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman; illus. by Zachariah OHora (Little, Brown) Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker; illus. by Daniel Salmieri (Balzer […]

New swag!

ballet cat tote

“Katie! There’s a pretty package for you!” Martha said this morning when the mail arrived. For me? Sure enough, the holographic, hot pink package was addressed to me, and inside was… a galley of Bob Shea’s early reader Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret (Disney-Hyperion, May 2015), a super-cute tote bag, and a letter addressed […]

Empathy spells understanding

Yang the Youngest

If there’s one thing my students have come to know about their teacher, Ms. Tell, it’s that I have an extreme passion for, and knowledge of, the Harry Potter series. I won’t get too much into it (I’ll save that for another blog post), but it’s true. It’s not just the magical characters and enchanting […]

Shutting down the shop (for now)

2015-01-20 14.31.27

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 […]

Most popular boys’ names 2025?

brennan_unspoken

I read a lot of supernatural romance YA — for the Mag, for the Guide, and for fun — and I’ve been noticing how many dreamy guys in recent series are named either Jared or Cole. Bonus points for a Jared/Cole in a love triangle with the female protagonist, or if the protagonist and said […]